The 2009 Co-op Hall of Fame

Aug 15, 2008

Kettering University's newest class in the National Co-op Hall of Fame is: Troy Clarke '78, Bruce Coventry '75, Harry Lange '75, Vickie Piner '89 and J. Don Rice '81. They will be honored by the National Commission for Cooperative Education later this year.

They are nationally known for their leadership in the automotive industry, finance and investments and for encouraging diversity in the workforce.  Five more Kettering University alumni will be inducted into the National Commission for Cooperative Education's (NCCE) Co-op Hall of Fame.

The five honored graduates were nominated by Kettering President Stan Liberty and will be featured in the 2009 Co-op Hall of Fame Class.  Their biographies and photographs will be published in NCCE’s 2008-09 Best of Co-op Annual Guide. Kettering’s honorees are:

Troy A. Clarke
Class of 1978
Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering

Troy A. Clarke is the president, General Motors North America, and group vice president for the General Motors Corp.  He is charged with increasing GM’s market share and global sales worldwide. In 2006 when he took his current position, he led the company’s turnaround plan with GM CEO Rick Wagoner.  His previous assignments at GM include serving as president of GM Asia Pacific Operations, which included the largest sales region for GM globally; group vice president of Manufacturing and Labor Relations and GM Corporate vice president and Labor Relations representative. He is a member of the GM North American Strategy Board and GM Corporate Board.  He has a BME degree from Kettering/GMI and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

Bruce D. Coventry
Class of 1975
Bachelor of Industrial Engineering

Bruce D. Coventry, president of the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) and vice president of Chrysler, became chair of Kettering University’s Board of Trustees in September 2007. Coventry also serves as the vice president of NAFTA World Engine, a joint team responsible for the design, development and manufacturing processes of a new family of aluminum four-cylinder gasoline engines. He obtained an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from Kettering and a master's degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University.  He was recently honored with the 2008 Kettering University Business Alumni Achievement and Service Award and is credited in helping Kettering transition from a narrowly-focused automotive engineering school to a broader-based technical and business university.

Harry W. Lange
Class of 1975
Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering

Harry W. Lange has been the manager of Fidelity Investments’ Magellan Fund since 2005.  Lange has had two distinct careers. From 1970 to 1983, he worked at GM Chevrolet Motor Division as an engineer and manager and invested in various stock markets as a hobby.  In 1983 following his graduation from Harvard Business School, he began his career in the investment industry, first with Idanta Partners and later for Wellington Management. In 1987, he joined Fidelity and developed a talent for analyzing companies for potential sales and growth for investment purposes.  In 2003, he was one of 10 people throughout the world nominated for “Man of the Year” by Morningstar He has a BME degree from Kettering/GMI and an MBA from Harvard.

Vickie Piner
Class of 1989
Bachelor of Industrial Engineering

Vickie Vernell Piner, vice president for Supplier Diversity and Development in the Lear Corporation’s Global Purchasing Division, was the first woman named to the position of vice president at the company. She also has served Lear as vice president of Global Six Sigma Deployment, Quality for the Interiors, Electrical and Ford Customer Division, and Seating Operations in France. She holds an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from Kettering and a master's degree in Manufacturing Management from Central Michigan University. She was honored with the Automotive Hall of Fame's Young Leadership and Excellence Award, the Crain's Detroit Business "40 Under 40" Award which recognizes Detroit's most successful young business people, and Diversity Journal’s “Women Worth Watching” Award.

J. Don Rice
Class of 1981
Bachelor of Industrial Engineering

J. Don Rice, president and chief executive officer of Rice Financial Products Company,is a 25-year veteran of the securities industry. He became interested in securities while studying finance at Harvard University. He got his start in the financial services area as one of the founding members of Merrill Lynch’s Municipal Derivatives Products Group. Rice holds an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from Kettering and a master's degree in Business Administration from Harvard University’s School of Business. He was also named among the “75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street” by Black Enterprise magazine.

More on the NCCE Co-op Hall of Fame.

Written by Patricia Mroczek