LORI BLAKER:
 
LORI BLAKER




 
 
 
 
 
President and CEO of Technical Training Inc. in Rochester Hills. Expanding upon what her parents founded as S&J Tech Data Service Co., which did technical writing for automotive companies, Blaker turned Technical Training, Inc. (TTi) into a multi-million-dollar global outsourcing and training company with more than 1,300 employees in 11 countries. Soon after becoming president in 1991, Blaker began to expand services to emphasize high-quality contract personnel and outsourcing, training systems design, and e-learning. Under her leadership, TTi opened offices in China, Thailand, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Venezuela. She continues to expand TTi's role in emerging markets by building agreements with government, higher education, and manufacturers to upgrade training programs, including a successful workforce development program in Mexico. TTi's core client base is the automotive industry, and the company also serves clients in financial services, telecommunications, logistics, industrial products, consumer durables, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, hospitality, and consumer/business services. TTi has been repeatedly ranked as one of Michigan's fastest-growing privately held companies (as recognized by Crain's Detroit Business in 2009 and 2010) and ranks consistently among the "Top 25 Woman-Run Businesses in the USA" as recognized by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council. Blaker was named a 2008 "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Ernst and Young. Most recently, she was recognized as one of the "Enterprising Women of the Year 2010" by US Enterprising Women magazine.


WHERE BORN: “Royal Oak.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “I have had a few excellent mentors from a business perspective over the years, actually key customers who took the time to teach me the ropes and wade through the politics, from Ford Motor Company, Chrysler, and a key attorney and a government official in Washington, DC. On a personal level, I have been deeply influenced by the life and works of Mother Teresa. She has taught me how much one person can do or accomplish with much determination, guided by what is right and for a good purpose, and the power of a dream.”

LAST BOOK READ:Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It is hard to imagine how an individual can go through so much, and never give up. It is an amazing story of human spirit. I was inspired.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Customer-focused, passionate about life, about my business, driven, creative thinker, dreamer.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “Definitely technology is going to impact the pace of training required in the automotive markets. The new technology and systems will require even more skills and knowledge, both for the salespeople in a dealership to the technicians who will have to service and repair the vehicle systems. The pace these changes will come at us will cause significant workforce development issues in many emerging markets.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “My Zune.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “There are many, but my favorite would be at home with my family. With such a hectic travel schedule, there is nothing better than a treasured weekend or time with family especially around the holidays when all the kids are home and I'm cooking.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Exploring a new country or new culture, learning something new, reading, and working around my little farm.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Asian influence and Italian. I love to cook these, too.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “The ability to draw people out and make them feel comfortable. I am also awesome at Karaoke.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “That in my own way, I tried to help make the world a better place for as many people as I could, and that my kids felt loved every day. And that as we grew our business, we did it the right way.”