2018 AutoConnect Registration

2015 Presenters

Meet the presenters for AutoConnect 2015!

Get a glimpse of the AutoConnect experience by viewing our previous years' recaps in the About section!

Dr. Mohamed Abuali  Dr. Mohamed Abuali, FORCAM

Dr. Mohamed Abuali leads FORCAM operations in the Americas and manages the overall client portfolio of FORCAM’s advanced shop floor technology deployments at discrete manufacturing companies in Automotive, Aerospace & Defense, Medical Devices, and Oil & Gas. Abuali brings 15 years of manufacturing technology experience specializing in strategic account and program management as well as research and development of shop floor technologies, relying on lean manufacturing principles based on the Toyota Production System.

Customers like Audi, BMW, Daimler, BorgWarner, ZF Steering, MTU Aero-Engines, Pratt & Whitney, DePuy Synthes, and the WEIR Group; are a snapshot of a diverse user profile of FORCAM's innovative manufacturing solutions. 

Abuali has a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering through his studies at the Center for Intelligent Maintenance Systems (IMS) at the University of Cincinnati.

Jennifer Babe  Jennifer Babe, Miller Thomson

Jennifer Babe's practice emphasizes commercial law, focusing on secured transactions; the securing of sales and leases of significant products; and the purchases of businesses, assets and shares. Babe advises several auto finance companies for both retail and wholesale operations and their day to day operating needs. She has an extensive practice in advising vehicle manufacturers and lessors in dealings with fleet and daily rental company customers, vehicle remarketing and auctions. Babe assists clients in complying with consumer protection legislation, privacy laws and other statutes of key concern to clients with retail operations.

Kai Bitter  Kai Bitter, FBTAuto
Jim Carter  James Carter, Ernst & Young Capital Advisors, LLC

James Carter is the Senior Managing Director, Head of U.S. M&A and Capital Debt Advisory for Ernst & Young Capital Advisors, LLC. Carter has 29 years of experience in investment and financial advisory and focuses on automotive industry transactions. His industry/transaction-specific experience includes:

Carter graduated summa cum laude from Alma College with a B.A. degree.  He received his MBA from the University of Michigan and has Series 7, 24, 63 and 79 securities licenses.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.  Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

In 2012, Tennesseans overwhelmingly elected Bob Corker to his second term in the U.S. Senate, where he serves as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and is an active member of the Banking Committee and Budget Committee.

Corker was Tennessee’s commissioner of finance and mayor of Chattanooga before being elected to the Senate in 2006, but he spent most of his life in business.

At the age of 25, Corker started his own construction company with $8,000 in savings and a pickup truck, eventually expanding operations to 18 states across the country.

It’s that results-driven businessman’s perspective that allowed him to make a mark early in his Senate tenure and become a pragmatic thought leader on fiscal and financial issues.

Corker quickly rose to prominence on the Banking Committee, where he became known for his no-nonsense, tough questioning of witnesses during the auto industry bailout and 2008 financial crisis. Corker also is a key voice in Congress on housing finance reform. A bipartisan bill he coauthored in 2013 has been called the “blueprint” for how our nation’s housing finance system should look in the future.

A key leader on our nation’s fiscal challenges, Corker is one of the few members of Congress to put pen to paper and produce a bill that would set our country on a path to fiscal solvency. As one of the most fiscally conservative members of Congress, he continues to fight against Washington’s all too common practice of “generational theft.”

Recognizing the important impact U.S. leadership and diplomacy abroad can have on our economy and national security, Corker also is an active leader on the Foreign Relations Committee. Since taking office in 2007, he has visited more than 60 countries to gain a deeper understanding of the strategic relationships between the U.S. and other nations, and in 2015, his colleagues elected him chairman. As the lead Republican on the committee, Corker works with his colleagues to set the committee agenda and help carry out legislative and oversight responsibilities.

Corker graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1974 with a degree in Industrial Management. He and his wife of 28 years, Elizabeth, live in Chattanooga. They have two daughters, Emily and Julia, and a son-in-law, Justin Spickard.

Gabriele Di Furia  Gabriele Di Furia, Eisenmann Corporation
Tom Drye  Tom Drye, Techmer ES

Tom Drye is the managing director for Techmer ES, a subsidiary of Techmer PM, and has been with the company since 2005. As managing director, Drye is responsible for all Techmer ES manufacturing locations and the overall business strategy. He is also a member of the senior leadership team for the parent company Techmer PM.

