Neil De Koker '67 Commencement Speaker 12-11-10

Nov 17, 2010

Neil De Koker '67 to speak at commencement.


Neil De Koker ‘67
President and CEO
Original Equipment Suppliers Association
Neil De Koker, the founding president and CEO of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA), is an industry expert on issues facing the automotive industry with a particular emphasis on customer-supplier relations. In a career that spans almost 50 years, he has served in leadership roles in countless organizations and received some of the most coveted awards presented in business and industry today.
Founded in August 1998, 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 400 companies with global automotive sales of more than $300 billion.
Mr. De Koker was born on Sept. 9, 1943.  He came to campus as a student in the early 1960s (then General Motors Institute), sponsored by GM’s Chevrolet Division in Detroit. During his college years, he became a member of Theta Xi fraternity and was an active student leader in the American Welding Society, Electrical Engineering Club and the Publications Council.
Mr. De Koker earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 1967. In the years since his graduation, he has continued to serve this institution as a leader and devoted alumnus. He served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors for most of the 1990s and has been a generous member of President’s Council through the years. To recognize him for continuing service to his alma mater, Kettering named him to the National Commission for Cooperative Education’s National Co-op Hall of Fame in 2009-10. Additionally, he is a member of the Kettering University Board of Trustees.
Along with his bachelor’s degree from Kettering, he earned an executive master’s degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University. He also attended the executive development program at Northwestern University.
His 48-year career in the automotive industry includes 23 years with General Motors Corp., where he played a lead role in the development and organization of Saturn Corp. He spent four years at Magna International serving as senior vice president, helping to organize and manage the formation of the automotive systems corporations. 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.
He serves on the board of the Automotive Hall of Fame, the board of the Center for Automotive Research, and the board of the Japan America Society of Greater Detroit and Windsor.
In the past, he has also served on the boards of the SAE Foundation and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center. 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 Canada, and the Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade.
Mr. De Koker 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.
In 2004, he was awarded the Executive Leadership Award from the Marketing and Sales Executives of Detroit. 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 and the SKF – X Tracker award in 2009 for leadership in addressing industry issues.
He and his wife, Karen Sue, live in Bingham Farms and have three grown sons.