Goodbye, old friend

Jan 26, 2007

Joe Spielman '68, Kettering's long-time key executive at General Motors, is roasted, toasted and thanked during his GM retirement dinner Jan. 24.

Thanks Joe.

Thanks for the many years of service to your alma mater. Thanks for the leadership and support you provided as the key executive between Kettering/GMI and General Motors. And thanks for finding hundreds, maybe thousands, of co-op jobs for students through the years.

That was just part of the warm message of gratitude delivered by Kettering Chemistry Professor Reg Bell during a retirement dinner to honor Joe Spielman on Jan. 24 at the San Marino Club in Troy. More than 435 guests attended the event to remember, fete and praise Spielman, who will retire from his job as GM's vice president of North America assembly and stamping operations on Feb. 1.

The large reception also served as one of the year's best gatherings of Kettering/GMI alumni from the General Motors Corp. Mixed among the well-wishers at the retirement party were current and retired GM executives Don Ableson '59, Troy Clarke '78, Gary Cowger '70, Tim Lee '74, E. Michael Mutchler '57, John Smith '73 and more. The alumni list tallied close to 100, including supporters like Vince Bandurski '64, Joe Kibbe '66, and Frank Preston '70 and some more-recent additions at the alumni association, Dan Bartz '02 and Shaun Carrithers '04. Former faculty member Wil Cooksey, now manager of the Corvette facility in Bowling Green, Ky., was also in the large crowd. Kettering executives Jim Hamilton '76, Bob Nichols '74 and Mike Van Slyke '70 were there as were many other graduates of Kettering/GMI.

The large group convened to say goodbye to Spielman, who is ending his more than 40-year career at General Motors in February. Among his ties to the University, Spielman is a 1968 graduate and served for many years as the key executive linking GM and Kettering. He visited campus often to speak with students on a topic dear to his heart, the Corvette.

Spielman's career at General Motors began when he was co-op student at the Fisher Body plant in Flint. He has had operational responsibility for GM's assembly and metal stamping plants in North America and served as GM vice president and general manager of vehicle manufacturing with responsibility for North American assembly plants. Among his other honors, he is president of The Hundred Club of Flint Inc. and inducted into the National Corvette Museum Hall of Fame in 2001.

Spielman and his wife, Doris, will travel during their retirement years, spending time at their homes in Florida and Michigan.

Written by Patricia Mroczek
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