Neil De Koker
Graduation Year: 1967
The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes exceptional career achievement in a professional field.
Neil De Koker is the founding president and CEO of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). Neil is recognized as an industry expert on issues facing the automotive industry with a particular emphasis on customer-supplier relations. Neil has been an active member of the Kettering University Board of Trustees since 2001.
Founded in August 1998, the OESA represents suppliers of components, modules, systems, materials, equipment and services used in and by the original equipment automotive industry. OESA provides a forum for members to address issues of common interest, provides a voice for the industry and promotes the interests of the OE supplier community. The association currently represents over 450 companies with global automotive sales of more than $300 billion. Neil’s 51-year career in the automotive industry includes 23 years with General Motors Corporation where he played a lead role in the organization and development of GM’s energy management programs, and later in the development and organization of Saturn Corporation with a focus on the unique partnership with the UAW. Neil spent four years at Magna International serving as senior vice president, helping to organize and manage the formation of the automotive systems corporations. He also served for four years as President of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association of Canada. In addition, he served as Senior Vice President for Tier 2 supplier companies, The Woodbridge Group and MascoTech Inc., and co-owned a corporate communications company focused on automotive customers. Neil graduated in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University. He also attended the executive development program at Northwestern University. Neil serves on the Board of the Automotive Hall of Fame and the Board of the Center for Automotive Research. He recently joined the Board of HUSCO International and is a Judge for the PACE global automotive supplier industry innovation awards. He also served on the Automotive Parts Advisory Committee to the Secretary of Commerce. While living in Canada, he served on the board of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association of Canada (including Chairman), the Automotive Advisory Committee to the Minister of Industry and the Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade to the Minister of International Trade. Neil is a Fellow of The Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD), an organization that honored him as an “Outstanding Young Engineer” in 1978. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi where he was honored as Eminent Engineer in 1990. He received the 2004 Outstanding Alumni Award from the Michigan State University Broad College of Business. In addition, he received the 2007 Visionary Leadership Award from the SAE Foundation. Most recently he received the “Distinguished Service Citation” from the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2013.
Neil and his wife Karen have three children, Todd, Scott and Greg. Todd is a 1992 alumnus.