Donald W. Ableson
Donald W. Ableson
Mr. Donald W. Ableson retired from General Motors in 2002 after a 47 year career with the company. During that time, he held executive positions in several GM groups, starting with Fisher Body Division and ending with North American Operations. During his career, he headed up Facilities Engineering, held many different positions in manufacturing including stints as Plant Manager of several plants, and ended his GM career as Executive Director of Specialty Vehicles.
An active member of the SAE International for nearly 50 years, he most recently served as President of the SAE Canada Foundation Board of Directors, and a member of the SAE Foundation Board of Trustees. He was President of SAE International in 1999-2000, past member of the Board of Directors, past chairman of the Detroit Section of SAE, and member of many local and national committees in SAE.
Don holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from GMI/Kettering University, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University, and a Professional Engineering License from the State of Michigan. He and his wife Muriel reside in West Bloomfield, Michigan, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Joseph B. Anderson, Jr.
Joseph B. Anderson, Jr.
Mr. Joseph B. Anderson, Jr. born in Topeka, Kansas, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1965, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Math and Engineering. He subsequently received two Masters Degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1972 and 1973. Mr. Anderson attended the Army’s Command and General Staff College in 1977. He also is a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program, 1984. In June 2007, Mr. Anderson received an Honorary Doctor of Management Degree from Kettering University and in December 2013 he received an Honorary Doctor of Commercial Science Degree from Central Michigan University.
During his military career, Mr. Anderson commanded troops as an infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and served two tours of duty with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam. In addition to troop command, Mr. Anderson served as aide-de-camp to two general officers, and he also was an assistant professor in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point. Mr. Anderson and the infantry platoon he commanded in Vietnam were subjects of the highly acclaimed documentary film “The Anderson Platoon”. The documentary has been shown in more than 20 countries and has won several prizes to include the Oscar of the Academy Awards and an Emmy for the “Best Documentary Film of 1967”. Mr. Anderson’s military awards include two silver stars, five bronze stars, three Army Commendation Medals, and eleven Air Medals. Mr. Anderson resigned his commission in 1978, after 13 years of service and early selection for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel.
In 1977, Mr. Anderson was selected to be a White House Fellow and worked as Special Assistant to Secretary of Commerce, Juanita Kreps. Following his White House Fellow Year, Mr. Anderson continued to work for Secretary Kreps until he joined General Motors in 1979.
Mr. Anderson began his business career with General Motors in 1979 at Pontiac Motor Division. In 1981, after several manufacturing assignments, Mr. Anderson was named Plant Manager of the Pressed Metal and Plating Operations, Pontiac Motor Division. After three years as a plant manager, Mr. Anderson held several staff assignments until 1989 when he was appointed Director of the Exterior Systems Business Unit, Inland Fisher Guide Division of General Motors Corporation. In 1990 he was appointed General Director, Body Hardware Business Unit, Inland Fisher Guide Division, General Motors Corporation, a business unit with 7,000 employees and revenue of $1 billion. In late 1992, after 13 years of service, Mr. Anderson resigned from General Motors to become President and Chief Executive Officer of a privately held company, Composite Energy Management Systems, Incorporated (CEMSI). In October 1994, Mr. Anderson acquired a controlling interest in another privately held entity, Chivas Products Limited, which manufactured interior trim products and lighting assemblies principally for the automotive industry. In 1997, the company was restructured as Chivas Industries, LLC where Mr. Anderson maintained controlling ownership and held the position of Chairman of the Board & CEO before divesting his interest in 2002. He is currently the majority owner, Chairman and CEO of TAG Holdings, LLC which owns several manufacturing, service and technology based entities based in North America. These entities serve a variety of industries including automotive, heavy equipment, aerospace, defense, and recreational vehicles.
Mr. Birge holds a BSME from Wayne State University and a MS in Automotive Engineering from Chrysler Institute of Engineering and is a licensed Professional engineer in the State of Michigan. He began his automotive career at Chrysler Corporation as a chassis engineer.
