Our Extended Expert Network

Experts in our network have on average over 35 years of experience at senior levels across major OEMs, their brands,  suppliers and fleets in the industry.   

Examples include:

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Summary Biographies


Brian Ballschmidt

  • Engineering 

  • Product Development

  • Commercial Vehicles

Brian Ballschmidt has over 30 years of product development, program management, product planning, strategy and business development experience in the automotive/commercial vehicle industry.  In his long career with International Truck/Navistar Brian filled such roles as Director of Sales Operations/Engineering, Chief Product Specialist, Vehicle Chief Engineer, Division Manager-Vehicle Engineering, Senior Program Manager, and Functional Chief Engineer.   Since late 2017 Brian has been an independent consultant and engaged in electrification of commercial vehicles as well as various business development and technical leadership roles.


David Bates

  • Mfg Quality

  • Supplier Quality

  • Program Mgmt

David Bates is a Senior QAQC engineer specializing in automotive technology and engineered component/product manufacturing with a career long track record in quality engineering, SQA/SQE, auditing, lean, 5S, risk and FMEA and crisis management. He is currently contracted as a project manager for bright ware and painted stainless steel products for a tier 1 manufacturer in the UK. David has extensive experience with complex multi-site production facilities leading teams to make leaps in quality, productivity and efficiency. David’s career in automotive began with an apprenticeship in Polymer extrusion, which upon completion led to his focus in quality engineering. He worked for two Magna sites in the UK as quality engineer then senior quality engineer. David then become an independent contractor in the industry with his continued skills in product quality engineering and supplier quality.


Darlene Deane

  • Supplier Quality & Auditing

  • Risk Management

  • Launch

Darlene Deane is an experienced supply chain and product management professional with expertise in risk management, supplier auditing, and supplier launch, primarily in the US but also extensive experience in Europe, Mexico, and Asia.  During her 30-year career at Ford Motor Company, Darlene held multiple roles in supplier quality and launch including the Ford Mustang and Ford Explorer leading her teams to beat their quality, cost and timing objectives. She has audited or led crisis teams in almost every aspect of the vehicle not related to engine components with hundreds of positive supplier reviews. Darlene is an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer and served two terms on the Board of Directors and as a Regional Director. She holds a Master’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering from University of Michigan – Dearborn and an undergraduate engineering degree in Industrial Engineering from Kettering University.


Jeff Foos

  • Crisis Management

  • Quality

  • Product Launch

Jeffrey Foos has 30 plus years of New Product Launches with a customer base including automotive customers in the EU, Japan, and North America. He has extensive experience collaborating with engineering for new product launches, providing products that meet statistical and part requirements.  Jeff’s recent projects have included launch and dimensional integrity of complex die cast and machined housings for the new mid-engine Corvette DCT transmission in both EU for design and prototype and North Carolina for production startup.  He also provided extensive supplier assessments for a major aerospace supplier to determine risk of a 30-percent increase in production schedule.  Jeff also has experience in the refrigeration industry producing high volume refrigerators setting quality and productivity records during a plant closure notification.  Jeff was a Business Unit Manager in the high-volume snack food industries and served as an on-call 24 /7 acting Plant Manager.  He has had multiple roles with custom roll form, cast iron, powered metal, high pressure and semi-permanent mold die casting processes.   Jeff now consults primarily in crisis management, quality and product launch areas.


Barb Grant

  • Executive Coaching

  • Human Resources

  • Organizational Development

Barb Grant is an executive coach and HR professional with over 35 years of experience in Human Resources and Change Management. As a coach and consultant, she has supported senior leaders and leadership teams in developing and implementing significant changes in vision, mission, operating processes, structure and culture. Barb’s primary strength involves working with senior leaders as both a sounding board and facilitator as they strive to implement change, improve their style, resolve conflict and develop a winning culture. Barb spent three decades in the automotive industry. As an HR and Change Management professional she provided business support to senior leadership teams in multiple global divisions. Her experience includes salary and executive compensation administration, talent management, change management, individual and team assessment, diversity, employee engagement and executive coaching. As a consultant, she has provided facilitation, leadership development experiences and executive coaching for clients including: Alix Partners, Beaumont Health, Blue Heron Talent, Grace Centers of Hope, HealthGrades, Inteva Products, Leader Dogs for the Blind, Levi Strauss, McLaren Macomb, Oshkosh Corporation, Parkview Health and the University of Michigan.


