Brian Appelgate

Brian Appelgate

SEMA Board of Directors

Chairman 1997-1999

President / CEO

B&M Racing, Hurst, Flowmaster, Dinan Engineering

The election of Chair of SEMA is an extremely important decision to be made by the membership. I encourage you to vote for Wade Kawasaki for the position of SEMA Chair-elect. I have had the pleasure of serving with Wade on numerous SEMA committees as well as the SEMA board of directors for a long period of time. Over all the years, all the challenges and all the opportunities presented to him he has always demonstrated strong leadership and made excellent decisions on behalf of the Association and its members. 

Wade has a management style that builds consensus, gets people engaged and excited to move forward. Combined with his industry experience, strong personal convictions and a true love for the industry that he helped to shape, Wade will be an excellent Chairman of the Board.

Mitch Williams

Mitch Williams

SEMA Board of Directors Chairman (2005-2007)

President & CEO

Restoration Parts Unlimited, Inc.

I have known Wade Kawasaki for over 20 years. I had the privilege of serving on the SEMA Board of Directors for 12 years, and as your Chairman from 2005-2007. Wade served with me for most of that time so I got to know him well as a person and as an industry leader. My first challenge as the Incoming Chairman was to replace our long-time outgoing Secretary-Treasurer of SEMA who was leaving the industry. One of the decisions I am most proud of was to ask Wade to serve as SEMA Secretary-Treasurer. He had big shoes to fill but he did an outstanding job of protecting SEMA resources, fighting for the rights of SEMA Members when they were threatened, growing SEMA investments – which led to a position of financial strength for SEMA in the future, and in various key leadership roles in preparing SEMA strategically for the future. Wade is a visionary industry leader who understands the future of our industry, but he also has deep roots from the early days of our industry. I do not know anyone more passionate about our industry than Wade. He is a person of high integrity that can be counted on to do the right things for SEMA. Wade has been preparing for this position for his entire career and I am confident in saying that he is the right leader at the right time for SEMA. I respectfully ask you to consider casting your vote for our future by supporting Wade as your next SEMA Chairman.

Rich Barsamian

Rich Barsamian

SEMA Person of the Year

Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Advanced Clutch Technology

The SEMA Board of Directors election is the most important decision you can make that directly impacts and affects our industry and your business directly.

I am personally urging you to vote for Wade Kawasaki for SEMA Chair-Elect. He is the rightchoice. Wade thinks for the industry as a whole and takes off his company hat time and time again to make decisions that will move our industry forward as a whole.

Wade was one of the founding members of YEN. I was in the second wave that went through YEN. I have had the opportunity to work with Wade one on one and with groups of people for many years now. Wade has an ability to think clearly and execute decisions with wisdom, and precise direction even in some of the most stressful situations. I have personally witnessed his expertise and leadership in many situations throughout the years. SEMA needs a Chair-Elect like this that is not afraid to come alongside any member company and find out what SEMA can do to help that company. He truly leads by example.

Wade is an enthusiast, a racer, in short, a guy who just plain “gets it”. He is a professional and he is just one of those leaders that people want to do things for. He motivates, inspires, and pushes for everyone around him to personally stretch and challenge themselves to improve and leave things better than they found them.

It has been said that a leader lights a fire under people to motivate them, but a real leader “lights a fire inside people”…Please vote for Wade Kawasaki so that he can light that fire within our industry!

Harry Hibler

Harry Hibler

SEMA Board of Directors 1992 - 1998

Publisher of Hot Rod 1979-1988 and 1990-1995

President

UNI-MARKETING

It's easy to talk about what you're going to do or how good a leader you may become, but if you have never been entrusted by others to lead a group, we can never know.

The future Chairman of the Board of SEMA should not be a popularity contest, but a thoughtful analysis of integrity and qualifications.

Wade Kawasaki is a man of integrity. He is a trusted, proven and tested leader. He was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Avanche Corporation both a Manufacturer member (Racing Sports Akimoto, DUB-Air by Racing Sports Akimoto) and Distributor member (Exports International) of SEMA. He is now the President and Chief Operating Officer or Coker Group which has multiple operating companies including manufacturing and Distribution assets in 3 states.