Drye is a member of the State of Tennessee Department of Education Industry Advisory Board, Carbon Fiber Composites Consortium, Institute of Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and Society of Plastics Engineers. He also has written numerous technical articles on custom-compounded specialty plastics and delivered keynote speeches to many diverse groups related to the plastics OEM and processing communities.

Drye received a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Natural Sciences from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Engineering Management/Industrial Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.

photo  Augustine Faucher, The PNC Financial Services Group (PNC)

Augustine (Gus) Faucher is senior vice president and senior macroeconomist of The PNC Financial Services Group (PNC). He is responsible for contributing to the preparation of PNC’s U.S. economic forecast and alternative economic scenarios. In addition, he contributes to PNC’s National Economic Outlook, Economic Releases, Market Expectations Survey and Economic Outlook Survey of Small Business Owners reports. Faucher regularly presents on the economic outlook to PNC clients as well as business and civic groups. Prior to joining PNC in December 2011, Faucher worked for 10 years at Moody’s Analytics (formerly, where he was a director and senior economist. He also worked for six years at the U.S. Treasury Department, and taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Faucher is frequently cited in international, national and regional media outlets including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He has appeared on ABC World News, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News and Nightly Business Report; and is regularly featured on CNBC, CNN and Fox Business. In addition, he appears regularly on CBS Radio, NPR and Marketplace.

He serves on the board of directors of The Economic Club of Pittsburgh—the local chapter of National Association of Business Economics (NABE). Faucher earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, with concentrations in labor economics and public economics. He also has a B.A. in economics from Cornell University.

Larry Geise  Larry Geise, Honda R&D Americas, Inc.

Larry Geise is Vice President of Automobile Frame & Electrical Engineering at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. Larry joined Honda R&D (HRA) in 1995 in door/exterior design and worked on the development of the 1998 Honda Accord Coupe. During the 10-year period beginning in 1999 and continuing into 2009, Larry helped lead the development teams for 7 new models, including the Acura CL coupe, Acura TL sedan, Acura MDX luxury SUV and the Honda Pilot crossover SUV.

Beginning in 2007, Geise was Senior Manager of Body Design and then Division Director of Body and Interior Design. In this role he was responsible for future body and interior technology strategy and body development for all Honda and Acura vehicles designed in the United States. During this time HRA was responsible for the planning and development of many new products including the 2011 Honda Odyssey, 2014 Acura MDX and numerous future products.

Geise was promoted to Vice President in April of 2013. In this role, he is responsible for all Body, Chassis, Interior & Electrical engineering and verification of all Honda and Acura vehicles developed in the United States. He also works closely with other Honda organizations within North America and globally to further advance Honda initiatives.

A graduate of the Franklin University, Geise holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and 4 U.S. patents.

photo  Philip M. Goy, KPMG LLP

Phil Goy is an Advisory Director at KPMG, with extensive executive level financial management experience in manufacturing, dealership and distribution, real estate, construction and communications. Goy provides quality consultative and advisory services to companies during the investment, transaction and integration phases of the business cycle. Based on his significant experience, Goy addresses opportunities both strategically and financially. Goy’s recent focus has been primarily in the areas of proactive financial management, receiverships, forensic accounting and financial due diligence.

Prior to joining KPMG, Goy was a Managing Director and General Corporate Practice Lead of BBK, Ltd., serving lenders, attorneys, tier one automotive suppliers, and a multitude of non-manufacturing businesses. He was also a member of the BBK Senior Leadership Team. In his previous position as Managing Director of Maxwell Advisors, Goy was involved in financial restructuring, strategic planning, cash management, interim financial management and related corporate/financial organizational issues. Clients included real estate ventures, manufacturing companies, motor vehicle dealers, transportation and trucking services and professional services firms.

Goy previously held a position as Divisional Vice President of Finance and Administration of a Nasdaq-listed corporation and CFO of another Nasdaq-listed corporation. His career began at Haskins & Sells (currently Deloitte) where he was a Partner.

Benjamin Green  Benjamin R. Green, Nissan North America, Inc.

Benjamin R. Green (Ben) is the head of Nissan Motor Ltd.’s global supplier financial risk team and has been with the group since 2008.  In this capacity, Green is responsible for the timely identification, classification and mitigation of financial risks to Nissan’s global strategic supply base.   Headquartered at Nissan North America in Franklin, TN, the core supplier financial risk team coordinates an international network of analysts managing supplier risk in 21 countries around the world.