Martin Harrington

  • Manufacturing Operations

  • P & L

Martin’s automotive career began at the CAMI Joint Venture between GM and Suzuki in Ingersoll, Canada, for 16 years leading all key operating departments of the automotive manufacturing process including Stamping, Body, Paint, General Assembly and Quality. He also negotiated two collective bargaining agreements and launched the Chevrolet Equinox as executive launch manager in 2004. Martin has also been a general manager with P&L responsibilities for over seven years for international tier 1 automotive suppliers establishing footprints in North America and launched several green field manufacturing sites at the tier 1 and OEM level. His experience also includes six years in the industrial and aerospace industries. He has led his divisions to gain certification in such Quality Standards as ISO 9001 and 14001, TS16949 and AS 9100. Martin had several manufacturing leadership roles at Fisker Automotive leading up to plant manager for Karma’s (formerly Fisker) new California facility. He has been successful in bringing operational excellence into manufacturing organizations that have had a dramatic effect on the financial bottom line.


Jim Haverland

  • Paint Shop

  • Polymer Engineering

Jim Haverland is an executive with deep experience in paint and polymer engineering and processes.  Haverland has over 50 years in the automotive industry starting at General Motors Institute as a co-op student and progressing through operations roles in all departments of the paint shop in GM’s Linden, New Jersey, assembly plant.   Jim then moved into leadership roles in the paint engineering center of expertise at GM’s Warren, Michigan, Technical Center.    Through the duration of his GM executive career, Jim led all aspects of paint engineering including materials, process, facilities and equipment for both metal and plastics.  From 2000 to 2009 Jim was responsible for the launch and leadership of the Polymer manufacturing engineering group as well assisting purchasing, supplier quality and engineering with tier 1 molding and painting of various polymer substrates including carbon fiber, SMC, TPO, etc.


Peter Hempenstall

  • Sales Leadership

  • Marketing & Distribution

  • Truck Equipment Industry

Peter Hempenstall is a well-respected 30-year veteran in the Truck Equipment Industry with extensive experience in Manufacturing, Sales and Distribution.  He has worked closely with National Fleet Accounts, Investor-Owned Utilities, OEM’s and OEM Tier One Suppliers.  Peter has served in many sales and marketing leadership positions including Director of Sales & Marketing for Manning Equipment, National Sales Manager and Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Reading Truck Group, Sales Manager for Altec Industries and Senior Director of Sales and Outreach for the National Truck Equipment Association. Peter has shown strong leadership abilities in driving sales/marketing operations and building top-performing teams resulting in the sale of multi-million-dollar business opportunities and successfully negotiating the resulting contracts.  His key skills include Sales Leadership, Operations Management, Program Development, Strategic Planning, Competitive Intelligence, Team Building, Client Relations, Market Penetration and Negotiations.


Cindy Houeiss

  • Electrical/Software

  • Product Development

  • Quality Systems

Cindy Houeiss is a product development leader performing auditing and remedial services in systems and process design, ISO 9001 certification, electrical engineering process and verification, agile and waterfall software development, technical management, supply chain management, manufacturing 5S auditing, part costing, global strategies, and program management. Her career includes over 25 years in product development as a lead engineer and engineering manager. Cindy’s experience is rooted in over 27 years with General Motors plus an additional 6-plus years split between HUMMER, Halliburton (oil & gas services), Harley-Davidson and Polaris Indian Motorcycles. Cindy has experience in all phases of product development and can streamline organizations and processes, assist in OEM supplier strategy to set realistic expectations and perform deliverable recovery/risk mitigation during execution.


