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Solero Technologies CEO honored with education award

November 9, 2023

Northwood University recently honored the CEO of Solero Technologies and six other prominent supporters of educational initiatives and learning within the automotive aftermarket industry during its annual Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Awards luncheon in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Dr. Donald R. James is responsible for driving Solero’s vision and strategic direction while ensuring long-term profitable growth. With over 50 years of experience, Solero Technologies, LLC has made a name for itself as an automotive industry leader and Tier 1 Supplier. In addition to his role as CEO, James oversees all sales, engineering, and operations for the company. He also operates a manufacturing and fully integrated test development lab facility in Water Valley, Mississippi, and a test facility in Rochester Hills, Michigan.

In addition to his role at Solero, James serves on the Board of Directors of Saia, Inc., which is one of the top 10 LTL Carriers in North America.

Dr. James brings 25 years of automotive industry leadership experience to the CEO role. Prior to joining Solero, he served as president of the Americas and an executive committee member at Joyson Safety Systems. In addition, he served in a variety of global leadership positions at Continental AG and Federal-Mogul Corporation in both North America and Europe.

For his dedication to the aftermarket industry, Northwood University was pleased to name Dr. James among this year’s Class of Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award honorees.

“We appreciate our university’s special relationship with the aftermarket industry,” said President Kent MacDonald during the luncheon. “The future is bright for Northwood students, as we have implemented a strategic plan for growth in all programs with a focus on automotive and the automotive aftermarket. We are exceedingly grateful for industry leaders who continue to support and shape our students through internships and experiential learning.”

Since 1975, Northwood has honored aftermarket leaders for their significant efforts to further the cause of education for business and society. The Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award honorees, past and present, comprise a “who’s who” of this industry.

This year’s other honorees include:

  • Randy Buller, CEO, Parts Authority, New Hyde Park, New York

  • Michael C. Buzzard, of Dallas, Texas, managing partner, Schwartz Advisors (headquartered in La Jolla, California)

  • Arthur “Bo” Fisher III, CEO/owner, Fisher Auto Parts, Staunton, Virginia

  • Brian B. Norko, senior vice president, commercial business operations, Niterra North America, Inc. (formerly NGK Spark Plugs), Wixom, Michigan

  • Aaron M. Shaffer, director of marketing services, Standard Motor Products, Long Island City, New York.

  • Chris Williams, president and CEO, NA Williams, Atlanta, Georgia

The Automotive Aftermarket Management Awards were developed in partnership with the Auto Care Association, Aftermarket Warehouse Distributors Association, Motor & Equipment Manufacturer’s Association and Northwood University. The awards luncheon was held during the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas, Nevada. AAPEX is one of the leading international meetings for the global automotive aftermarket industry.

Northwood students enrolled in the Automotive Aftermarket Management program — which is the only four-year degree program of its kind in the nation — presented the awards to the honorees.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to gather today to recognize and celebrate the successes of these professionals who are being honored by Northwood University for making a difference in the lives of many in their communities and in the aftermarket industry,” stated Northwood student Owen Hayes, of Whitehall, Michigan.

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