He has been chosen by present and past SEMA Chairman of the Boards to be Chairman on various committee's and task forces and with that responsibility, he has successfully orchestrated new SEMA member programs which are still in existence today. He was appointed by the US Secretary of Commerce to provide international advice to the Department of Commerce and awarded by Northwood University as their "Educator of the Year" and selected to serve on their Automotive Aftermarket Advisory Board. He also has the most experience in expanding our markets globally and that is becoming more important to the industry with each passing year. He is the ONLY candidate that has been honored with SEMA's highest awards SEMA's Young Executive of the Year, SEMA Chairman's Service Award, SEMA Person of the Year and most recently inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame.

Amy Faulk

Amy Faulk

SEMA Board of Directors

CEO

Hypertech

I respect both candidates running for Chair Elect but I believe that Wade fully understands what's most important for all SEMA members and he's a leader that knows how to get things done. I've worked with Wade and served with him on the Board of Directors and he has always impressed me with his integrity, knowledge and experience. When it comes to the SEMA Chairman of the Board, I vote for experience. I'm voting for Wade Kawasaki.

Corky Coker

Corky Coker

Former SEMA Chairman

Banjo picker, farmer and car collector

Coker Tire, Honest Charley, Wheel Vintiques, and Great Race

If you are like me and been around a while, you have made lots of friends in this industry. And, if we don’t have good friends we can count on… we don’t have much, and it probably says more about us that we would like to admit. We should be able to call on our very good friends. Wade Kawasaki is my closest friend and I do call on him. He is a faithful friend to me! Other than my Lord in Heaven and my sweet Theresa, Wade probably knows me better than anyone. And, I know him pretty well too! Wade, like me, grew up in this industry, traveling, selling, shipping, manufacturing, racing, and running businesses with just a few people to hundreds. I semi-retired last year and handed over the reins of our businesses to Wade as our Coker Group Chief Operating Officer. There is not a more capable guy in our Industry who has the integrity, wisdom, fortitude and leadership skills to lead our industry than Wade Kawasaki. Wade understands where he came from, who he is, and how he got where he is… which is a solid foundation for any leader. Wade knows that it is better to lead, inspire and encourage than it is to direct, manage, correct and condemn. In the operation of the Coker Group Wade has the attitude that we lead people and manage things. He also believes that to whom much is given, much is expected. Wade is offering himself for the Chair Elect position of SEMA. This is a very important election for the future of our Industry will be held soon. I encourage you to look at both candidates. There are considerable differences. Now, both are nice guys and men of faith,… I believe that Wade has the experience, the wisdom, the leadership skills and the guts to lead SEMA with conviction and proper governance. I encourage you to support and vote for Wade Kawasaki for Chair Elect of SEMA.

Bob Longstreth

Bob Longstreth

Executive (retired)

Chrysler

As an executive at Chrysler working with the aftermarket, I had the pleasure of working with many people and with SEMA for over ten years. Wade Kawasaki was always an asset when dealing with SEMA. He was instrumental in Chrysler first becoming involved in the data sharing program, now known as "Tech Transfer". At that time, this was revolutionary and a step closer to Chrysler partnering with aftermarket companies. As you can imagine there was a lot of reluctance internally from our parts and service operations regarding data sharing. Wade's guidance and leadership helped me calm those fears. Personally, I can't thank Wade enough for his leadership and support over the years. He has my full endorsement and support and would make a great SEMA Chairman. I encourage you to also support him.

Mark Pettersen

Mark Pettersen

Former SEMA BOD

Owner

Pettersen Motorsports Inc.

I worked with Wade when I was on the SEMA BOD 2000-2004. He is a hard working, honest, straight forward leader. I haave nothing but good to say about him. Has worked in many aspects of our industry, and has dedicated much of his professional life to the cause. He has my strongest endorsement for your consideration for SEMA CHAIRMAN!

Ron Coleman

Ron Coleman

SEMA Chairman of the Board

President

Comp Cams, TCI, Fast, RHS, Quarter Master, ZEX and Inglese

It is great to have two well qualified candidates running for SEMA chairman. I personally have known Wade for many years and he has been involved In the industry in a very unique fashion; he has been a manufacturer, a distributor, and a rep. That experience and background gives him a very unique prospective. Having experienced the problems of almost every segment of the industry he has a very broad view of the ways SEMA can help the various interests that it represents.

