Daniel F. Akerson
Chief Executive Officer
Daniel F. Akerson was elected chief executive officer of General Motors Company on August 11, 2010. He became CEO effective September 1. Prior to joining General Motors, he was a managing director of The Carlyle Group and the head of global buyout. He served on the firm's executive committee and was based in Washington, D.C. He joined the GM board of directors July 24, 2009.
Mr. Akerson is a seasoned executive with extensive operating and management experience, having served as chairman, chief executive officer, or president of several major companies, including General Instrument, MCI, Nextel, and XO Communications. His corporate management experience, private equity track record, and deep understanding of Carlyle's global operation provided a strong foundation for his leadership of Carlyle's buyout activities in Asia, Europe, Financial Services, Infrastructure, Japan, and the United States.
Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. Akerson served in several key roles at MCI Communications Corporation from 1983-1993 including executive vice president and chief financial officer from 1987-1990 and president and chief operating officer from 1992-1993. During his tenure, he formulated and executed MCI's global strategy.
In 1993, Dan Akerson became a general partner of private equity firm Forstmann Little & Company, during which time he served as chairman and chief executive officer of General Instrument Company from 1993-1995. While at General Instrument, he led a successful effort to develop and deploy the first digital video, satellite, and cable systems domestically and internationally.
Mr. Akerson served as chairman from 1996-2001 and as chief executive officer of Nextel Communications, Inc., from 1996-1999, where he transitioned the company from a regional analog walkie/talkie provider into a national digital wireless competitor. From late 1999 until January 2003, he served as chairman and chief executive officer of XO Communications, Inc. where he led the successful restructuring of the company.
In addition to serving on GM's Board, Mr. Akerson also serves on the Boards of the American Express Company and the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation.
Dan Akerson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1970 with a bachelor of science in engineering. He earned his master's of science in economics from the London School of Economics.
Joseph B. Anderson, Jr.
Chairman and CEO
TAG Holdings LLC
Joseph B. Anderson Jr. is the majority owner, chairman & CEO of TAG Holdings, LLC which owns several manufacturing, service and technology based entities based in both North America and Asia. These entities serve a variety of industries including automotive, consumer products and recreational vehicles.
Mr. Anderson began his business career with General Motors in 1979 at Pontiac Motor Division. In 1981, after several manufacturing assignments, Mr. Anderson was named plant manager of the Pressed Metal and Plating Operations, Pontiac Motor Division. After three years as a plant manager, Mr. Anderson held several staff assignments until 1989 when he was appointed director of the Exterior Systems Business Unit, Inland Fisher Guide Division of General Motors Corporation. In 1990 he was appointed general director, Body Hardware Business Unit, Inland Fisher Guide Division, General Motors Corporation, a business unit with 7,000 employees and revenue of $1 billion. In late 1992, after 13 years of service, Mr. Anderson resigned from General Motors to become president and chief executive officer of a privately held company, Composite Energy Management Systems, Incorporated (CEMSI). In October 1994, Mr. Anderson acquired a controlling interest in another privately held entity, Chivas Products Limited, which manufactured interior trim products and lighting assemblies principally for the automotive industry. In 1997, the company was restructured as Chivas Industries, LLC where Mr. Anderson maintained controlling ownership and held the position of chairman of the board & CEO before divesting his interest in 2002.
Mr. Anderson currently serves on the company Boards of Directors of Quaker Chemical Corporation, ArvinMeritor, Inc., NV Energy, Valassis Communications and Rite Aid Corporation. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association and the board of the National Recreation Foundation. In August, 2010, Mr. Anderson was appointed Vice Chairman, Manufacturing Council with the U.S. Department of Commerce. Mr. Anderson's community involvement includes Horizons-Upward Bound Advisory Board.
Mr. Anderson graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1965, with a bachelor of science degree in math and engineering. He subsequently received two masters degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1972 and 1973. Mr. Anderson attended the Army's Command and General Staff College in 1977. He also is a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program, 1984. In June 2007, Mr. Anderson received an Honorary Doctor of Management Degree from Kettering University.
Ron A. Bloom
Senior Counselor for
Senior Advisor to the
Secretary of the Treasury
United States of America
Since September of 2009, Ron Bloom has served as the Obama Administration's senior counselor for manufacturing policy. Working closely with the National Economic Council, Mr. Bloom is providing leadership on policy development and strategic planning for the President's agenda to revitalize the manufacturing sector. Mr. Bloom also serves as senior advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury, assigned to the President's Task Force on the automotive industry, a role he has held since February of 2009. In this capacity, Mr. Bloom helped lead the restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler LLC.
Prior to joining the Treasury Department, Mr. Bloom served as a special assistant to the president of the United Steelworkers. His responsibilities included the Union's collective bargaining program in its core jurisdictions, with an emphasis on the particular issues facing the Steelworkers in its dealings with companies facing financial difficulties or undertaking corporate transactions. He also coordinated the Union's relationships with investors, in both public and private companies.
