Gov. Nixon names 18 members of Automotive Jobs Task Force

March 26, 2009
Jefferson City, MO

Gov. Jay Nixon today announced the names of 18 Missourians he has appointed to the Automotive Jobs Task Force. Gov. Nixon created the Task Force to identify ways state government can best help Missouri's automotive industry and the industries that are dependent on it.

"Our top priorities to revive Missouri's economy are to create and retain good jobs, and these are people with the expertise in the automotive industry and in related industries who can provide our state with the assistance we need in this vital area," Gov. Nixon said.

The Task Force, which falls under the Missouri Department of Economic Development, is charged with:

  • Identifying current state economic policies and legislative enactments that help or hinder the development and retention of high-tech automobile production facilities within the state;
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of job training programs, both inside and outside of state government, in preparing workers for the future of the automotive industry;
  • Recommending legislative and policy solutions to strengthen the automotive workforce in Missouri in the short and long term;
  • Identifying opportunities for future innovation and investment in the industry;
  • Identifying funding sources for implementing any of its recommendations; and
  • Issuing a report outlining its findings and recommendations.

The 18 members named by executive order are:

Chris Chung, Clayton, is the CEO of the public-private, non-profit Missouri Partnership. He will chair the Task Force.

David Bardgett, St. Charles, is an account manager for Gage Products Co., a specialty chemical manufacturer for the auto industry. His current account is the Chrysler St. Louis North plant; he is a former UAW member.

Jim Curran, Fenton, is director of business development for the Electrical Connection. The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local One and union electrical contractors. He formerly served as economic development director for the city of Fenton.

Dr. Zelema Harris, St. Louis, is chancellor of St. Louis Community College, a system of four campuses and three education centers with an annual budget of $195 million. She also has served as president of Parkland College in Champaign, Ill., and of Penn Valley Community College in Kansas City.

Robert Lloyd, St. Louis, is president and CEO of Bodine Aluminum Inc., which manufactures highly engineered aluminum casings, and operates plants in Missouri in St. Louis and Troy.

Clyde McQueen, Kansas City, is president and CEO of Full Employment Council Inc. The council is a business-led, private nonprofit corporation whose mission is to obtain public and private sector employment for the unemployed and underemployed residents of the Greater Kansas City area.

Randy Moore, Joplin, is president of EaglePicher Technologies LLC, which produces batteries and energetic devices for the defense, space and commercial industries. He previously served as executive vice president and general manager of Kollsman Inc., a provider of advanced systems for the commercial aviation, homeland security and defense markets.

Don Nissanka, Lee's Summit, is a founding member and CEO of Kokam America, and is credited for the introduction of the superior lithium polymer battery technology into the U.S. electric and hybrid vehicle market.

Tony Reinhart, Parkville, is Ford Motor Company's regional director of governmental affairs, and is responsible for implementing Ford's legislative and governmental affairs programs in a 13-state region.

Nick Robinson, Kirkwood, is an international representative to the United Auto Workers (UAW) Region 5 CAP staff. Before that, he worked at Chrysler plants in the St. Louis area for more than 30 years.

Zsolt Rumy, St. Louis, founded Zoltek Corp. in 1975 as a producer of carbon fibers. The fibers are used as a low-cost but high performance reinforcement for composites used as a primary building material in everyday commercial products.

Jim Russell, Jefferson City, operates Jim Russell Governmental Relations, a governmental consulting firm. The firm's accounts include the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which includes many major domestic and foreign manufacturers.

John Schicker, St. Louis, is general manager for McMahon Ford Co. and a past president of the St. Louis Auto Dealers Association.

Dr. John Sheffield, Rolla, is a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and associate director of the National University Transportation Center at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.

Jack Stack, Springfield, is president and CEO of SRC Holdings Corp., which manufactures gasoline and diesel engines for the automotive and off-highway markets. SRC has annual sales of more than $300 million and employs more than 1,000 people.

Don Wainwright, Wildwood, is chairman and CEO of Wainwright Industries, a St. Peters-based manufacturer of parts for the automotive and commercial and defense aerospace industries.

Edward Wallace, Kansas City, has served as regional director for state and local government relations for General Motors since 1986. For several years, he was the prime contact between General Motors and the National Governors Association.

Stan Wallach, Kirkwood, is a private practice attorney who also serves as a city attorney for Fenton. In that role, he has worked with governmental officials and industry representatives on issues relating to the Chrysler plant in Fenton.