Prior to Nissan, Green was a Vice President and Senior Equity Research analyst for Nashville-based investment banking firm Avondale Partners LLC.  At Avondale, Green covered various IT sectors, with a focus on healthcare technology, internet security and data analytics.  Green began his career with Deutsche Bank in 1996, working in various risk control and managerial functions in the company’s U.S. Custody Operations unit.

Green holds a Master of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Alabama.  He lives in Nashville with his wife Suzannah, their son James and Charlie the dog.

Doug Grimm  Douglas J. Grimm, Grede Holdings LLC

Douglas Grimm co-founded Grede in February 2010 by combining substantially all the former assets of Grede Foundries, Inc., Blackhawk Foundry (USA) and Citation Corporation. He joined legacy Citation in January 2008 as Chief Executive Officer and a Director following various senior management positions in the automotive sector.

Through organic growth, strategic alliances and the completion of seven acquisitions, Grimm has quadrupled revenues, diversified its customer base and transformed the “new” Grede into a financially sound, reliable supplier to the automotive, heavy truck and industrial markets. The legacy companies had been in bankruptcy three times between 2004 and 2009. With sales in excess of $1 billion and 4,600 employees, Grede is now re-investing for the future. Grimm and Grede have been recognized recently by the following:

A twenty-eight year industry veteran, Grimm has senior-level global experience throughout the supply chain with publicly traded and privately held companies including Chrysler, Dana, Visteon and Metaldyne. His extensive leadership background has included raising capital, operations, commercial negotiation, balance sheet restructuring and merger integration responsibilities.

A graduate of Hiram College (OH) with a bachelor of arts degree in economics & management where he is a member of the Board of Trustees, Grimm also received a master's degree in business administration from the University of Detroit and attended the University of Michigan Executive Management Program. He is currently the Chairman of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) and Vice Chairman of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).

photo  Bob Henry, M-Tek, Inc.

Bob Henry is Senior General Manager, Corporate Purchasing at M-Tek, Inc. He is responsible for the purchasing of parts and material for all manufacturing locations in the U.S. He is also a member of the North America Management Committee.

Bob joined M-Tek in 2013 after a career that included more than 16 years with Nissan North America. There he held several positions of increasing responsibility within the Renault Nissan Purchasing Organization. Most recently, he was Senior Regional Supplier Account Manager, After Sales Purchasing, responsible for service part and accessory purchasing for North America.

Prior to joining Nissan North America, he held management positions in Supply Chain Management and Marketing & Sales with Yorozu America Corporation.

Bob and his family reside in Middle Tennessee.

Photo  Jim Holloway, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.

Jim Holloway is General Manager of Supplier Relations at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. Holloway is responsible for overseeing Supplier Diversity, Risk Management, Systems and Supplier Relations.

Prior to his current position, he was General Manager of Procurement Department 3 responsible for overseeing the procurement of chassis, powertrain, service and export, prototype and trial parts for Toyota in North America.  Previous roles include General Manager of Procurement Department 2, responsible for overseeing the procurement of interior and exterior parts and resin raw materials for Toyota in North America and Manager, Corporate Strategy Division where his responsibilities included mid to long term business planning and new plant start-up activity.

Holloway has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Kentucky.

Photo  Sigmund E. Huber, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)

Sig Huber was named Director - Global Supplier Relations and Risk Management, FCA - Global in January 2015. In this position, Huber is responsible for improving supplier and industry relationships, supplier communications and events, supplier risk management and performance measurement, buyer and supplier training, supplier diversity, as well as other strategic areas associated with the global procurement organization. He retains his responsibilities for supplier relations in the North American region, a position he's held since joining the company in 2008.

Prior to joining FCA US LLC, formerly Chrysler Group LLC, Huber was Assistant General Manager for Corporate Affairs for Toyota Engineering & Manufacturing North America. While at Toyota Huber worked as Senior Legal Counsel, and then transitioned to an operational role where he progressed through a series of positions in both Purchasing and Corporate Affairs.

Huber sits on the Board of Directors of the AIAG, National Minority Supplier Development Council and the Business Consortium Fund. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of California San Diego and a Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law.