Not only does Wade have the industry experience he has also been very involved in SEMA for many years. He has served SEMA in a multitude of roles and as such he will come to the chairmanship knowing how to get things done at SEMA. His experience and knowledge will enable him to lead the staff in an effective way to address the current problems that each of us face.

The issues that threaten us today will require a chairman who’s broad knowledge of all of the segments of our industry can help SEMA to protect us from the threats that we face. In my opinion Wade is the right man for the job.

Dan Gresham

Dan Gresham

SEMA Board of Directors Secretary/Treasurer 2009 – 2013

Managing Partner

Spencer Pierce Capital, LLC

I'm supporting Wade Kawasaki (Wade Kawasaki for SEMA Chair) for Chairman of SEMA. Both candidates are excellent but I think Wade is the right person at the right time. Regardless of your choice, if you are a SEMA member, don't forget to vote.

Scott Dickey

Scott Dickey

Chief Executive Officer

TEN: The Enthusiast Network (formerly SORC)

I'm very excited to support Wade. Between our own Doug Evans coming into the helm with the chance to have Wade right behind him makes for the perfect 1-2 punch for progress!

John Hennessey

John Hennessey

President

Hennessey Performance & Lonestar Motorsports Park

Wade has my vote and support! You've done a great job for SEMA members and car guys for as long as I have known you (20 years?). Keep up the great work!

Chip Foose

Chip Foose

Automotive Designer

Star of Overhaulin'

I've known Wade several years now and believe that his passion & knowledge of all aspects of SEMA, having been a buyer, retailer & manufacturer himself, is what we need as SEMA chair.

Zan Martin

Zan Martin

SEMA Board of Directors 2009 - 2011

President/CEO

Martin & Company Advertising

I would like to make a shout out to all of my automotive aftermarket industry peers, especially those SEMA members with voting privileges to urge you to vote for Wade Kawasaki for chairman elect for the SEMA Board of Directors. Our industry is facing many challenges brought about by digital dominance in communications, emerging technologies, an evolving distribution system, lack of skilled tradesmen and reduced enthusiasm for the automobile among our youth. I have watched Wade's volunteerism for SEMA make a difference throughout his career, have served with him on the SEMA Board, and know him to be a man of the highest integrity in both business dealings and his personal life. I am convinced he is the man for the job. He will have my vote tomorrow when elections begin, and I hope he has yours.

Mike Goodman

Mike Goodman

SEMA Board of Directors

President

Honest Charley Speed Shop

I encourage you to vote for Wade Kawasaki for SEMA Board of Directors Chair Elect.

Wade's "All IN" commitment to SEMA membership has been repeatedly acknowledged by the association with a long list of honors including SEMA Hall of Fame, SEMA Person of the year, and SEMA Chairman's Service Award. His willingness to serve our industry is evident by the multiple committees and task forces he has chaired, two term Chairman of the SEMA show committee, Chairman of SEMA International Trade Committee and others. Most important is his leadership experience not only as the President and COO of Coker Group but also his three terms on the SEMA Board of Directors, two term SEMA Secretary/Treasurer,and his appointment by the United States Secretary of Commerce to APAC.
As a former member of the SEMA Board of Directors I recognize the skill and dedication required of our Chairman. We need a proven leader that wants to lead, and I honestly believe Wade is that guy.

Here's something else you may not know about Wade. Like many of us, Wade knows the struggles and sacrifice of starting and owning a small business.
In 1987 while working as a speed shop manager, he and his wife, Rose, started Exports International to serve the export needs of aftermarket manufacturers. They successfully operated and grew that company for 28 years. He's also a true car guy and owns a '32 Ford roadster , '61 Chevy Impala, '64 El Camino, '70 GTO Judge, '70 Dodge Charger, '71 Porsche 911 T and a 2015 Jeep Rubicon.

Wade knows business, Wade knows cars and Wade knows SEMA.

Vote Wade Kawasaki. A solid vote for SEMA's future.

Bret Voelkel

Bret Voelkel

President

Ridetech

The SEMA election is happening NOW, and there is a whole roster of great candidates. Among them is Wade Kawasaki who is running for Sema Chairman. I've come to know Wade not only as a true Hot Rod guy, but also as a solid businessman in manufacturing specialty parts. Manufacturing remains the core of our industry so for me, a candidate with those credentials is important. I support Wade for Chairman of SEMA and I ask you consider doing the same.

Wade Kawasaki

2017

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