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The Founder's Award

The Founder’s Award was established in 1985 to honor those individuals who have made numerous contributions to the Institute.  The first two recipients were in fact founding members.

H. P. “Pete” De Green, Hunter Engineering Company, was the first recipient of the Founder’s Award in 1985.  Pete had served as a member of the Marketing and the Trade Show Committees since 1948.  He was a Director from 1979 to 1982.  Pete is a founding member of the Institute and is now retired.

D. I. “Jack” Doyle, Jr., Doyle Corporation, received the second award in 1987.  Jack was one of the original founding members of the Institute.  He was active on the Marketing and the Annual Meeting Committees.  Jack will always be remembered as the organizer of the Explorers Club and the social spark for the Annual Meeting.  He was President of ETI in 1963.

Eugene V. Allen, Black & Decker, received the third award (posthumously) in 1989.  Gene was active in the Marketing and Annual Meeting Committees and served as their Chairman in the 60’s.  From 1970 to 1973 he served as a Director and in 1979 he was elected Secretary, followed by Treasurer, V.P. Marketing and Programming and was the 1983 President of ETI.  Gene passed away in 1987 and is the first posthumous recipient of the award.

William J. Hogan, Gray Automotive Products Company, received the fourth award in 1989.  Bill was active in ETI since the early 60’s.  He worked on the Marketing and Annual Meeting Committees and served as their Chairman.  In addition, he served as the Statistical Chairman, Long Range Planning Committee Chairman and Annual Meeting Site Selection Committee Chairman.  Bill was President of ETI in 1986.

John P. Kushnerick, Motor Publications, received the fifth award in 1991.  John has been active in ETI as an automotive publisher from the early 60’s to the early 80’s.  He appeared on the Annual Meeting Program four separate times and was the first publisher to do feature articles on ETI.  In 1984, John was the publisher of the Chilton Book Co. and was one of the first “Technical Manual” publishers to be admitted into regular membership.  He served as Director from 1978-1990; chaired the PR/Trade Press Subcommittee from 1978-1994; V.P. Marketing in 1993; chaired the 1991 & 1994 Annual Meeting Programs.  John was President of ETI in 1995.

James M. Wanberg, OTC/SPX Corporation, received the sixth  award in 1994.  Jim has been an active ETI member for 14 years and has served as: Chairman and Technical Chairman of the Performance Test Equipment Group; Chairman of Domestic and Japan Technical Weeks; Director of ETI (1990-92); and served as Technical Chairman from 1991 to 1994 where he helped confirm the Institute as the “Tool & Equipment Technical Expert.”  Jim was the 1997 ETI Vice President Programming, and the Institutes 1998 President.

Russell W.H. Bailey, Robinair/SPX Corporation, received the seventh award in 1996.  Russ has been an active member of ETI since 1964.  He worked on the Marketing and Annual Meeting Committees and served as their chairman.  In addition, he served as an ETI Director and as chairman of both the Wheel Service Group and the Performance Test Equipment Group.  In these vertical group capacities he was one the co-founders of Domestic Technical Week.  Russ was President of ETI in 1988.

Jeffrey N. Silver, I-CAR, received the eighth award in 1996.  Jeff has been an active member of ETI since 1974.  He has served on the Program, Marketing, Statistical, Technical and Tek-Net Library Committees.  In addition, he served as an ETI Director (1976-1982) and as chairman of the Collision Repair Group.  In that capacity, he was one of the co-founders of Domestic Technical Week.

Murray.jpg Daniel J. Murray, Formerly employed by General Motors Corporation received the ninth award in 1996.  Dan joined GM in 1967 and served on its Tool Committee which interfaced with ETI on tool and equipment technical issues.  As a result of these efforts, he is credited with the creation of the first technical meeting with ETI Vertical Groups which evolved into Domestic Technical Week.  Dan is one of the first non ETI members to be awarded the founders award.

Clickard.jpg Gary A. Clickard, Ford Motor Company, received the 10th award in 1996.  In 1976 when serving in a managerial position for Ford Service Research, Gary began meetings with ETI Vertical Groups on common technical issues.  He is credited with being the longest continuously active vehicle manufacturing representative to ETI.  Gary is one of the first non ETI members to be awarded the founders award.