Mark Johnson  Mark Johnson, Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

Mark Johnson currently serves as the Director of Federal Government Relations for Toyota in their office in Washington, D.C. Johnson is responsible for legislative issues related to financial services, vehicle safety and intellectual property. Prior to joining Toyota, he served as Chief of Staff for Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). As Chief of Staff, he managed Representative Capito’s three Congressional offices and served as her chief legislative and political advisor. Before joining Representative Capito’s office, Johnson served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Representative Ed Bryant (R-TN) and as a Legislative Assistant for Representative Don Sundquist (R-TN), who later went on to become the Governor of the state. Johnson also spent a brief period of time as Director of Government Affairs for Fluor Corporation, a major construction and engineering company headquartered in California. Johnson was responsible for legislative issues related to product liability, tax policy, health care and trade.

Before beginning his career in government service, Johnson spent two years as a high school Latin and government teacher at Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia. Johnson currently resides in Bristow, Virginia with his wife Lisa and their two children, Grant (age 15) and Hannah (age 13).

Thomas Lakocy Thomas Lakocy, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Thomas A. Lakocy is a Senior Banker and Division Manager of JPMorgan Chase’s Southeast Michigan & Northwest Ohio Group based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Lakocy has 30 years of commercial banking experience that includes positions in small business, large corporate, loan workout and middle market banking for legacy banks National Bank of Detroit, First Chicago NBD and Bank One.

Lakocy is a graduate of Miami (Ohio) University and The Ohio State University (MBA). He has served as a director of the Michigan Unit of Learning Ally, a non-profit that promotes reading for individuals with learning disabilities, and currently serves as a director of Troy Nature Society, a non-profit which operates a nature education facility in Troy, Michigan.

Lakocy resides in Troy with his wife and three children.

Steve Li  Steve Li, Enoch Capital
Photo  Alicia B. Masse, Alderney Advisors LLC

Alicia B. Masse is a senior financial executive and consultant with exceptional experience in financial analytics, cash forecasting/management, business plan development, alternative scenario analysis and insolvency/bankruptcy execution. She is a creative problem solver able to negotiate and drive transactions to successful conclusions. Masse offers demonstrated expertise within organizational turnaround and restructuring with a focus on strategy and finance in insolvency, bankruptcy, and emerging company settings. She is regularly sought out by CEOs and CFOs for guidance through challenging business conditions.

In 2013, Masse and her partners founded Alderney Advisors LLC, a business advisory firm providing uniquely valuable expertise in the areas of management consulting, supply risk management, interim management, and related areas. For 15 years prior, Alderney team members worked together in other capacities, driving financial and organizational restructuring, divestitures, M&A, and risk mitigation.

From 2009 to 2013, Masse served as Midwest Restructuring Leader, St. Louis Transaction Advisory Services Market Leader, Michigan Transaction Advisory Services Market Leader, and Global Automotive Supplier Risk Network Leader for EY. Prior to her tenure at EY, Masse was Senior Managing Director and Co-lead for the North American Automotive Practice for BBK Ltd. There, she served almost every major automotive manufacturer and Tier 1 through her financial restructuring advisory practice or the financial benchmarking tool, BBK ratings, a product she developed that became the initial industry standard for identifying financial distress early in the process. Previously, Masse progressed through Ford Motor Credit as North American Finance Operations Manager, Profit Analysis System Manager, and ultimately Finance Director of Latin American Credit Operations. She started her career at Arthur Andersen.

Educated at the University of Michigan, she earned an MBA in Finance and Strategy in addition to her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University. Masse is a former CPA and has participated on numerous panels including a Harvard Business School panel regarding issues with bankruptcy and insolvency and distressed asset acquisition. She participates on multiple boards including Belle Isle Conservancy, serving on the Finance Committee. She is also a member in good standing within Inforum, American Bankruptcy Institute and INSOL International, International Association of Restructuring, and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Professionals.

Micheline Maynard  Micheline Maynard, Author, Journalist, Educator

Micheline Maynard is an award-winning journalist and author who is an expert on the global auto industry. She was Detroit bureau chief and a senior business correspondent for the New York Times and is a contributor to Her book, The End of Detroit: How The Big Three Lost Their Grip On The American Car Market correctly predicted the rise of Toyota and other international carmakers in the U.S. and also foresaw the bankruptcies in Detroit. Her most recent book, Curbing Cars, looks at how American consumers are rethinking their transportation needs. 