Douglas Jerry

  • Materials

  • Supply Chain

  • BoM

  • Change Management

Douglas Jerry consults in Program Management, Logistics, New Model Launch, Quality Control, Purchasing, General Stores, New Vehicle Delivery, Warehousing & Distribution, Project Management, Throughput Optimization, Cost Utilization, Production Development & Implementation, and In-line Vehicles Sequencing (ILVS). Doug’s career consists of over 10 years of experience as a supplier in Logistics, Port Authority and Manufacturing with Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Chrysler. Doug also worked directly for Ford Motor Company for over 12 years. During his tenure at Ford Wixom, Doug worked in Materials and Logistics, Safety, Production and New Model Launch programs for several Lincoln models, the Ford Thunderbird, and Ford GT 40. He also worked at Ford Dearborn Diversified Plant where he launched nine different Axle Combinations, Coil Over Shocks, Front Wheel End Assemblies and Tire & Wheel for the New F150 and F150 Raptor pickup trucks. His most recent role was with Tremec in Belgium, Michigan and Queretaro, Mexico, where he worked on Dual Clutch Transmission development of the PFEP (Plan For Every Part) and APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning). As an independent consultant, Doug launches or recovers programs from constrained or crisis situations with troubled suppliers using multiple skills developed through his years of experience.


Al Kammerer

  • Program Execution

  • Product/Business Strategy

  • Product Development

  • Launch

Al is a Product Development senior executive with over 40 years of global automotive experience -- 34 of those years with Ford Motor Company. Vehicle program delivery, including product strategy, design, engineering, development, supplier interface and manufacturing launch have been his major focus areas. Through a variety of non-technical roles, Al developed strong business strategy, planning and program management acumen. He has excellent leadership skills, having led a team of up to 3,500 employees and has been part of an operating committee for a $60 billion revenue automotive business.  Among Al's accomplishments at Ford he led the product development of the Ford Focus as the first car to win both the European and North American Car of the Year awards.   He also led product strategy and program approval for the Ford Aerostar, led both the truck and car business strategy and cycle plan groups including regulatory compliance strategies and led the team that launched the Escape Hybrid as the industry's first hybrid SUV and Ford's first use of hybrid electric technology.   Since leaving Ford Al has had a number of technology start-up and consulting engagements and board positions.


Siva Kumar

  • Product Strategy

  • Business Strategy

  • Finance

Siva Kumar has spent over thirty years in the automotive & commercial vehicle industry and has held positions of increasing leadership responsibility in Business and Finance with extensive global experience in the US as well as in China, India and Japan. He has in-depth experience in Electric Powertrains, Telematics, Axles, Brakes and Chassis systems. His business roles include the areas of Product and Business Strategy, Sales & Business Development, Program management & Launch and his Finance roles include working as a Controller, Corporate Finance Manager, and Treasury professionsl with Capital Markets experience.  In his later stage career, Siva was a Senior Director at Meritor, a $4 billion manufacturer of powertrain systems for commercial vehicles and industrial products.   At Meritor he launched new businesses in P & L roles while driving margin improvement and helping to turnaround existing businesses.  Following his OEM and supplier career experience, Siva founded Skanda Capital Advisors LLC, where he has focused on advising executive leadership at mid-market firms with turnarounds, process improvement and product development.   Additionally as part of the Inventev leadership team Siva helps identify and participate in Inventev advisory service engagements and work truck electrification core technology development.