He then worked for Kelsey Hayes Corporation and was responsible for the design and development of a wide range of chassis components for passenger car, heavy trucks and off-road equipment. He made major technical contributions toward the development of disc brakes for the U.S. market and for anti-lock brake systems for passenger cars and heavy trucks and was granted nine patents in these fields. He completed his tenure at Kelsey Hayes as the V. P. of Engineering.
In 1975, Mr. Birge joined the Bendix Corporation as the V.P. of Engineering of the Bendix Automotive Control Systems Group in South Bend, Indiana. He was responsible for all brake and steering systems engineering and the Bendix Automotive Proving Grounds. He was promoted in 1980 to V.P. of Technology and Chief Technology Officer for the Bendix, (later Allied Signal), Worldwide Automotive Sector. In this capacity he was responsible for the coordination of 24 engineering centers around the world and the establishment and management of the Sector’s R&D center. He retired from this position in 1988 to engage in technical consulting for another ten years.
During his Bendix employment he also continued to be very active in SAE including Director of the SAE Board of Directors, Chair of the Technical Standards Board, Founding Chair of both the Board’s Computerization Committees and ITS Program Office, member of the Bylaws Committee, and Trustee of the SAE Education Foundation. He also spent almost ten years as a Director on the American National Standards Board of Directors and led the effort to establish ANSI’S first strategic plan.
From 1988 through 2000 Mr. Birge served as a private consultant to the automotive industry, including serving on several technical software company boards and a technical advisor to an automotive aftermarket board. During this period he continued his volunteer activities as a Trustee of the ESD Education Foundation, was an ABET visitor for the Accreditation of Manufacturing Engineering, and a member of the engineering college Advisory Boards for Western Michigan U. and the Wayne State University. He also served on the SAE Foundation from 1995 to 2008.
Currently Mr. Birge continues to be active in a number of volunteer capacities, including serving as Director for the Universal Technical Institute Foundation, Recycle Ann Arbor, and SAE Foundation of Canada. He also was an active member of the ESD Fellow Committee and the SAE Agnew Award Committee. He maintains membership in SAE and ESD, ASEE and NSPE and continues as a registered Professional Engineer for the State of Michigan
Mr. Birge is a Fellow of both SAE and ESD and his awards over his career include the Wayne State University Engineering Hall of Fame Award, the SAE Medal of Honor, the Delco Electronic Intelligent Transportation, and SAE Foundation Ableson Award for Visionary Leadership, the ANSI Leadership Award, and the ESD Distinguished Service Award.
Mr. Colucci was born in Brooklyn, New York and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School before obtaining his BS in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University in 1958. He then obtained an MS in mechanical engineering at Cal Tech in 1959. He spent 36 years at General Motors Research Laboratories, starting his career as a research engineer and eventually leading the Fuels and Lubricants Department and becoming the Executive Director of Materials Research before retiring in 1995. After retirement, he stayed active in the industry, serving as a consultant for auto and oil industries, and for government for almost 20 years.
Mr. Colucci is known as the “father of clean gasoline,” and for his extensive work in reducing vehicle emissions, improving air quality and improving the quality of fuels and lubricants worldwide. As a long-time SAE member, Joe has served on the SAE Board of Directors and SAE Foundation Board of Trustees and has received numerous SAE honors including: Fellow, Emeritus Member, Edward N. Cole Award, Abelson Award, Medal of Honor, and SAE Foundation Medal. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Distinguished Alumnus of MSU and the recipient of MSU’s College of Engineering’s highest honor, the Claud Erickson Award. He has served on various committees for SAE, CRC, MSU, NREL and the National Research Council.
Joe and his wife Sue have three children and six grandchildren. After living in Michigan for 60 years, they now reside in Oberlin, Ohio.
