Andre Arbelaez | Hispanic C-Suite Corporate Council (HC3)
Andre Arbelaez is a national advocate of Smart Cities, Connected Cars, Fog Computing, and the importance of the Internet of Things (IOT) to improve the experience for citizens in smart mobility using less energy and for cities to run safer and cleaner environments.
Arbelaez is Global Technology Executive, leading his own company, Altura Digital Technologies, a Digital Transformation Company and a Leader in the Hispanic community nationally as the President & CEO of the Hispanic C-Suite Corporate Council (HC3). He is a frequently sought speaker on Technology, Diversity & Inclusion and Globalization issues.
Professionally, Andre has had global technology executive roles with Softtek USA, Mexico’s largest private nearshore firm as their SVP and Chief Strategy Officer. He also has served Leadership roles in Global Business Development with T-Systems and Covisint LLC, the automotive global portal owned by General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, PSA and Renault.
Andre also helped develop the Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) during its inception in 2007 and became HITEC’s President in 2011. He has cultivated a premier group of relationships including CEO’s, CIO’s, CTO’s and both VP’s of IT and Diversity and Inclusion leaders from Fortune 1000 global companies and was named by Latino Leaders magazine as the “Technology Diversity Guru”.
He also serves as Oakland University’s (Rochester, Michigan) Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Information and Decision Sciences Department. He also serves on two private equity funded companies Boards of KlearExpress Corp, a Silicon Valley technology company focused on disruption of processes in global supply chain, and on the Board of Directors of iWorker Innovations, a company driving equality and designing benefits tailored to America’s fast-growing independent workforce.
Andre received the 2018 Maestro Award in Leadership in August of 2018 and was also named one of the “101 Most Influential Latino Leaders in 2017” by Latino Leaders
Fred Gruner | Nvidia Corporation
Fred holds approximately 50 patents and is a Principal Engineer at NVIDIA Corporation, as a lead safety architect for driverless cars. Fred’s patents have resulted in an increase in revenue of hundred’s of millions of dollars for the companies he worked for, higher reliability and confidence in computational results in super computers, and savings of hundred’s of engineering years for automotive customers.
Fred was born in Chicago, grew up humbly in Michigan, and made his first circuit at age 6. Fred saved his money for 2 years, and with his Mom’s help, bought an original IBM PC at age 11, which he used to learn how to program computers. At age 13, in 7th grade, Fred rode his bike 3x per week after school to attended junior college for computer programming. He went on to earn a Masters of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Michigan State University. At both universities, Fred graduated Magna Cum Laude. Fred has over 24 years of experience in Hardware Engineering
design and management.
Paul Menig | Business Accelerants™ Powered by Tech-I-M
As the founder and CEO of Business Accelerants™ Powered by Tech-I-M, Paul Menig drives companies to achieve faster, profitable growth. He helps company leaders get more money from their business and time for their lives. Using an holistic approach to strategy, Tech-I-M aligns 7 forces to propel your business forward. Technology is a force for change in all aspects of business, internally and externally. Tech-I-M leverages technology in your products, services, and processes to dramatically improve functionality, quality, and cost. Savvy technology creates powerful results. We provide strategic management for long-term growth, helping you to create a 3-5 year plan. Tech-I-M works along side you each month, providing business consulting for short-term results. Prior to starting Tech-I-M, Paul led the Mechatronics Group at Daimler Trucks North America through 18 years of technology advancement and helped take the Freightliner brand of trucks to a commanding market share.
Always approaching development from a holistic business sense, and with the total system in mind, his teams introduced numerous products, including automated mechanical transmissions, electronic braking, radar collision warning, electronic engine controls, telematics, driver instrumentation, vehicle power management, multiplexed electronic controls and diesel-electric hybrids. In addition, those team learned to continuously improve engineering processes, decrease product and assembly costs, and improve the reliability of systems in the field. His experience includes 15 years with Eaton developing new products and growing business for industrial automation, military systems and trucking. Paul's career started at General Electric in military products and medical systems after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Patty Monahan | California Energy Commision
Patty Monahan is one of five Commissioners on the California Energy Commission. Commissioner Monahan was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom in April 2019. She fills the Commission’s Science/Engineering position, and is the lead commissioner on transportation.
