DETROIT - Dennis Pawley could be sunning himself outside his second home in Las Vegas. Or he could be planning a fishing trip to Manitoba.
But at age 63 - "a young 63" as he puts it - the former Chrysler Corp. manufacturing chief is waging a crusade to revolutionize U.S. manufacturing. He long has poured his time and talent into the task. Now he's adding his personal fortune.
In January, Pawley endowed his alma mater, Oakland University, in Rochester Hills, Mich., $1 million to establish the Pawley Institute for Lean Learning.
He has donated an additional $6 million to the university's schools of education, business and engineering over the past five years.
He absorbed lean production principals of the Toyota Production System, which reduces waste, cuts costs and boosts productivity, when he became the top American at Mazda's U.S. assembly plant in Flat Rock, Mich., in 1986.