JOHN THOMAS:
 
JOHN THOMAS




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Founder and CEO of ALTe LLC in Plymouth, an engineering and technology company committed to leading the evolution of the automobile industry from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric technology. ALTe is the innovator and supplier of the Range Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV) powertrain system used to retrofit existing vehicles to advance their fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Designed to replace a base V-8 internal combustion powertrain, the patented REEV system improves fuel economy from 80 to 200 percent. Thomas worked his way up in the automotive industry with 16 years in product and production engineering at the Fisher Body Division of General Motors and at Ford Powertrain, followed by 13 years of increasing responsibility at major Tier 1 automotive suppliers and OEMs. His roles spanned program management, sales and marketing, and operations, culminating in vice president and general manager of Collins & Aikman Specialty Products Group, director of special projects for Magna Steyr, and general manager of Tesla Motors for three years prior to founding ALTe in 2008. Thomas presented at the 2008 SAE Ride & Drive event and was a panelist at the SAE Convergence Conference, where he shared the perspective of a startup electric OEM as it relates to disruptive business models. He has also addressed the U.S. Senate about clean energy jobs and how innovative entrepreneurial companies can participate in the shift of the mobility industry to the electrification of vehicles Ė and the infrastructure needed to support it Ė benefitting the economy and the environment in the process. Thomas has bachelorís degrees in mechanical engineering and business administration from Lawrence Technological University and an MBA from Eastern Michigan University.


WHERE BORN: "Highland Park."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "From afar, Jack Welch has always been an inspiration to me. Iíve read his stuff for 20 years. I had a mentor at Collins & Aikman in the specialty products group, the retired CEO and chairman of Dura Convertible Division, Ernie Smuteck. For a period of almost a year, as part of a succession plan, he met with me weekly, exchanging ideas, and bringing my thinking and process orientation up to a higher level to face new responsibilities."

LAST BOOK READ: "Iím currently reading Jack Welchís Winning."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Enthusiastic, optimistic, entrepreneurial, and competitive."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "We are building a new industry at the ground level of the electrification of the transportation industry. Weíre headed from mass pollution [created by] diesel and other internal combustion engines to electric-based vehicles. We make electric powertrains."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "Iím a BlackBerry guy but I do want to try an iPhone. Currently, my BlackBerry is my life."

FAVORITE PLACE: "New York City Ė I have two grown kids, have some family there, and we go there quite often. I love the energy, restaurants, and art."

FAVORITE HOBBIES: "Golf and mountain biking."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Delmonico steak."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "Iím a pretty good handyman, and Iíve been called an excellent ceramic tile layer. I did my entire kitchen floor."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "As one of the pioneers of the electrification of vehicles who had a permanent positive impact on the transportation industry and the environment."


At the annual awards reception in May 2015, one Leader & Innovator from the previous 12 months will be selected as the Leader & Innovator of the Year.