Prior to joining the Steelworkers, Mr. Bloom was one of the founding partners of the investment banking firm of Keilin and Bloom. The firm focused on financial transactions where employees played a role as stakeholders.
Prior to founding Keilin and Bloom, Mr. Bloom was a vice president at the investment banking firm of Lazard Freres & Co. While at Lazard, Mr. Bloom worked on a wide variety of corporate transactions including mergers, acquisitions, restructuring and divestitures.
Mr. Bloom served as a research and negotiating specialist for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). While at SEIU he negotiated collective bargaining agreements in both the public and private sector, supervised contract administration, and directed a number of successful organizing campaigns.
Mr. Bloom received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and graduated with distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.
Chief Executive Officer
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
Jonathan Browning became head of global directing of the Volkswagen Group National Sales Company and president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. on October 1, 2010.
Jonathan Browning became president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and president for the Volkswagen of America brand on October 1, 2010. In June of 2010, Mr. Browning assumed responsibility for global directing of the Volkswagen Group's National Sales Company.
Jonathan Browning has held numerous executive sales and marketing posts worldwide at General Motors (GM) and Ford Motor Company. He was vice president of European sales, service and marketing at the GM Group from 2001 to 2008, and also chairman of Vauxhall Motors from 2006 to 2008, becoming GM vice president of global sales, service and marketing in 2008. Mr. Browning worked for the Ford Group from 1997 to 2001, first as executive director of marketing for Ford Europe and then as the global managing director of Jaguar.
Mr. Browning received his masters of business administration from Duke University.
Congressman John Campbell
California's 48th Congressional District
U.S. House of Representatives
Congressman John Campbell represents California's 48th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.
Congressman Campbell has quickly earned the reputation as a dedicated fiscal conservative, and he continues to be a vocal advocate for sensible public policy, lower taxes, and more freedom. As a member of the House Committee on Financial Services, he has taken an active part in addressing the country's top economic issues, including mortgage lending, corporate governance, banking reform, and insurance regulation.
In September 2008, he was an active participant on the Economic Rescue Plan Working Group. Since January 2009, he has been an active member of the House Economic Stimulus Working Group led by Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), where he helped craft policy alternatives designed to help more Americans keep their homes, businesses, and jobs.
Congressman Campbell brings a quarter century of business experience to Washington. As a former Certified Public Accountant (CPA), he was a natural choice for the bipartisan and bicameral Joint Economic Committee. By serving on the JEC, he is tasked with reviewing economic conditions and to recommend improvements in economic policy.
Congressman Campbell also serves as a member of the House Committee on the Budget, where he has had a hand in writing legislation to protect American families from some of the most excessive taxes including the death tax, marriage tax, and capital gains tax. He is a leading author of the Taxpayer Choice Act, which would make America's tax system simpler and fairer by providing the opportunity to take advantage of an optional flat tax, in addition to repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). During his tenure in California's state legislature, Congressman Campbell was known as a voice for fiscal responsibility and responsible budgetary measures, and he continues that legacy in the Congress of the United States.
For nearly 25 years, Congressman Campbell worked in the automotive industry. He spent a majority of his career representing several automobile franchises, including Nissan, Mazda, Ford, Saturn, and Saab.
Congressman Campbell holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a Masters Degree in Business Taxation from the University of Southern California.
Jeffrey A. DeBest
Group Vice President &
Product Group Electronics,
Jeff DeBest serves as group vice president, product group electronics for the Automotive Experience business of Johnson Controls. In this position, he is responsible for overseeing the global activities of the company's electronics business.
Prior to this appointment, Mr. DeBest served as vice president and general manager, interiors, North America. Before that he served in a number of positions of increasing responsibility including, vice president and general manager, General Motors business unit - worldwide; vice president and general manger, Ford business unit in Europe; managing director of truck/luxury car segment for the GM business unit; executive director, finance for the commercial and product groups; and director of finance, GM business unit. He joined the company in 1986.
Jeff DeBest earned bachelor's degrees in business administration and history from Adrian College, in Adrian, Michigan, and a master's degree in business administration and finance, from Western Michigan, University, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Executive Vice President
Ford Motor Company
Mark Fields is executive vice president, Ford Motor Company, and president, The Americas, a position to which he was named in October 2005. In this role, Mr. Fields is responsible for all operations involved in the development, manufacturing, marketing and sales of Ford, Mercury and Lincoln vehicles in the United States, Canada, Mexico and South America.
Formerly, Mr. Fields served as executive vice president, Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group (PAG), where he led all activities for Ford's premium vehicle business group, and for Ford-brand vehicles manufactured and sold in European countries. Prior to that, he was chairman and chief executive officer of PAG.
