GREGORY W. FISHER:
 
ALEX BURKULAS




 
 
 
 
 
Founder and CEO of Fisher Coachworks, LLC in Oak Park. The firm was founded to commercialize new hybrid technology and establish the foundation for a family of vehicles to address growing needs for energy efficiency and oil independence. Fisher met with Rochester Hills-based Autokinetics and researched the company’s plug-in hybrid electric transit bus funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. He felt the technology was key to launching a new venture focused on commercial hybrid vehicle manufacturing. After several years of discussions and negotiation, Fisher licensed the technology and partnered with Autokinetics and its president, Bruce Emmons, to bring the technology to market. The Fisher Hybrid Bus provides advanced chassis design coupled with an efficient serial drive power train utilizing a high-capacity electrical energy storage system. Prior to Fisher Coachworks, Fisher was founder and president of Fisher/Unitech and grew the CAD reseller business to 11 locations in five Midwestern states. Before that, a five-year tenure with Electronic Data Systems included international management experience at the Nissan Technical Center in Japan, where he learned the benefits of applying computer-aided design technologies to all phases of engineering development. He began his career as an application engineer with Applicon and then with Intergraph Corporation in Alabama. Fisher’s grandfather was one of the brothers who formed the Fisher Body Company in 1908. An active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, Fisher also serves on the board of several local organizations. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and his MBA from the University of San Diego.


WHERE BORN: “Detroit.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “Both of my parents. My father gave me lots of rope throughout life. He taught me the fruits of being proud of what you do. He was about ‘getting at it.’ My mom, on the other hand, fueled my creativity. I seem to have a knack for ideas and design – form and function are equally important to me.”

LAST BOOK READ: "I try to have a fun and a serious book going. I just finished a short fable on teams, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. I am currently reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Clever, passionate, fair.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED:  “Electrification of vehicles is hot. We seem to be at the right place with the right vehicle. Our company's purpose is to provide game-changing transportation solutions that contribute to a sustainable future. Our GTB-40e electric mass transit bus is just the vehicle for our time.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “I am not really a gadget guy except I would have a hard time continuing on without my BlackBerry. I love being connected and accessible to my business and family.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “Harbor Springs on Little Traverse Bay or at the foot of the mountains in Palm Springs.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “I love to ride my touring bike, race my sailboat, or play golf. It feels great to race up my heart and compete with myself or others.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Unfortunately, all food. I would say, though, I prefer spicy food.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I can visualize things in three dimensions as well as read people very quickly.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “Giving more than I took in life.”


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.