Without speeches, fanfare or so much as a single balloon drop, one presidential candidate is quietly preparing to take the reins of leadership this fall.
Unlike other much more public political battles being waged across this great nation this year, Scott Miller, incoming president of the Production Engine Remanufacturers Association (PERA) is winning WITH his reputation rather than despite it.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the biggest scandal THIS biased media representative could uncover about Miller is that he was a Mopar fan growing up and restored a ’72 Challenger, rather than the Camaro I would have preferred.
“I’ve always been interested in cars,” Miller explains. “I grew up during the time when you could pick up a late ’60s or early ’70s muscle car for a few hundred bucks. Learning how to rebuild got into my blood.”
A Great Lakes native, born and raised in Rochester, NY, Miller attended Edison Career and Technology High School in Rochester. After graduation and the prospect of life in local repair facilities, a vacation to Newport Beach, CA, showed him that there was other water than the icy, steel gray of Lake Ontario and the winds didn’t always have to blow cold.
“I came home from vacation in October 1985 and told my parents I would be going back for good,” he says. “Four months later, I was back out there looking for a first real job.”
That search paid off, and Miller started working for ATK North America in 1986 as a warranty administrator – for all intents and purposes, it’s a position he has never left. Titles and parent company name changes aside, Miller says he still loves doing what he started 30 years ago.
“The ATK years moved me across the country in many different roles, finally landing in Dallas in 2003. In 2011, ATK was acquired by LKQ, and in 2013 I was appointed regional vice president of LKQ’s remanufacturing division.
“I couldn’t be happier with the group of people I manage,” he continues. “They’re very knowledgeable and share the same passion I do for our industry.”
Acknowledging the challenges this industry and PERA face, Miller says offering professionals a real reason for belonging is critical. “This is a great group of people to work with and PERA has done a great job of being a valuable resource. We have to continue to make being a member a good value proposition.”
As an industry, participants need to keep up with technology. “We have to continue to invest in equipment that will meet or exceed the tolerances that are now required. Why? Because we have to satisfy our customers’ needs by delivering high-quality, remanufactured products at a competitive price.”
Rather than just being a stump speech talking point, exceeding expectations is a foundation of Miller’s entire platform. And it’s not one the incoming president shrugs off lightly.
“You know, as I look at it, I realize it’s really an honor just to be recognized by my peers to be considered for a position on the board,” he says. “Every step along the way is an honor and to hold the top spot is a very big deal.”
While he’s adding PERA president to his resume, he no longer has the Challenger. “It’s funny,” he says, “I sold the car in New York, figuring I could just replace it with something even better when I moved out to California. I just never did – started a family and a career instead.” Miller, 54, is married to Peggy and has three children: Melissa, Justin and Corbin.
Miller lauds the efforts of Titan Engines’ Frank Owings who has led PERA for the past two years. The transition of power will happen during the 2016 PERA Fall Convention and Technical Program in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in late September.
For more information the Production Engine Remanufacturing Association, visit