2018 AutoConnect Registration

2016 Presenters

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Art Blanchford headshot  Arthur (Art) Blanchford, Autoliv Global

Art Blanchford is currently vice president for global business development and vice president for the global General Motors business unit at Autolív. He returned from Shanghai in January 2015 where he was president of Autoliv Greater China. His team grew to $1.6 billion in sales, more than 9,000 employees and to world-class quality in his three years at the helm.

He also served as president of Autolív Active Safety, North American General Motor’s operations leader and director of the General Motors Europe business unit near Munich, Germany. In the early part of his 21-year career without Autoliv, he served in various engineering, program management, and sales roles. Before he started with Autoliv he worked at TRW and Milliken.

Blanchford holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, cum laude, from Tennessee Technical University and Executive MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Randy Boyd  Randy Boyd, Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development

Randy Boyd was sworn in on January 17, 2015 by Gov. Bill Haslam to serve as the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Prior to joining TNECD, Boyd founded Radio Systems Corporation, from which he is currently taking a leave of absence. Radio Systems is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee and has over 700 associates worldwide with offices in seven countries. The company produces over 4,600 pet products under brand names such as Invisible Fence, PetSafe, and SportDOG. It is a privately held corporation with sales over $370 million. He is also owner of Boyd Sports LLC, owner of the Tennessee Smokies Baseball team, the AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs and the Johnson City Cardinals, a rookie league affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 2013, he took a year leave of absence from his company to serve Governor Bill Haslam in a volunteer role as his special advisor on higher education assisting in the development of the Drive to 55 initiatives and the Tennessee Promise. The Tennessee Promise will provide free tuition and fees to community college to approximately 15,000 Tennesseans per year, all matched with a trained, volunteer mentor.  In addition to serving as commissioner of ECD, he is also chairman of the Governor’s Workforce Sub-Cabinet,  co-chairman of the Rural Taskforce and chairman of Launch Tennessee that supports entrepreneurship across the state, and chairman of the Aviation Task force, which is tasked with maintaining our nation leading airport infrastructure.

Jim Carter  James Carter, Ernst & Young Capital Advisors, LLC

Jim Carter is the senior managing director, head of U.S. M&A and Capital Debt Advisory for Ernst & Young Capital Advisors, LLC. Carter has 30 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.

Brian Daugherty  Brian Daugherty, Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association

Brian Daugherty is the chief technology officer for the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).  Before joining MEMA, Daugherty was the director of global intellectual property for Visteon Corporation. At Visteon, he managed intellectual property and advanced development programs, including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems (V2X). Prior to that, Daugherty was Visteon’s director of global advanced development.  During his 16-year tenure, Daugherty was also responsible for blind spot detection (BSD) systems for Honda and Chrysler. He led the team that developed a FlexRay-based, failsafe steer-by-wire system for GM’s Chevrolet Sequel.

Prior to Visteon, Daugherty spent 10 years at Ford Motor Company where he worked on robotics and advanced manufacturing as well as the development of electric power steering systems (EPS) and anti-lock braking systems (ABS).

He received a B.S. from the University of Texas at Austin and a M.S. from Stanford University, both in mechanical engineering.

Steve Davis headshot  Steven Davis, Comerica Bank

Steve Davis is a senior vice president with Comerica Bank. His responsibilities include Middle Market lending in Southeast Michigan as well as Comerica Leasing’s national leasing business. Collectively he manages approximately 500 customers and $4 billion in commitments. Davis joined Comerica Bank in 1992 and since that time has held various lending and management positions. He has over 20 years of experience servicing the diverse financial services needs of Middle Market Banking customers.

He holds a bachelor's degree in business and a MBA in finance from Michigan State University.

Among his many business and community affiliations, Davis has served as a board member of Loyola High School, Cass Community Social Services, the Comerica Michigan Market Corporate Contributions Committee, and the Executive Forum for the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. He also is a member of the Detroit Athletic Club and the Detroit Economic Club.

Todd Dubner headshot  Todd Dubner, KPMG Strategic Services Group

Todd Dubner is a principal with KPMG’s Strategic Services Group and has more than 24 years of experience in strategy and corporate development. He has advised clients in industrial manufacturing, consumer products, transportation and logistics and media and entertainment sectors on growth strategies, business transformations, performance improvements and organizational effectiveness topics.