Dan Hancock retired from General Motors (GM) effective September 1, 2011, and now consults with the automotive industry in the powertrain and alliances areas. His last position with GM was Vice President, Global Strategic Product Alliances. During that time he served as Chairman of GM’s DMAX and VM Motori diesel engine joint ventures with Isuzu and Fiat, respectively.
Hancock’s previous appointments included GM Vice President, Global Powertrain Engineering and Chief Executive Officer, Fiat-GM Powertrain, based in Turin, Italy.
After joining GM in 1968, he held various engineering positions within Allison Transmission Division in Indianapolis, Indiana, and was appointed Chief Engineer, Commercial Transmissions in 1980. In 1983 he became Chief Engineer for Detroit Diesel in Redford, Michigan. He became Technical Director, Advanced Powertrain, at the Chevrolet-Pontiac-GM Canada Group in 1987. In 1992, he was appointed Chief Engineer of the Small Block V8 engine, and in 1994 was appointed Director, Transmission Engineering, GM Powertrain. In 1997, he returned to Indianapolis where he was named President, Allison Transmission Division.
Born in Indiana, Hancock received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973 and a bachelor’s degree also in mechanical engineering from the General Motors Institute, Michigan, in 1974.
Hancock has been a member of SAE International for 40 years and is an SAE Fellow. He has recently been elected President of SAE International for 2014. He has been Chairman of the SAE Detroit Section and has served on the SAE Board of Directors. In addition, he served as Chairman of the SAE Foundation Board of Trustees from 1998 to 2008. During his tenure the SAE Foundation conducted a successful capital campaign, raising $26.5M for SAE’s A World in Motion® program.
Hancock served as president of FISITA, the International Federation of Automotive Engineering Societies, from 2004 to 2006 and continues to participate with FISITA in his emeritus status. He was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2011. He is a recipient of the SAE Sid Olsen Engineering Manager Award, the SAE Medal of Honor, the SAE Gordon Millar Award, the Great Golden Medal for Service to the Republic of Austria, and the Sagamore of the Wabash recognition from the State of Indiana.
He now serves in board and advisory positions with several organizations, focusing on new powertrain technologies and STEM education.
Hancock splits his time between his homes in Indianapolis, Indiana, Farmington Hills, Michigan, and Beaver Creek, Colorado, where he enjoys skiing and high altitude hiking.
Shortly after beginning his engineering career at Ford in 1960, John Leinonen was called to duty by the Air Force to work on the Titan intercontinental ballistic missile. He completed his duty with the Air Force and returned to Ford in 1963 where he remained until retiring in 1995. John began his career working in light truck product development before becoming an Executive Engineer for Ford Production Vehicle Safety and Compliance, directing all safety and compliance initiatives. He also served as a Vice President at Exponent, Inc.
Mr. Leinonen made significant contributions in automotive safety, playing a pivotal role in the establishment and execution of Ford’s FMVSS compliance, defect prevention and related analysis activities. His dedication to championing innovations in safety technologies has earned him the respect of his peers and the automotive industry. He was a key industry spokesperson on future needs in automotive safety and was Ford’s key spokesperson nationally on the importance of seat belt use and the incremental benefit of airbags in injury and fatality reduction.
He served on the Foundation Board of Trustees from 1993 – 2009 and also served two terms on the SAE Board of Directors (1988-1990 and 1994-1996). He is an SAE Fellow who served as SAE President in 1995 and was primarily responsible for opening the door for SAE India, which eventually became SAE International’s second affiliate. He was also co-chair of SAE’s Centennial Program Committee. Mr. Leinonen spends his time in Virginia and Arizona.
Dana Pless worked for SAE from 1998 through his retirement as the organization’s Chief Financial Officer in 2018. During that time, he provided oversight to SAE’s pre-professional programs, the SAE Foundation, and centralized corporate administrative functions within the SAE Group. He is a dedicated, longtime SAE Foundation donor and STEM education advocate.
His career focused on finance and administration and he began working in association management in 1994. He previously worked at a mining and energy company in several financial positions including internal audit, cost accounting, and finance systems. He began his professional career as an auditor with one of the major public accounting firms.
