SEMA Appoints New Senior VP of Public & Government Affairs

SEMA Appoints New Senior VP of Public & Government Affairs | THE SHOPThe Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has hired Karen Bailey-Chapman to lead its Washington, D.C., office as senior vice president, Public & Government Affairs, the organization announced.

SEMA represents the $50.9 billion specialty-automotive industry and created the position to strengthen and grow the industry’s legislative and advocacy program, SEMA said in a statement announcing the appointment.

“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, SEMA president and CEO. “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.”

Most recently, Bailey-Chapman served as senior vice president of external affairs for American Beverage Association. Previous experience includes senior roles with casino company Penn National Gaming and the D.C.-based public affairs firm DCI Group.

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

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at

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