Honorary Chairman – Lee Iacocca was born Lido Anthony Iacocca on October 15, 1924 to Nicola and Antonietta, Italian immigrants. He graduated in 1945 from Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, PA. and went on to earn a master’s degree in engineering from Princeton University in 1946. Hired as an engineer by the Ford Motor Company, he quickly proved that he was better suited for sales. It was this shift that sparked an illustrious beginning for Iacocca and ushered in monumental achievements for Ford, including the undertaking of the Fairlane committee and the production of the 1964 Mustang. Lee, then known to some as the “Father of the Mustang,” was named President of Ford on December 10, 1970. In 1979 Iacocca joined forces with Chrysler quickly advancing to the position of CEO. With Chrysler facing bankruptcy, he appealed to the federal government for aid, and paid off the government seven years early, at a profit of $350 million to the U.S. government. He was tapped by President Reagan to lead the effort to rebuild the Statue of Liberty for the 1986 bi-centennial celebration and later led the fund raising effort to rebuild and restore Ellis Island. While at Chrysler, Iacocca led the development of the K-car and the Minivan, both industry changing vehicles. Chrysler continued its resurgence as the decade went along, acquiring AMC and Jeep in 1987 and re-inventing its entire lineup in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. He appeared in over 60 commercials for the company. He retired at the end of 1992 leaving Chrysler in excellent condition. Since retiring from Chrysler, Iacocca has been involved in consulting, written several books and is active in the Iacocca Family Foundation. He is the father of two daughters and lives in southern California.
President – Jay Kuhnie Jay retired from Chrysler at the end of 2007 after 35 years of service. He began his career in the Sales Division and held numerous positions in the Detroit Zone Sales Office then gained invaluable experience in several Headquarter assignments including Assistant to both the Vice President of Sales and Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing. He then served as Zone Manager in the Dallas Zone where he was responsible for both sales and service. After 12 years in Sales, he moved to Marketing where he held several positions including Director of the Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep Brands Communications. Jay was responsible for all of the marketing communications, advertising and merchandising for the Brand, and was responsible for overseeing the development of several key product communications launches including Dodge Intrepid, Dodge Ram, New Dodge campaign, PT Cruiser, Chrysler 300, Minivan, Wrangler 4 Door and others. He has received many Marketing awards including several Caddies for marketing and communication excellence and was named Automotive News Advertising All-Star in 1995. Jay has a BA degree from Eastern Michigan and an MBA from Michigan State.
Founder – Charles Austin An engineer with nearly 40 years in Chrysler engineering, have an EE degree and 2 masters, Engineering and Business. Has taken many courses and training sessions in management and leadership. Last position was as a program specialist in Minivan Program Management, leading cross functional teams on the 2008 minivan. Has been retired 4 years. Has been involved in the community, including president for a new church parish and a homeowners association. His wife and he were leaders in a SE Detroit program for couples. He is currently an officer in 3 clubs.
In terms of philosophy. I think the club can’t hurt. Individual action has not worked so far. I believe in discussions and negotiations. I hope Chrysler will talk to us, but am willing to consider other actions if Chrysler refuses. The club also will be extremely useful in sharing information, and may even save members money if the web site works well.
Director – Chris Dyrda Chris retired after a 35 year career with Chrysler where he worked in Vehicle Development as Manager of Vehicle Programs, Program Management, Defense, and his last assignment in E/E systems where he supervised Wiring Design. He graduated from Michigan State University in Electrical Engineering, and has a Masters in Management from the University of Michigan. Chris is a Fellow at ESD, The Engineering Society of Detroit. As Director he heads the NCRO Legal Team, organizes the Quarterly Breakfast Meetings, and is a Board member of NRLN, the National Retirees Legislative Network, representing the NCRO in legislative lobbying.
General Council – Dana Oliver
Treasurer – Mike Cipponeri
Secretary – Vicki Bonus Prout Vicki Bonus Prout retired in mid-2007 after a 23-year career at Chrysler. She held various positions in the Office of the General Counsel, Corporate Communications, Executive Offices, and in the Sales & Marketing organization. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan. Vicki joined the NCRO in January 2009 and has held the position of Secretary since July 2009.
Director – Rick Golpe Retired after 31 years at Chrysler. Last 13 years in Vehicle Development, working in Prototype Vehicle Build as the PIECS Administrator and in Advanced Quality as an analyst and eCIMS Platform Administrator. Past Trustee-Board Of Education, Madison District Schools. Appointed to the Sterling Heights Board of Review – Taxation to a three year term ending in 2018. Joined the NCRO in June 2008 and took on the role of Information Technology leader in August 2008. Working with the dedicated people on the NCRO board and the enthusiastic volunteers for the purpose of advancing the causes affecting Chrysler retirees is both rewarding and educational.
Director Emeritus – Doran Samples Doran Samples retired in 1996 after a 38-year career at Chrysler. He received several degrees in Engineering and Business, including a degree from the Chrysler Institute. Over the years, Doran worked mainly at Engineering, which included engine development, technical information, public relations, body engineering, vehicle emissions, fuel economy planning, product planning, program management and Liberty. Doran and his wife live in central Georgia and, for the past 13 years, he has been teaching at Georgia College and State University.