Mark Fields joined Ford Motor Company in July 1989. From 2000-2002, he was president and CEO of Mazda Motor Company, leading the company through a period of significant transformation. He previously held a number of positions in both South and North America, including managing director of Ford Argentina.
Mr. Fields was named a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 2000 and CNBC's Asian Business Leader - Innovator of the Year for 2001. He holds an Economics degree from Rutgers University (USA) and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Graduate School of Business.
Ralph V. Gilles
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dodge Car Brand
Senior Vice President - Product Design
Chrysler Group LLC
Ralph V. Gilles was appointed president and dhief executive officer, Dodge Car Brand, Chrysler Group LLC, October 2009, with full profit and loss responsibility for the Dodge car product portfolio. He continues to lead product design as senior vice president, a position he was named to in June 2009.
Previously, he was named vice president - design on Sept. 1, 2008.
Since first joining the former Chrysler Corporation in 1992 as a designer, Mr. Gilles has put his extensive academic background in industrial design and business administration to use, holding various positions within the company.
Ralph Gilles is extremely active inside and outside the company. He serves as the executive sponsor of the Chrysler African American Network (CAAN) in addition to playing a leading role with The Chrysler Global Diversity Council. He also serves on the boards of The Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, Mich. and The Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital Regional Medical Center in Pontiac, Mich. At his alma mater, The College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit, Mr. Gilles serves on The CCS Board of Trustees and The CCS Capital Committee.
An avid car enthusiast who enjoys spending time at the track, go-karting and watching Formula 1 auto racing, Mr. Gilles has participated in the Targa Newfoundland Rally and the Car and Driver One Lap of America. In addition, he has frequently served as a judge at Pebble Beach, Meadow Brook and Cranbrook Concours events, along with the EyesOn Design car show.
Mr. Gilles has earned numerous academic and industry awards, including: The Michigan State University Eli Broad Graduate School of Management Young Alumni Achievement Award, The Automotive Hall of Fame Young Leadership & Excellence Award, NV Magazine Innovation Award, Black Engineer of the Year President's Award and N'Digo Foundation N'Design Award.
Ralph Gilles holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Michigan State University (2002) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in industrial design from CCS (1992).
Automotive and Industrial
IBM Institute for Business Value
Kalman Gyimesi is the automotive and industrial practice leader within the IBM Institute for Business Value. He has over 20 years of experience in industry and consulting, during which time he has led the implementation of business solutions to difficult problems. He has a background in business strategy, supply chain management and advanced analytics, and has worked on diagnostic and re-engineering projects with both automotive OEMs and suppliers.
Mr. Gyimesi holds a Bachelor of Science in Statistics from SUNY at Buffalo and a Masters in Business Administration from Syracuse University
Paul J. Ingrassia
Crash Course: The American
Industry's Road from
Glory to Disaster
Paul J. Ingrassia is a Pulitzer Prize-winning financial journalist and the author, most recently, of Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry's Road from Glory to Disaster, published by Random House in January 2010. The book describes in detail the bailouts and bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler in 2009, and the decades of events that led up to them.
In December 2007 he completed a 31-year career at The Wall Street Journal and its parent company, Dow Jones, where he served as a reporter, editor and executive. Mr. Ingrassia writes regular commentaries on automotive issues for the Journal's op-ed page, and serves as a contributor to CNBC, Edmunds.com and the Nihon Keizei Shimbun of Japan.
As the Journal's Detroit bureau chief from 1985 to 1994, Mr. Ingrassia won a Pulitzer Prize -- along with his deputy, Joseph B. White - in 1993 for coverage of the prior year's management crisis and boardroom revolt at General Motors. The two also won a Loeb Award that year for their coverage of GM. Messrs. Ingrassia and White then co-authored Comeback: the Fall and Rise of the American Automobile Industry, which was published by Simon & Schuster in 1994.
After leaving Detroit, Mr. Ingrassia served as president of Dow Jones Newswires, with global news and business responsibility for a division with about $225 million of annual revenue and nearly 800 journalists worldwide, making it the company's largest news staff. During his decade as president of the division, Dow Jones Newswires earned record profits, and its reporters won more than 30 journalism awards in the U.S. and overseas. Mr. Ingrassia concluded his career with the company as vice president of news strategy.
Mr. Ingrassia currently is working on another book titled Engines of Change about the dozen or so cars and trucks that helped to define modern American culture.
Mr. Ingassia has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Chief Executive Officer
Mike Jackson is widely regarded as one of our generation's most influential and effective leaders in the automotive industry. Since joining AutoNation as CEO in 1999, then assuming the role of chairman in 2002, he has been responsible for literally transforming the automotive retail industry.