Before joining KPMG, Todd served as a principal with the Boston Consulting Group, where he focused on strategy, large-scale transformation, and organizational design. Previously, he served as senior vice president for Network Communications, a media business, where he oversaw the interactive and direct marketing divisions and was responsible for the organization’s strategy and corporate development. Todd held leadership positions in strategy, M&A and general management at Cendant Corporation and Primedia. He began his career at Andersen Consulting.

Some of Todd’s recent work includes:

 Augustine (Gus) Faucher  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 11 years at Moody’s Analytics (formerly, where he was a director and senior economist. He also worked for seven 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 NewsNBC 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.

Chris Hall Headshot  Christopher Hall, Ford Motor Company 

Christopher S. Hall has worked in the Indirect Tax field for 28 years, leading global teams focused on sales tax, property tax, value added tax, and other non-income taxes. He has been with Ford Motor Company for 15 years and is currently responsible for Indirect Taxes for the parent company and North America region, as well as leadership for global transaction tax systems. Prior to joining Ford, Hall ran General Electric Company's shared services tax operation, held several other positions with GE and also worked for a start-up biomedical device company. He holds an MBA from University of South Florida, attended Totton College in England and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Florida Tech. He is a Certified Member of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation and currently serves as one of the Board of Governors of that organization. Hall lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he and his family have become avid supporters of the University of Michigan Wolverines.

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.

  Robert L. Hust, fbtAUTO, former General Counsel for Honda of America Mfg., Inc.

As former General Counsel for Honda of America Mfg., Inc., Bob Hust served not only as chief legal officer for Honda’s North American manufacturing operations but also as compliance officer and risk-management leader. Hust also helped found and lead, for three years, the Midwest office of Honda’s intellectual property legal group. In more than 21 years as an industry insider, Hust developed a deep understanding of the myriad issues confronting automotive manufacturing, including labor and employment, risk management, corporate compliance, facility/site selection, records retention, electronic discovery and IP planning and protection. He has partnered with executive management for OEMs and suppliers to provide strategic, yet practical, legal and business advice on all aspects of the business. Hust continues his strong working relationships with executives, managers and lawyers for OEMs and suppliers throughout the industry in his role as a co-chair of the firm’s Automotive Industry Team.

Photo  Marcos Jimenez, Softtek USA and Canada

Beginning 2011 Marcos Jimenez was appointed chief executive officer for Softtek USA and Canada, while continuing as a member of the organization’s Executive Board.

Jimenez joined Softtek in 1992, and quickly became a partner of the Banking business unit, to later venture into opening Softtek Peru. This enterprising effort provoked a domino effect in his professional career, and meant his past 19 years have been dedicated to Softtek. During this journey, he faced various challenging roles: a key entrepreneur in Peru, a sales leader in the U.S., and chief executive officer for Softtek Spain and the U.K. Since 2004, he has been responsible for Sales and Marketing of Softtek USA, where he managed to double the company’s profitability within a short time frame.

He holds a B.A. in Electronic Engineering from UAM (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana).

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).

  Robert Kinchen, Nissan North America

Coming Soon! 

Craig Korte Headshot  Craig Korte, Industrial Opportunity Partners, LLC

Craig Korte is the director of business development for Industrial Opportunity Partners. Korte's background includes more than 15 years of corporate-finance and investment banking experience. He has represented privately held companies, private equity firms and small-cap and mid-cap public companies in numerous M&A and capital-raising transactions. He also has led advisory assignments in restructuring and distressed M&A situations.

Korte has spent his career sourcing and executing middle-market transactions, primarily in the manufacturing, distribution and industrial services sectors. Most recently, Korte served as a managing director with D.A. Davidson & Company. Previously, he worked for several years at Lazard Middle Market LLC, and prior to that, at Brown Gibbons Lang & Company. Korte began his career in leveraged finance with Bank of America.

