Conference coming to Bowling Green

Jocelyn Robinson

The Office of Global Business and Entrepreneurship at Western will host the fourth annual Global Automotive Conference at Sloan Convention Center April 7 through 9.

William Parsons, director for the Office of Global Business & Entrepreneurship, said the GAC is a conference for professional development for middle managers and students interested in “one of the most dynamic industries in the United States.”

The conference will feature speakers from the automotive industry, including: Tim Leuliette, Chairman, CEO and President of Metaldayne; Mark Emkes, Chairman, CEO and President of Bridgestone Firestone; and Kevin Williams, Executive Director of GM Worldwide Purchasing.

“Students have the opportunity to come hear what the best of the best have to say,” Parsons said.

Other speakers include Gov. Paul Patton and Kentucky Speaker of the House Jody Richards.

The theme of the conference this year is “Driving to the New Business Model: Survival Strategies for the Global Marketplace: A Guide for the Automotive Industry.”

“With the war in Iraq and the economy in the negative, this is the most timely topic we’ve had,” Parsons said. “Survival is something that applies to us all.”

In addition to listening to the speakers, students can participate in workshops or join other conference participants in a private tour of the Corvette plant.

“This is a good networking opportunity,” said Sandy Patterson, the conference and event planner.

Students will have the chance to meet people and hand out resumes, Parsons said.

“These aren’t (human resources) people,” he said. “These are the folks people will be working for. A positive impression goes a long way.”

Students from all majors are encouraged to attend.

“This appeals to any major,” Parsons said. “It’s a chance to see professional presentations from highly motivated and dynamic people.”

Admission and participation in the conference are free to students, and meal functions will be offered at a reduced price.

Students must register before the conference. Registration can be done online at, or contact Patterson at 745-6522, Grise Hall 245.

Reach Jocelyn Robinson at [email protected]