Under his guidance, AutoNation not only reinforced its position as America's largest automotive retailer, the company also set milestones that stand as testimony to his vision of the company as a standard bearer for a more customer-focused, transparent and contemporary business model:
- AutoNation is the only retailer in history to have sold more than 7 million vehicles
- AutoNation is a member of the S&P 500
- It has been named America's Most Admired Automotive Retailer by Fortune Magazine for 6 of the last 8 years
- It is a member of the Fortune 500, ranking in the top 250 companies
- Annual revenue for 2009 reached approximately $11 billion across 207 stores in 15 states
- More than 19,000 associates choose to make their careers with AutoNation
- The company sells approximately 400,000 vehicles and services more than 5 million each year
Before joining AutoNation, Mr. Jackson was already a revered figure in the automotive world, having served as president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, an $8 billion annual business that oversaw the German automaker's U.S. sales operation and 311 franchised dealerships. In that role, he helped create the vision and direction that led to the luxury vehicle brand's rejuvenation in the U.S.
He came to that position after having served as the Managing Partner of Euro Motorcars of Bethesda, Maryland, an operator of 11 new vehicle franchises. He also has served as chairman of the Mercedes-Benz National Dealer Council. Fittingly, it was at a Mercedes-Benz dealership that Mr. Jackson began his automotive career, starting as a technician for a dealership in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, when he was just out of college.
Bob King was elected UAW president on June 16, 2010, by delegates at the UAW's 35th Constitutional Convention in Detroit.
Mr. King, who is known for his activism and passionate beliefs in social and economic justice, served three terms as a UAW vice president. In his last term as vice president, he directed the Ford, Severstal, and Competitive Shops/Independents, Parts and Suppliers (IPS) Departments.
Mr. King played a major role in both the UAW Ford 2007 National Agreement and the 2009 modifications of the agreement. Bob King was first elected a UAW vice president in 1998 and assigned to lead the union's National Organizing Department. He was re-elected in 2002. During his leadership the National Organizing Department assisted more than 80,000 workers in their efforts to join the UAW. He pioneered the use of innovative neutrality and majority sign-up agreements with employers that gave workers the right to join the UAW without employer interference.
Mr. King negotiated neutrality and majority sign-up agreements with many major automotive suppliers, allowing more than 36,000 unrepresented workers the opportunity to join the UAW. These agreements include employer neutrality during organizing drives, and fast and fair majority sign-up election procedures.
Prior to his service as vice president, Mr. King was elected to three terms (1989-1998) as director of Region 1A, which covers nearly all of Wayne, Monroe and Washtenaw counties in Michigan.
He joined UAW Local 600 in 1970 when he was hired at Ford's Detroit Parts Depot and began his electrical apprenticeship in 1972. Mr. King, a member of the UAW International Skilled Trades Advisory Committee, was elected vice president of Local 600 in 1981 and president in 1984. He was re-elected in 1987 and was twice elected chair of the UAW-Ford Negotiating Committee.
Bob King was one of the original members of the AFL-CIO Elected Leader Task Force on Organizing. He also founded the region-wide International Labor Solidarity Network. A 1968 graduate of the University of Michigan, Mr. King received his law degree in 1973 from the University of Detroit.
Dan C. Knott
Senior Vice President
Purchasing & Supplier Quality
Chrysler Group LLC
Dan C. Knott was appointed senior vice president of purchasing and supplier quality, Chrysler Group LLC, in December 2009. In this position, he is responsible for all worldwide purchasing and supplier quality activities, including both product-related components and indirect suppliers and services. He reports directly to Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne.
Previously, Mr. Knott served as head of vehicle engineering and vehicle line executive - A/B Segment since June 2009. In that role, he had full responsibility for all current vehicles and execution of future car, minivan, Jeep(R), truck and SRT vehicle programs, along with vehicle development analysis and validation.
Prior to that position, Mr. Knott held the positions of vice president - Car/Minivan/SRT Product Team and vice president - Jeep Product Team for Chrysler LLC. In these positions, he oversaw all planning, engineering, development and launch management activities.
Dan Knott joined the former Chrysler Corporation in 1988 as senior engineer - Air/Fuel Emission Systems.
Mr. Knott was named No. 23 on Motor Trend's 2006 Power List, which recognized the 50 most influential men and women in the automotive industry.
He finished fourth-in-class at the 2005 Targa Newfoundland Tarmac Rally.
He holds a Master of Business Administration (2002) and a Bachelor of Science in engineering (1983), both from Michigan State University.
James E. Lentz
Chief Operating Officer
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc.
Toyota Motor Corporation
Jim Lentz is president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. Mr. Lentz is also a member of the company's board of directors, and serves in a global advisory capacity as managing officer for the parent company Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan.
He has overall responsibility for sales, marketing and distribution for Toyota, Scion and Lexus products in the United States, in addition to overseeing all corporate matters at TMS.