Prior to joining the Energy Commission, Commissioner Monahan was the transportation program director at the Energy Foundation, where she funded campaigns across the U.S. to advance electric transportation and cleaner, more efficient vehicles. She held several positions with the Union of Concerned Scientists from 2001-2010, including director of the California office, deputy director of clean vehicles, and senior analyst. She worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, as lead for the Toxic Release Inventory Program from 1997 to 2001 and as an environmental protection specialist from 1990 to 1992. She was a research associate with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory International Studies Program from 1992 to 1994.
Commissioner Monahan received a bachelor of science from the University of California, Berkeley and she holds a master’s degree in energy analysis and policy from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Jim Aguilera | Bosch
Jim Aguilera is currently employed with Bosch since 2016 as TSM – Territory Sales Manager presenting diagnostic solutions to increase the profitability and diagnostic efficiency of automotive service centers. At age 21 years he began a 37 year career with SUN Electric/Snap-On Diagnostics as an outside sales representative of automotive diagnostic equipment. He began his automotive career at the age 17 as a service manager of a Chevron Automotive Service Center in Milpitas California. He is a self-taught automotive Service Solutions consultant. Jim has 2 sons 3 grandchildren and has been happily married for 42 years.
Lisa Arellanes | Southern California Edison
Lisa Arellanes is a Senior Manager of e-Mobility Business Development and Partnerships at Southern California Edison (SCE). For over 10 years, Lisa has focused on helping customers achieve their energy management and sustainability goals by looking across their entire portfolios to develop solutions. Most recently, she has been focused on supporting transportation electrification infrastructure programs and projects for SCE’s major, large, and strategic business customers for the past two years.
Lisa earned a Bachelor of Arts at the University of California at Berkeley, and her Master’s of Business Administration from Claremont Graduate University. She also serves on the board of META (Making Education the Answer), a non-profit dedicated to providing scholarships and mentoring to Latino college-bound students in Southern California.
Joseph Bahna Jr. | Ford Motor Company
Joseph Bahna Jr. has been in the automotive industry for over 43 years, holding jobs in dealerships and independent shops. He started working at 15 as a janitor and worked his way up to a lead tech. Then, after working on vehicles for several years, Joseph went back to school to get his Mechanical Engineering Degree at La Salle University. For the last 25 years, he has worked for Ford Motor Company as a Lead Diagnostic Engineer, Lead Service Training Instructor, School-to-Work Coordinator, Technical Operations Coordinator, Technical Operations Manager, Field Service Engineer, and now Regional Technical Talent Placement Specialist for the 15 western United States.
Dan Bonnema | San Joaquin Delta College
I have had a passion for automotive technology almost my entire life. I remember even working on motorcycles with my dad before I could sign my name. I have an accredited degree in Automotive Technology and a GPA of 4.0, I’m an ASE Master Technician L1 & L3 Certified, I also have a CA SMOG Inspectors License. I got a job at Toyota when I was just 21 years of age as an automotive technician and was a Master Diagnostic Technician by the time I was 26. When I was 30 I started teaching automotive technology that Merced college and got noticed by corporate Toyota and was hired to teach technicians as a Service Training Specialist for Toyota. While I was working for Toyota I also held the position of a Field Technical Specialist. I wanted to do more for my community so I’m now a Professor at a local Community College where I am currently teaching automotive basic and advanced electrical, air conditioning, hybrid and electric vehicle technology.
Dan Berlenbach, CPFP | City of Long Beach
Dan Berlenbach (CPFP) is a career fleet manager, starting as a heavy equipment mechanic in the US Air Force. He spent 29 years on active duty, operating a variety of fleets worldwide. In 2004 he transitioned to civilian life as Fleet Manager for the City of Oxnard, CA., then as Fleet Manager with the City of Phoenix. Returning to California in 2014, he serves as Fleet Manager for the City of Long Beach. He has extensive fleet experience, from the early years of alternative fuels in the Federal government, to aggressive programs in highly regulated California. He also serves as President of the Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association (MEMA)—a SoCal based Fleet Managers group.
