MEMA names Trask chief lobbyist

WASHINGTON - Automotive suppliers are tapping the oil industry for the next leader of their lobbying efforts in Washington and in state capitals.

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association named Jeff Trask of the American Petroleum Institute as the supplier organization's vice president of government relations.

The appointment is effective Oct. 1.

Trask replaces Claire Heffernan, who left for personal reasons after less than a year in the position, MEMA said.

MEMA President Chris Bates said Trask's experience in engineering, public affairs, environmental issues and law makes him well suited to represent the association's more than 700 makers of automotive compo-nents, materials and equipment.

One of Trask's duties will be to oversee the government affairs committee just formed by MEMA and its affiliate, the Original Equipment Suppliers Association.

The committee will set goals for the groups in Washington and develop plans for reaching them.

Trask said he considers part of his job to be educating "legislators and regulators about our business and the significant role it plays in the health of the economy here and abroad."

More specifically, he believes that suppliers were effective in helping to shape the new federal safety law enacted in the wake of last year's huge Firestone tire recall and that they need to stay involved during its implementation.

Trask, 42, has been a manager of regulatory and scientific affairs for the petroleum institute since 1989. He worked previously for Chevron Corp.

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