SEMA Hires New Senior VP of Public and Government Affairs
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SEMA Hires Senior VP of Public and Government Affairs

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has hired Karen Bailey-Chapman to lead its Washington, D.C., office as senior vice president, public and government affairs. SEMA represents the $50.9 billion specialty-automotive industry and created the position to strengthen and grow the industry’s legislative and advocacy program.

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Karen Bailey-Chapman

“As the automotive aftermarket is increasingly impacted and threatened by government actions, it is critical that SEMA continues to represent and protect the industry in Washington, D.C.,” said Mike Spagnola, president and CEO of SEMA. “Karen will be instrumental in raising visibility of the specialty-equipment market. She is a highly experienced legislative strategist who will elevate SEMA’s advocacy efforts.”

Bailey-Chapman has a proven track record of success in local, state, federal, and global government affairs and advocacy campaigns. Most recently, she served as senior vice president of external affairs for the American Beverage Association. Previous experience includes senior roles with casino company Penn National Gaming and the D.C.-based public affairs firm DCI Group.

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Bailey-Chapman will oversee all government affairs efforts for SEMA and the Performance Racing Industry (PRI), a subsidiary of SEMA dedicated to the motorsports market. She will lead programs related to legislation, regulations and government policies on issues affecting climate change, consumer choice, business opportunities and more.

The new senior-level role is the most recent expansion of SEMA’s legislative program. SEMA recently introduced an individual membership program designed to strengthen its PAC, and last month the association hosted the SEMA DC Rally — a two-day fly-in event consisting of about 100 in-person meetings on the Hill. 

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