Tom Brenneman | ASE
Tom’s career began in a high school automotive program and led to a career as a dealership master technician and manager for 24 years before joining Toyota Motor Sales Inc.
Tom is an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Education Foundation Manager. He works with school automotive programs in California and five mid-western states. He is responsible for ASE Education Foundation accreditation (formally known as (NATEF) for secondary and post-secondary schools. He supports the Automotive Entry Level programs for secondary students. Also, he supports professional level technician certification through Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
Tom sits on several advisory councils in support of high school and community college automotive programs. He also supports career days and career fairs. Tom was a member of the advisory council for the Automotive Training Center that was formed by Toyota and the Urban League after the LA riots.
Tom retired from Toyota Motor Sales Inc. There he was the assistant manager for Technical Training Curriculum Development. He was responsible for the development of technical and new model courses. The curriculum was both instructor-led and online learning for in-service dealership technicians.
Tom is an adjunct instructor at Fullerton College and has been for the past thirty years. He teaches advanced automotive courses, including emission control courses for basic & advanced California smog inspection technician license. Tom also teaches advanced driveability diagnosis, electrical, and air conditioning courses.
Walt Commans | ASE
Walt Commans has over 40 years experience in the Automotive Industry. He spent 30 years with Snap-on Tools and for the last 15 years working as a consultant for ASE ( Automotive Service Excellence ) covering the 9 Western States. In addition to being a consultant to ASE he is also a ASE Education Foundation Manager. Over the last couple of years he has been working on bringing a closer working relationship with the Independent Aftermarket Repair and the Local High Schools and Community Colleges CTE programs. Walt has been holding ASE Test Taking Tip Workshops for the Automotive, Truck, Collision , School Bus Technicians. This has now expanded into both High School and Community Colleges in the Western States. The work shops help both Technicians and Students better prepare to take the ASE Certifications Tests and students in taking the ASE Student Entry Level Certifications Tests at there Schools.
The latest project is holding Round Table meetings that is bringing Instructors, Students, After Market Shops, School Administrators and other Industry partners to build the much needed support to local High School and Community Colleges Automotive, Collision and Truck programs.
Brian Donnelly | Coast Community College District
Dr. Brian Donnelly is the founder and executive director at Learning Curved Inc. a consulting firm that brings together experts in education and technology with a shared goal of leading the disruptive changes that are needed to empower students to succeed in life and careers. He holds a master’s degree in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and a doctorate in education with a focus on Ed Tech from UC Davis. Brian has held higher-ed faculty and administrative positions at UCLA and San Francisco State University and secondary positions at the school site, district and county levels. In tandem with his work in education, Brian has an extensive track record of success in industry as a senior designer in product development with two bay area firms and co-founder of a joint U.S./ Taiwan design and manufacturing corporation.
John Eppstein | John's Automotive Care
John started working in the automotive Industry in 1983 when he was 16. He worked at a Chevron station for about 10 years and later opened his own one man shop in 1998. John moved to his current location in 2003 and currently has 17 employees. He opened a 2nd location in June of 2018. He is an ASE Master Automotive Technician and a Master Medium/Heavy Truck Technician. He was the NAPA/ ASE National Tech of the year in 2016. He is the current ASCCA state president and the Chair of the Automotive Service Councils Educational Foundation (ASCEF).
Stephanie Feger | Coast Community College District
Stephanie Feger is a Project Director at Coast Community College District in Orange County. She works closely with community college and K12 partners to innovate education programs and prepare students for the skills needed in the 21st century workplace. She leads the TalentED Story Map project that harnesses Esri's ArcGIS technology to introduce students to careers in the automotive industry, and other high-wage, high-demand sectors. Developed through funding from the California Community Colleges Strong Workforce Program, TalentED makes it easier for students, faculty, alumni, and business partners to find programs, promote career pathways, and build the talent pipeline.