John McElroy  John McElroy, Journalist, Author, TV and Radio Host

John McElroy is the host of “Autoline Daily,” the first industry webcast of industry news and analysis. He is also the host of the television program “Autoline This Week,” an Emmy Award-winning, weekly half-hour discussion program featuring top automotive executives and journalists. McElroy also hosts “Autoline After Hours,” the first regularly scheduled live webcast about the industry. The shows can be seen online at  McElroy also broadcasts five radio segments daily on WWJ Newsradio 950, the CBS affiliate in Detroit. He writes a monthly op-ed article for Ward’s Auto World and for Autoblog.

His past experience includes five years as Detroit editor for Road & Track, and as the American correspondent for World Cars, which was published by the Automotive Club of Italy. He was also invited to write the annual automotive entry for the Encyclopedia Britannica Yearbook. He spent most of his career at the trade magazine Automotive Industries where he ultimately rose to Editorial Director.

Bill Rinna  Bill Rinna, LMC Automotive

Bill Rinna is the Senior Manager, North American Forecasts at LMC Automotive. Included in this role is the overseeing of the production and sales forecasting services that detail manufacturer, segment, platform, model and plant trends.

Rinna has 18 years of industry experience which includes demand and production forecasting at a component, powertrain and vehicle level. He has personally completed over 100 discrete model level component forecasts.

Prior to joining the firm, Rinna was at GM as the Global Forecast Lead responsible for GM’s crossover segment. Prior to GM, Bill was at CSM Worldwide for 12 years as the Senior Manager of North American Supply Chain and Technology Forecasts. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University and an MBA in Business Economics from Wayne State University.   

Robert Sartin  Robert V. Sartin, FBTAuto

Having worked in the automotive industry for much of his career, Robert Sartin is thoroughly familiar with the business and the climate in which it operates, including understanding not only operative legal issues, but also the business and technical issues that drive the automotive industry. Sartin leverages this knowledge with his 20+ years experience representing companies in a wide variety of business matters including strategic alliances, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructurings. Additionally, Sartin has created and continues to maintain strong relationships with key players in the industry, including both legal and financial representatives of OEMs and suppliers. He leads the firm’s Automotive Industry Team of more than 30 attorneys who work extensively with automotive clients. Sartin is a member of the Nashville and Lexington offices of Frost Brown Todd.

John Sawyer  John Sawyer, Cerberus Operations and Advisory Company, LLC

John Sawyer is currently an advisor with Cerberus Operations and Advisory Company, LLC and based in Lexington, Kentucky. He has over 35 years experience in corporate law as a transactional lawyer specializing in manufacturing, bank financing, bankruptcy and workouts. Sawyer was a founder and principal of the law firm Sawyer & Glancy, PLLC, headquartered in Lexington, from 1997 through early 2006. With Cerberus, Sawyer has worked both as counsel and as an advisor on the restructuring and sale of Chrysler, the divestiture through Chapter 11 of a paper manufacturing portfolio company (including a Canadian CCAA process to facilitate the sale of a large mill), and the restructuring and sale of a multinational software company based in London.  Sawyer has also worked on the restructuring of an interactive gaming company based in London, the due diligence and acquisition of a waste management business in Ireland and financial and operational consulting for a school bus manufacturing company.  From time to time, Sawyer is part of an auto team that performs due diligence efforts for a variety of potential auto industry investments in North America, Europe and China.

Sawyer practiced for 19 years with the law firm Greenebaum Doll & McDonald, PLLC from 1978 to 1997, becoming a partner in 1988. He has experience in corporate finance, debt and equity financing and structuring venture capital investments. As counsel, Sawyer has represented a variety of financial institutions in connection with asset-based lending in U.S. and has represented both buyers and sellers in a wide range of transactions, including divestitures and acquisitions, financing and private placement work.  Industries include energy, health care, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, consumer goods and telecommunications.

Sawyer and his partners have been business owners, beginning in 1991 with the acquisition of Sardinia Concrete Company, a redi-mix company based in Cincinnati, Ohio and shortly thereafter Superior Coatings, LLC, a coatings and metal finishing business located in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.  In addition, Sawyer and his partners’ projects have included Kentucky Aeromedical Transportation, LLC, a medical helicopter ambulance business based in Lexington; Source Technologies LLC, a Lexington-based company that specializes in environmental remediation and municipal wastewater treatment, industrial pre-treatment activities and environmental restoration; Vaughn Steel, LLC, a company with operations in Phoenix, Arizona that provides sourcing and delivery of raw steel to the concrete reinforcement industry; and Monessen Hearth Systems Company, Inc., a Paris, Kentucky company that designs and manufactures high-quality vented and vent-free fireplaces systems and ancillary items.