Korte earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BS degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

James Mackler headshot  James Mackler, Frost Brown Todd

Mackler is a member at Frost Brown Todd and focuses his practice on advising businesses on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), more commonly known as "drones". He works with clients on various regulatory and compliance elements of drone usage across a spectrum of industries including agriculture, real estate, construction, video production, entertainment, surveying, and the military and government agencies.  In addition to his drone-related practice, Mackler defends clients facing criminal prosecution or civil action by state and federal authorities. He has over 15 years of experience defending and prosecuting criminal cases at the state, federal and military level and assisting clients in the areas of regulatory compliance and civil litigation. Previously, Mackler served eight years of active duty in the U.S. Army. He spent three years as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot with the 101st Airborne Division, including a one-year deployment to Iraq. After returning from Iraq, Mackler transferred to the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps, where he served as a legal adviser to high-level commanders and as a supervising criminal prosecutor. Today, Mackler continues to serve as an attorney in the Tennessee Air National Guard, and he also holds a commercial helicopter pilot's certificate. 

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.

Kevin McMahon headshot  Kevin McMahon, The Potomac Alliance

Kevin McMahon concentrates on serving clients in the fields of transportation, energy, manufacturing, and international trade. He has over two decades of experience representing corporations and business organizations before Congress, the executive branch, and state governments. McMahon has developed an expertise in legislative and regulatory affairs, public policy analysis and strategic communications.

Prior to joining The Potomac Alliance, McMahon was a partner at a large law firm. He also served as vice president of Government Affairs for a Fortune 500 company – representing its interests in Washington for 14 years. He began his career as legal counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where his areas of responsibility included: commercial law, antitrust, bankruptcy, product liability law, and other civil justice issues. He currently supports the Automotive Safety Council (ASC) Board of Directors as legal counsel.

As a recognized public policy expert, McMahon was appointed by both President Clinton and President Bush to serve on the Auto Parts Advisory Committee (APAC). He is an advocate for tort reform at the state and federal level and served as chairman of the American Tort Reform Association and remains active with this organization. McMahon is also an advocate for enhanced vehicle & occupant safety. In recognition of his commitment to auto safety, he was awarded the Public Relations Society of America “Silver Anvil” award, which acknowledges outstanding political advocacy campaigns.

McMahon completed his undergraduate studies in political science at the University of California. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He is a member of both the District of Columbia and South Carolina Bar Associations.

Jeffrey J. Owens  Jeffrey J. Owens, Delphi Automotive

Jeffrey J. Owens is chief technology officer and executive vice president of Delphi Automotive. Owens is responsible for Delphi's enterprise information technology function and Delphi's global engineering organization, which includes more than 19,000 technologists located in 15 major tech centers. He leads the company's innovation strategies while driving advanced technologies supporting the global megatrends of safe, green and connected.

He began his automotive career in 1973 as an engineering student at General Motors Institute (now Kettering University). He later served in a variety of engineering, manufacturing, finance and product line assignments at GM and Delphi.

In 2001, Owens became president of Delphi's Electronics & Safety division, and from 2006 to 2009, he also served as president of Delphi Asia Pacific. He became chief technology officer and senior vice president in 2012 and was named executive vice president a year later.

Owens has a bachelor's degree in engineering from Kettering University and a master's degree in business administration from Ball State University. He currently serves as chairman of the Kettering University Board of Trustees.

Douglas Patton  Douglas E. Patton, DENSO International America, Inc.

Doug Patton is executive vice president of Engineering and chief technical officer of DENSO International America, Inc. (DIAM), and senior director of DENSO Corporation. Located at DENSO’s North American headquarters in Southfield, Michigan, he oversees all North American product engineering and development, campus facilities and operations, all testing and technical services, and engineering administration. He is responsible for climate control; engine components and systems and components; engine electrical; safety products; cluster, in-vehicle-infotainment (IVI) and body electronics, and small motor engineering.

Patton joined DENSO in 1986, where he managed heavy duty electrical sales and strategic business development for the U.S. on- and off- highway truck market. In 1988, he became senior manager of the General Motors Co. account, responsible for maintaining customer business. In 1993, Patton was promoted to director of Sales, responsible for managing business development for new business segments, overseeing BMW North American business and directing DaimlerChrysler sales activity in the U.S. and Europe.

In December 1999, Patton became vice president of Customer Development, assuming responsibility for Sales Planning, Ford Business and Heavy Duty/Off Highway Business and Service Center. One year later, he became vice president of Engineering, responsible for overseeing the Powertrain, Safety and Engine Electrical Engineering groups. When promoted to executive vice president in 2014, he took responsibility for all research and development while maintaining his previous senior vice president engineering responsibilities.

Before joining DENSO, Patton served as a release engineer and later a senior market analyst at Caterpillar, Inc.

