RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) has named Bob McKenna as its new president and CEO. The appointment is effective October 1.
McKenna, who has 35 years of aftermarket industry experience, comes to MEMA from Atlanta-based Genuine Parts Company (GPC) where he served as group vice president and chairman of the board for the National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA). Under his leadership, NAPA strengthened its position as a leading distributor in the traditional automotive aftermarket.
MEMA Chairman Alan Dawes, vice chairman and CFO of Delphi Corp., said that the hiring of McKenna is the start of a new and stronger era for MEMA, North America’s largest and oldest trade association of motor vehicle product manufacturers.
“Bob is uniquely positioned to lead MEMA into its second century of providing member-focused services and programs to manufacturers in the original equipment, aftermarket and heavy duty industries,” Dawes said. “Bob is extremely well respected in our industry and the vast experience and knowledge he brings will be of immense value to the MEMA membership.”
Scott Meyer, who has served as interim MEMA president since June 1, will be working with McKenna during the leadership transition.
“I am absolutely thrilled and happy to begin working with the MEMA members while striving to better our industry as a whole,” McKenna said. “MEMA has a long and storied history of producing results and I look forward to continuing that path for North American manufacturers. The challenges as well as opportunities for manufacturers today are enormous and they need a strong and focused trade association to represent their interests. We look forward to meeting that goal.”
McKenna joined GPC at the NAPA Columbus Distribution Center in 1970. He also served as the assistant to Wilton Looney, former chairman of the GPC board, as well as a planning and development manager at Beck & Gregg prior to joining the NAPA headquarters staff as operations director in 1977. He was named vice president and general manager of NAPA in 1980 and was appointed president of NAPA in 1983.
In 1997, McKenna was designated as a group vice president at GPC, as well as chairman of NAPA, and, in 1998, he began serving GPC as the U.S. automotive parts group president. He also was a member of the NAPA board of directors and chairman of the NAPA executive committee. His other industry activities include serving on the board of directors at Balkamp Inc., ASE, the Mitchell Repair Information Co. and of the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA).
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