Sawyer is a trustee for Christ In Youth (CIY), a Joplin, Missouri based youth organization that provides conferences, service projects and mission trips for young people in the United States and overseas.  Sawyer is also involved with Christian Student Fellowship in Lexington, a campus ministry to students at the University of Kentucky.  Together with several partners, Sawyer has formed the Mustard Seed Foundation, a private foundation that is actively involved in evangelism and outreach projects in Africa (child sponsorship programs, micro financing and business development projects in Uganda), and Northern Ireland (the non-denominational reconciliation of Protestant and Catholic youth). 

Sawyer holds a bachelor's degree in Marketing and Advertising from Indiana University (1975) and a J.D. from the University of Kentucky law school (1978), Order of the Coif.

Photo  Matthew J. Simoncini, Lear Corporation

Matthew J. Simoncini is president, chief executive officer and a director of Lear Corporation. In this role, Simoncini is responsible for the strategic direction and operational leadership of the company. Simoncini joined Lear in 1996 as director of Finance for the Motors Division. He has also held the roles of chief financial officer, senior vice president, chief accounting officer, senior vice president of Global Finance, vice president of Global Finance, vice president of Finance - Europe, vice president of Finance for the DaimlerChrysler division and vice president of Finance for the Electrical and Electronics business at Lear.

At the time of Lear's acquisition of United Technologies Automotive (UTA), Simoncini was director of Financial Planning and Analysis. Previous to UTA, Simoncini held financial and manufacturing positions with Varity Kelsey Hayes and Horizon Enterprises including chief financial officer of Kelsey Hayes’ European Operations. Simoncini began his career at Touche Ross and is a certified public accountant.

Born and raised in Detroit, Simoncini earned a bachelor's degree from Wayne State University and is a member of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants. In addition to his responsibilities at Lear, he is a member of the board of directors for the Wayne State University Foundation, Detroit Economic Club, Detroit Recreation Foundation, Business Leaders of Michigan and the Michigan Opera Theatre.

John Stewart  John Stewart, Monomoy Capital Partners

John Stewart is a Partner and the Managing Director of private equity firm Monomoy Capital Partners in New York where he is responsible for managing an elite team of operating professionals and for managing the various companies in the portfolio. Whether it is developing strategies for business success or selecting leaders for the organization, Stewart utilizes his years of experience and time tested methodologies to create value for the portfolio companies at Monomoy. Stewart serves as a board member and advisor to multiple businesses in a variety of business segments. Stewart’s experience, drive and determination have made him the successful leader that he is today.

Stewart’s professional experience includes 18 years with Toyota Motor Corporation in various operational and executive positions. During his time with Toyota, he worked his way from working as a Team Member on the Assembly line to managing the Vehicle Assembly Division for Toyota’s largest European operation in the United Kingdom.

Stewart was recognized within Toyota as being an expert at utilizing the Toyota Production System to effect change in various environments. He was often selected for some of the toughest assignments in Toyota, culminating in the turnaround of the operations in the United Kingdom. He spent over 88 weeks in Japan with Toyota. During this time, Stewart was trained by some of Toyota’s most talented Japanese masters on all things relating to the Toyota Production System. Stewart is a recognized leader in the automotive and manufacturing industry and is frequently sought after to serve as a Sr. Advisor to manufacturers across the globe.

Stewart was named one of the top 10 automotive executives by Automotive News in 2007.

Stewart is the author of The Toyota Kaizen Continuum: A Practical Guide to Implementing Lean.

Stewart and his team were featured in the April 30th, 2012 issue of Businessweek magazine, as a “castle in the sand” for their unique approach to managing businesses in a private equity environment.

Ray Tanguay  Réal "Ray" Tanguay, Auto Advisor for the Governments of Ontario and Canada

On March 31, 2015, Ray Tanguay retired from his executive positions as Chairman, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. (TMMC), Chairman of Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI), and President of Canadian Autoparts Toyota Inc. (CAPTIN).