John Frala | Rio Hondo College
Professor John Frala Coordinates one of the most active Alternative Fuels programs in the United States. Program includes: Associates of Science and Certificate of Achievement in, Alternative Fuels & Advanced Transportation Technology, Associates of Science and Certificate of Achievement in, Electric Vehicle and Fuel Cell Technology Technician, Certificate of Achievement in, Tesla Technology Technician, (TESLA START).
With 50 years of Automotive and Alternative Fuels experience his programs have earned many awards including Distinguished Faculty Rio Hondo College Boards of Trustees, Exemplary Program California Community Colleges Board of Trustees, Green Community Colleges Leadership Award Instructor, California Automotive Teachers Association, Outstanding College Instructor South Coast Air Quality Management District, Visionary in Clean Air for Education and Outreach, American Association of Community Colleges, Innovation Faculty award any many more. Has successfully written and co-written two NSF grants and is currently working on the Volvo Lights project. Professor Frala is passionate about taking care of the climate and educating students on protecting the earth.
Sonari Glinton | Auto Industry
Sonari Glinton has spent nearly two decades covering the politics, the economy and culture. He’s a contributor to NPR’s Fresh Air and Grist Magazine. In 2019, Sonari founded a production company with a group of public radio veterans, DeLite! Media. Sonari was an NPR’s Business Desk Correspondent, where he covered the auto industry, consumer goods, and consumer behavior, as well as marketing and advertising for radio and NPR’s Planet Money podcast.
Glinton has tackled big stories including GM's road back to profitability and Toyota's continuing struggles. In addition, Glinton covered the 2012 presidential race, the Winter Olympics in Sochi, as well as the U.S. Senate and House for NPR. Glinton got his start covering local politics for WBEZ. Glinton worked as a producer for WBEZ and later All Things Considered. Over the years Glinton has produced dozens of segments about the great American Song Book and pop culture.
Glinton attended Boston University. He's on the board of the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies at Boston University where he's developed a multi-year conversation about race and religion.
Jaime Gonzalez | Advanced Transportation and Logistics
Jaime Gonzalez is the Regional Director of Advanced Transportation and Logistics hosted at Golden West College. He works with Employers, Community Colleges, and K12 partners in Orange County to improve linkages and career-technical education pathways.
Jaime implements directives from Senate Bill 1402, the California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development program, to advance California’s economic growth and global competitiveness through education, training, and services that contribute to continuous workforce improvement.
With over 21 years of automotive experience, Jaime has worked as an automotive employee, business owner, and educator. He is passionate about emerging technologies in the transportation sector and in collaboration with the Community Colleges and industry experts, he is excited to facilitate innovative training solutions for tomorrow’s highly-skilled workforce.
Devyn Heimbeck | Trade Tech Inc.
Devyn Heimbeck is a Sales and Implementation Specialist with Trade Tech Inc., a company which focuses on developing Supply Chain solutions and bridging the gap between technology and logistics. He has been involved in the Software and International Logistics industries for over a decade, and has used his detailed knowledge of logistics to customize and sell Trade Tech’s technology to both International Freight Forwarders and Shippers. Within Trade Tech, Devyn has spearheaded the design and development of a range of functionality from quoting tools to a series of automated accounting transactions - allowing customers to calculate and distribute profit shares in a global, multi-currency, accounting system.
In addition to his time in the International Logistics industry, Devyn spent two years working as an Information Systems auditor and consultant for PWC after graduating from the University of Montana with a Bachelors in International Business and a Bachelors in Management Information Systems. He returned to Trade Tech in 2017 to take up his current role and champion a vision of a more digitally connected and efficient International Logistics industry.
Dr. Aravind Kailas | Volvo Group North America
Dr. Aravind Kailas specializes in translating tech trends and societal needs into business strategy and innovation. Dr. Kailas has worked at the Volvo Group for over five years, strengthening organic innovation and public affairs initiatives through cross-sector partnerships. By promoting the company’s creative assets and key technology positions in various fora, he has been instrumental in establishing the Volvo Group as a trusted thought leader in California.
