Michigan Solid-State Lighting Association Announces New Board of Directors for 2012: The Michigan Solid-State Lighting Association today announced its new officers for 2012. The following officers were elected on Dec. 5, with terms beginning on Jan. 1: president – Paula Wheeler, LED Optical Solutions LLC; vice president, Justin Palm, LumaSmart; treasurer, Gerald Polk, DTE Energy; and secretary, Dave Simon, Ilumisys. The MSSLA was formed in 2009 by a collaborative effort among Michigan-based corporations, universities and state agencies engaged in manufacturing, research or development of solid-state lighting (SSL) products. Today, the volunteer organization has grown to include more than 25 member organizations that are all dedicated to ensuring Michigan becomes a global leader in SSL manufacturing, research and development through knowledge-sharing, education and public-policy advocacy. To date, the MSSLA has held three annual symposiums, conducted quarterly meetings with key industry guest speakers, and advocated in political circles for its mission and member companies. The organization now is moving into the next phase of elevating the SSL industry’s visibility both in Michigan and in the broader public and private sectors under the leadership of its incoming president, Paula Wheeler, who brings more than 27 years in executive leadership, global sales team management and purchasing experience in the commercial lighting, automotive, and  integrated steel industries, including eight years directly related to lighting. Today Wheeler serves as the director of sales and marketing for LED Optical Solutions in Washington Township. Solid-state lighting refers to light-emitting diodes as sources of illumination, rather than electrical filaments, plasma or gas. Benefits of solid-state lighting include an environmentally friendly design that is mercury-free, contains reusable parts and provides a long-term, energy-efficient source of light.

Les Ryder Named EcoMotors VP, Engineering: Allen Park-based EcoMotors has named Les Ryder as its vice president of engineering. Ryder worked for nearly 30 years at Ford Motor Company in engine development and manufacturing, with his most recent role being Chief Engine Engineer.  His long career gave him broad experience in bringing engines into production. As EcoMotors grows and we move the opoc® engine toward production, we are very fortunate to attract an executive of Les’ stature and reputation to our company.  Les brings tremendous expansion and depth to our strength and experience in production engines,” said Don Runkle, EcoMotors CEO. “Also, having Les on board will allow Prof. Hofbauer, our Chairman and Chief Technology Officer, to focus more energy developing our gasoline engine and to keeping our pipeline filled with other advanced propulsion system products.” During his long tenure at Ford, Ryder worked in virtually all aspects of engine development and production. He started as a design and development engineer, became a manager in manufacturing engineering, where he developed and implemented engine manufacturing plans and processes, then a manager in engine component design and production implementation. His next assignment was in research and advanced powertrain engineering, where his managerial responsibilities included the identification and development of powertrain technologies to meet future emissions and fuel economy requirements. In his last years at Ford, Ryder rose to the position of chief engineer, where he was responsible for design and performance development of all Ford engines in North America. From Ford, Ryder moved to Roush Technologies where he was director of advanced powertrain engineering. He begins his position at EcoMotors early in 2012. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Ryder began his engineering career at the Environmental Protection Agency working on emission control technology, testing and certification prior to joining Ford. Established in 2008,  cars, light trucks, commercial vehicles, aerospace, marine, agriculture, auxiliary power units, generators, etc. The two primary investors in EcoMotors are Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates.  Khosla Ventures, based in Menlo Park, California, offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to entrepreneurs. The firm currently manages over $2 billion in committed capital, and is actively investing out of a $1.05 billion main fund that supports early- and late-stage companies and a $300 million seed fund to develop very early-stage experiments.  The firm focuses on investments in next-generation energy projects, new materials, mobility, Internet and silicon technology. Vinod Khosla, who founded the firm in 2004, was founder and CEO of Sun Microsystems and was formerly a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins. More at www.ecomotors.com