Advisory Board

Traction Summit is pleased to announce the esteemed advisory committee for the 2017 edition of the Summit.

Having deep connections across the entirety of the tire and rubber supply chain, the group has leveraged that experience to pull together a program rich with speakers and topics, sure to provide critical knowledge for this year and beyond.

  • Dr. John Baldwin

    Assistant Vice President Discount Tire

    Dr. John M. Baldwin is the Assistant Vice President for Discount Tire based out of Scottsdale, Arizona. Prior to joining Discount Tire, Baldwin acted as Senior Managing Scientist in Exponent’s Vehicle Engineering practice. His expertise includes polymer science and technology, specializing in the synthesis, compounding, degradation (chemical/physical) and testing of elastomer, plastic, adhesive and foam based systems. Earlier in his career, Dr. Baldwin worked in the research laboratory of Ford Motor, where he became internationally recognized for his research on the topics of tire aging, tire test development, tire service life prediction, and the use of nitrogen as a tire inflation media. He previously worked in the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Department. He previously worked for the 3M Company where he developed and serviced a line of two-part structural epoxy adhesives. He holds an appointment as an adjunct associate professor of chemistry at Oakland University in Rochester, MI. He received his PhD in polymer science at The University of Akron and his BS in Chemistry at the University of Detroit.

    • USA
  • Jim Fogarty

    Manager of Testing Hankook Tires

    Jim holds a BSME from the University of Akron. He was the 3rd generation in his family to work for BFGoodrich, starting in the New Tire Concepts Lab at the Research Center in Brecksville, Ohio. Jim continued to work for BFGoodrich/Michelin for 28 years, mostly in UHP and Race Tire development. He rounded out his career at Michelin working in Manufacturing and Quality. After consulting for a few years, Jim joined Smithers Rapra, where he managed the group responsible for the Smithers Tire Analysis Reports. During the 4 years he spent at Smithers, Jim traveled around the world to visit tire manufacturers and raw material suppliers to the tire industry. This gave him a keen understanding of the technical needs and challenges that the industry faces. Jim left Smithers Rapra to join Hankook Tire where he manages the Testing Group for Hankook America Technical Center in Uniontown, Ohio. He is responsible for all of the North American testing required to support Hankook's Replacement and OE tire development needs. Jim also represents Hankook at many tire conferences and business meetings.

  • Brent Gruber

    Senior Director of Global Automotive J.D. Power

    Brent leads the automotive supplier practice at J.D. Power. He is responsible for representing J.D. Power within the automotive supply industry and consulting with clients on finding research based solutions to product and customer issues and helping clients grow their businesses through improving products and the customer experience.

    Prior to J.D. Power, Brent held senior level positions at research and consulting firms, focusing on product and service improvements based on voice of customer feedback.

  • David Howland

    Global Leader for Tire Testing and Analytical Methods General Motors

    Bio coming soon!

  • David Klekamp

    Executive Managing Director Kumho Americas Technical Center

    David Klekamp is the Executive Managing Director of Kumho Americas Technical Center in Akron Ohio.  David is a tire industry expert with 30 years of experience in Tire Design, Development, Manufacturing, and Quality including 10 years of experience in manufacturing at assembly plants, 18 years of experience in project management dealing with design and development, and 10 years of experience in quality fields.  Prior to joining Kumho Tire, David was the Global Tire Technical Expert within Global Chassis Engineering at Ford Motor Company where he made a tremendous impact in tire technologies to improve fuel economy and vehicle performance as well as expand the company's supply base in global growth regions.  David has utilized his experience of 17 years at tire suppliers and 13 years at Ford Chassis Engineering to accelerate tire technologies to deliver best in class tire performance.  He has a broad knowledge base of tires ranging from compound formulation development and processing to the effect of tire design on vehicle performance and customer satisfaction.  His expertise includes developing tire design and development process standards, developing test methods, and training engineers on tire design theory and robust manufacturing processes.  David has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management - Mechanical Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology.

  • Stefania Masciullo

    R&D Manager USA Pirelli

    Stefania is currently R&D Manager at Pirelli N.A. in Rome, GA

    She is a Chemical Engineer at Politecnico di Milano University with 16 years of experience in product design with Pirelli.

    Stefania joint Pirelli in 2001 in Cable and System Division, focusing her work in studying fiber optics characterization lifetime,  identifying a new interaction between humidity and glass fiber optics and developing alternative coating systems.

    In 2003 she moved to Pirelli Tire Division as Product Designer.  Here she developed innovative tire testing methodologies together with a correlation study between reinforcement materials properties and tires performances. In 2008 she achieved a European patent as Inventor of a new tire technology , and as R&D Product Manager she had the chance to develop and launch several new product lines for different applications for Motorcycle Tires Division.

    In 2011 she moved to China as Operation Manager to follow a new Industrial Start Up for Pirelli.

    During the 4 years she spent in China she took the responsibility to manage Product Development for Passenger tires too, with the main purpose to develop tires specifically designed for Chinese Market needs and requirements.

    In 2015 she moved to USA 

  • R. Christopher Napier

    Elastomers Applications Engineer, Global Specialty Polymers Technology ExxonMobil Chemical Co.

    R. Christopher Napier is currently a Global Specialty Polymers Applications Engineer with the ExxonMobil Chemical Company located in Baytown, TX.   Chris began his career with Westinghouse’s polymer electrical products division in Nashville, TN.  He has more than 20 years of experience in the rubber and plastics industry. His primary focus at ExxonMobil Chemical is tire technology and product testing for butyl polymers. He received his Bachelor degree from Letourneau University and is active in the Rubber Division, American chemical Society serving as the chairman of the Best Paper Committee in 2009-2010 and as a member of the program Planning Committee. Chris is a member of the ASTM F-9 Tire committee and D-11 Rubber committee.

  • Jay Spears

    Director of Standards and Regulation, The Americas Continental Tire

    Jay is the Director of Standards and Regulations for Continental Tire, the Americas located in Fort Mill, SC.  He is responsible for all tire regulatory and standardization work throughout North and South America and represents Continental within numerous industry organizations including the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the Tire and Rim Association.  Jay has been with Continental for over 15 years with leadership roles in product development, technical product management and racing development.  He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineer from Clemson University - home of the 2016 College Football National Champions.

  • Dean Tener

    Business Development Manager Smithers Rapra

    As the Business Development Manager, Tener provides clients with expertise in Force and Moment (F&M) and Plysteer Residual Aligning Torque (PRAT) testing as well as tire modeling.

    Tener has over 30 years of experience in the research, design and testing sectors of the automotive industry. Prior to joining Smithers, Tener was Senior Test Engineer for General Motors Tire/Wheel Systems.  Tener has also held the role of Senior Engineer for Honda R&D Americas, where he led the CAE simulation for predicting vehicle steering, handling, ride and low-frequency vibrations. He has also spent time in tire development at Bridgestone / Firestone where he served as Technical Manager for the vehicle systems group. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Akron. 

    • USA