Toyota North America CEO Headlines Northwood's Auto Show

Jim Lentz
Dick Garber
Reid Bigland
Jean Jennings
Christopher Kersting

The 2013 Northwood University International Auto Show (NUIAS) will feature Jim Lentz, chief executive officer for Toyota’s North America Region. He will deliver a keynote address beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, September 27, in Griswold Lecture Hall. His lecture is open to the public and there is no admission charge or ticket necessary.

The VIP Panel, which includes executives representing a wide variety of automotive sectors, begins on Friday, September 27, at 10:30 a.m. in Griswold Lecture Hall. There is no admission charge or ticket necessary for this VIP Panel and members of the community are encouraged to attend also. These top industry leaders will consist of Dick Garber, Reid Bigland, Jean Jennings and Christopher Kersting.

The Auto Show will be held the weekend of September 27-29 on the Michigan campus of Northwood University located at 4000 Whiting Drive in Midland.The opening ceremony for the Auto Show will be held in Griswold Lecture Hall on Friday, September 27, at 12:00 p.m. (noon).

Many exhibits will line the Mall Walk and offer a variety of food, information and entertainment.  The Auto Show is free of charge, offers free parking and is open to the public. For more information and schedule of events, visit our website at, “Like” the Northwood University International Auto Show on Facebook or call 989.837.4823.


Jim Lentz is chief executive officer, North America Region; president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMA); and a senior managing officer of parent company Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) located in Japan. He serves as treasurer on the board of directors for The Global Automakers and is a member of the executive advisory board for Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, his alma mater. He earned a bachelor's degree in marketing and economics and a master’s degree in finance from the University of Denver.

Dick Garber is the president of Garber Management Group in Saginaw, MI, consisting of 14 new vehicle dealerships representing 14 manufacturers in Michigan, Illinois, Florida and New York. The business also includes Gateway Financial Solutions and an independent used vehicle business, RightWay Automotive Credit, with multiple locations in Michigan and Illinois. In total, the organization employs over 1,100 people and over $500 million in annual sales. Garber is also the owner and governor the Saginaw Spirit which is in its twelfth season of play in the Ontario Hockey League.

Reid Bigland currently holds three distinct senior management roles with Chrysler Group LLC. He is Chrysler’s head of U.S. sales operations; chairman, president and chief executive officer of Chrysler Canada Inc., and president and CEO of the company’s Ram Truck Brand. He is also a member of the Fiat/Chrysler Global Group Executive Council (GEC) which is the highest ranking decision-making body within the Fiat/Chrysler organization. Bigland received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of British Columbia and holds both American and Canadian citizenships.

Jean Jennings, the most high‐profile female automotive journalist in North America, is a founding editor, president and editor‐and‐chief of Automobile Magazine and the founder of the automotive website and brand, Jean Knows Cars. Jennings was Good Morning America's automotive correspondent for five years and is a frequent contributor to several media outlets including Fox Business News, CNBC's Squawk Box, Power Lunch and Closing Bell, as well as CBS's The Early Show and Evening News. Jennings won the prestigious Ken Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism in 2007.

Christopher J. Kersting, CAE, is president the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and served as its executive vice president for the two years preceding his presidency. Kersting received his credential as a Certified Association Executive (CAE) in July 2002. He earned his law degree from Washington College of Law, American University in 1989 and a bachelor’s of science in business from the University of Colorado in 1985. Kersting has been recognized for his efforts by several groups in the automotive industry and was named AIA Person of the Year in 1995.



Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in seven states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.