CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.—The Coker Group promoted Wade Kawasaki to president and chief operating officer.
Kawasaki previously served as Coker Group's executive vice president. He was the founder and CEO of Avanche Corp., a group of small companies that includes Exports International, the company his wife Rose still operates. The firm specializes in the wholesale export distribution of American-made automotive aftermarket products overseas.
CEO Corky Coker said Kawasaki will oversee the group's multiple brands and its six operating companies. His duties will include managing overall corporate infrastructure, strategic planning, acquisitions and business development. Kawasaki will now spend substantial time at Coker Group's corporate headquarters in Chattanooga, Coker said, but also will maintain an office in the company's new West Coast Los Angeles-area headquarters in City of Industry, Calif.
Coker will remain as the group's chief executive and Kevin Loveday will continue as chief financial officer.
“We are very pleased that Wade has agreed to take this new leadership position,” Coker said. “Wade's 30-plus years of high level business experience in the automotive aftermarket—both in the USA and abroad—will help us continue to build our global presence as we continue to accelerate the growth of the Coker Group. I am very excited about Wade's new appointment, which will allow me to focus on many things I want to do for our company and with my family.”
Coker Group's family of brands includes Coker Tire Co. Inc.; Honest Charley; The Great Race; Phoenix Race Tires; Specialty Wheel; Roadster Wire Wheels; Coker Cycle Co.; Chestnut Properties; Wheel Vintiques; and DragRaceTires.com.