First automotive job: I took a position with an automotive supplier called Bentley Harris. I started in 1993, and in 1998, Federal-Mogul acquired us.

I was a senior engineer in the North America product development group, working on protection systems for tubing, wire, hose and cable — sensitive components within the engine compartment.

Why did you want to work in the auto industry? I spent close to 12 years in the aerospace industry. I was sought out by a headhunter who introduced me to this job opportunity [at Bentley Harris] and when I got a feel for what the automotive industry was all about — the urgency, the quick time to market — it intrigued me.

Proudest professional achievement: I think it's this most recent appointment that Federal-Mogul has given me. It's given me the opportunity to come from a technical background and segue into a business or commercial opportunity and to learn that side of it. To oversee this product line is a great opportunity.

Current challenge at work: Top line growth. The economy has definitely affected the volumes within the automotive industry, and we're looking at new applications. Diversification opportunities are part of our focus for growing the top line.

What you do to relax: I like to exercise. I like to spin and kickbox.

— Ryan Beene