The Rainbow PUSH Automotive Project, an initiative of the Citizenship Education Fund, proudly announces its lineup of speakers for the 15th Annual Rainbow PUSH Global Automotive Summit. This year’s theme is: “Driving Ethnic Inclusion in the Global Automotive Expansion.” The Summit will be held Monday, Oct. 13, at the MGM Grand Detroit Meeting & Events Center, 1777 Third Street, Detroit, Michigan 48226. The Rainbow PUSH Global Automotive Summit is the only conference that delves deeply into the automotive industry as it relates to people of color.
In a global marketplace, a company that employs a diverse workforce is better able to understand the demographics of the marketplace it serves and is better equipped to thrive in that marketplace than a company that has a more limited range of employee demographics. Companies that leverage diversity will have a competitive advantage. Without a strong corporate strategy, that inherently promotes the integration of diversity and inclusion, many companies are doomed to fail.
Top automotive leaders, manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, government officials, community leaders, advertising agencies and media outlets will assemble at the Summit to share expert insight, strategies, trends and solutions regarding the automotive global expansion and the many benefits of an all-inclusive, ethnic minority business environment.
Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., president and founder, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, will host Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors; and Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America at the Business and Education Awards Luncheon in a discussion, entitled, “Automotive CEO’s Speak on the Positive Effects of An All-Inclusive Ethnic Minority Business Environment.”
Award-winning journalist Ed Gordon will serve as panel moderator for the Leadership Town Hall Breakfast & Panel Discussion, entitled, “A New Narrative: Has Diversity Become A Diversion?” Panelists include: George Curry, National Newspaper Publishers Association; Prof. Leonard Greenhalgh, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth; Dr. Julianne Malveaux, economist and author; and Ron Busby, Sr., U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce.
Other featured speakers include: Rick Schostek, executive vice president, Honda North America; John Quattrone, senior vice president, Global Human Resources, General Motors; Al Smith, group VP, Service Center Operations and Corporate Planning, Toyota Financial Services; Tim Mahoney, chief marketing officer, Global Chevrolet and General Motors Marketing Operations; Michael Keegan, senior vice president, Human Resources, Chrysler Group; and Rebecca Barker Vest, vice president of Purchasing, Nissan Americas.
Additional discussion will focus on:
- Supplier Global Expansion Opportunities: North America and Beyond
- Total Market Approach Must Be Inclusive of Ethnic Minority Media Representation;
- Breaking Down Historic Barriers to Hiring and Promoting People of Color
- Accountability of Professional Services Inclusion in Supplier Diversity Procurement
- Supplier Diversity Game Changers: Positioning Your Business to Win Through Capacity Building and Joint Ventures
CLICK HERE for a Complete Schedule of Conference Events.
The panel discussions will conclude with Legendary African American Automotive Suppliers, Bill Pickard, John W. Barfield, John James, Louis James, Rod Rickman, Lawrence Crawford, Leon Richardson and Steve Hightower, giving advice and coaching the next generation on sustaining a business against all odds.
In May 2014, Automotive News issued a minority report listing brands that generated the highest proportion of their sales from ethic minorities. Listed are the Top 5 brands within the african american communities:
- Toyota: 13.4%
- Honda: 12.3%
- Nissan: 11.8%
- Chevrolet: 9.3%
- Ford: 9,1%
“Each time minority consumers purchase vehicles they are creating a socio-economic paradigm with the auto industry that cannot be ignored,” says Rev. Jackson. “Automakers must institutionalize diversity practices throughout their companies in order to attract and retain talent, pay closer attention to its suppliers, distributors and dealers; share in the billions of dollars spent on advertising and marketing and respect the African American consumer.”
The day will end with a Networking & Awards Reception honoring Living Legends and Emerging Leaders in the automotive industry.
National sponsors for the Summit include: Ford, General Motors and Toyota. Event sponsors to date: AEL Span Supply Chain Solutions; BMW; Blue Springs Metals; Bridgewater Interiors; Chemico Systems; Dakkota Integrated Systems, LLC; Emma Hill Manufacturing, LLC; Global Automotive Alliance, LLC; Hightowers Petroleum Co.; Honda; Hyundai; James Group International, Inc.; KIA; L.S. Brinker; MCL Jasco; Mercedes Benz; Nissan; Prestige Automotive Group; Rickman Enterprise Group, LLC; Subaru; UAW; UAW-Ford; Vitec; Volkswagen; Walker SCM, LLC. For a list of additional speakers and to register for the summit, visit www.rainbowpush.org.