In 1982, Jim Lentz joined Toyota as the merchandising manager for its Portland Region, where he later became the distribution manager and field operations manager. He held several positions at TMS headquarters in Torrance, California, including field training manager, sales administration manager, and truck sales team member. Mr. Lentz also served as vice president of marketing services for Central Atlantic Toyota, a Maryland-based private distributorship.
In 1995, Mr. Lentz was promoted to general manager for Toyota's San Francisco Region, and he later became general manager of the Los Angeles Region. As vice president of Scion, Jim Lentz was responsible for the initial launch of a new line of vehicles for the next generation of new-car buyers. Mr. Lentz also served as group vice president of marketing, Toyota Division. He also held the position of general manager of TMS' Toyota Division, where he oversaw all sales logistics and marketing activities for Toyota, Scion and Central Atlantic Toyota Distributors. Most recently, Mr. Lentz served as executive vice president of TMS.
Jim Lentz attended the University of Denver where he earned a bachelor's degree in marketing and economics and a masters in business administration - finance.
Member of the Executive Board and
President of the Interior Division
Mr. Matschi began his career as a research and development engineer with the Installation Technology Division of Siemens AG in Regensburg in 1986. He worked for a segment of Siemens Automation and Drives that would later become Siemens Automobiltechnik. After various positions in research and development, business development and sales and in quality assurance for airbag electronics, restraint systems and car body electronics, he was promoted in 1999 to run the Carbody Electronics business segment of Siemens Automobiltechnik, the former automotive branch of Siemens AG.
In 2003, Mr. Matschi was appointed to head the global Body and Chassis division of Siemens VDO. He moved to Huntsville to run the global business of the division. In autumn 2005, he moved to Korea, leading the body and chassis business and at the same time driving the company's business in the Asian markets.
In April 2006, Mr. Matschi was appointed to become member of the board of Siemens VDO Automotive AG as group vice president, being responsible for the Interior Electronics & Infotainment business unit. With the acquisition of Siemens VDO by Continental AG in 2007, Mr. Matschi took over the position as president of the Division Interior, one of the three automotive divisions within Continental corporation. In August 2009, Mr. Matschi was appointed as a member of the Executive Board of Continental AG.
Helmut Matschi studied at Regensburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany, where he obtained a degree in Communications Technology.
College of Engineering
University of Michigan
Professor Jun Ni is the Shien-Ming (Sam) Wu Collegiate professor of manufacturing science and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan. He is the founding dean of the University of Michigan - Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute located in Shanghai, China (2006-2011). He also serves as the director of the S. M. Wu Manufacturing Research Center and the co-director of a National Science Foundation sponsored Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Intelligent Maintenance Systems at the University of Michigan.
Professor Ni has received many honors and awards during his career including the 2009 William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, the 2007 Education Excellence Award from the University of Michigan, the elected Fellow of ASME in 2004, the 2003 Magnolia Silver Medal Award from the Shanghai Municipal Government and the elected Fellow of Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 2002. He has also received many best paper awards.
Professor Ni has been given the honor to serve as advisory or guest professors at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Tsinghua University, Xi'an Jiao Tong University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Jilin University of Technology, Dalian University of Technology, and Chinese Academy of Mechanical Engineering Sciences. He has been invited to serve as a member of the external advisory board for Taiwan's Mechanical Industry Research Laboratory at the Industrial Technology Research Institute; the Ministry of Science and Technology, China; Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials; and South African's Advanced Manufacturing Technology Strategy.
Chief Executive Officer
Rodney O'Neal is chief executive officer and president of Delphi. Mr. O'Neal began his automotive career at General Motors (GM) in 1971 as a student at GMI (currently Kettering University). In 1976, he joined the Inland Division where he held a number of engineering and manufacturing positions in Dayton, Portugal and Canada. He was named director of industrial engineering for the former Chevrolet-Pontiac-GM of Canada Group in 1991 and the following year became a director of manufacturing for Delphi.
Mr. O'Neal was named general director of Warehousing & Distribution for GM Service Parts Operations in 1994. In 1997, he was elected a GM vice president and named general manager of Delphi Interior Systems. He was elected a Delphi vice president and president of Delphi Interior Systems in November 1998. In 2000, Mr. O'Neal was named executive vice president of the former Safety, Thermal & Electrical Architecture Sector. Three years later, he was named president of the Dynamics, Propulsion, and Thermal Sector. He was named president and chief operating officer in 2005. He was named to his current position in January, 2007.
Mr. O'Neal serves on the board of directors for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and the board of directors of Sprint/Nextel. He is a member of the Executive Leadership Council and former member of the Board of Directors for Inroads, Inc., the Michigan Manufacturers Association, the Woodward Governor Company and the Advisory Board for Focus: HOPE.
Rodney O'Neal earned a bachelor's degree from Kettering University and a master's degree from Stanford University.
