Get To Know Your Association (SEMA)

When you ask most SEMA Members what value they receive from the association, the conversation usually goes straight to the SEMA and PRI trade shows. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it speaks to the success of those events, it doesn’t fully reflect the true mission of the association which is….

SEMA will help our members’ businesses succeed and prosper. Our members are the producers and marketers of specialty-equipment products and services for the automotive aftermarket.

We Will Do This By:

  • Proactive leadership in our industry to help it expand domestically and worldwide.
  • Delivering programs, activities and information in response to the ongoing and emerging needs of our members.
  • Emphasizing education to help members focus on and achieve acceptable world-class quality standards.
  • Legislative and regulatory advocacy.
  • Producing the industry’s leading trade show.
  • SEMA provides a vast amount of day-to-day member resources that “can” and “do” make a tangible difference in the success of member companies. Unfortunately not enough members take advantage of these resources and that is troubling to me. I believe this lack of engagement can be traced back to a few shortcomings:

    1. Poor communication from the association to the members.
    2. Programs that may not “hit the mark” for member needs.
    3. Members that are too busy to understand the potential value.

    In my experience, most SEMA members simply don’t know enough about their association. The reasons for this are varied but very correctable. Working in conjunction with the dedicated and talented staff, I believe you will see SEMA become a more member-focused association in the months ahead and the membership will respond with a higher engagement/activation rate.

    Throughout my recent Board of Directors re-election campaign, I was surprised with how few members had ever read the bylaws that govern SEMA. With this in mind, I am making the official SEMA bylaws available here as it is a matter of public record that should be readily available to all members. If members have any questions or concerns about these bylaws, I would encourage them to contact me or any of my fellow Board of Directors to discuss the situation. After all, the Board is there to represent and execute the wishes of the membership – we want and need input.

    Click To Download SEMA Bylaws

    Key Reasons To Re-Elect Chris Douglas To The SEMA Board Of Directors

    Fellow SEMA Member:

    Next Tuesday (May 14th), the election ballots for the SEMA Board of Directors will be emailed to each company’s primary SEMA contact, and sadly only 10% of the membership historically votes. This is a critical time for our industry, and I’m confident the membership will step up this year with a great voter turnout. I encourage you to research all of the candidates (bios here) and choose those that best represent your views and values.

    To that point, I respectfully ask for your consideration, and I have supplied some materials below for your review. I am vying to continue filling one of three available Board seats representing the Manufacturer’s category. Quite simply, it is critical to the success of my re-election campaign that I earn your support. This Board of Directors election will be very close, and every vote is important in deciding who will fight for our industry in the years ahead. The industry that we love has some challenges moving forward, and it will take strong, energetic leadership that’s not afraid to ask the hard questions to help SEMA navigate a rapidly changing marketplace.

    While all of the BoD candidates are friends and fine industry representatives, there are some clear contrasts between us. I have done my best to outline those differences and my immediate priorities in the attached campaign mailer.

    From my experience as a hands-on racer/enthusiast to over 25 years of business leadership experience (both large & small companies) in this industry, I feel that I bring a unique blend of skill set, passion and dedication to my SEMA volunteer roles. I have been extremely fortunate in my career that I have been able to work daily at COMP Cams, alongside two previous SEMA Chairmen of the Board and three SEMA Hall of Fame members. The knowledge of the industry, the association and life lessons gained from those individuals has been invaluable in shaping the leader that I am today.