Craig Larkin

  • Supply Chain

  • Purchasing

Craig B. Larkins transforms the purchasing function by being an accomplished purchasing professional with over 35 years of experience. This experience is rooted in the most technical of industries, and at multiple levels from junior buyer to senior manager. In Automotive (Tremec in Belgium); Rail (Wabtec and Bombardier), Aerospace (Lucas), Defence (BAE Systems) and Electronics (Cinch and Marconi). His recent role in Belgium for Tremec in dual clutch transmission development enabled his use of skills in supplier lead time reduction, cost reduction, supplier relationship improvement, new processes, documents and systems introduction, supplier management & consolidation, contract writing and negotiation, SAP system proficiency and the training and mentoring of select staff.


Tom Liem

  • EV Startups

  • Commodities

  • Supply Chain

  • Joint Ventures

Following 5 years in Purchasing at General Motors’ joint venture with Toyota Motor Corp. (NUMMI), Tom joined GM’s Global Purchasing and Supply Chain Organization.  During his 20years at GM, Tom progressed through the organization in multiple departments of commodity management from raw materials, chassis and driveline to complete interiors.  He was involved in several significant business transactions including the spin-off and ongoing relationship management with American Axle and the formation of Nexsteer.  Tom was promoted to Director of Program Purchasing – GM Full Size Trucks in 2003.   After several successful global truck program launches he was assigned Vice President of Purchasing for the HUMMER deal team with the intent to assist in the brand spin-off.  Upon GM’s decision not to sell the HUMMER brand, Tom led GM’s Performance, Hybrid and Luxury Car Program Purchasing organization through sixteen product launches including the Chevrolet VOLT, Cadillac ATS and Chevrolet C7 Corvette.  Tom left GM in 2014 joining the restart management team at Karma Automotive in southern California.  He progressed from Director of Purchasing to Vice President of Supply Chain with global responsibilities.  Now as President of TAL Group consulting Tom is supporting Inventev and select other diverse global companies in operations strategy, organizational development, supplier cost optimization and direct supplier negotiations.


Jim Maes

  • Strategy

  • Planning

  • Business Case Development

Jim Maes is a product planning, portfolio strategy, and finance automotive executive with 26 years of experience. His career at Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) was focused in finance, sales operations, global product planning, volume and pricing strategies. He also performed competitive assessments and strategy development for emissions and fuel economy compliance (at both the vehicle and portfolio levels), electrification, and extensive future product business case development. He has an international perspective with assignments serving in Australia and the UK. Jim was a product planning leader in developing some of FCA’s most successful and profitable vehicles: Minivans and the RAM 1500. Within Portfolio Strategy, he led renewal and whitespace studies for the Iconic Jeep and Dodge brands. Most recently, Jim was Director – Global Product Strategy at Meritor, a Tier 1 supplier of axles, brakes, drivelines, and suspensions for medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. In this role he led the advanced planning for modular electrified axles, eBrakes, strategic partner studies for complete system electrification, and extensive studies in alternative propulsion. Based on his solid understanding of the total business, Jim delivers value across a broad spectrum from setting high-level strategies, to vehicle regulatory compliance, to product execution.


Mark Meisel

  • Supply Chain

  • Component Quality

  • Delivery

Mark Meisel is a global supply chain and component quality and delivery consultant rooted in a career spanning 35 years at GM and Allison Transmission; 21 years focused in manufacturing and quality systems and 14 years in supplier quality and development. Mark’s career began at GM Central Foundry Division with manufacturing and quality system responsibilities. In 1998 Mark relocated to Doraville Georgia as the GM Powertrain Quality Resident Engineer at this midsize van assembly facility. Mark moved to Germany in 1999 as the Program Quality Manager for 2.2L L850 Global Engine program for Fiat GM Powertrain. A leader in the Global Product Team, he provided strategic direction for team members from the US, Italy, UK, Sweden and Germany. Upon repatriation to Indianapolis Mark was appointed Manager of Supplier Quality GM/Allison Transmission then promoted to Executive Director of Supplier Quality. He and his team were responsible for supplier development and day to day supplied component quality for the global manufacturing of nearly 200,000 heavy duty automatic transmissions annually. Leaving Allison in 2016, Mark has since been a consultant in supply chain development, quality and delivery.


