BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The experienced and accomplished members of AERA Board of Directors and management team have been the driving force behind the organization’s leadership for nearly a century. The AERA Board is made up of leaders from businesses both large and small, across every sector of the industry. Members of the Board provide local and global perspectives on matters of common interest to AERA members, and contribute their leadership and expertise to help guide the organization as it prepares to enter its second century.
Born and raised in Louisville Kentucky, Steve began his 32 year career in March of 1979 at Republic Diesel, a leading specialist in medium to large diesel engine machining and spray welding. As a 19 year old kid he began on the shop floor cleaning engines and components. After a few years of cleaning diesel cylinder blocks, heads and crankshafts, moved into the inspection area where he was taught how to check the integrity of cast iron cylinder blocks and heads and qualify them dimensionally. During his tenure at Republic Diesel he has inspected and repaired every major engine component on medium and large diesel engines.
First Vice Chairman
A native of Duncan, Oklahoma, Bobby began his career back in 1967 with oil and gas services giant Halliburton. In 1969 he left the company for a stint in the US Army where he served in Vietnam and received the Combat Infantry Badge and Bronze Star. He returned to the US and his job at Halliburton in the early 1970’s and soon became an avid drag racer. The need for quality machine work on his and other dragsters led to his founding BK Engine Specialties, initially as a part time venture, and eventually as a fulltime business. Today BK Engine Specialties is the leading independent Onan & Kohler generator dealer in Oklahoma and provides high quality repairs to both engine and electrical components.
Second Vice Chairman
Jay Miller is the president of Crankshaft Supply located in Minneapolis, MN. Crankshaft Supply has been repairing and machining crankshafts, cylinder heads, rods, and more for over 50 years. They are specialists in crankshafts and cylinder head repair.
Rex B. Crumpton
Rex graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Operations Management from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma. A second generation small business owner, he is the operations manager of Memorial Machine a natural gas and diesel machine shop with operations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma, as well as co-owner of Crumpton Aviation, a helicopter training and service provider based in Tulsa.
Dwayne J. Dugas
Advisory Board Chairman
Born and raised in New Iberia, Louisiana, Dwayne is the Owner and Manager of Dugas Engine Services. Established by his father in 1968, Dwayne worked with his father through high school developing a passion for engines and cars. While attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Dwayne took a job in the retail auto parts industry and later became part owner of a small chain of regional auto parts stores. After selling those stores, Dwayne served as general manager at PEP Boys and finally purchased Dugas Engine from his father in 1999. Dugas Engine performs service on automotive engines, outboard engines, small compact diesel engines on up to the mid-size diesel engines.
Rick Simko is the director of sales and marketing for Elgin Industries in Elgin, IL. Elgin is a manufacturer of internal engine parts, specializing in valve train. In addition to serving on the AERA Board, he was also chairman of the Engine Repower Council (ERC), a member of the AAIA show committee and a former member of the PERA executive board.
Jim Rickoff is the sixth president of AERA. He has been involved in the engine building industry since graduating from Winona State University in 1982 and has been serving AERA in some capacity since 1992.
Rob Border is the owner and manager of Alec's Automotive Machine Shop, a third-generation, family-run business in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He specializes in OE engine rebuilding, domestic and import performance.
Kevin Frische is president of Kalvinator Engines, Inc. in Wapakoneta, OH. Kalvinator Engines specializes in engine machining and rebuilding, as well as high-performance engines. Prior to serving on the AERA Board, Kevin was a member of AERA’s Vanguard Committee from 2002-2005. He was introduced to the industry in 1983 and absolutely loves it. He also teaches engine machining and custom engine building at the University of Northwestern Ohio. Kevin is dedicated to impacting the industry in a positive manner and believes in giving back to the industry that has given so much to him.
A noted author and instructor, Gary’s career began at an early age repairing old cars, farm equipment, and eventually as an apprenticeship machining of aircraft engine parts. Later he went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the California State University, San Jose and landed a part time teaching assignment in machine tools at De Anza College in Cupertino, California. In 1969, Gary was hired full time and began building what would become the college’s nationally recognized Machine Tool and Automotive Technologies program. In his three decades as an instructor Gary has written the seminal textbook in the field, developed new machining techniques and technologies, and earned renown as a consultant in the development of similar programs at colleges and private industries around the nation.
Tony Pontillo is the owner of Don's Auto Parts and Machine Shop in Kenosha, WI. Don's Auto Parts is an automotive and diesel machine shop, also specializing in starter, alternator and driveshaft rebuilding. Tony has also served as board chairman for Gateway Technical College Diesel School, as well as an adjunct teacher for engine rebuilding.
Mike Powell Jr.
Mike Powell Jr. is the vice president of Bell Auto Parts in Northport, AL. Bell Auto Parts specializes in engine rebuilding, parts, sales and service, as well as Mitsubishi heavy sales and service. Mike is a graduate of the University of Alabama, a former commodore of the Tuscaloosa Sailing Club and is currently training to be a pilot.