Dr. Kailas has led Volvo’s engagement with the public and private sectors, and other outreach efforts in the connected and autonomous vehicles spaces. Dr. Kailas created a unique regional partnership to assess air quality improvements along freight corridors near the ports, and also spearheaded local partner development for the Volvo electric truck roll-out in the US. He has initiated many activities with startups and customers to address critically needed technologies and explore new business opportunities for the Volvo Group.
Dr. Kailas is also a part-time Instructor at California State University Long Beach, and has previously held positions at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, QUALCOMM, Inc., DOCOMO Innovations, Inc., and General Electric. Author of over 100 publications and quoted in many media outlets, Dr. Kailas has delivered more than 50 invited talks globally, and served on numerous international jury panels on research and technology, advisory boards of non-profit organizations and academic institutions. His scholarly work has been recognized by numerous accolades, including the Patricia F. Waller and Deborah Freund Awards from the Transportation Research Board. He has earned degrees in Applied Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Georgia Institute of Technology.
Wayne Krause | National Auto Glass Specifications
Wayne Krause is the Director of Mitchell Internationals National Auto Glass Division (NAGS). Krause joined Mitchell International in 1987 and has held numerous positions throughout his thirty one years at the company. His automotive experience spans more than forty years and encompasses everything from technician, teacher, business owner and insurance claims . He is considered a subject matter expert on most things automotive from repair techniques and procedures to diagnostics. He remains heavily connected through his involvement on various boards and committees and is the California State chair for I-CAR and an instructor in Southern California region.
Keith Leech Sr. | County of Sacramento
Keith Leech Sr. currently leads Sacramento County's Fleet Division and Parking Enterprise. The County of Sacramento is recognized as a trailblazer in implementing renewable fuels and innovative fleet technology projects driven by strategic business planning processes and data driven decisions. Sacramento County's fleet was recognized as the #1 Green Fleet in 2018 and among Government Fleet's Leading Fleets and 100 Best Fleets for the last three consecutive years. Keith was inducted into the Public Fleet Hall of Fame in 2017 by Government Fleet Magazine and APWA and received NAFA's 2014 Fleet Excellence Awards for Excellence in Public Fleet Sustainability and Excellence in Fleet Leadership. Keith currently serves as Chairman of the Northern California Chapter of the Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association and NAFA's Government Affairs Committee. He also serves as President of the Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition.
Johanna Maska | Global Situation Room, Inc.
Johanna Maska is CEO of Global Situation Room, a global consultancy. Maska served as White House Director of Press Advance for President Barack Obama for more than 8 years spanning from the 2007 Iowa caucuses until 2015. At the White House, Maska was the guarantor of President Obama’s brand on a global stage, ensuring a consistency of message across every continent, whether at the first-ever live address to the nation from Afghanistan or a multi-country town hall from South Africa. Maska traveled with President Obama to more than 40 countries and almost every US state liaising with press, hosts, and government leaders to produce what history would capture of President Obama’s story. Maska taught communications at the University of Southern California, served as a Fellow at the Dole Institute of Politics in Kansas and has addressed women and equality onstage at Harvard's John F. Kennedy Institute of
Ken Mays | Central Oregon Community College
Ken Mays has been teaching courses in COCC's Automotive Technology Program for 25 years and has directed the program since 1998. His favorite courses to teach are those that encompass an array of scientific principles, mixed with mechanical and electrical applications. He especially enjoys the areas of ignition, fuel injection, computer controls and emissions that tie together into diagnostic routines. Two new associate degrees have been developed at COCC: Automotive Management and an Automotive Technology in Electronics and Diagnostics (TED). Ken was instrumental in initiating the formation of a nonprofit consortium that includes seven other community colleges. The mission of this group is to improve the growing auto tech readiness gap and improve continuing education opportunities for technicians.