Max Moore

  • Lean-Agile Product Development

  • Program/Portfolio Management

  • Design Thinking/DFSS/DFX

  • Risk Management

  • Supplier and Quality System

Max Moore is a successful Product Development, Project Management, and Quality professional with over 3 decades experience working for and consulting with OEMs (automotive, heavy equipment, motorcycle, golf car, and electric/hybrid vehicle manufacturers) as well as Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers in the automotive, global industrial, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries. Max’s product development experience spans from leading the team that designed, developed, tested, and launched the original Ford Explorer SUV to working with Caterpillar, Harley-Davidson, and numerous other organizations to improve their product realization processes, to leading the outside engineering services team tasked with developing a “clean sheet” ground up new design golf car featuring several industry-first innovations with targets for labor cost reduction, quality improvement, maintenance time, and operating cost all exceeded. Max also had the opportunity to provide subject matter expertise in the areas of product development, program management, quality, and risk assessment while conducting on-site plant assessments of tooling suppliers for an OEM customer. Over (80) facilities in (10) countries were reviewed. Max holds PMP (PMI), Quality Engineer, Quality Manager, Six Sigma black belt (ASQ), and SAFe Scrum Master (Scaled Agile, Inc.) certification credentials. He is also a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Michigan.


Tom Niessen

  • Strategy

  • Launch

  • IT Systems

  • Program Management

Tom Niessen is a senior-level change agent with over 30-years of experience in diverse industrial leadership positions and consulting engagements.  He has worked across international markets for global automotive OEMs, energy companies and their associated supply chains.   Following his early career years in technical authoring, quality engineering, information technology and software development, Tom diversified his experience into general management/P&L, crisis and change management and IT system architecture & digital transformation in such firms as Mekanotjanst AB, AVK Valves, Rotex Automation Pvt Ltd among others.   He has architected strategies in operations, procurement/supply-chain,  product development and change & crisis management to deliver outstanding value propositions to organizations in phases of global expansion, diversification, transformation, corporate integration, and mergers. 


David O'Callaghan

  • Launch

  • Crisis Management

  • Supplier Quality

David O’Callaghan specializes in program management (new component launches), resolving production constraints, and leading resolution of production crises in high volume and stressful situations. Dave's career consisted mostly of 30 years at Ford Motor Company where he held various positions in Vehicle Assembly Operations, Product Development, and Purchasing (Supplier Quality). He was responsible for leading resolution of supplier quality issues for ongoing vehicle production and new vehicle model vehicle launches, managing plant resident supervisors at all North American truck assembly facilities, and executing Tier 1 supplier component launches and APQP for high risk suppliers and parts. In his last ten years at Ford Motor Company he focused on leading and resolving production constraints and crises (including the launch of the GT Supercar) at Tier 1 suppliers located in the USA, Mexico, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Now as an independent consultant, Dave launches or recovers programs from constrained or crisis situations particularly at troubled suppliers using his hands-on approach and the strong communication, networking, and team building skills he has developed.


James Powell

  • Planning & Alternative Fuels

  • International Programs

  • Homologation

Jim Powell has had key executive posts is his 31 year career at GM and held significant product planning and development duties including six years overseas  and export responsibilities for the Chevrolet Volt. Jim began working in the alternative energy field developing heat exchangers for one of the first commercial fuel cell power plants while with the Harrison Division of GM.   Jim then moved to the Detroit area and began work in product planning for the GM Truck Group where he held several positions in powertrain, capacity and vehicle planning.   He was the Product Planner for the Full Size Truck Program.  In 1991 Jim was tapped to lead product portfolio planning as well as truck and cross-vehicle planning in Europe.  Leveraging his years of alternative fuel and international experience,  Jim led several car and truck export programs focusing on promoting alternative propulsion solutions from 2006 until 2010.   He now serves as a consultant and leads Inventev’s efforts to model vehicle performance and energy efficiency.