    Three Key Reasons To Re-Elect Chris Douglas

    1. Strong & Proven Board Leadership – As a sitting Board member, I understand the complexity of the issues that face us today and the diversity of the segments we represent. Even more importantly, I understand how we got to where we are today. No orientation or adjustment period needed, if re-elected, I am able to continue delivering results for the membership from day one of my term.
    2. Diverse Industry Experience – From small start-ups to one of the industry’s largest privately held corporations, I have worked in SEMA member businesses of all sizes, and I understand the unique challenges faced by each. Additionally, I have a broad understanding of the diverse market segments that make-up the SEMA membership, from off-road businesses to the wheel & tire manufacturers.
    3. Unique Perspective – Candidly, I think one of the greatest contributions that I offer the Board is the ability to see problems and solutions that others simply can’t. A properly functioning Board is all about offsetting skill sets and diverse perspectives, and over the last three years I have added a unique viewpoint that others simply “couldn’t” or “wouldn’t” voice. My fellow Board members will tell you that I can be determined when debating the issues, but I am always fair and usually bring a unique viewpoint to the discussion.

    Below I have included comments from a few of our colleagues (and industry volunteers) that I hope you find useful in making your decision.

    “I have been fortunate to work on projects with Chris and have always admired his integrity, work ethic, and commitment to our industry and to SEMA. Chris is a dedicated volunteer, a great family man, and I would encourage you to re-elect Chris Douglas for the SEMA Board of Directors.” Joel Ayres, Executive Director, AACF

    “Chris Douglas has dedicated his entire career to the aftermarket, and as a leader in the performance market that runs a manufacturing company that still makes parts in-house just like we do, I support Chris in his run for the SEMA Board of Directors. SEMA needs board members who understand the importance of American manufacturing and the pressures we face in the form of government regulation and legislation as well as outside pressure from overseas manufacturing. SEMA needs leaders that will hold the staff accountable to the needs of its members, and I believe Chris will do that.” Rick Love, Executive Vice President, Vintage Air, Inc.

    “Chris Douglas has my vote! Chris represents hardcore racing to me, being a former race car driver and still often found at little race tracks on weekends. With both a manufacturing and marketing background, Chris has a “pulse” on the needs of the racing industry. His vision, where he wants “action,” not talk, can help the racing industry move forward into the future. My vote is going to Chris Douglas for re-election to the SEMA Board of Directors.” Judy Kean, Partner, EPARTRADE

    You can view my full list of industry endorsements here.

    I have the strategic vision and commitment to continue helping this industry tackle the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Working together, I’m confident that we can position SEMA for a bright future. It won’t be easy, but I’m up for the challenge and ready to be your voice on the SEMA Board of Directors.

    One final request: I would deeply appreciate you reaching out to your industry friends, sharing my information and asking them for their vote. Every vote counts.

    Thank you for your consideration. Win or lose, I look forward to working with you in the future, and please know that I have been truly humbled by the opportunity to serve the SEMA membership for the last three years on the Board of Directors.

    Click to view my campaign information sheet: #Chris4SEMA

    Now Is The Time For Action

    As a complex and diverse trade association that represents over 7000 member companies, SEMA has many competing responsibilities and priorities. In my opinion, there is nothing the association does that is more important than the legislative affairs work. I am extremely passionate about not only continuing these efforts forward but also increasing the resources and focus in this area. Looking into the future, I feel legislative advocacy must become a bigger part of the association’s DNA – not a project or a once per year rally.

    Candidly, I feel our industry has historically been slow to react on this front by waiting to deal with issues after they emerge rather than working on the front end to prevent them from ever happening. Effectively lobbying on behalf of the industry must be a priority – even during times when there is no perceived or immediate threat on the doorstep.

    If we don’t aggressively protect our interests, we will be resigned to letting others dictate our future. We must invest in the proper legislative resources in addition to growing the SEMA Action Network (SAN) into a large and powerful advocacy group of enthusiasts that applies political pressure around issues that are relevant to our industry. Every option should be on the table, including using legal means when appropriate, to clearly send the message that we will fight for the rights of our members. As one of the largest collections of small businesses in the country, we should yield formidable influence on government affairs and its time that we act to protect our future.


    I respectfully ask for your vote to continue fighting on behalf of our industry as a member of the SEMA Board of Directors. ~ Chris Douglas, #Chris4SEMA