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Board of Directors
Director since 1981
--Mr. Bauer is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gentex Corporation. Mr. Bauer serves on the Company's Executive Committee. As a founder of the Company, Mr. Bauer offers the Board of Directors a vast wealth of knowledge and experience which comes with over 35 years of dedicated service to the Company. Mr. Bauer not only understands the industries in which the Company operates, but also has been integrally involved in the operational, engineering, administrative and financial aspects of the Company for his entire tenure. Mr. Bauer is the named inventor on a number of the Company’s patents as well.
Director since 1992
--Mr. Mulder has served as a director of the Company since 1992 and was elected as a director by the Company's shareholders in 2010. Mr. Mulder served as Vice President of Customer Relations at Gentex from February 2000 to June 2002. Previously, he was Senior Vice President of Automotive Marketing at Gentex from September 1998 to February 2000. Prior to September 1998, he was Vice President of Automotive Marketing at Gentex for more than five years. Mr. Mulder has affirmatively been identified as an independent director by the Board of Directors. In addition to his overall understanding of the Company's primary industry and familiarity with the Company's core business principles, he also possesses intimate knowledge of selling to automotive original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs") and has over many years enjoyed close relationships with relevant decision makers at the Company's customers.
Director since 2000
--Mr. Sotok has served as a director of the Company since 2000 and was elected as a director by the Company's shareholders in 2010. Mr. Sotok was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Prince Corporation (manufacturer of automotive interior parts that was acquired by Johnson Controls in 1996) from October 1977 to October 1996. Mr. Sotok was a director of Clarion Technologies, Inc. from 2005-2007. By virtue of his former executive position at a large automotive interior parts supplier, Mr. Sotok has a thorough understanding of the global automotive industry and what it takes for automotive suppliers to be successful, especially the operational and administrative aspects of automotive suppliers. Mr. Sotok’s 17 years of experience in manufacturing management at General Electric also provide the Board with additional manufacturing experience to draw upon.
Director since 2003
--Mr. Goode is the Chairman of Titan Distribution LLC, an Elkhart, Indiana, company that offers consulting and distribution services related to structural adhesives, and has held that position since 2004. He was previously employed at Arthur Andersen LLP for 29 years, including 11 years as the managing partner of its West Michigan practice, until his retirement in March 2001. Mr. Goode is the Audit Committee Chairman at, and a director of, Universal Forest Products, Inc. He is the Chairman of the Company's Audit and Compensation Committees, and serves on the Company's Nominating Committee. Mr. Goode has affirmatively been identified as an independent director by the Board of Directors and as an audit committee financial expert. Mr. Goode's career in public accounting has provided him the opportunity to work with a great variety of small and large companies, both publicly held and privately held, in a broad array of industries (including automotive and technology companies). Mr. Goode's experience brings the Board of Directors a well-developed financial perspective and familiarity with publicly held companies.
Director since 2007
--Mr. Wallace is Chairman of the Board of Cranel, Inc., a Columbus, Ohio, company that provides storage, imaging, and information technology services; data storage solutions; document imaging, storage, publishing, and duplication services; and support, to the storage and imaging industry. Previously, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Cranel, Inc. for more than five years. Mr. Wallace is the Chairman of the Company’s Nominating Committee and serves on the Company's Compensation Committee. Mr. Wallace has affirmatively been identified as an independent director by the Board of Directors. Mr. Wallace brings to the Board experience working with an entrepreneurial company, an understanding of various technologies, and manufacturing expertise.
Director since 2011
--Mr. Schaum has nearly four decades of experience in product development, manufacturing and program management. He has a long and distinguished career at Chrysler Corporation. By virtue of Mr. Schaum's former executive positions at a large automaker, he has a thorough understanding of the global automotive industry and the unique challenges faced by automotive suppliers. He is a fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Mr. Schaum has affirmatively been identified as an independent director by the Board of Directors. He currently sits on the Board of Directors and the Corporate Governance Committee at BorgWarner, Inc. and on the Board of Directors and Compensation Committee of Sterling Construction Company, Inc.
Director since 2013
--Mr. Hoekstra serves as a senior advisor at Dickstein Shapiro LLP in the firm’s Public Policy and Law Practice, where he provides business consulting in intelligence and national security, education and labor. He served in the United States Congress for 18 years, representing Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District from 1993 to 2011, and is one of only a few former U.S. Congressmen with experience as a Fortune 500 business executive. Before his election to Congress, Mr. Hoekstra worked at Zeeland, Michigan-based office furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, Inc. for 15 years, during a period when that company’s revenues grew approximately 800 percent. At Herman Miller, Mr. Hoekstra worked in product development, product management and dealer development and he rose through the ranks to become Vice President of Marketing. He brings to the Gentex Board a unique blend of expertise and perspective on the global marketplace and public policy implications.