In 1991, Tanguay joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. and was quickly recognized as a leading force in instilling innovation within the company. During his more than 20 years at Toyota, TMMC was recognized with an outstanding 12 J.D. Power and Associates plant quality awards, including the global best Platinum Award in 2011 and 2014.  Under his exceptional stewardship, TMMC became the first Toyota manufacturing plant outside of Japan to produce Lexus vehicles, beginning in 2003.  In 2012, TMMC announced that in addition to increasing production of the Lexus RX350, it would also begin building the RX450h, the hybrid version of the popular Lexus vehicle.

An admirer of the Lexus slogan, the "Passionate Pursuit of Perfection," Tanguay firmly believes in people aiming to do, and be, the best they can in their own respective fields. Always looking to the future, he contributed to the further globalization of Toyota, and the achievement of self-reliance in North America, by creating a clear vision within a strategic framework that incorporates human resource development and reliable business partnerships.

In 2015 Tanguay was named as the first Auto Advisor to both the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada.  In this new leadership role, he will provide experience and advice regarding automotive investment and innovation in Canada to strengthen the Canadian Automotive Industry.

Karen Taylor General Motors  Karen Taylor, General Motors

Karen Taylor is the Industrial Engineering Manager at General Motors’ Manufacturing Complex in Spring Hill. In addition, Taylor serves as the Onboarding, Training & Development Manager for the complex. Since joining General Motors in 1991, Taylor has held variety of vehicle and powertrain manufacturing positions of progressive responsibility in Engineering, Planning, Global Manufacturing Systems, Manufacturing Management, New Program Launch Management and Human Resources. She has extensive experience in powertrain manufacturing including assignments in lost foam casting, engine machining (cylinder blocks, cylinder heads, crankshafts, camshafts and front covers), engine assembly, transmission assembly and powertrain dress. Taylor’s management experience includes executing new program launches and operating business units utilizing metric management in the areas of safety, people, quality, responsiveness, cost and environmental compliance.

Taylor is a Past President of the Southern Automotive Women’s Form (SAWF), a non-profit, professional organization dedicated to promoting the personal and professional advancement of women in the automotive industry who are located in the Southern Region of the United States. Taylor currently serves on SAWF’s Board of Directors.

Taylor received a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee and an M.B.A. from Middle Tennessee State University. She received a J.D. from the Nashville School of Law, passed the Tennessee Bar Exam and has been licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee since 2009. She resides in Franklin, Tennessee with her husband Todd and their three children.

Timothy Turek  Timothy A. Turek, Conway MacKenzie

Tim Turek is Managing Director at Conway MacKenzie and has extensive expertise advising organizations, and their constituents, ranging from $10 million to $3 billion in sales. He has assisted clients through crisis management, turnarounds, workouts, restructurings, acquisitions and divestitures. He has advised on numerous bankruptcy and distressed situations representing constituents on all sides—debtors, secured and unsecured creditors and customers.

Turek has worked with clients in North America, Asia and Europe for more than 20 years. He has negotiated with lenders, raised capital, and resolved governmental and legal disputes, as well as developed and implemented strategic turnaround and restructuring plans, and consulted on domestic and international bankruptcies. Turek has served as Chief Restructuring Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Operations, Corporate Controller and on numerous Boards of Directors.

Prior to joining Conway MacKenzie in 2010, Turek was a Managing Director at BBK beginning in 2000. Turek earned his Bachelor’s of Business, Accounting, from Western Illinois University, is a registered CPA, Certified Turnaround Professional and a regular speaker on financial and operational restructuring.

Miguel Valle  Miguel Valle, Gonzalez Calvillo, S.C.

Miguel Valle is the managing partner of González Calvillo and has been a member of its Corporate, M&A and Transactional Group since 1997.  Valle is a recognized lawyer with ample experience in domestic and cross-border Transactions.  He has been selected as head counsel over the past 15 years to provide legal and business advice and counseling to multinational and Mexican companies in acquisitions, restructurings, distributions and multiple aspects regarding their presence in Mexico, including startup, joint ventures, regulatory, foreign investment matters, general corporate issues and labor and employment. He is constantly sought by U.S. based and international companies within several industries, including the automotive industry, and assists such companies in corporate oversight and counseling.

John Wagster  John Wagster, FBTAuto
Kim Williams  Kim Williams, Calsonic Kansei

Kim Williams is the Vice President of Quality and Modules Manufacturing at CalsonicKansei North America (CKNA). Williams is responsible for the operations of CKNA’s U.S. Modules manufacturing sites, where she utilizes metric management to oversee safety, quality, operations, delivery and new model launch of products supplied to Nissan. She joined the company as Plant Manager of Exhaust, Stamping, and Heat Exchange Manufacturing plants in April 2010, and was named Vice President of Manufacturing in January 2013. Additional responsibility was added in February 2015 to include VP of CKNA’s Quality organization.

