UBR Spotlight: Top Auto Design Executive Ralph V. Gilles

This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, UBR Contributor Renita D. Young talks 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 with Young to share the vision and determination that drove him to succeed.

Also, UBR Contributor Teria Seah sits down with Gerald Grant Jr., director of financial planning for AXA Advisors‘ South Florida Branch and author of Bold Moves to Creating Financial Wealth. Named Banker of the Year by the Miami-Dade Urban Bankers Association, Grant explains what he’s found to be the key difference between wealthy and non-wealthy people, while sharing proven wealth-building tips.

In addition, in my “Alfred’s Notepad” segment, I share great insight on what makes a great business plan from Mark Ferguson, a Chicago-based public information officer with the U.S. Small Business Administration and one of my fellow national judges for the MillerCoors Urban Enterprise Series (MUES) Business Plan Competition.  Each year the MUES competition gives up to $150,000 in business grants to urban entrepreneurs with the strongest business plans. Ferguson says that great business plans are concise, precise, succinct, simple, clear, persuasive and truthful. I believe that his guidelines are an excellent way for every entrepreneur to reality check the viability and potential of their 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 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.