James A. Hollars
Director since 2014
--Mr. Hollars is currently a member of the Advisory Board of Racemark International, a supplier of high end automotive floor mats. He was Senior Vice President International for the Company from 1999 to 2009. Mr. Hollars’ automotive career began at Chrysler Corp in 1965 in material control. In 1973 he joined Lear Siegler, Inc, a supplier of automotive, aerospace and commercial products. During a 25 year career he held management positions at six divisions, including three as Division President and participated in the management buyout of Lear Siegler Seating Division, an automotive seating supplier. From 1990 to 2009, he lived and worked in Europe, first for Lear Corp., then Gentex, during a period of rapid growth for both. He developed relationships and a working knowledge of all the major European automobile manufacturers. Mr. Hollars brings to the Board an exceptional understanding of customer sales, support and decision making processes, especially in Europe, the Company’s largest geographic market. He is familiar with the Company’s core business principles and what it takes to work in an entrepreneurial environment. Mr. Hollars has been affirmatively identified as an independent director.
Director since 2016
--Ms. Brown, has owned and served as Chairperson of Metal Flow Corporation, a Holland, Michigan based high volume producer of technically sophisticated custom metal-based components through deep draw processes. Including operations in China, Metal Flow Corporation globally ships approximately 1.3 million parts daily for a variety of automotive applications including airbags, decorative trim, emissions, fuel handling, sensors, and solenoids. As such, Ms. Brown has a significant understanding of, and experience with, challenges faced by manufacturing companies that supply the global automotive industry. In addition to her years of experience as an entrepreneurial automotive supplier, as a prominent local business woman serving on a variety community organization boards of directors (including as Chairperson of the Holland Hospital Board), Ms. Brown has demonstrated a high degree of personal and professional integrity. Ms. Brown provides the Board with unique insight and perspective, especially in terms of developing and maintaining an entrepreneurial team.
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Fred Bauer grew up in the Midwest. He graduated cum laude from Michigan State University with a major in electrical engineering and a minor in business. At Michigan State, he was a member of Etta Kappa Knu, a collegiate honors fraternity. In the mid-1960's, Bauer founded Simicon Company, a manufacturer of electronic control devices for heating and air conditioning products. He sold the company in 1972 to Robertshaw Controls, a major manufacturer of automatic control systems for buildings and appliances. Shortly thereafter, Bauer joined Robertshaw, where he held positions of division manager, corporate officer, and vice president. Bauer founded Gentex in 1974 to develop, manufacture and market photoelectric smoke detection devices. In 1982, Gentex introduced the world's first electromechanical (motorized) auto-dimming mirror. Five years later, Fred and a team of research scientists and electrical engineers developed the world's first electrochromic auto-dimming rearview mirror. Bauer is currently Gentex's chairman and CEO. He has over 100 patents spanning multiple industries and was the 1998 recipient of Ernst & Young's Master Entrepreneur of the Year, an international award. He is a former director of Junior Achievement in Holland/Zeeland, and a former advisory-board member for Underwriters Laboratories Industry Council.
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Steve Downing joined Gentex in 2002 as a financial analyst, and moved on to senior financial analyst and then served in various roles in commercial management including Director of Commercial Management until his promotion in 2012 to Vice President of Commercial Management. He was responsible for overseeing cost accounting, quotation development, forecasting, strategic partnerships, and new business development. In May 2013, he was promoted to Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance while maintaining responsibility for all commercial management activities. In June 2015, Steve was promoted to Senior Vice President with added responsibility for the Company’s business development and sales function. Prior to joining Gentex, Downing worked for a private company executing activity-based costing, price modeling and control, and financial statement consolidation. He is a native of Ohio and graduated summa cum laude from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Management.
Chief Accounting Officer and Vice President of Accounting
Kevin Nash joined Gentex in 1999 as a Senior Accountant and has held various positions at Gentex with increased responsibilities including Accounting Manager, Corporate Controller and Director of Accounting. Mr. Nash is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Gentex’s Accounting functions including SEC reporting, Corporate Governance, Board Reporting, General Accounting, Accounts Payables and Receivables, International Accounting and Fixed Assets, as well as Payroll, Budgeting and long term financial planning. In June 2014, he was promoted to Vice President of Accounting. Prior to joining Gentex, Nash worked for ODL Incorporated as a Senior Accountant primarily focused on General Accounting, Fixed Assets and Accounts Receivable. Mr. Nash holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Hope College and became a Certified Management Accountant in 2006.
Assistant General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Scott Ryan joined Gentex in 2010, but started working as an outside consultant for the company in 2006. He has extensive knowledge and experience with the Company in intellectual property and general legal matters. He has supported Gentex in varying positions with increasing responsibility during his employment. He was promoted to Corporate Secretary and Assistant General Counsel in 2015. Prior to joining Gentex, Ryan worked as a law clerk for a State of Michigan circuit judge and with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Association of Michigan in Genesee County. Mr. Ryan also served at a Detroit area law firm working in its litigation group. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and obtained his JD from Michigan State University.
