Past Leadership

Robert "Trip" Hilliard
VBA #01

Founder and Former VBA President - June, 2007 to April, 2013
Lindale, Texas

As founder and KawaNOW's first President Trip took a website and a forum and created KawaNOW - Kawasaki Nomad Owners Worldwide. It grew from just a few members to over 2,300 members within a five year span. In October of 2010, Kawasaki debuted the Vaquero. At Kawasaki's request Trip included the Vaquero along with the Voyager in the KawaNOW supported lineup. Trip decided to change the name of KawaNOW to the Vulcan Bagger Association or VBA so that the Vaquero and the Voyager could be better represented. Robert works as the Access Control Analyst at The University of Texas at Tyler

Jeff "Socwkbiker" Platz
VBA #02

Former VBA Vice President - June, 2007 to June, 2012
Jefferson City, Missouri

Jeff was one of the first members of KawaNOW. He works as an adolescent drug and alcohol therapist. He enjoys football and good cigars. He is also active in Bikers Against Child Abuse.

James "Oldbikers" Hardin
VBA #453

Former VBA Vice President - June, 2012 to May, 2013
Sardis, Mississippi

Jim has been a fan of hot rods and motorcycles since he was a kid. He started out being assigned Regional Leader for the SouthCentral Region and for many years, gave the SouthCentral a good number of highly planned and executed rally's. It was only fitting that when Jeff stepped down that Jim head up the VBA in the capacity of Vice-President. Jim and his wife Bea have been two of the VBA's strongest supporters

Jared "Jared" Gant
VBA #1051

Former VBA President - May, 2013 to October, 2015
Greeley, Colorado
Email: jaredmgant@gmail.com
Personal Website: www.jmgantphotography.com and www.utahmotorcyclist.org

Jared M. Gant is full-time wedding photographer and an avid motorcyclist. In the last 6 years he has motorcycled through 49 of the 50 states and traveled well over 95,000 miles on two wheels.

He has owned several motorcycles (including three Nomads) and currently owns an award-winning Nomad, which he customized himself. He has assisted in planning and promoting several motorcycle events throughout the country and is a contributing author for Riders of Kawasaki's (ROK) Accelerate Magazine. He has a passion for the motorcycle industry and it is evident by anyone who knows him.

He is also a social media nut, check out and like his photography Facebook page. 

Jay "JESTEPHENS" Stephens
VBA #842

Former VBA Vice President - May, 2013 to October, 2015
Fairview Heights, Illinois

Jay is a 3rd generation motorcyclist. He fell in love with the Kawasaki Nomad when they were introduced, but didn't buy his first until 2005. He bragged about his bike so much that his dad, Dell, sold his bike to buy a Nomad for himself in 2008, and can normally be seen with Jay at the VBA rallies. Jay joined VBA in 2009 and attended the very first National rally, in Custer, SD.

Jay currently owns a 2011 Vaquero (black), the 5th bike of his riding history. Like most riders, Jay likes to customize his bikes with his own twist and creativeness, but often does so with unique fitment or one-off parts. When he gets an idea to apply to the bike, he'll tirelessly read and search for solutions, even if it means learning a new subject or skill to make it a reality. His wife's least favorite thing to hear from Jay is, "I've got an idea!" But it normally turns out great.

To pay the bills, Jay works as a technical rep for a company that makes cutting tools
related to machine shops and CNC machines.

Todd "Todd" Frasier
VBA #03
Former VBA U.S. National Leader and Moderator - June, 2007 to April, 2013

Greensboro, North Carolina

 

Todd is no stranger to vehicle mechanics or riding motorcycles.

He manages the repair process both body and mechanical for the 3rd largest insurer in North Carolina. He deals with cars, motorcycles, boats, heavy equipment, farm equipment, RVs, ATVs...you name it.

Todd teaches and manages the repair process for his new and existing people. Part of his responsibilities include locating and managing used parts for repairs, maintaining computer estimating software, and selling the total loss vehicles that they have. Todd helped develop a motorcycle repair manual for insurers through a national insurance trade organization. He worked with representatives from Honda, Harley Davidson, and several other manufacturers and dealers, as well as tech schools that he has attended. This is why Todd was a perfect fit to run the VBA in the USA.

Todd is one of the original members of the VBA.

 

Bill "USRanger 74"Blake
VBA #1505

Former VBA U.S. National Leader and Moderator - April, 2013 to December, 2014
La Vista, Nebraska

Bill has been riding motorcycles since 1962. His first ride was an All-State (Sears) Moped. Starting in 1972 he starting riding Honda's and stayed on them until 2010 when he bought a 2007 Nomad. Bill is a retired Park Ranger and has worked for the National Park Service for 33 years. His favorite part about riding is to take trips to re-discover the "real" America on roads less traveled. Bill is originally from Tennessee, but his life has taken him all over the USA. He has lived in 10 different States and now reside in La Vista, NE.