Patton earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1977 and a Master of Business Administration in 1984, both from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.

Currently, Patton serves as president of the DENSO Foundation Board, president of the Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) and became an ESD Fellow in 2014. Patton is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), where he participates on the SAE Finance Committee; he also serves as member of the SAE Executive Leadership Team for the North American International Powertrain Conference. Patton is also a member of Lawrence Technological University’s College of Engineering Advisory Board.

Terry Pierce Headshot  Terry Pierce, Fluent Network

Terry Pierce came to Fluent in June 2016 as the vice president of customer development. His most recent accomplishments come by way of PrimeRevenue, where he spent the past two plus years as the leading Strategic Account Executive, signing master service agreements representing nearly $70 billion of annualized supplier spend. At Fluent, Pierce is responsible the overall customer acquisition strategy with significant focus on business and product development.

Pierce began his career in the National Football League, drafted in the 2nd Round (51)of the 2003 NFL Draft to the Denver Broncos after leaving Kansas State University after his Junior season as an Academic All-American and All-American Linebacker. Pierce also joined the NFL’s Business Program, a joint program with Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business where he studied Commercial Banking, Investments and Entrepreneurship. 

Upon his official NFL Retirement in 2006, Pierce moved back to Kansas City to continue his professional finance career. He held Financial Services positions ranging from Global Private Client Wealth Advisor with Merrill Lynch to Managing Director at MassMutual Financial Group.

Pierce joined Pollenware in 2010 as the Supplier Sales Lead and manager of the newly created Supplier Relationship Team to help the start-up build the process for selling the Buyer Funded Dynamic Discounting Solution to their suppliers. He played a crucial role in Pollenware becoming C2FO and moved on to establish a stellar record in Commercial Finance.

Pierce holds a Bachelor of Business Administration-Financial Management from Kansas State University, an Associate of Business Administration-Commercial Banking from University of Missouri-KC, and his series 7 and 66 securities licenses. He is a member of the International Factoring Association, Association for Financial Professionals, International Trade and Finance Association, and the National Football League Retired Players Association.

At home Pierce likes to spend outside playing with his wife (Shauna, Fitness Instructor) and two children (Sienna, 7 and Stellan, 3.5). As a family, they enjoy anything outside, sports and health related.

Joanna Pinkerton headshot  Joanna Pinkerton, Honda/Ohio State University Partnership

Ms. Pinkerton has a history of implementing solutions to capitalize on Ohio’s rich legacy of transportation, manufacturing and technical resources. She has worked in public, private and academic organizations, and possess deep expertise of how the operations of such entities can be leveraged to develop unique partnerships for faster delivery and economic gain. Upon joining
the university in 2012, Pinkerton served as the chief operating officer at the OSU Center for Automotive Research, one of the university’s largest research enterprises. Now serving as the Co-Director of the Honda/OSU Partnership, she is working with the college, university, industry and state executive teams to develop long-term strategies for utilization and growth of the university's transportation expertise and assets.

Prior to joining Ohio State, Pinkerton served as the first person at the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) responsible for identifying and implementing prioritization of transportation investments to support growth in manufacturing and logistics industries.

Her career in transportation investment has included engineering responsibilities in Union County (Marysville, Ohio) where she supported development and investment projects along the NW US33 Innovation Corridor, home to many significant automotive and high-tech companies.

Pinkerton resides in Circleville, Ohio with her sons Colton and Grant. They share a passion for music, sports and outdoor recreational activities. She shares her passion for both the arts and STEM-related education as a board member and volunteer for several groups in Central Ohio where she is involved in providing mentorship and funding for both artistic and advanced technology programs in K-12 schools. Pinkerton holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Ohio Northern University and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Ohio.

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

Robert Sartin is co-chair of the fbtAUTO team at Frost Brown Todd. 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.

  Tom Shoupe, Honda of America Mfg., Inc.

Tom Shoupe is executive vice president and chief operating officer at Honda of America Mfg., Inc. (HAM), where he also serves as a member of the company’s operations committee, a senior leadership team that establishes business strategies for the company’s operations, which include three plants in Ohio.

Shoupe is a member of Honda’s North American Regional Operating Board, which is responsible for regional strategy and the development of business planning and deployment across the company’s North American operations. In addition, he is a co-leader of Honda's auto manufacturing and engineering functions in North America.