Kenny Melancon | San Bernardino Valley College
Presently Mr. Melancon is an Assistant Professor at San Bernardino Valley College. He received his AS Degree in Business Management from RCC before becoming a Technical Support Engineer for 2 Medium Duty Truck Manufacturers. In the year 2012, Mr. Melancon returned to Riverside California in search of a more rewarding goal, educating the younger generation. His experience within an industry that was so rewarding for him, now gives him an opportunity to give back an education in technology so others may experience the rich rewards and support needed to not only raise a family but invest into the future. Mr. Melancon and was hired by San Bernardino Valley College to head the Heavy-Duty Truck Department. Newer technology was brought into the program from many companies within the industry that supported his cause. In 2014 and 2019 Mr. Melancon received the Excellence in Teaching award from the Inland Empire /Desert Regional Consortium. In 2017 Mr. Melancon has now accepted a tenure position within the college. In March or 2017 Assistant Professor Melancon, through hard work and persistence, had an opportunity to bridge the gap between high school and college through Concurrent enrollment.
Irina Rosca | sustainSCM & Helix OpCo.
Irina is the founder of supply chain consulting company and blog sustainSCM, and the Director of Supply Chain and Customer Success Operations at Helix, a company whose mission is to empower persons to improve their life through understanding their DNA. Irina is an engaged and results oriented global leader with a proven history of successful operational stewardship improving global operations in various business sectors including wine and spirits, food, CPG and life sciences. Irina is a strategic and data-driven problem solver with a strong record of leading global teams to implement novel worldwide supply chain and operational strategies with the goal to improve customer service and support market growth. Her approach and decision-making process are driven by solid financial and analytical skills complemented by a deep understanding of international trade markets.
Irina holds an MBA from Brandeis University and BA from Cleveland State University.
Tony Sciarra | Tesla
Tony is currently a Recruiting Manager whose team is responsible for building out Programs that hire and train for Tesla’s Skilled Trades. His responsibilities include creating strong pipelines of skilled trades candidates from local Vocational and Community Colleges, while building relationships across multiple educational channels. Tony has spent the last 4 plus years cultivating relationships with schools across the country to insure Tesla finds the best and brightest students in the skilled trades in order to raise the bar on talent going into their factories and their service centers across the country. A big part of this is the START Program that, along with the Service Training team, created to address the skills gap they were seeing with candidates right out of school. START is a 12-week intensive training program that frontloads most the training a technician at Tesla would receive, resulting in a candidate that can make impact on day 1 of their full time career. As a result of all this work, he’s become extremely passionate about promoting Skilled Trades programs at all levels of education. Tony feels there’s a fundamental loss when we don’t give students options to be successful based on their learning styles, capabilities and interests. Tony has spent 8 years on and off with Tesla building various teams with a lot of his experience at the skilled trades level. He’s also been responsible for high-level technical recruiting for various companies including Apple and Facebook. Tony also sits on the Board of Directors for the TechForce Foundation to help insure the future technicians of the Transportation Industry. In his spare time, he is cooking for family and friends, being outdoors and hanging out by the beach! Tony and his wife live in Orange County, Ca with their amazing 2-year old son.
Kurt Shadbolt | Chabot College
Kurt Shadbolt has been in the automotive industry for over 35 years as a technician and educator. His experience as a technician was focused on European cars at both the dealer and independent levels, specializing in electrical, drivability and diagnostics. As an educator, Kurt has taught at the Technical school, High School Regional Occupational Program, California Community College, and BMW Manufacture Training levels. Professionally, he is an ASE Master Technician with L1, California Bureau of Automotive Repair Certified Instructor and licensed Inspector and Repair Technician, has a B.S. from Florida Metropolitan University in Higher Education Management, an A.A.S. Automotive Technology from Sequoia Institute, and manufacture training from multiple OEM’s. Kurt has extensive experience in curriculum development and implementation having completed curriculum work for multiple manufactures, State of California, regional grant projects, and various levels of educational programs. Currently, Kurt is one of the automotive / BMW faculty at Chabot College in Hayward, CA.