Catherine H. Perez
Vice President, Purchasing
Catherine H. Perez is vice president, purchasing, Renault-Nissan Purchasing Organization (RNPO). In this position, she oversees purchasing functions for Nissan's manufacturing operations in the United States and Mexico.
Ms. Perez joined Nissan from Renault, where she held a variety of leadership positions since 1995. Most recently, she served as vice president of purchasing projects and general manager of powertrains for the RNPO.
From 2000-2003 Ms. Perez was on assignment with Nissan in Tokyo as the director of Nissan Powertrain Purchasing Worldwide before returning to Renault.
Prior to her time at Renault, she was with Rhone-Poulenc, a major European specialty chemical company based in France.
Catherine Perez holds a master's degree in business administration from York University in Toronto and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University. She earned a diploma in strategy and marketing from Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Lyon in France.
J. Christopher Preuss
Vice President and President
Chris Preuss was appointed president, OnStar on March 1, 2010, where he is responsible for the company's worldwide infotainment and connectivity initiatives.
Most recently, Mr. Preuss served as vice president, GM Communications, where he led all external and internal communications activities for the company.
Chris Preuss previously served as vice president, GM Europe Communications, a position he had held since February 2008. In this capacity, he was responsible for all external and internal communications activities for GM's Europe operations, including the Saab, Opel, Vauxhall and Chevrolet brands. He also served as a member of the Europe Strategy Board. He also directed communications activities for GM's Global Product Development organization.
Chris Preuss joined GM in 1998 as director of Cadillac Communications. From 2001, he served as the director of Product Development Communications, before being named director of Government Policy and Washington Communications in 2002. In May 2006, he was appointed GM executive director of Global Product and Brand Communications.
Mr. Preuss began his career at the Campbell and Company agency in 1989, with a focus on motor sports marketing and public relations. From there, he joined DMB&B Advertising as an account supervisor on GM corporate and Cadillac division public relations accounts in 1990. Having worked on a variety of product and promotional programs at DMB&B, Mr. Preuss then moved to Golin Harris Communications of Chicago as an account director on Chrysler corporation business in 1992. He was hired directly by Chrysler in 1993 and worked in several jobs within Chrysler's communications department, including the Washington office.
Chris Preuss holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Political Science from Michigan State University.
Member of the Board of Management
Sales and Marketing
Ian Robertson was appointed a member of the board of management, sales and marketing for BMW AG in March 2008. He is also the chairman of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd.
Mr. Robertson began his automotive career with the Rover Group in 1979 as a graduate trainee. By 1988, he had ascended to plant director at the Drews Lane Plant for the Rover Group and by 1990 was promoted to plant director powertrain for the Rover Group. He continued his rise at Rover Group by becoming purchasing director in 1991 and managing director for Land Rover vehicles in 1994.
In 1999, Mr. Robertson was named managing director for BMW South Africa and four years later he assumed the position of chairman and chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd. He followed that up with his appointment to the board of management, sales and marketing for BMW AG in 2008.
Mr. Robertson graduated with a bachelor of science in maritime studies from the University of Wales, Cardiff in 1979.
Wilbur L. Ross, Jr.
Chairman and CEO
W.L. Ross & Co. LLC
Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. may be the best known turnaround financier in the U.S., having been involved in the restructuring of over $200 billion of defaulted companies' assets around the world. In 1998, Fortune Magazine called him "the King of Bankruptcy."
Mr. Ross organized International Steel Group in April 2002 and was its board chairman. By acquiring Bethlehem and other troubled companies, ISG became the largest integrated steel company in North America. It was listed on the New York Stock Exchange until it merged with Mittal Steel to form the largest steel company in the world. Mr. Ross remains a director of ArcelorMittal.
In October 2005, the firm teamed up with India's Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited, India's $9.5 billion mortgage finance institution, to invest in Indian corporate restructurings and turnarounds. The firm has become the first foreign fund selected by the Asset Reconstruction Company of India ("ARCIL") to rehabilitate a major Indian company, OCM.
In March, 2004, the firm organized International Textile Group ("ITG") by buying and consolidating two bankrupt companies, Burlington Industries and Cone Mills. Mr. Ross serves as chairman of ITG which has announced investments in China, VietNam and Guatemala and acquired Safety Components International and BST, two leading producers of airbag fabrics and cushions.
On October 1, 2004, WL Ross organized International Coal Group to acquire out of bankruptcy Horizon Natural Resources and two other coal companies and went public. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ICO.
In 2005, WL Ross formed International Automotive Components ("IAC") to acquire Collins & Aikman's European operations and Lear's European interior plastics division. Subsequently, the firm acquired control of PLASCAR, the leading Brazilian automotive plastics company, Mitsuboshi in Japan, Lear Corporation's U.S. European and Asian interior plastics businesses and certain North American plants of Collins & Aikman. IAC had 2008 revenues of $4.5 billion and 24,000 employees in 17 countries.