Prior to joining CKNA, Williams spent 16 years in a variety of manufacturing roles starting at General Motors Powertrain in Spring Hill, Tennessee, including Quality Engineering, Compliance Management, Service/Campaign Engineering, New Product Launch and Manufacturing Management. Following General Motors, she managed a privately owned business for two years which provided painting and powder coating of automotive and major appliance industry components.   

Williams is past Co-President of Southern Automotive Women’s Forum, a non-profit, professional organization dedicated to promoting the personal and professional advancement of women in the automotive industry who are located in the southern regions of the United States The organization includes members of all major OEMs, suppliers and service industries and has raised several thousand dollars to award scholarships to young ladies pursuing technical degrees with hopes they will pursue employment in the automotive industry. 

Williams holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering Technology from Tennessee Technological University and a Master of Science degree in Manufacturing Management from Kettering University.

Williams was born February 11, 1972. She has been married to Marty for 21 years, who was also her childhood sweetheart. They have three children: two daughters and a son. Her hobbies include watching her children play softball and riding horses in the hills of Tennessee. She is passionate about working in the automotive industry and has always had a love of automobiles and horsepower; and enjoys her 1972 restored Corvette!

Dr. Andreas Wolfle  Dr. Andreas Wölfle, Menold Bezler

Dr. Andreas Wölfle is a partner at German law firm Menold Bezler where his practice is focused in the area of mergers and acquisitions and corporate law. Wölfle has particular experience in cross-border M&A transactions and compliance investigations in the automotive space as well as other manufacturing and regulated industries. He is also a Lecturer of Law at the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim.

Wölfle’s experience includes advising U.S. Tier 1s on expanding and operating in Germany and German OEMs and Tier 1s in Germany and other critical markets, including the U.S., India, Mexico and Brazil.

Wölfle attended the Universities of Hamburg Würzburg and Stuttgart-Hohenheim.

Jon Wood  Jon Wood, Bridgestone Americas

Jon Wood is currently the Executive Director of Innovation and Collaboration at Bridgestone Americas, Inc. responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with universities, industry researchers, think tanks, inventors and entrepreneurs both inside and outside of the industry to identify new product and market opportunities.  He also acts as a champion and senior representative for the company’s innovation efforts both internally and externally and is responsible for reviewing and acquiring government grants.  Wood is currently located in Bridgestone’s Americas Technical Center in Akron, Ohio. 

Wood was formerly the Chief Intellectual Property Counsel at Bridgestone Americas, Senior Counsel of Intellectual Property for Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, Tennessee and an associate at the law firm of Workman, Nydegger in Salt Lake City, Utah.   

Wood is involved in many organizations and activities including serving as Vice Chairman of the Board of Invent Now Inc., the parent organization of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Camp Invention (which serves over 70,000 children in all 50 states); on the Board of Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation; an Adjunct Professor at Case-Western School of Law and on their Advisory Committee for the Law Technology and Arts (LTA) Program; and was awarded the Ron Russell Perseverance Award in 2009 by the North Canton YMCA and the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus, College of Sciences, at Harding University. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of Intellectual Property in Europe, North America, China and Japan.

Wood has a J.D. from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, a Masters Degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and a B.S. in Chemistry from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. 

Andrew Zimberg  Andrew Zimberg, Nissan North America, Inc.

Andrew Zimberg joined Nissan as a Senior Analyst in February 2012.  As a member of the global supplier financial risk team, his responsibility includes managing the financial analysis and risk mitigation function for North American strategic suppliers, as well as tracking and assessing key supplier risk in China and Japan.  

Prior to joining Nissan, Zimberg worked for 20 years in the corporate banking industry. He specialized in the automotive and healthcare industries and was responsible for risk management, capital market transactions and managing portfolios of distressed debt.   Additionally, Zimberg has M&A corporate finance and transactional experience including restructuring corporate balance sheets.  

Zimberg holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Buffalo and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Finance from the State University of New York at Brockport. 

Zimberg, originally from New York City, now resides in Nashville with his wife and three daughters.

*Please note that as our event continues to evolve our speakers may change.