Prior to returning to Ohio in 2014 to assume these roles, Shoupe spent three years at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC (HMA) in Lincoln, Alabama, as the company’s president and chief executive officer responsible for all HMA operations. HMA manufactures Honda and Acura light truck products and V-6 engines.

Shoupe joined Honda in 1988 in corporate planning. In 1990, he was named manager of two departments: government and community relations; and foreign trade zone and customs (production control). Shoupe was named senior manager of Honda of America’s North American task group in 1993, and served a two-year assignment in Japan where he focused on production control and new model development.

He returned to Ohio in 1995 and was named senior manager of the company services group, followed by assignment as senior manager of the manufacturing planning group at Honda’s East Liberty Auto Plant. He was named plant manager of East Liberty in 1998.

In 2000, Shoupe was promoted to vice president and plant manager of Honda of America’s Marysville Auto Plant. During his tenure at the Marysville Auto Plant, he oversaw the plant’s “innovation project,” which replaced major weld systems and reorganized the assembly line to increase production flexibility, efficiency and quality.

In 2006, Shoupe was named senior vice president of Honda of America Mfg. and a member of the Honda of America operations committee, a top management team focused on establishing and executing company strategic direction.

Before joining Honda, Shoupe served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Representatives Thomas N. Kindness and Michael G. Oxley. Shoupe earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Shoupe and his wife, Lisa, have three children.

John Wagster bio  John Wagster, fbtAUTO

John Wagster is a member of the fbtAUTO team at Frost Brown Todd and specializes in helping multinational companies forge cross-cultural contractual arrangements around the world, using industry best practices and western-style contracts. Wagster has particular experience in technology law, which he uses on behalf of OEMs and suppliers to help them maximize the return on their technology spend while protecting their technology assets. He has also assisted with outsourcing strategies and partner due diligence for dozens of companies across the U.S., Europe and Asia. Wagster has previously served as inside and outside counsel to technology companies in Silicon Valley and China and also served as the staff director of a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs in Washington, D.C.

  Daniel J. Weiner, Schafer & Weiner, PLLC

In 1985, Daniel Weiner co-founded Schafer and Weiner, PLLC with the late Arnold Schafer and grew this firm into a nationally recognized force of talented and creative problem solvers for debtors and creditors of all shapes and sizes.  Now approaching its 32nd year of excellence, Schafer and Weiner sets the standard for law firms of any size with unparalleled commitment, creativity and results.

Weiner grew up in the courtroom earning special trial awards at Hofstra University School of Law and soon litigated complex cases for multinational automotive suppliers, publicly traded retailers, gaming conglomerates and developers. Weiner learned to leverage his courtroom skills with his willingness to outwork his adversaries to achieve remarkable results, whether in the courtroom or at the negotiating table.

Weiner soon channeled these energies into the arena of business reorganizations, gaining outstanding outcomes for Chapter 11 Debtors, Unsecured Creditors’ Committees, secured lenders and trustees. While by no means limited to the manufacturing sector, his tactical insights into the automotive supply chain regularly lead to results beyond expectations. 

To continually sharpen his skills, Weiner often publishes and lectures to professionals and valued clients. He writes as a contributing author for the Turnaround Management Association, Journal of Corporate Renewal - Co-author (When the New Sheriff Comes to Town:  Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law, June, 2014), and (Auto Industry Changes Threaten Delicately Balanced System, Spring 2009), co-author for The Institute of Continuing Legal Education (Litigation in Bankruptcy Court, Handling Consumer and Small Business Bankruptcies in Michigan 2009), co-author for the Collier Bankruptcy Practice Guide(Partnership and Partner Bankruptcies 2006), contributing author to Bankruptcy and Its Impact on LLC Membership Interests, published by The Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2006 LLC & Business Entity Update, and co-author for the Michigan Business Law Journal (Swords and Shields – Prepayment Premiums In and Out of Bankruptcy 2003).

Dr. Andreas Wölfle  Dr. Andreas Wöelfle, Gowling WLG

Dr. Andreas Wöelfle is a partner with Gowling WLG in Germany focused on corporate work. Prior to Gowling, Wöelfle served as a partner with German law firm Menold Bezler where his practice focused in the area of mergers and acquisitions and corporate law. Wöelfle 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.