In 1999, President Kim Dae Jung awarded Mr. Ross a medal for his help during Korea's 1998 financial crisis. He is a former chairman of the Smithsonian National Board. Earlier, President Clinton had appointed him to the board of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund, and he served as privatization advisor to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Mr. Ross holds an A.B. from Yale University and an M.B.A., with Distinction, from Harvard University.
Freeman H. Shen
Senior Vice President
Volvo Car Corporation
Volvo Car China
Freeman H. Shen is the senior vice president, China operations for Volvo Cars. He was appointed to the position on October 5, 2010. He is also a member of the board of directors for the Volvo Car Corporation. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Shen served as the vice president for Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, in charge of the company's overseas business.
Mr. Shen began his professional career in the United States where he gained broad experience in engineering, project management, international operations and business development working for companies such as TXU Group, Eaton Corp and BorgWarner. During his tenure with BorgWarner and Fiat Group, he made a significant contribution to the rapid growth of both companies in China/Asia. Mr. Shen served as both chairman and board member for Fiat's joint ventures and wholly owned companies in Chongqing, Hangzhou and Shanghai.
Mr. Shen has received many awards, such as the Zhejiang Province Camellia Award, the Honorary Citizenship of Ningbo Municipal in Zhejiang Province, Ten Outstanding Youth of Ningbo Municipal, Shanghai Outstanding Overseas Chinese and Returnees etc. He was also elected as one of the few runners for 2008 Beijing Olympic Torch Relay.
Mr. Shen received an MBA from the University of Minnesota , a Masters of Science in Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelors of Science in Engineering from South China University of Technology.
Committee - Americas
Executive Vice President
Nissan Motor Company Ltd.
Carlos Tavares is executive vice president and a member of the board of directors of Nissan Motor Company, Ltd. He also serves as chairman of the Management Committee-Americas (MC-A). As MC-A chairman, Mr. Tavares oversees Nissan's operations in North, Central and South America, including manufacturing, engineering, design, sales and marketing, administration and finance.
Before assuming his current responsibilities, he supervised a number of functions globally, including corporate planning, product planning, design, brand management, market intelligence, control and the Infiniti and light commercial vehicle businesses.
Carlos Tavares joined Nissan in April 2004 as a program director. Later that year, he was appointed vice president of product strategy and product planning. In 2005, he was named executive vice president and elected as a member of the board of directors. Mr. Tavares came to Nissan from its Alliance partner Renault, where he spent 23 years in engineering and program-management roles, including program director for C-segment cars.
Carlos Tavares graduated from the Ecole Centrale de Paris in 1981 with a degree in engineering. Outside of work, Tavares is a sports car enthusiast and participates in racing events around the world.
CEO and Principal
Patriarch Partners LLC
Lynn Tilton serves as chief executive officer and sole principal of Patriarch Partners, LLC and its affiliated entities ("Patriarch"), a private equity firm managing $7 billion in assets. Ms. Tilton is well recognized by TV and print media alike for her modern day industrialist efforts to rebuild America. Her labors, since the founding of Patriarch have saved over 200,000 jobs and more than 100 companies from liquidation. In 2009, she was honored with the prestigious Turnaround Atlas Leadership Achievement Award for her work in distressed investing.
Ms. Tilton has dedicated herself to being an advocate for rebuilding America's manufacturing base and a voice for small and middle-market enterprises (SMEs) and their employees.
Ms. Tilton's career spans 29 years and encompasses private equity, operational turnarounds, distressed asset management, financial engineering, high yield loan sales and trading, investment banking and senior management.
Ms. Tilton founded Patriarch Partners to develop innovative financial solutions and to manage and monetize the distressed portfolios of financial institutions. The platform later evolved toward direct fund investments focused primarily upon the acquisition of companies undergoing crisis and pervasive change and loan origination to those same companies.
Under Ms. Tilton's leadership, Patriarch has positioned itself as a proactive partner to companies during periods of operational, industrial and economic transformation. Patriarch provides liquidity, time and strategic support, frequently saving US companies and US jobs. Patriarch inspires management teams to rebuild, using creative structural solutions and add-on investments in order to enhance companies' longterm values.
Prior to founding Patriarch Partners, Ms. Tilton was an executive at Long Drive Management Trust ("LDMT"), a special situations investment fund and Executive Managing Director of Papillon Partners, Inc., a firm which she founded to offer customized research, valuation and execution services to sellers of bank loans and high yield bonds. Ms. Tilton began her career at Morgan Stanley in 1981. She also worked for Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Merrill Lynch as an investment banker until 1989.
Global Vehicle Research
J.D. Power and Associates
Mike VanNieuwkuyk is executive director of global vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates. He established and leads the company's focus on the automotive industry supply base, providing research and consultative services to automotive suppliers in the United States, Europe and Asia, with a focus on emerging technologies. He assists suppliers in developing and bringing new products to market and to align their business to OEMs' needs.