Gordon Shutek

  • Product Development

  • Engineering & Quality

  • Military Ground Vehicles

  • Government Programs

Gordon Shutek has over 35 years of experience in the design and development of military vehicles with a very strong focus on requirements and System Engineering.  As the Sr Director of Engineering for General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) he led the successful design, development, production launch and fielding of the Stryker 8x8 family of vehicles (9 different variants) to the US Army as well as worked on the development of the Abrams main battle tank to include the latest version fielded, M1A2 SEP V3.  In addition he has successfully led many concept and prototype development explorations for both heavy and light weight reconnaissance vehicles for GDLS to include parallel and serial  hybrid electric drives as well as conventional drive trains for both 8x8 and 4x4 vehicles.   Gordon now consults in product development, engineering, supplier assessments and improvements for product and process.


Stu Smith

  • Marketing

  • Product Programs, Leadership Development

  • Training

Stu Smith is a Marketing Strategy, Sales Operations and Recruiting leader, with over 30 years of automotive experience, primarily at Ford Motor Company, where he served in a variety of field (sales and service) and corporate marketing positions, including Vice President of Think Mobility, LLC, Marketing Launch Manager of the (original) Ford Escape, and Manager of Team Ford Racing, the customer enthusiast club. His specialties include: Marketing and Brand strategy development, assessing current state performance, and identifying critical success factors and performance metrics for moving forward. Stu delivers strategically aligned processes to day-to-day operations and has demonstrated a unique ability to uncover and activate the talent in others.  He also has a variety of speaking experiences, from dealer introduction shows to training events, and has served as the company spokesperson at auto shows, media and recruiting events. His other professional experiences include PCS- Global (leadership & organizational effectiveness consulting), McDonnell Douglas, the Disney Corporation, and Right Management.


James Steinmiller

  • Manufacturing

  • Crisis Management

  • Facilities

James Steinmiller performs crisis management and recovery in industrial operations based on his thirty-plus years of managing industrial projects, such as increasing machine up-time, machine safety integration, large equipment space allocation, and facilities projects. Jim’s early career encompassed 22 years at Doehler Jarvis where he held positions including journeyman tool & die maker, die shop supervisor, machine shop department head, production manager and facilities manager. He then became plant manager at Maumee Valley Fabricators for 7 years managing a 45-person 2-shift operation. For the next ten years Jim was General Manager of Procon Services in Toledo, OH for this industrial and engineering services contractor. In this role he oversaw engineering and fabrication services, job quotes, proposal creation, customer satisfaction, vendor management, material ordering, project budgets, CAD design and personnel training. Jim now serves as a Senior Industrial Crisis Advisor for immediate triage and improvement actions and skilled in a broad array of manufacturing and facility disciplines.


Dave Stenson

  • Founder & CEO

  • Strategy

  • Product Development

  • Validation & Launch

  • Vehicle Programs & Engineering

A native of the Detroit area, Dave Stenson has numerous technical and business accomplishments over a 29-year career with General Motors concentrated in Product Development, Engineering and Program Management.  Among his roles were Vehicle Line Executive, Trucks, for GM of Mexico; Chief Engineer, GM of Mexico and Vehicle Line Director for the Pontiac Solstice program.  He was later responsible globally for business operations of GM’s Computer Aided Design systems, production Bills of Material and Engineering Change Management.  Dave became Executive Director of GM Performance Division in late 2008 and Chief Technical Officer of GM’s HUMMER Division in April 2009 on the senior leadership team for the potential brand spin-off.   In late 2011, he founded Inventev LLC.  Dave was principal investigator for the U.S. Department of Energy ARPA-E IDEAS grant awarded to Inventev in 2016.  He has also been tapped to assist the U.S. Department of Energy as a technology project merit reviewer for a number of years.  Dave has further been an organization strategy and project management consultant to a number of clients in the automotive and energy sectors.  


