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EXECUTIVES FROM Genesis Motor America, Volkswagen, and Ford Motor Company ANNOUNCED as experience ambassadors

Real Times Media announced that three leading-edge executives in the automotive industry—all with variegated backgrounds—will pen the introduction and foreword for the eighth volume of DRIVEN: A Tribute to Multicultural Achievement in the Automotive Industry. The DRIVEN Experience, which includes the publication, a youth symposium focused on careers in the industry, and an unveiling/awards celebration, has become an annual destination for industry leaders from around the country visiting the North American International Auto Show. A celebration of diversity, the culminating event takes place on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, at the Garden Theater in Midtown Detroit.  The DRIVEN publication is unveiled at the event.  Last year, more than 1,000 industry professionals attended the DRIVEN event.


The three esteemed leaders who have signed on to champion the eighth edition of DRIVEN are:


  • Erwin Raphael — General Manager, Genesis Motor America, who will write the introduction;


  • Machelle Williams – Senior Director – Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility, Volkswagen Group of America will serve as one of two foreword writers;


  • Brad Gayton — Group Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, Ford Motor Company, will contribute as the second foreword writer.


“Real Times Media is very pleased that these prominent industry leaders will grace our DRIVEN publication with their insight into where the industry is heading, and their personal experiences and successes,” said Hiram E. Jackson, chief executive officer, Real Times Media.  “Each of these individuals are shining representatives of companies that value diversity and a multicultural work force.  Hyundai, Volkswagen and Ford Motor Company all have a commitment to diversity and when I look at the contributions of Raphael, Williams and Gayton, I know that these three companies are serious – not only about selling cars to a diverse audience — but promoting the best and brightest as well.”


Erwin Raphael – General Manager, Genesis Motor America.  Raphael is responsible for the entire manufacturing process and value stream with Genesis Motor, which builds the Hyundai brand.  His role ranges from engineering and product development to manufacturing, materials and logistics, sales, marketing and corporate management.   Raphael also has worked in the Toyota production system at Toyota Motor Manufacturing and as General Manager with Chrysler at two plants:  McGraw Glass and Jefferson North Assembly Plant where the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Commander SUVs are built.


Machelle Williams – Senior Director – Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility, Volkswagen Group of America (VWFoA)In this role, Williams’ main focus is to create sustainable diversity and inclusion practices that will help VWGoA reach its goals of becoming both a top employer and the most admired automobile company in the world.  Williams regularly works with community partners to help VWGoA be a viable part of the communities where the company conducts business, and also foster the growth and retention of a talented multi-cultural workforce.  Williams has worked with Volkswagen for the past 14 years.


Brad Gayton – Group Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, Ford Motor Company.  Gayton is responsible for leading Ford Motor Company’s litigation, tax, corporate, transactions, compliance, and intellectual property efforts. He also advises the company’s board of directors and senior management on a wide range of legal issues, and oversees its General Auditor’s Office.  As Chief Administrative Officer, his responsibility has expanded to include leading Ford Land and Corporate Services efforts.


For the past seven years, DRIVEN has highlighted the accomplishments of diverse vendors, suppliers, dealers and executives who are the driving force behind the automotive industry.  DRIVEN Experience 2018 is an evening that promulgates trailblazers and emerging leaders and is commemorated every year with a high-quality stylized publication that highlights the extraordinary contributions in the automotive industry by the multicultural community.  DRIVEN is more than a book:  It is a resource that can be used to ensure future generations of automotive industry influencers.

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