AN Rising Stars 2024

The 2024 Rising Stars program is now open

Do you know a young executive on the manufacturing/supply side of the auto industry who's taking the world by storm - someone who just gets it? A savvy, up-and-coming leader with the moxie to envision future trends? Someone who relentlessly innovates and raises the bar, then challenges others to do the same? Someone destined to be an industry superstar? 

Don't keep it a secret. Tell us about them! 

To qualify, candidates should have a minimum of 10 years of work experience and have been born after September 22, 1979. Self-nominations are welcome. 

Nominations close on June 14, 2024, and the winners will be announced in the September 23, 2024, issue of Automotive News. 

CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE SOMEONE TODAY

 

Mallory Bandy

Ford Motor Co.

Supply chain senior manager, global electrification edrive, power electronics and pack components

Mallory
Bandy

Big Break: Being picked for a new purchasing leadership program that led to placement on Team Edison, a skunk works group that developed the Mustang Mach-E.

Age: 39

Dex Battista

Magna
International

Senior manager of government affairs

Dex
Battista

Big Break: Being given a national scope in managing government affairs for Magna, North America’s largest parts supplier, in 2017

Age: 35

Ken Clerebout

Toyota Battery
Manufacturing,
North Carolina

Director, application delivery lead

Ken
Clerebout

Big Break: An organizational restructure in 2019 presented an opportunity to move into management.

Age: 41

Matt Cragun

Nvidia Corp.

Senior product manager for autonomous vehicle simulation

Matt
Cragun

Big Break: Getting picked to help build a simulator in the early days of DRIVE Sim

Age: 40

Francesca Favaro

Waymo

Head of safety best practices

Francesca
Favaro

Big Break: Getting chosen by her peers as one of only seven U.S. experts creating safety guidelines for the International Organization for Standardization

Age: 36

Chris Hughes

Our Next Energy

Senior director of chief engineering

Chris
Hughes

Big Break: Developing Samsung’s quotes and concepts for PHEV batteries for Stellantis’ Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Cherokee programs, winning the battery maker the contracts

Age: 36

Bill Kozyra II

Wilko Plastics

President

Bill
Kozyra II

Big Break: Leading the resurrection of a failing production facility by updating the equipment and leadership structure

Age: 38

Jen Cheng Lee

Hyundai Motor America

Director, retail operations

Jen Cheng
Lee

Big Break: Working in market research early on sparked her love for data and integrating consumer needs into analysis.

Age: 44

Kareem Maine

Ultium
Cells LLC
Ohio

Plant director

Kareem
Maine

Big Break: Being promoted to manufacturing operations manager

Age: 44

Julius Martin

Lear Corp.

Plant manager

Julius
Martin

Big Break: Ramping up three greenfield plants for Lear, one of the world's largest suppliers

Age: 44

Annekathrin Müller

Robert Bosch LLC

Vice president, commercial plant manager

Annekathrin
Müller

Big Break: Accelerating the rollout of the Super Cruise hands-free driving-assist technology and enhancing its features.

Age: 40

Arjun Narang

Gatik

Chief technology officer

Arjun
Narang

Big Break: In 2021, Narang oversaw the strategy and execution of a driverless truck deployment along a 7.1-mile delivery route between a retail warehoause and a Walmart retail location in Arkansas. It was the proof point that has led to frequent revenue-generating driverless deliveries.

Age: 34

Giulio Ornella

Dana Inc.

Vice president of light-vehicle EV engineering

Giulio
Ornella

Big Break: Moving to the U.S. and leading Dana's global light-vehicle electrification engineering

Age: 44

Matthew Overbay

Nissan North America

Director, Manufacturing Strategy & Planning Office

Matthew
Overbay

Big Break: Moving from process engineering to manufacturing

Age: 41

Bob Pan

Mazda North American
Operations

Senior director, sales planning and supply chain innovation

Bob
Pan

Big Break: Moving from Florida to the corporate office in California because he believed in the people who said it was the right thing to do

Age: 42

Molly Popilowski

Honda Development
and Manufacturing

Human resource strategy and transformation leader

Molly
Popilowski

Big Break: Stepping out of her comfort zone in purchasing to work on the manufacturing side

Age: 43

Kris Rosychuk

J.D. Power

Director of strategic marketing — automotive

Kris
Rosychuk

Big Break: Launch of a COVID-19 auto impact webinar series

Age: 36

Hrushikesh Sagar

Tesla Inc.

Senior director, vehicle operations and manufacturing engineering

Hrushikesh
Sagar

Big Break: His 2015 internship at Tesla's plant in Fremont, Calif.

Age: 35

Wei Song

Clarios

Director of global product line leader

Wei
Song

Big Break: Leading Clarios’ Smart AGM technology breakthrough to the market to address a long-standing technical challenge of the lead-acid battery

Age: 41

BranDee Tatum

Stellantis
North America

Assembly optimization manager for stamping

BranDee
Tatum

Big Break: Led creation of a maintenance plan at Trenton Engine Plant

Age: 34

Josh Tavel

General Motors

Global vice president of customer care and aftersales

Josh
Tavel

Big Break: Launching the Chevrolet Bolt

Age: 44

Indu Vijayan

AEye

Director of product management

Indu
Vijayan

Big Break: Moving from a technical role into product management gave Vijayan a broad and comprehensive view on what it takes to make and sell a product.

Age: 35

Jeremy Watrous

Blink Charging

Director of automotive business development

Jeremy
Watrous

Big Break: Helped grow Blink Charging’s automotive sales to $70 million through August, up from $5 million in 2022.

Age: 35

Derek Yates

Martinrea
International

Vice president of program management and manufacturing engineering

Derek
Yates

Big Break: Having Martinrea give him the chance to run large-scale projects across many plants

Age: 41