A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF DOUG STOKES
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Mon, Aug 24, 2015
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Doug Stokes has a wide range of experience and success in the allied fields of public relations, marketing, journalism, and reputation management. His personal interests have led him down a road that skews pretty heavily toward things that have wheels on them and that generally go pretty fast. Stokes’ employment record includes five years (1979-1984) as the Executive Director of the International Kart Federation where he multi-tasked as the organization’s leader, magazine publisher/editor/writer and chief photographer, racing official, and the sport’s highly-enthusiastic national publicist. After his Karting days ended, he worked with the legendary Mickey Thompson included media relations and marketing for the original Mickey Thompson Off-Road Championship Gran Prix series of short course off-road races held in major stadium venues around the county. Continuing his off-road and on-road experience, he worked with Stuart Rowlands Associates doing media relations for Team Suzuki (AMA Championship Moto-X, AMA/FIM road racing, and enduro racing) and Harry Kelly and Associates on multi-site special events like the “The Chevy Pick-Up Trick-Up Series” and “The Chevrolet Braille Rallye Series”. Stokes also served as the Director of Public Relations for the Pearlman Group on the Chevy-Geo Environmental Program working directly with national, regional, and local media. He conceived and coordinated many of the organization’s appearances at “eco” shows and other special events across the country. His work as the media relations chief for both Perris Auto Speedway (1995-1997) and Irwindale Speedway (1997-2005) ran the gamut of marketing and media relations functions. In both cases, he was signed-on early in each facility’s construction stage to help shape the image of each track from the ground up. Both tracks (one dirt and one pavement) are generally considered two of the finest half-mile USAC/NASCAR ovals in the country. (With a month or two “off” between Perris and Irwindale, Stokes kept busy helping the Brighton Group to promote the 1997 Ford Grand Prix of Los Angeles, a vintage car street race that ran near Union Station and Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles.) In 2005 Stokes changed course and followed a long-held passion to take command of a unique automotive bookstore (“Autobooks”, in Burbank, California) spending just over two years there as its General Manager, learning the ins and outs of retail. Stokes returned to the PR ranks as the Corporate Publicist for Gale Banks Engineering in 2007, a position that further extended his PR reach and that included a broad range of sharply targeted media and marketing work. He’s very proud to have personally spearheaded a campaign which saw Mr. Banks awarded a Distinguished Service Citation from the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2009. Stokes rejoined Stuart Rowlands in 2010 to work with his SRPR organization on the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series, a series that staged televised short course events at major motorsports venues in California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. Under his own stokescommunications banner, he also worked with the (then-named) Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, Garrett-Jacobson Motorsports and others as his personal PR clients. He rejoined the reorganized Irwindale Speedway (now under the Team 211 Entertainment/Irwindale Event Center banner) becoming the NASCAR and NHRA track facility’s Vice President of Communications in early 2013. Stokes is a member of the Board of Directors of the Motor Press Guild and the 2004 recipient of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association’s prestigious “Jim Chapman Award” for Excellence in Public Relations. In short, Stokes is a professional who takes what he considers a “fun job” quite seriously. Through most of the above years, he has also “kept very busy” writing freelance articles and first-person car reviews for a number of regional and national publications. He figures that he’s published well north of 300 automobile reviews and over 50 book reviews and since writing his first one for Inland Business Magazine in 1980. Prior to becoming Editor of LA Car, he served as its Editor-at-Large. Got something to say? Add your Facebook comment regarding this article here.