Raymond A. Bollman, Chrysler Corporation, received the 11th award in 1996.  In 1978, in a management position with Chrysler Serviceability Group, Ray initiated meetings with ETI Vertical Groups which evolved into Domestic Technical Week.  He retired from Chrysler in 1989.  Ray is one of the first non ETI members to be awarded the founders award.

Gorman.jpgCharles G. Gorman, Snap-On Diagnostics, received the 12th award in 1998.  Charlie has served as Chairman of the Performance Test Equipment Group; Chairman of the I&M Subcommittee; and Technical Director from 1995-1997.  As Technical Director, he recognized that ETI would need to reorganize its technical structure to better serve its members and more adequately address its marketplace.  Under Charlie’s direction, ETI’s Domestic and Japan Technical Weeks were significantly expanded. He implemented a Standardized Format for the submission of technical questions from ETI members and responses from the car manufacturers by Vertical Group.  Charlie created and expanded technical search format for the information in ETI’s TEK-NET Library.

Mcgonegal.jpgGary A. McGonegal, Car-O-Liner Company, received the 13th award in 2001.  Gary has served the Institute’s first technical committee chairman.  He has let three of ETI’s vertical groups:  the Performance Test Equipment Group, the Wheel Service Group, and the Environmental and Safety Equipment Group.  Gary served as the first PTEG chairman at ETI/Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association Tech Week.  He has served as president, vice president of programming, vice president of marketing and secretary/treasurer on the ETI executive committee.  He also service as a director from 1985 to 1998.

Keith Kreft, received the 14th award in 2004.  Keith is a long time member of ETI and a past member of the board of directors and past chairman of ETI’s OBD Protocol Interface Review Subcommittee.  He spearheaded the development of OBD capabilities assessment matrices as a member of the NASTF Equipment Committee.

uneme.jpgYoshifumi Uneme, of Mazda Motor Corporation was awarded ETI’s 15th Founder’s Award in 2007.  As with most trade associations, ETI thrives on volunteerism from its members as well as its business partners.  Unselfish dedication to the principles that drive ETI can also be demonstrated by individuals who work for the vehicle manufacturing community.
Uneme-san was the Chairman of the ETI -JAMA working Group.  This JAMA committee interfaced with ETI and helped plan Japan Tech Weeks.  He has always gone out of his way to help his OEM colleagues understand what information ETI members are asking for.  When tensions rise he is always the calming voice that allows everyone to work out a solution.  He has also been instrumental in explaining to ETI some of the nuances of the Japanese culture and why some things are the way they are.  He epitomizes the intent of ETI’s Founders Award.

Greg Potter, of Dearborn Group was awarded ETI's 16th Founder's award in 2010.  Greg has held almost all of the officer positions ETI has to offer.  In 2004 he was ETI's President and has been very active as a past president attending many Marketing, Program, Vertical Group and Board meetings.  Before that he was Technical Director as well as the Chairman of the Underhood Technology Group.  He has attended almost every Tech Week since he started volunteering in 1996.  He has attended more Japan Tech Weeks (held in Japan) than just about anyone.  Always ready to volunteer in any capacity, he is well deserving of this award.

John Wiedemann, ETI Past President, was awarded ETI's 17th Founder's award in 2016.  John was elected to ETI's Board of Directors in 1998 and in 2008 was elected to the position of President of ETI's Board of Directors.  During his tenure as President, his goal at ETI was to help turn challenges into opportunities for our members. With this objective in mind, there were three areas he focused to help make this happen: value, collaboration, and engagement.  During his presidency, John brought his vision to life and contributed immensely to furthering ETI.  Since his retirement, John remained very active with ETI, as a member of both the marketing and program committees. John's passion for the industry, the institute, and his ability to lead with integrity makes him an outstanding model of getting out of the institute what you put into it.  John is one of the most deserving recipients of the Founder’s Award. 

  Bill Eernisse was posthumously awarded the 18th ETI Founder's Award in 2020.  Bill’s career included working for Bear Automotive Equipment and Rotary Lifts.  Even though he was high level management, he was "the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet".  Over the years he volunteered for the institute often.  Bill was highly respected by all for his kindness, honesty, and sincerity. He was a long-time member and president of ETI.  Passionate about the equipment industry, friends with just about everyone, and an example of human integrity if there ever was one. 

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