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Register for an in-depth tour of the AutoHarvest system.

Available Times:

Please email inquiries to: request@autoharvest.org

Upcoming Events

  • Shared Services & Process Improvement for Manufacturing
    January 22-23, 2015
    Nashville, TN
  • Digital Marketing Strategies
    February 25-26, 2015
    London, UK
  • Lightweight Tactical Vehicle Summit
    March 16-18, 2015
    Detroit, MI
  • Global Automotive Lightweight Materials UK 2015
    April 2015
    London, UK
  • Automotive Sensors and Electronics Expo 2015
  • International Conference and Expo on Smart Materials & Structures
    June 15-17, 2015
    Las Vegas, NV
Building America's Tomorrow Featuring Alan Mulally
President, Ford Motor Company



AutoHarvest Team

Dr. David E. Cole is a founder and serves as Chairman of the Board. He is a well-known and respected authority on automotive industry trends. Chairman Emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), formerly the founder and head of The Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation (OSAT) at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Dr. Cole has also successfully collaborated in the start-up of five Ann Arbor-based companies. His technical and policy consulting experience includes diverse assignments for industry, labor, national and international government.

Jayson D. Pankin is a founder, President, and the Chief Executive Officer of AutoHarvest Foundation. From 2003-2010 he lead Delphi Corporation's commercialization activities targeting spin-outs of potential "game changing technologies" into start-up companies. This included creating internal incubators and external ventures. For over thirty years, Jayson has been a venture partner specializing in early stage and turnaround situations.

Eric Stief is Senior Vice President for AutoHarvest Foundation. Previously, as Director of Venture Development and Technology Principal at Wayne State, he facilitated the creation of start-up companies and the enhancement of campus entrepreneurship. Prior to WSU, as Technology Licensing Manager at Delphi Corporation, he developed and executed strategies to deploy Delphi's technologies into new sectors.

Kathleen Watson Cotter is a founder and serves as assistant secretary to the Board of Directors. Formerly Director of Conferences at CAR, Associate Director of Operations, and Affiliates Program Manager, she was a key member of the team that lead OSAT in the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute through CAR's spin-out from the University of Michigan to an independent and highly successful 501(c)(3).

Terry Cross serves on the Board of Directors. Mr. Cross is President and founder of Windward Associates, LLC where he consultants early-stage companies in business strategy and capital structure and formation and has assisted in raising over $100 million. He serves on the board of directors of several technology based startup ventures. He is Executive in Residence for Entrepreneurship at Wayne State University and serves as a Mentor for The Entrepreneurial Consultants Program for The Entrepreneur & Venture Club at University of Michigan and is an Advisor to UM's Frankel Fund. He was deeply involved in many aspects of the formative stages of Wayne State University's TechTown from 2003-2007.

Thomas Anderson, Ph.D., MBA serves on the Board of Directors. Tom is the senior director of Automation Alley and the director of entrepreneurism. He also gained 20 years experience at General Motors, leading technical research teams in fundamental research. Tom is actively involved in the community, currently serving as a member of the Technology Advisory Board for EDF Ventures, one of the first venture capital funds to focus on early-stage Michigan companies and technologies. He also serves on the Oakland University School of Engineering and Computer Science Advisory Council, the TechTown Board of Directors, the President's Advisory Board at Walsh College, the SpaceForm, Inc. Board of Directors, and the Beaumont Hospital Board of Trustees and Research Institute Board of Governors. Anderson's education includes undergraduate and master's degrees in physics and math, a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Michigan, and a master of business administration from Michigan State University.

Dr. Val Livada serves on the Board of Directors. Dr. Livada has combined expertise in the areas of strategic planning and organizational dynamics, with a detailed knowledge in the areas of innovation, product development and R, D & E management. He received his undergraduate degree from MIT and his MA/ PhD from Tufts University. He is a Visiting Lecturer and Research Affiliate at MIT Sloan School, in the Management of Technology Program.