Wöelfle’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.

Wöelfle attended the University of Hamburg Würzburg and the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim. 

Jon Wood headshot  Jonathan (Jon) Wood, Bridgestone Americas, Inc.

Jonathan “Jon” Wood is the executive director of innovation and collaboration at Bridgestone Americas Inc., responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with universities, industry researchers, think tanks, and 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. He is located in Bridgestone’s Americas Technical Center in Akron, Ohio.

Wood previously has served as chief intellectual property counsel at Bridgestone Americas, senior counsel of intellectual property for Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn. and an associate at the law firm of Workman, Nydegger in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Wood holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, a master’s degree in organic chemistry from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and a bachelor of science in chemistry from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.

He has spoken many times on the topic of intellectual property in Europe, North America, China and Japan.

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; as an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and on the school’s Advisory Committee for the Law, Technology and Arts Program. Wood received the Ron Russell Perseverance Award in 2009 by the North Canton YMCA and was named the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus, College of Sciences, at Harding University.

David Woodward headshot  David J. Woodward, FTI Consulting Global

David Woodward is a senior managing director at FTI Consulting and is based in Chicago, Illinois. Woodward has more than 36 years of financial, operating and mergers and acquisitions experience in a variety of industry sectors, including approximately 30 years in the transportation (automotive and heavy truck) industry. Recent engagements include Chassix, Ecotality Corporation, Prince Sports, J.L French Automotive Casings, National Envelope, Citation Corp., Grede Foundries, Key Plastics and others.

Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Woodward held senior positions at Ernst and Young Corporate Finance and Giuliani Capital Advisors in Troy, Michigan. He has extensive experience representing companies, lenders, unsecured creditors and various other stakeholders.

Woodward holds a B.A. in accounting, with a minor in economics from Westminster College. He is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth, Turnaround Management Association, American Bankruptcy Institute and Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors. He is also a certified insolvency and restructuring advisor.

Laura Wrocklage headshot  Laura Wrocklage, Comerica Bank

Laura Wrocklage is the Asia Group manager of International Finance and a senior vice president at Comerica Bank (NYSE: CMA), a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas with assets over $70 billion.

Wrocklage has been at the bank for 29 years and managed a variety of business units including the Emerging Markets Group, the Offshore Group and select foreign representative offices.  She has also spent time in Comerica’s Large Corporate division, managing corporate customer portfolios and teams of credit analysts. Prior to joining Comerica, she held financial positions at Citibank in New York.  Wrocklage is a current board member of The Japan America Society, former board member for Michigan’s China Business Roundtable and is active in numerous Asian-related business organizations.

Wrocklage has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA in finance from Michigan State University.  

Al Zapanta headshot  Albert Zapanta, U.S.- Mexico Chamber of Commerce

Al Zapanta is the president and CEO of the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, based in Washington D.C. The United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, bi-national corporation that promotes trade and investment between the two North American nations. The chamber represents more than 2,000 businesses in the U.S. and Mexico, and maintains 14 regional offices in the U.S. and six in Mexico.

He is also chairman of the board for the U.S.-Mexico Cultural and Educational Foundation. Zapanta has worked in business, government and politics for more than 36 years. In the private sector, he worked as an industrial engineer for Bethlehem Steel and as director of governmental affairs for ARCO until his retirement in 1993. His governmental and political experience includes appointments to various government commissions and advisory committees by Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and both Bushes.

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld appointed Zapanta as chairman of the Reserve Focuses Policy Board (RFPB) on March 21, 2002. The RFPB was established by congressional statue in 1952 and acts as the principal, independent policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense on all matters involving the reserve components of the Unites States Armed Forces.

Zapanta served President Nixon as a White House Fellow in 1973-1974. He was appointed by President Ford to serve as assistant secretary of administration and management, U.S. Department of Interior (1976-1977). President Reagan appointed him to the U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on International Trade Technology and Development, and President George W. Bush named him a private sector delegate to the U.S.-Mexico Partnership for Prosperity.

Zapanta earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1966, a Master of Public Administration in 1973 and completed his doctoral studies in International Political Economy from the University of Southern California. He also graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Business and the Inter-American Defense College at National Defense University. During his military service, Zapanta received the Silver Star, five Bronze Stars of Valor, the Purple Heart and 30 other awards during the Vietnam War.