UBR Spotlight: Chrysler Auto Design Executive Ralph Gilles

This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, UBR Contributor Samantha Pass speaks with visionary auto designer and executive Ralph V. Gilles, CEO of the SRT Brand and Senior VP of Design for the Chrysler Group. An established star innovator in the auto design industry, Gilles started his career as a designer with Chrysler in 1992 and quickly rose through the ranks, ultimately overseeing the design of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles.

One of the major highlights of Gilles’ sterling career was his design of the best-selling Chrysler 300, which was named the 2005 Car of the Year by Motor Trend magazine. He has earned numerous awards, including the Black Engineer of the Year President’s Award and the Automotive Hall of Fame Young Leadership and Excellence Award. Gilles also serves as the sponsor of the Chrysler African American Network. He joins the Roundtable share the vision and determination that drove him to succeed.

Also, UBR Contributor Renita D. Young talks with speaker, certified coach and TV lifestyle personality Dee Marshall, president of Dee Marshall Etc. Brands. Prior to starting her business, Marshall spent more than 12 years working on Wall Street in training and development, management and organizational development, later holding positions at Johnson and Johnson and The New York Times. She joins the Roundtable to share take the steps to get that dream promotion.

In my “Alfred’s Notepad” this week, I recommend to new autobiographies of outstanding Black entrepreneurs: The Baker’s Son: My Life In Business, the story of Lowell Hawthorne, the CEO atop the Golden Krust chain of Caribbean food franchises; and Yes, Chef: A Memoir, is stirring biography of world-renowned chef and restaurant entrepreneur Marcus Samuelsson, the owner of Harlem’s Red Rooster Restaurant. Both books are must-reads for anyone wants to successfully launch a venture and be a smarter entrepreneur, even if they’re not in the food business.

And finally, every week on UBR, you’ll get motivation and inspiration from author and entrepreneurial icon Farrah Gray, a weekly wrap-up of business news from USA Today business correspondent Charisse Jones, our Patient Investor Report from Khoa X. Ho of Ariel Investments and key economic intelligence for small business owners from our UBR economists Derrick Collins and Rasheed Carter.

If you have a question you want answered or a topic you want addressed on The Urban Business Roundtable, connect with me at BE Insider, the social media network for people who are serious about Black Enterprise. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is the senior VP/editor-at-large of Black Enterprise and the host of the Urban Business Roundtable, a weekly radio show, sponsored by Ariel Investments, airing CST Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m., Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. on WVON-AM 1690, the Talk of Chicago. You can also listen live online at WVON.com. Check back each week for UBR Spotlight, which features additional resources, advice and information from and about the topics, entrepreneurs and experts featured on the show.