From Engine Builder
The SEMA Board of Directors has appointed industry veteran Wade Kawasaki to serve as the first executive director of SEMA’s and PRI’s respective political action committees (PAC). In this new volunteer role, Kawasaki will oversee each PAC’s board of directors and fundraising efforts, reporting to the SEMA Board of Directors.
By law, SEMA and PRI may not use its funds to contribute to federal political candidates. However, each organization’s PAC allows its members to contribute personal funds, which are used to help elect lawmakers who support its positions and initiatives.
“The specialty automotive aftermarket and racing industries are facing an uncertain future due to unparalleled government threats,” said SEMA Board Chairman James Lawrence. “SEMA and PRI believe clean air can co-exist with the automotive performance hobby and racing. Unfortunately, government bureaucrats want to restrict grassroots racing, make it burdensome to comply with emissions laws, and ban internal-combustion engines. We need to be prepared to defend the millions of automotive enthusiasts out there, and the best way to do that is through PACs that help elect lawmakers who value our hobby and the $50-plus billion industry.”
Prior to his appointment as executive director of SEMA’s and PRI’s PACs, Kawasaki served as the president and CEO of Legendary Companies, overseeing 12 brands and operating six companies, including Coker Tire. He previously served multiple terms on SEMA’s Board of Directors, including as its chairman from 2017-2019, and was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame in 2013.
“Advocating on behalf of the aftermarket industry is at the very core of what SEMA does,” said SEMA CEO Mike Spagnola. “I’ve known Wade for more than 20 years. I’m thrilled to have somebody of his caliber helping to take SEMA’s PAC to the next level.”
“A strong PRI PAC is the best way to ensure racing’s future is free from government overreach. We have to have the means to fight back,” said PRI President Dr. Jamie Meyer. “I look forward to working with Wade to grow PRI’s influence in Washington.”