Earlier at J.D. Power and Associates, Mr. VanNieuwkuyk was a senior director in automotive accounts, where he was responsible for marketing, selling and servicing the company's products and services, including research, consulting and education and training applications. His responsibilities included North America, Asia Pacific and Europe.
Mr. VanNieuwkuyk has more than 20 years of experience in customer-related research and business development. He was vice president of automotive at IAG Research (now Nielsen IAG), where he established their Detroit office and provided business development, account services and market research services to domestic automotive marketing and media departments and associated ad and media suppliers.
Earlier, Mr. VanNieuwkuyk worked for Lear Corporation, supervising the design and development of future Lear products, including innovations in seating, ergonomics, infotainment and storage, and interior controls and convenience features. Previously, he was a vice president at IVON Corporation, where he was a quality and process facilitation consultant specializing in consumer driven product design and was highly involved with strategic planning teams, driving research and customer input information into future product planning.
Mr. VanNieuwkuyk received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Central Michigan University.
Dr. Dazong Wang
Beijing Automotive Industry
Holding Co. Ltd.
Dr. Dazong Wang is president of Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. Ltd. a position he has held since February 2008. Under his leadership, BAIC has become the fastest growing major automotive company in China for two years in a row. Vehicle production has increased from 680,000 in 2007 to 1.24 million in 2009 and 1.5 million (expected) in 2010. With a profit increase of 234% in 2009 and 161% in 2010, BAIC has become the largest and most profitable company in Beijing. During his tenure, thirteen new vehicles were developed and shown at the Beijing auto show and he has completed many domestic and cross border M&A activities including the purchase of key SAAB assets from General Motors in 2009. Dr. Wang has changed BAIC from an inward looking domestic manufacturer to a globally active, and respected automotive company.
Prior to BAIC, Dr. Wang was vice president at the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation in Shanghai were he was responsible for engineering and key component operations. He is the first non-citizen corporate officer employed by a large state owned company in Shanghai.
Dr. Wang serves as a leader in many social and technical organizations. He is the founding president of the Chinese Association of Greater Detroit; vice chairman of the Chinese Society of Automotive Engineers; advisor for the Council for Asian Pacific Americans; chairman of the US China automotive exchange; chairman of Global Automotive Executive Council.; and advisor for the PRC State Council Overseas Chinese Office. Dr. Wang is also a member of Committee 100, a prestige organization for Chinese Americans.
Dr. Dazong Wang earned doctor of philosophy and master of science degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Cornell University and a master of engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China.
Amherst Partners, LLC
Ling Wu is a managing director at Amherst Partners, LLC. Since 1994, Amherst Partners has assisted middle market businesses by providing comprehensive merger and acquisition, corporate restructuring, and management advisory services. Ms. Wu specializes in advising clients on corporate finance projects, offering extensive experience in both mergers and acquisitions and capital-raising transactions. Additionally, she is active in working with both Asian and North American companies and bringing them together through joint ventures, investments or acquisitions. Ms. Wu is a frequent speaker on topics concerning cross-border mergers and acquisitions and the global automotive industry.
Prior to joining Amherst Partners in 2004, Ms. Wu served as director of PNC Financial Services, Inc., where she was responsible for venture capital investments and M&A engagements involving emerging growth and technology companies. She initially joined PNC at its Capital Markets Division, where she was focused on providing financing solutions to middle-market companies and large corporations. She achieved considerable experience in various capital markets products including syndicated loans, asset-backed securitization, high yield corporate bonds, mezzanine debt, synthetic leasing and business credit. Ms. Wu began her corporate finance career in the Corporate Finance group of CBS Corp. (formerly Westinghouse Electric Corp.), participating in numerous acquisition and divestiture transactions and the evaluation of major corporate strategic initiatives.
Ling Wu earned her dual master's degrees in finance and accounting from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and her bachelor's degree in enterprise management from Zhongshan (Sun Yat-sen) University in the People's Republic of China. In addition, she received a CPA certification in the State of Illinois.
Vice President, Purchasing
Toyota Motor Engineering &
Manufacturing North America, Inc.
Robert Young is vice president of purchasing at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA), located in Erlanger, Kentucky. TEMA supports Toyota's engineering and manufacturing operations in North America. Mr. Young is responsible for overseeing all vehicle parts and materials procurement for TEMA.
Previously, he was general manager of vehicle parts and materials purchasing. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing the procurement of electrical, body, steel and structural commodities for Toyota in North America.
Mr. Young joined Toyota in 1995 and progressed through a series of positions in the purchasing division including several buying roles. In 2000, he was promoted to manager of construction, machinery and equipment.
Mr. Young has a B.S. in Business Administration from Indiana University.