DEARBORN - Ford continued to further its reputation as a leading innovator in the automotive industry by claiming three of this year’s Detroit Free Press Automotive Leadership Awards.
The awards, which were presented by Bridgestone during this year’s North American International Auto Show, recognizes the most outstanding industry achievements by an individual or an organization during the previous year.
This year’s Ford winners were: Amy Marentic, for outstanding achievement in Advertising and Marketing, Thomas McCarthy, for Engineering and Technology, and Debbie Mielewski, for her innovations in Green.
Marentic, Ford’s Marketing manager for global cars and crossovers vehicles, began her career with Ford in the aerodynamics department in 1992. After a few years of opportunities in product planning and engineering roles, during her MBA, she was offered the opportunity to lead the marketing of the Transit commercial van in Europe. Through the years she’s worked on projects ranging from the Ford Explorer and police vehicles to the all-new 2015 Mustang. She was awarded the Advertising and Marketing award for finding her way in the field.
With the new CAFE regulations placed on the automotive industry, Ford has adjusted to the climate with the help of Ecoboost engines and its chief engineer for powertrain research and advanced engineering, Thomas McCarthy. “It felt great to be able to receive this award on the behalf of Ford and the various teams of people in which I have had the opportunity to work with on major P/T programs and technology development projects,” he said. “I consider this award recognition of the outstanding work by the various teams and Ford for its commitment to a strong emphasis on technology and innovation leadership in its new products.”
The contributions of McCarthy and others have allowed the company to offer Ecoboost engine technology through about 90 percent of its lineup. Vehicles ranging from the Ford Fiesta to the all-new F-150 feature the light and powerful fuel-efficient technology that allows drivers to save money in their wallets and reduce their carbon footprint without sacrificing power.
Since 2001, Debbie Mielewski has led Ford’s advanced plastics group away from using petroleum in crafting their specific biomaterials. After the cost of fuel skyrocketed in the following years, Ford managed to save 25 million pounds of carbon dioxide and 5 million pounds of petroleum annually with the use of soy foam in its vehicles; the new Mustang uses the technology in its seats. “This idea is something that was important to the company's founder, Henry Ford, and is even more relevant for our world today, said Mielewski.
The Free Press recognized her leadership of a team of seven women that led the vanguard of forward thinking engineers in this year’s awards. “I am truly honored to receive the Detroit Free Press Award in the Green category. It is exciting and challenging to research, develop and deliver sustainable plastic materials for Ford Motor Company. I have the best job in the world.”
Last year, Ford won three awards for Green, Up-and-Coming for the company’s efforts in Ford China and Design with the newly launched Fusion.