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Professional Life

BEYA Winner Inspires STEM Pipeline
By USBE Online
May 8, 2014, 13:53

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Gerald Johnson has responsibility for 56 plants, the annual production of some three million vehicles and powertrains, and 74,000 workers.

“I cannot think of a better role model who embodies intellectual curiosity and horsepower, discipline and drive,” said Timothy Lee, executive vice president, global engineering and chairman, GM China, who chose Johnson for his latest position.

“Along with his responsibilities, he mentors nine GM employees. In our communities, Gerald is the key executive collaborating with Kettering University on the school’s diversity programs and supporting the FIRST Robotics Program. And, he does this all while maintaining a healthy work-life balance--something he insists his employees do as well,” Lee said.

To fill a vacancy in a key business unit, “Gerald took over on July 1 as GM VP North America manufacturing, and the business never missed a beat,” says Mark L. Reuss, president, North America. “That’s because Gerald was as well-prepared as anyone I’ve ever seen to tackle the task at hand.

“His immediate previous position was executive director of global program quality and launch, a tribute to his keen attention to detail and his ability to get the best work out of his teams and demand top-notch quality. We knew he would expect nothing but the best work for our customers, and would accept nothing less,” Reuss explained.

Johnson brings passion to every activity he engages in outside of work, too.

He has been recognized by Boy Scouts of America for his service on the Leadership Councils in Mansfield, Ohio, and Detroit. He is an ordained elder of the Detroit World Outreach Christian Center in Redford, Mich. He has received a certificate of appreciation from the General Motors African Ancestry Network (GMAAN).

Johnson is the 2014 BEYA winner for Career Achievement in Industry.

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Black technology entrepreneurs are increasingly providing the horsepower that drives the global economy. Over the last two decades, black entrepreneurs have created more jobs, and contributed much more to the economic expansion of the Black community as a whole, than any black pastor or politician. Black entrepreneurs are taking risks and building businesses that generate economic growth and increase prosperity in underserved areas, as more minority-owned and minority-focused businesses emerge, willing to serve the financial needs of Black entrepreneurs. US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine's annual list of Top Black Technology Entrepreneurs reflects the expanding scope of leading Black entrepreneurs in information technology, homeland security, and defense.