Vice President of Engineering
Neil Boehm joined Gentex in 2001 as a program manager and has served in various roles with increased responsibilities in product development and engineering including his most recent role as Senior Director of Engineering. He has been heavily involved in the development of many of Gentex’s products, including the execution of the acquisition and integration of HomeLink in 2013. Neil is responsible for the Company’s Electrical Engineering and Program Management teams, whose primary function is the ongoing development and launch of the Company’s current and future products. Prior to joining Gentex, Boehm worked for Johnson Controls, Inc. where he served in his last position as engineering manager. During his time there he developed vast experience with international customers including an expatriate assignment in Japan. He is a native of Wisconsin and graduated summa cum laude from Michigan Technological University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.
Vice President of Purchasing
Joe Matthews joined Gentex in 2010 as a Purchasing Manager. In 2013, he was promoted to Purchasing Director with additional responsibilities for supply chain management, with his most recent promotion to Vice President in 2014, Joe’s team is responsible for all direct and indirect material goods and services, logistics spend as well as customs compliance and supplier diversity. Joe is a native of Gary, Indiana. He started his career at Delphi in Kokomo, Indiana in 1991. Joe’s experiences there include IC design, operations, manufacturing engineering, and roles of increasing responsibility in supply management. In 2003, Joe became part of the sourcing leadership for Whirlpool Corporation in Michigan. In addition, he held leadership positions for the pre-integration sourcing planning for the Maytag acquisition, Indirect, and Supply Chain. In 2009, Joe worked for Management Engineers (now PwC Strategy&) to expand their presence into the United States. Joe graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. In addition, he has a Master of Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, and a Master of Business Administration both cum laude from Cornell University.
Vice President of Chemistry
Sue Franz joined Gentex in 1997 as an Analytical Chemist after working as an Applications Lab Manager for a spectrometer manufacturer for more than 8 years. She has held various positions at Gentex with increased responsibilities, including Group Leader of Analytical Chemistry, Director of Analytical Chemistry and Senior Director of Chemistry. Sue is responsible for setting direction and goals and implementing corporate strategy in chemistry research and evaluating competitive technologies and intellectual property. Her team plays important roles in chemical process development, manufacturing support and quality control of chemicals. Sue was born and raised in China. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Analytical Chemistry from Jilin University in Changchun, China. Arriving in the United States in 1985 on full scholarships, she completed her Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1989. She also earned her Masters degree in Management from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2002 and Six Sigma black belt certification from Villanova University in 2011.
Vice President of Europe
Brad Bosma began his career at Gentex in 1990 as a Mechanical Design Engineer. He has held positions with increasing responsibility for the past 20 years, with a focus on the Gentex’s European business and operations. A native of Alberta, Canada, Brad has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Brad is responsible for managing Gentex’s European business operations, including sales, engineering and program management.
Vice President of Operations
Paul Flynn is a native of Boston, Massachusetts. He has a Bachelor of science degree in Manufacturing Engineering and an MBA in Design Management, both from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. Prior to joining Gentex in 1996, Paul held various engineering and management positions at Unitrode Corporation, Teledyne Components Incorporated, and Analogic Corporation. He is responsible for providing direction and structure for Gentex’s manufacturing operations. Paul is a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and Design West Michigan.
Vice President of Advanced Materials and Process Development
Bill Tonar joined Gentex in August of 1989 as Director of Applied Materials. Prior to joining Gentex, Tonar had 15 years of experience developing and manufacturing Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs). He started his career in 1974 at Hamlin Inc., in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. Hamlin was a pioneer in the LCD field, and Tonar held various positions in process development and engineering management there. He also worked as Manager of Research and Development for General Electric Display Products in Cleveland, Ohio, and subsequently as vice president of Research and Development and Manufacturing Services for LXD, Inc., when it acquired GE's Display Products Operations. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Vice President of Quality
Ken Horner is a native of Dowagiac, Michigan. After high school Ken served in the United States Army for four years and was honorably discharged. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in business administration from Grand Valley State University. Ken joined Gentex in 2004 as an Electrical Program Manager, and has since held positions of increasing responsibility within the Electrical and Program Management areas. In 2009, he was promoted to Director of Quality. Prior to his career at Gentex, Ken worked as a Program Manager at Johnson Controls for nearly six years.
Vice President of Human Resources
Kurt has been with Gentex since 1994 in advancing roles with increased responsibilities, including his most recent as Director of Global Human Resources. Kurt's experience and travel supporting our growth and culture around the world has positioned him as a key advisor to the leadership team. Kurt received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Grand Valley State University. Kurt is responsible for recruiting, employee relations, training, administration as well as employee benefits for the 4,000+ employees of Gentex in the United States and abroad. Kurt represents Gentex in the community, through community planning initiatives, local governmental committees, and board representation.
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