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Azure Dynamics CEO named Leader & Innovator of the Year

Release Date: April 24, 2009

Southfield, Mich. - Scott Harrison, CEO of Azure Dynamics in Oak Park, has been named Grant Thornton Leader & Innovator of the Year.

The award was announced at an April 23 reception at Lawrence Technological University, which co-sponsors the award along with Grant Thornton LLP and WWJ NewsRadio 950. Harrison was chosen from among 46 nominees profiled during the past 12 months on the radio station's daily e-newsletter, the Great Lakes IT Report.

The Leaders & Innovators program was developed by Lawrence Tech to recognize Michigan business leaders who have demonstrated unique abilities or created unique products.

"The importance of these men and women to Michigan's future cannot be overestimated," said Lawrence Tech President Lewis N. Walker of the nominees honored at the April 23 reception. "Their accomplishments demonstrate that Michigan continues to be an important source of technological advancement for the entire world. We are delighted to join with our partners WWJ and Grant Thornton to help recognize the success of this remarkable group."

Azure Dynamics, also known as AZD, is a world leader in the development and production of hybrid electric and electric components and powertrain systems for commercial vehicles. The company provides customers and partners with innovative, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly energy management solutions.

Azure Dynamics products offer a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and maintenance costs over conventional trucks. Hundreds of vehicles utilizing AZD technology are in daily fleet service, and hundreds more will be delivered this year.

Harrison has predicted AZD will attain a 40 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.

"Clearly, these fuel, emissions, and maintenance savings are impressive, but Azure's record of success is especially meaningful within the context of the current economic and political climate," said Michael Long, CEO of Velcura Therapeutics and last year's Leader & Innovator of the Year, who introduced Harrison at the Lawrence Tech reception.

Harrison joined Azure in 2007, coming from Tier 1 auto supplier Hayes Lemmerz where he was a group president.  Before joining Hayes Lemmerz in 2001, he was vice president and general manager of Fisher Scientific's Lab Equipment Group.

He began his automotive career with General Motors where he spent seven years at the Delco Chassis Division and participated in GM's Supervisor Exchange Program with Toyota.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Harrison received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Ohio State University and his master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Dayton.

The Leaders & Innovators profiles appear on Tuesdays in the Great Lakes IT report edited by Matt Roush, who served as the MC at the Leaders and Innovators reception.

"The strength of Michigan today, and its recovery through future growth, is reliant on people in communities all across the state who demonstrate their leadership through innovation, determination and professionalism - highly valuable traits found in all the nominees," said Jeff Robinson, office managing partner of Grant Thornton LLC.

The following business leaders were profiled by GLITR during the past 12 months:

Keith Albertie, executive vice president, RKA Petroleum Companies.
Terry Barclay, president and CEO, Inforum and the Inforum Center For Leadership, Detroit.
Jon Barfield, chairman and president, the Bartech Group.
Wael Berrached, founder & CEO, Eview 360.
Rosemary, Bayer, chief technology officer and sales director, Sun Microsystems Inc.
Linda Blair, executive vice president  and chief business officer, ITC Holdings Corp.
David Blaszkiewicz, president, Detroit Investment Fund.
Leanne Bowen Sr., project manager, Jones Lang LaSalle.
Kelly Burris, attorney, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione.
Denis Callewaert, president and founder, Oxford Biomedical Research Inc.
Randal Charlton, director, Tech Town.
Amanda Christides, president, Plymouth Technology Inc.
Rob Cleveland, CEO and founder, ICON Creative Technologies.
Dilip Dubey, CEO, Netlink.
Jeff Ewald, president and founder, Optimization Group Inc.
Rob Fowler, president and CEO, Small Business Administration of Michigan.
Jan Garfinkle, founder and managing director, Arboretum Ventures.
Derek Gentile, president and CEO, EEI Global Inc.
Lou Glazer, president and co-founder, Michigan Future Inc.
Nabil Grace, chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, Lawrence Technological University.
Scott Harrison, CEO, Azure Dynamics.
Don Hicks, founder, president and CEO, Llamasoft Inc.
Michele Hodges, president, Troy Chamber of Commerce.
Heidi Jacobus, chairman and CEO, Cybernet Systems Corporation.
Catherine Juon, founder, Pure Visibility Inc.
Rajesh Kothari, managing director and founding partner, Seneca Partners Inc.
Ronia Kruse, president and CEO, OpTech LLC.
Ewa Matuszewski, co-founder and CEO, Medical Network One.
Dave Morin, CEO and co-founder, Cielo MedSolutions LLC.
Rand Mueller, co-founder and CEO, Guidepoint Systems.
Marn Myers, president and CEO, Judson Center.
Prabhakar Patil, CEO, Compact Power Inc.
Kevin Pavlov, president and COO, BluWav Systems LLC.
Maryann Rivers, president and CEO, Entertainment Publications LLC.
Ken Rogers, deputy Oakland County executive and executive director, Automation Alley.
Mitchell Rohde, COO, Quantum Signal LLC.
Franz Schneider, founder and CEO, Humantech.
Jonathan Smith, founder & CEO, Wave Dispersion Technologies Inc.
Rupesh Srivastava, chairman, president and co-founder, H2H Solutions Inc.
Bill Stough, CEO, Sustainable Research Group LLC.
Predrag Sukovic, co-founder and president, Xoran Technologies Inc.
Mark Symonds, president and CEO, Plex Systems Inc.
Aaron Timlin, executive director, Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit.
James Toeniskoetter, director, president and COO, Hirotec America.
Sonali Vijayavargiya, founder and managing director, Augment Capital LLC.
Daniel Young, president and CEO, Aegis Bleu LLC.

Lawrence Technological University,, offers over 80 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree programs in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university pioneered evening classes 75 years ago, and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech's 102-acre campus is in Southfield, and programs are also offered in Detroit, Lansing, Livonia, Petoskey and Traverse City. Lawrence Tech also offers programs with partner universities in Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.