Congratulations to General Motors’ Vice President of North America Manufacturing Gerald Johnson who received the “Black Engineer of the Year Award” at the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) conference at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park this week. The accolade allows GM and Gerald to celebrate Black History Month in grand fashion with honor, respect, and grace.
Roughly 3,000 conference participants including students, educators, and industry representatives witnessed as recently named GM CEO Mary Barra, a strong supporter of STEM education, presented the BEYA career achievement award to Johnson, the first African American to lead manufacturing at GM. Also at the 28th annual conference, retired GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson was honored with the BEYA President’s Award, a tribute given only occasionally. The 3-day conference focused on networking and emphasized hiring of military veterans, a cause that Akerson, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, supported during his GM tenure. GM’s support of the BEYA STEM conference dates to 1988.
Prior to the pivotal awards presentation GM’s Jocelyn K Allen, VP, Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, hosted a private yet congenial brunch at the Capella’s Grill Room in Georgetown with Gerald and a few select diversity media publications. While leading an engineering team of thousands at GM, Gerald utilizes the support of his wife and children to keep him focused on the magnitude of obligations and leadership needed to keep the manufacturing process flowing methodical. His passion honed in on the ability for the domestic automaker to influence consumers into all of their brands – GMC, Cadillac, Buick, and Chevy – through well-built, luxuriant, safety oriented, and performance optimized trucks, sedans and sports cars. Yes, even their pick-up trucks deserve a round of applause for design, innovation, and pure toughness!
We wish Gerald well on his journey as he continues to amplify GM’s products to rival those from German, Japanese, and now the Korean auto brands. Who doesn’t want an aesthetically beautiful car that also performs admirably with worthy and technological traits? So think of Gerald Johnson the next time you take a seat behind the wheel of a GM vehicle!