Eric Abrams serves as an Advisor for Internet Marketing for AutoHarvest Foundation. Eric brings insight from over 10 years of interactive communications and online marketing experience along with strategy planning and project management. He has worked with independent businesses and Fortune 500 companies to develop successful multi-channel marketing strategies across the technology spectrum.

Aharon Elchonen, is the controller for AutoHarvest Foundation. Aharon is an experienced accountant with a background in operations, accounting, and finance. Over the past 7 years Aharon has successfully assisted with numerous business startups and is registered with the CFTC as a floor trader. He received his bachelors degree in business from Queens College, an MBA from Wayne State University, and is currently pursuing CPA certification.

Faris Alami is a Vice President - Member Services. Faris has worked with small and multinational companies for more than 20 years mentoring minority and ethnic entrepreneurs helping move their businesses forward. In addition, Alami manages a "Virtual Global Trade Mission" program where hundreds of local high school students interact with businesses and governments in five countries to bring a new product to market each year. He serves on several non-profit boards including the International Visitors Council of Detroit, the Automation Alley International Advisory Board and the ACCESS Growth Center Advisory Board.

Innovation Advisory Council

Chairman: William Coughlin, President and CEO, Ford Global Technologies, LLC

Dr. Andrew Brown, Jr., Vice President and Chief Technologist, Delphi Automotive.

Dr. David E. Cole, Chairman, AutoHarvest, and Chairman emeritus, Center for Automotive Research

Dr. Barbara Goodman, Center Director for Transportation Research, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Dr. Jack Hu, Associate Dean, School of Engineering, University of Michigan

Dr. Jin Kim, Director, Business Development, United Technologies Corporation

Dr. Val Livada, Senior Lecturer, Sloan School of Management, MIT

Dr. Christophe Mangin, Director, Global Strategy, R & D, General Motors Company

Jayson D. Pankin, President and Chief Executive Officer, AutoHarvest

Enrico Pisino, Innovation & Pre-Program Concepts, Industrial Operations, Chrysler Group, LLC

Dr. Giorgio Rizzoni, Executive Director, Center for Automotive Research, the Ohio State University

Michael J. Thomas, Manager, Technology Scouting, Johnson Controls, Inc.

Tim Yerdon, Global Director Innovation and Design, Visteon Corporation

Current Fellows
AutoHarvest strives to bring student fellows into our effort to help our membership to embrace open innovation while providing a unique compensated educational experience for graduate students interested in both entrepreneurship and intellectual property commercialization.
Watch a video about the WSU SCIA MCRN Internship Program

Hassan Khalifeh is currently a student at the Wayne State University School of Business pursuing a degree in Business Management. He is a community organizer, leading two local chapters of international think-tanks. He has been a student researcher in the Wayne State Department of Electrical engineering, and is also a contributing author to the university newspaper, blogger, and documentary maker.

Zack Feldman is a fourth-year student at the Ohio State University majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Entrepreneurship. In 2011 he graduated from the Universal Technical Institute with a certification in Automotive Technology. He is scheduled to graduate in May of 2015 with a Bachelors of Science degree and recognition as a Wolstein Entrepreneurship Scholar.

Past Fellows

Troy Apparicio recently graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with his master's degree in Intellectual Property Management and Markets. Over the past 4 years, Troy has held positions such as an IP consultant, and an author. In these positions he helped start-ups commercialize their intellectual property, he severed as a consultant to the CEO of a multinational semiconductor company, educated on intellectual property issues, and pushed for changes in patent law and funding for the USPTO.

Emily Kathe is studying Operations Management and minoring in Art and Entrepreneurship at the Ohio State University. She has been drag racing for over 10 years and just recently completed an internship with Chrysler in Auburn Hills, Michigan. She'll be graduating in December 2013 as a Wolstein Entrepreneurship Scholar and as a certified Net Impact member.

Brian Fredman is a third-year student at The Ohio State University. He has a strong interest in alternative fuels and energy. Brian is also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and is scheduled to graduate in 2015 with a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering.

Evan McAlpine recently graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with his master's degree in Intellectual Property Management and Markets. He has a creative background, and has worked on intellectual asset management problems with organizations from a variety of industries. One of his articles about a technique for monetizing intellectual property rights was recently published in the American University IP Brief.