Director – Dave Slates Dave worked for Chrysler for 35 years in the Controller’s Department, supporting the manufacturing side of the business for most of his career and three years which were spent in Sales and Marketing Finance being responsible for pricing, incentives, and advertising budgets. He spent time in 4 plants being responsible for accounting, budgeting and forecasting in several capacities including Budget Supervisor and Plant Controller. He was manager of the Manufacturing Group Accounting Department where he was responsible for all accounting activities for all U.S., Canadian, and Mexican plants. Dave’s last position was as Vice-President Manufacturing Operations Finance where he was responsible for all forecast reporting, budgeting, long range planning, and capital expenditures for all of Chrysler’s manufacturing plants, supporting the Executive Vice President – Manufacturing Operations.
Director – Terry Crockatt Terry started his 29 year automotive career at Ford in 1978 after serving 5 years in the Army. He spent 6 years there in various Product Development and Product Planning positions before leaving for American Motors in 1984. At AMC Terry was in the Purchasing group developing global purchasing strategies and also served as a purchasing manager. When Chrysler purchased AMC in 1987 he joined Jeep and Truck Engineering (then under Francois Castaing) as the Jeep Wrangler and CKD program manager. In 1991 Terry took over the Jeep Grand Cherokee program as Program manager seeing it through launch including development of the International diesel and right hand drive versions engineered and built in Graz, Austria. This was followed by a 15 month stint as the Jeep quality manager where he helped re-establish resident engineers at the assembly plants. In 1996 Terry became the Director of Program Management for Minivan where he worked on several iterations of the Minivan as well as the original Chrysler Pacifica. Prior to his retirement at the end of 2007, His duties were expanded to include Vehicle Development and managing the Chrysler Pacifica and PT Cruiser products. Terry has a bachelors degree from the United States Military Academy and an MBA from the University of Michigan.
Director – Ted Gray Ted retired from Chrysler after 32 years all in Sales and Marketing. Ted began his career in 1975 in the Sales Division at the Chicago Zone Sales office where he held a number of increasingly responsible positions until he moved to the Washington D.C. Zone Sales office. After a number of years there he was asked to move to Headquarters to work in the Sales Incentive Planning Group. A few years later he moved to Dodge Marketing where he handled Durango Product Planning and moved to oversee the Dealer Advertising Associations for both Sales and Marketing until he retired in 2007. Ted joined the NCR0 in 2008 and took on the responsibility of publishing the Quarterly NCRO Newsletter a short time later. Ted holds BA degree in Marketing from Loyola University in Chicago.
Director – Joe Huber Joe retired in 2000 after 32 years of service. He began his career in manufacturing at the Windsor Assembly Plant. Held numerous positions in Industrial, Resident, Process, Quality and Product Engineering. Served as Production and Quality Manager at Windsor, Pillette and Dodge City Plants. Manager of Manufacturing Assembly Quality, Process and Product Engineering at Highland Park. Managing Director of Eurostar, Graz Austria. Plant Manager of Toledo Machining, manufacturing torque converters and steering columns. Memberships: NCRO Board member, NRLN, Detroit Engineering Society, ESD, American Institute of Industrial Engineers, AIIE, Detroit Swiss Society, DSS
Director – Dale Koch Dale retired from Chrysler (FCA) in June of 2014, after 33 years of service. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State, he started out in an R&D group in Highland Park Building 136 in 1978. After working in various electronic groups he became a leader in the group that developed the service tool first used on the 1988 C-Body (DRB II). He then moved to Featherstone Road and was part of the original Large Car Platform, and helped develop the electrical system for the original LH. He was promoted to Senior Manager and worked in various Electronic assignments including a term as Resident Engineering Manager at Brampton Assembly in Canada. After that assignment concluded he came back to CTC and was a Senior Manager in the newly formed Electrical Group under Bill Mattingly. In 2009 he decided to try something different and became the Director of Electrical for V-Vehicle a startup car company based in San Diego. The company started to struggle and in December he was back home at CTC. His last assignment was Concept Product Responsible for Electrical. He is now working part time as a consultant, and back wandering the halls of CTC. He has been a long time member of the SAE, IEEE, ESD, held various positions in the Chrysler Management Club, and an early member of the NCRO. He also has a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering.
Director – Judy Shumaker-Holland
Director – Grainger Goodman
Director – John Kaiser John worked for Chrysler for 34 years retiring in February 2001. His entire career was in Finance beginning as a Budget Analyst at Warren Stamping in 1967. He moved between manufacturing locations and staff locations as a Budget or Accounting Supervisor doing manufacturing financial forecasts, budgets, business plans and accounting for 10 years. Then, John spent the next 10 years in Corporate Finance in various Corporate Financial Manager positions which included Profit Analysis, Business Planning and Financial Studies. His last 14 years were in Sales & Marketing Financial Manager positions which included Sales & Marketing Financial Control, Mopar Controller, and Advance Pricing and Volume Planning. John’s last position was Vice President of Finance for Chrysler Canada in Windsor. John is also a member of the NCRO Insurance Committee.
Director Emeritus & General Counsel – Stan Hurst
Director Emeritus- Roy Sjoberg