Last month, MICHauto and the Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement (CADIA) announced the formation of the CEO Coalition for Change, a group of automotive CEOs committed to taking action to make meaningful strides in diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). The group’s aim is to create a more inclusive auto industry, leverage diverse talent and better engage the workforce.

Members of the Coalition believe that fostering and growing a diverse talent pipeline, developing diverse leadership talent and providing growth opportunities will drive social justice and equity.

The group began its work in the summer of 2020 when CADIA and MICHauto met with an initial group of CEOs to discuss how they could drive meaningful change across the industry. Eleven members of that initial group are now founding members of the Coalition.

“I am excited to have joined the CEO Coalition for Change because we all want to make a difference in our companies and in the auto industry,” said Dennis Hoeg, President North America, Nexteer.  “DE&I is a critical element of our culture, and people are expecting change to happen. This coalition will help support expected change as leaders can get together to learn, support, and challenge each other to make meaningful diversity progress in our companies.  We have been able to share our plans and actions in a very open and transparent environment which is helping each of us to be more successful.” 

The Coalition is open to automotive industry companies and organizations with more than 100 employees, including those in OE, aftermarket, sales/service, specialty equipment, mobility and related industries.

“In order for change to be authentic and meaningful, each organization will need to approach DEI differently,” said Margaret Baxter, Executive Director, CADIA.  “Creating inclusive cultures that foster diversity requires an intentional, systematic approach to DEI.  The Coalition provides a framework for valuable knowledge and information sharing as the CEOs navigate the development and implementation of their strategies around DEI.”

Under the current structure, member CEOs commit to undertake two meaningful internal activities to move the needle on DE&I at their companies, and one external activity. The Coalition meets monthly to share plans, discuss best practices and exchange ideas. Administrative needs of the group, resources and coordination are provided by CADIA and MICHauto. There is no cost to join.

As they work to develop programs for their organizations, the group focuses on six key impact areas:

  • Pipeline
  • Outreach
  • Engagement
  • Accountability
  • Best Practices
  • Impact

The members work together, and alongside CADIA and MICHauto, to identify focus areas for each CEO as well as to develop actionable and sustainable initiatives across functions from HR and talent development to supply chain and business development.

“We are excited to work with CADIA and these committed CEOs on this important work,” said Carolyn Sauer, Senior Director, MICHauto.  “Historically, the auto industry has been behind when it comes to DE&I work. Collective, meaningful change has been a long time coming, and it is kicking off at a pivotal moment for the industry and communities it serves. Employees, investors, and customers are demanding actions that drive sustainable long-term systemic change – and rightfully so. “

The CEO Coalition for Change was founded by the following industry leaders:

  • Mary Buchzeiger, CEO, Lucerne International
  • Anton Chilton, CEO, QAD
  • Pat D’Eramo, CEO, Martinrea
  • Ramzi Hermiz, Chairman, Automotive Hall of Fame
  • Dennis Hoeg, President North America, Nexteer
  • Lisa Lunsford, CEO and Co-Founder, GS3
  • Tom Rizzi, CEO, GHSP
  • Michael Rodenberg, CEO, Murakami Manufacturing, USA
  • Samir Salman, CEO, Continental North America
  • Bruce Smith, Chairman and CEO, Detroit Manufacturing Systems
  • Sandy Stojkovski, CEO, Vitesco Technologies North America

The Coalition is only open to CEOs or equivalent responsibility level.  Additional automotive DEI resources are available for all functions and levels through CADIA. Visit

The initiative is supported by OESA, APMA and CAR. Organizations interested in joining the Coalition can visit for more information or contact Carolyn Sauer at or Margaret Baxter at

The initiative is supported by OESA, APMA and CAR. For more information about the CEO Coalition for Change, visit the organization’s website.