Thaki Chowdhury was a previous information systems manager for AutoHarvest Foundation. He's also an entrepreneur, cofounding UniversityShuffle, an education software analytics company to help universities deal with the issues of student performance and retention. He's scheduled to graduate in 2013 with a Bachelors in Business Management.

Ken Siegner is experienced in automotive engineering working with Tier 1 suppliers as a prototype technician and engineer, specializing in prototype manufacturing of various engine components. Ken recently graduated from Wayne State University with a M.B.A., having a B.S. in Automotive Engineering from Ferris State University. He is also knowledgable in automotive repair, electronics, basic programming, mechanical design, automation, fabrication/welding, high-performance engines, graphic arts, video production, IT systems, and social media.

Derek Stoeckle has recently received his masters degree from Penn State's School of International Affairs. In 2008, he received his B.A. in Philosophy from Grand Valley State University. While at Penn State he concentrated his studies on international trade and economics and has worked with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation as a Business Development intern. In early 2011 he organized and ran a tech-collaboration colloquium, via video conference, between Penn State and Makerere (Uganda) University Innovators. He has also contributed to policy suggestions regarding tech innovation presented to Tanzanian officials by the Global Knowledge Initiative.

Scott Hastings was recently accepted to the MBA program at Wayne State University. He is a retired MSgt from the Air Force Reserves where he worked in hospital administration. Scott worked at American Axle and Manufacturing for 13 years while in the reserves. Prior to that Scott served in the reserves while working as an Interior Designer at Scott Shuptrine and Gorman's furniture. Besides a degree in General Business he has an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Interior Architure from Wayne State University. He is also knowledgable in auto manufacturing, building management, weight management, health and fitness, and green technologies.

Paul Cavanaugh is a global marketing and product development professional with 25 plus years business experience. He is currently a marketing consultant and auto industry advisor for CognoLink, an investment advisory consultancy. Paul also led the formation and launch of two successful start-up businesses in Michigan.

Previously, as Global Strategy Manager for GM's Product Development Group, he was responsible for leading the strategy formulation, research and development for several global product portfolio additions.

Paul is a past President and Treasurer of the American Marketing Association (Detroit Chapter) and SAE Annual Conference Organizer. His academic background includes degrees in Marketing (Bachelors) and Business Management (Masters). He also completed the Management Development Program from the Wharton School of Business - Univ. of Penn.

Cynthia Finger, Wayne State University MBA '11, was the AutoHarvest student fellow during winter 2010. She is a serial entrepreneur and currently serves as General Manager for Clean Emission Fluids, Inc. a Detroit based manufacturer of alternative energy fueling stations (Green Truck Stop in a Box).

Doug Wood is the Senior Adviser - Virtual Media.* Doug has an extensive career as a creative director at a number of national advertising firms. He has also worked intensively with the worlds automotive leaders to build individual brands. The challenge today: Building brands that shape how we learn and exchange ideas in a world of innovative partners and designing a language that allows for that exchange between those leaders.

Marvin Davenport has over thirty years experience in engineering and marketing of industrial/hi-tech products. Mr. Davenport has worked for several firms including General Electric Company, Control Data Corporation and recently Delphi Corporation. Mr. Davenport has BS in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Anne Williams is a high impact change leader and has been an executive in the higher education, automotive, nonprofit and the small business sectors. Anne pursues opportunities with start-ups and new ventures through consulting within diverse sectors. Anne develops business plans and strategic and operational plans and provides program management services, interim management agreements, executive coaching, technical training, and high impact change strategies.

Ray Dubray has 30 years experience developing technical documentation and training programs for a variety of industries, including the automotive, consumer package goods, and pharmaceutical industries. He holds Master's degrees in Biology, English, and Instructional Systems Technology.


Andrew Diefenbach is a student at The University of Detroit Mercy and is currently working towards a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He has experience working for Tier 1 auto parts suppliers in testing labs along with university research projects. Has interest in engine and drivetrain design.