Al Steurer

  • Manufacturing Strategy

  • Product Planning

  • Operations

Al Steurer's career spanned 39 years at GM with 25 years focused in manufacturing and 14 years in product development. He has also had diverse international experience with a total of 10 years spent outside the U.S. in Mexico, Sweden and Italy. Early in his career Al worked in manufacturing at three plants and as a manufacturing engineer on GM’s first electric vehicle program. His first executive assignment was as the Director of Program Mgmt & Planning for the Chevrolet-Pontiac-GM Canada Group. He subsequently was promoted to Director of Manufacturing Planning where he led efforts to optimize GM’s assembly plant footprint.  Subsequently, Al was Director of Planning at GM Mexico, SAAB, Fiat-GM Powertrain.  He worked on unwinding the partnership with Fiat and helped lead the formation of GM Powertrain Europe with its diesel expertise centered in Italy.  Al was ultimately repatriated to the U.S. where he was Director of North America Powertrain Planning.  Since his retirement from GM, Al as been Inventev’s Chief Strategy Officer participating on a number of advisory and technology development efforts.


George Survant

  • Commercial Fleet Senior Leadership

  • Green / Alt Fuels Technology

George Survant stands among top leaders in the commercial work truck fleet industry that he has helped advance for over 40  years.  He is a fleet senior executive with extensive experience with large, geographically-spread truck fleets in North America and the Pacific Rim. He has broad skills in strategic planning, budgeting/forecasting, and team development and has built three award winning fleet operations in both deregulated and regulated companies (Federal and State). With 25 years managing telco/CATV fleets along with 17 years managing electric and gas utility fleets, George developed industry standard disaster recovery processes considered “best practices.”  He served on leading edge efforts to introduce and operate alternative fuel fleets including serving as the ad hoc chairman of the HTUF hybrid truck development project led by CALSTART and at one time operated the sixth largest alternative fuel fleet in North America.  George has served on the Electrification Council, as past Chairman of the CALSTART Board of Directors, as past Chairman of the EUFMC (Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference), as a trustee for NAFA Fleet Management Association and on the Biodiesel Advisory Council.  George also chaired one of the larger Utility Political Action Committees.


Randy Thayer

  • Manufacturing Operations

  • Product Programs

  • Supply Chain Recovery

Randy Thayer is a manufacturing senior executive with broad skills in areas of manufacturing engineering, product engineering, manufacturing operations, quality systems, material flow, financial budgeting and development, employee engagement, safety and interacting with local and community leaders. Throughout his more than 36-year career with General Motors, Randy excelled in assignments in Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Product Engineering, Production Control and Logistics and Manufacturing Operations from hourly supervisor to regional plant manager. As a GM plant manager for 12 years he led employee populations of over 3,000 per location across multiple states and facilities. Following his GM career Randy has been an executive VP of manufacturing at Android Industries, COO of Eckhart and Associates and an independent consultant including engagements to recover or improve operations at suppliers.


Christopher Thomas

  • Strategy & Innovation

  • Corporate Strategy

  • Vehicle Electrification & Hybrids

  • Internal Combustion Systems

Chris Thomas advises in strategy & innovation, corporate strategy, electric vehicles, hybrid, and internal combustion propulsion systems.  Prior to becoming an independent consultant in January 2018, Chris served as the Chief Technology Officer for BorgWarner and in a variety of positions of increasing responsibility at Chrysler Group LLC including Head of International Industrial Strategy, Global Program Manager of the Phoenix Engine Program, and Head of Advanced Engine Engineering.  Chris holds over thirty patents in engine design, control algorithms, thermal management, and drivetrain systems in both the United States and Europe.  He was the recipient of the Walter P. Chrysler Award and SAE’s Forest R. McFarland Award. He was elected an SAE Fellow by SAE International in 2011.  Chris serves as a Visiting Professor at the University of Huddersfield, and on the Board of Directors at US Venture where he is also Chair of the Governance Committee.