Dana is a Past-President of the Pittsburgh Society of Association Executives (PSAE) and has served on the board of the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives (CESSE). He is also a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Accounting from Indiana University School of Business. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Association Executive.
Mr. Oge, is a Retired Partner of PWC’s PRTM Management Consulting business and was a consultant for 34 years in strategy and operations to leading firms in North America, Western and Eastern Europe, and South America. In the recent years, he has been active in the emerging Clean Technology and Electric Vehicle sectors. He is currently serving as a member of the BOD of Deltawing Technologies, a company working to transform a highly efficient race car into a road car and continues to consult automotive industry clients.
Prior to joining PRTM, Cuneyt was a vice-president in the worldwide automotive consulting practice of A. T. Kearney and prior to that a consultant for many years with Booz Allen and Hamilton. Before becoming a consultant he worked for the Olin Chemical Corporation.
He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts where he obtained his B.S. degree in Industrial Management and his M.S. degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. Cuneyt also spent time at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business doing post-graduate research on Technology Management.
Cuneyt has served as a member of the SAE Board of Directors and Trustee of the SAE Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker on Globalization, Product Strategy, Technology Management and on developments in Asia. Cuneyt has published several articles on the subject areas and speaks several languages.
Arnold W. Siegel
Arnold W. Siegel
Mr. Arnold W. Siegel is a pioneer in the field of automotive safety.
His innovative, life-changing research has led to numerous safety features that are now common in production vehicles. He helped pioneer research on barrier, side-impact, rollover head-on, motorcycle and pedestrian crashes. He built the first infant and child dummies, crash tested them and worked on and designed the first rear facing infant safety seats and child booster seats resulting in significantly fewer injuries and deaths in auto accidents. In collaboration with others, he worked to reveal critical automotive safety issues and create life-saving solutions, bringing injury prevention to the forefront, forever altering the way automobiles are engineered.
Mr. Siegel helped initiate SAE International’s entry in the automotive safety field and contributed to many SAE standards and conferences; the result of which has greatly improved auto safety globally. Through the years, he has served as a university research professor and industry consultant.
Collaborating with a physician in 1960, Mr. Siegel began non-fatal, on-scene accident investigation using multi-disciplinary teams. He co-directed trauma research groups and developed and organized training programs for several governmental agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Transportation Safety Board.
Mr. Siegel has been a major factor in the success of both SAE International and the SAE Foundation. He has served on the SAE International Board of Directors, numerous Society committees, sub-committees and operating boards. In addition, he also has been a long-standing member of the SAE Foundation’s Board of Trustees and, for years, served as co-chair of the SAE-managed STAPP Car Crash conference, which helped to place SAE International at the center of automotive safety progress. In 1987, Mr. Siegel established the Arnold W. Siegel International Transportation Safety Award. This prestigious award is presented at the SAE Awards Ceremony: Honoring Excellence, which is held during SAE’s annual World Congress.
He has been instrumental in the success of the SAE Foundation’s $25 million capital campaign and in helping raise funds to support SAE’s STEM education programs.
Mr. Siegel is an SAE International Fellow, SAE Medal of Honor recipient, a member of the California Association of Criminalists, Sigma Xi and is a professional safety engineer. He was a member of the Attorney General’s Traffic Safety Committee and the California Passenger Safety Resource Panel, and has been a consultant to many agencies and companies, including Physicians for Automotive Safety, and the SAE International Accident Investigation Practices Subcommittee. He has received many accolades and awards, including: the Abelson Leadership Award 2008; Montana Ambassador’s Plenipotentiary 2001 Award; the Humanitarian Fellowship Award; Save the Children Federation Distinguished Service Award; the Legacy of Gold Award from West Yellowstone Foundation. Mr. Siegel has provided more than 50 years of dedicated and meritorious service to SAE International and the SAE Foundation.