Walter Smith | Ford Motor Company
Walter started his career as a technician working for Sears in an auto repair facility. During his time at Sears he primarily installed new tires and performed brake repairs. From there he worked as a technician in Ford dealerships for eight years with a focus on diesel drivability and engine repair. For the last six years Walter has served as a Field Service Engineer for Ford Motor Company. In this role he specializes in the counseling of dealerships that need assistance in improving their overall service capability. Specifically, he advises the dealer about tools and equipment needed to repair Ford and Lincoln vehicles. Walter helps dealership management structure their training planners and address any special training needs they may have. When needed he supports dealers with difficult to diagnose vehicles. He also works as a technical expert in lemon law matters on behalf of Ford Motor Company.
George Szabo | AIXIA Global Inc.
George has both a deep technical and business background and was recruited at the birth of the public internet to work with teams at Universal on strategies to deal with the threats posed by Napster, MP3 and the digital evolution of the music industry. It was this experience that galvanized his belief that the best way to deal with technology is to ride the wave and harness the power rather than to fight it and be crushed. Since then he has focused on deploying new tech trends ahead of the industry curve to help companies from many sectors gain a competitive edge and improve and evolve the way people work.
Cliff Thorne | Orange County Transportation Authority
Cliff Thorne is the Director of Maintenance and Motorists Services who works with the Executive Team at OCTA to strategically plan and maintain company assets for the purpose of providing transportation services in Orange County.
With over 20 years of experience in the public transit industry, Cliff oversees all fleet and facility maintenance which includes developing, reviewing, and approving policies and procedures for maintenance and related operations. Cliff and his staff develop, implement, and monitor new vehicle technology including emissions reductions efforts. Cliff is a member of the California Transit Association and currently chairs the Maintenance Committee.
Cliff has a passion for making process improvements utilizing advanced technologies with a common-sense approach. He believes that one must remain in a state of continuous growth in terms of knowledge and skills in order to be the most effective and relevant.
AJ Tjaden | Envoy
Born in South Korea, AJ spent his first 13 years living with his family throughout South East Asia while his father worked as an executive for P&G helping them grow the brand in the Asia. AJ then returned to Iowa with his family where he attended Iowa State University, studying International Business and Marketing with a minor in Mandarin with a Leadership Certificate. While attending University, AJ accepted multiple roles in China with Nike to understand the marketing and supply chain that Nike does with their executives and celebrities. Upon graduating from Iowa State in 2017, he accepted an international sales role with BNSF Logistics to help develop their graduate sales team in the global headquarters based in Dallas. One project that AJ enjoys is overseeing the marketing material for a popular logistics podcast in Canada called “Lets Talk Supply Chain”.
Charlie Vogelheim | THE FLYING CAR
Charlie Vogelheim has over 30 years of automotive industry experience including roles as VP at J.D. Power and as executive editor at both Kelley Blue Book and Motor Trend Auto Group. He is the principal of Vogelheim Ventures through which he is involved in a variety of initiatives including The Flying Car podcast, DrivingSales, TPC Auction Management, RyanTech and Webcars China.
Charlie is an auto enthusiast whose career has been centered on observing and supporting the automotive industry. Whether providing vehicle information and values or helping dealers with digital marketing and technical development, he has consistently represented thought leading solutions to industry challenges.
A Gonzaga University graduate and former commercial and Alaskan bush pilot, Charlie is continually fascinated by ongoing changes and technological developments.
Steven Zack | Bosch
Steve Zack has been Technical Trainer for Bosch for 27 years, he is ASE L1 certified, recipient of the ASE ATMC “Award of Excellence” and is an US EPA certified Emission Master Instructor. He has been a technician and an instructor for most of his adult career serving the automotive industry since 1976. Steve has traveled North America and internationally helping technicians understand how to use their electronic test equipment to diagnose difficult drivability, electrical and electronic issues using a hands on approach. He has been published many times, has been featured in numerous diagnostic videos and holds numerous automotive patents from engines to autonomous vehicle systems.