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SAE Foundation Honors Rising Leaders in Manufacturing

WARRENDALE, Pa., May 19, 2008 - Steven Brown, Sameer Kshirsagar, Joseph LaRussa and Raymond Theriault are recipients of the SAE Foundation's Young Manufacturing Leadership Award.  They will be honored during the SAE Foundation 2008 Banquet at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center, May 22.

The Young Manufacturing Leadership Award recognizes professionals, ages 35 and younger, who have achieved significant accomplishments as manufacturing leaders and who show potential for leadership growth in the manufacturing industry. 

Established by the SAE Foundation in 2005, the award aims to promote and encourage careers in manufacturing. In addition to supporting the awards, recognition and scholarship programs of SAE International, the SAE Foundation develops and funds programs and incentives that foster student interest in engineering, scientific and technical education.

About the recipients:

Steven Brown
Brown is a Senior Gear Manufacturing Engineer at Ford Motor Company in Sharonville, Ohio. 

Brown began his career in 1995 as a manufacturing engineer for a Tier 1 supplier to Harley Davidson.  He joined Ford Motor Company in 2001 as a process engineer at the Batavia Transmission Plant, later becoming a gear specialist/lab supervisor.  At Batavia, he received his Six Sigma Black Belt certification and was awarded Ford's Power Train Engineering Excellence Award.  In 2006, Brown transferred to the Sharonville Transmission Plant as a lead manufacturing engineer before being promoted to senior engineer. 

A resident of Amelia, Ohio, Brown is an active member of his community. He volunteers for a number of organizations and events, including his church in Glen Este, Ohio, the Fleming County Hospital Health Fair and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. 

Sameer Kshirsagar
Kshirsagar is a Production Shift Leader at General Motors' Lansing Grand River Assembly in Lansing, Mich. 

Kshirsagar began his career at General Motors in 1996 as an associate plant engineer at the Baltimore Assembly Plant.  While at Baltimore, he held positions as production supervisor, test systems coordinator and reliability manager.  He transferred to the Moraine Assembly Plant where he was a process control manager and vehicle assembly engineer; later, he transferred to the Flint Assembly Plant as a quality confirmation operations manager.  He was named to his current position at Lansing in 2004. 

During his career, Kshirsagar guided the Trim team to meet its quality goals and improved Direct Run Rate, a production efficiency measurement. He is the recipient of the Chairman's Honors Award, the highest employee award issued by General Motors. He also has been nominated four times for the People Make Quality Happen Award. Kshirsagar participates in the General Motors Leadership Program, mentors co-op students and serves on the Board of Directors for the GM-Asian Indian Affinity Group.  He resides in Howell, Mich.

Joseph LaRussa
LaRussa is a Mobile Electronics Project Manager at Visteon Corporation in Van Buren Township, Mich. 

LaRussa began his career at Visteon 11 years ago as an electronic throttle product engineer.  During this time, he was promoted to positions with increasing responsibility, including air induction product engineer, ignition coil manufacturing engineer and engine air induction application engineer.  In these roles, LaRussa contributed to Visteon in the areas of product development, product management and manufacturing engineering, while generating revenue increases and production-cost savings. 

An active member of SAE International and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, LaRussa also volunteers in his community.  He leads the career transition ministry at his church in Plymouth, Mich., and serves as Vice Chair of the University of Michigan-Dearborn Alumni Society Board of Governors.  He resides in Farmington, Mich.

Raymond Theriault
Theriault is a V8 Engine Assembly Area Manager at GM Powertrain for General Motors Corporation in Romulus, Mich. 

Theriault began his career in 1991 at Detroit Diesel Corporation as an electrical controls engineer.  He joined General Motors in 1996, holding positions that included senior controls engineer, supervisor of plant engineering controls and superintendent of plant engineering, maintenance and global manufacturing systems.  At General Motors, he led a team to transform a V8 engine assembly system into the most productive of its kind, as ranked by Harbour Report.  He also improved First Time Quality and the level of safety in his area.  His improvement strategies have been shared across other global sites to benefit the company.

A resident of Milford, Mich., Theriault is an active member of his community.  He volunteers for the Village of Milford Parks and Recreation Commission and coaches YMCA youth soccer and basketball teams.  He also has served as a judge for the FIRST Robotics Lego League regional tournament and as president of the Board for Milford Cooperative Nursery School.