Marion Gilbert Wells

  • Talent Development

  • Strategy

  • Sales & Marketing

Marion Gilbert Wells takes a vision and makes it reality through sound strategy development. She intuitively sees the threads of opportunity that wind through an organization, brings them together into a coherent whole, helps others extend their thinking, and drives material business advantage. Marion has over 30 years of business solution experience in manufacturing and the automotive industry that gives her deep credibility, experience and understanding as to how businesses work. She is respected as a credible voice in decision making, finding sales opportunities, establishing partnership, and developing talent. Marion’s established reputation provides her with a wide array of contacts and network in the manufacturing industry. Marion collaborates with Inventev as founder of Human Asset Management (HAM), whose services focus on talent development, organizational strategies, program management and sales and marketing improvement for small to midsize manufacturers. Marion’s strategies result in manufacturing clients building and strengthening their talent pipeline, their organization and their customer relationships. She is a passionate speaker and presents at various manufacturing industry conferences on how to improve workforce culture.


Ben Williams

  • Financial Management

  • Strategy

Ben Williams provides financial and strategic leadership to automotive, mobility and information technology businesses. His areas of focus include global financial planning, market & industry analysis, strategic analysis & planning, budgeting & forecasting, treasury operations, finance process reengineering, restructuring & turnaround, capital allocation, team development, and M&A. Ben has deep experience leading finance and strategy teams, and managing financial operations of large global enterprises and more recently supporting entrepreneurial ventures as interim CFO. During the majority of his more than 28-years at Ford Motor Company, Ben’s roles included Controller, Information Technology; Director, Corporate Strategy; and Director, Global Treasury. Ben is known for outstanding analysis and critical thinking, enterprise-focused decision making, and for building trust-based partnerships. He develops and implements winning business strategies informed by in-depth analyses of operating performance as well as market and industry trends, and has a proven track record of driving business growth, and achieving financial objectives.


Randy Wolniewicz

  • Die Cast and Molding

  • Process & Tooling

Randy Wolniewicz is a Die Casting and Molding Technical Consultant, specializing in part simulations, robust tool design & builds, troubleshooting, manufacturing process development, design of experiments, root cause analysis, crisis management and overall quality improvements. Randy has over 40 years of experience in the die cast industry holding technical, manager and director level positions. In his pre-consulting career, he worked for Doehler Jarvis for 21 years and most recently Ford Motor Company for 19 years as a Die Casting Technical Specialist. He was responsible for supporting program launches in the areas of tooling technical reviews, supplier processes and quality development for new die cast components in engine, transmission and driveline programs. Randy was also engaged in numerous Ford supplier crisis resolution teams onsite at Tier 1 suppliers located in the USA, Europe, and Asia Pacific and was awarded for his accomplishments. In addition, Randy was awarded for his development of a global supplier web-based preventive maintenance system.


Victor Zepeda

  • Product Engineering

  • Manufacturing Operations

  • Quality

Victor Zepeda a multicultural executive with over 20 years of experience and demonstrated success in several fields of the automotive, transportation and metal industries. He has held director level positions in the United States, Malaysia, Canada and México with strong focus on green-field startups, continuous improvement strategies, supplier development, product engineering, global manufacturing systems, problem solving, customer satisfaction and technical/operational turnarounds. Victor began his career with nearly 13 years at GM de Mexico and advanced from electrical design engineering to group manager dimensional engineering and quality engineering manager at the Silao, Ramos Arizpe and San Luis Potosi assembly plants. Victor then had key quality and plant management roles at three Bombardier Transportation manufacturing sites in Mexico and one in Malaysia. He has managed complex organizations challenged with critical business implementations such as dimensional engineering, math-based strategies, manufacturing operating systems, and line optimizations. His consulting core competencies are varied between product development, engineering, manufacturing operations and quality.