John Waraniak Named Henry Ford II Influential Automotive Executive of the Year by SAE International

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DETROIT, MI – April 17, 2024 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) –  John Waraniak, CEO and Founder of Have Blue Designs and Automotive Executive Advisor at Troy Lee Designs, has been named the Henry Ford II Influential Automotive Executive of the Year by SAE International . The award, created by Ford Motor Co. in 1988, recognizes new generations of leaders in automotive engineering by acknowledging individuals making a difference in ground transportation and mobility through significant industry contributions and corporate value, just as Henry Ford II did throughout his career.

  • SAE International Henry Ford II Distinguished Award for Excellence in Automotive Engineering recognizes individuals for their executive leadership and significant contributions in Automotive Engineering
  • Waraniak was selected for his industry achievements and impact on vehicle systems engineering, lean product-process development, program management, technology transfer and motorsports safety.

Waraniak received the Henry Ford II Award at the Mobility Industry’s Highest Honors Ceremony during SAE’s 2024 WCX World Congress Experience in Detroit, MI. World Congress Experience WCX™ provides an unmatched opportunity that unites the international engineering community to address mobility’s key challenges, opportunities, and solutions for connected, automated, and electrified vehicles and global solutions defining the future of mobility.

Henry Ford II award

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as the recipient of the 2023 SAE International Award for Influential Executive in Automotive, honoring Henry Ford II, and would like to thank my longtime friend and mentor, Dr. David Cole, Chairman Emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research for nominating me, as well as my industry colleagues Mark Reuss, President of General Motors, and Jim Farley, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, for their support and letters of recommendation.”

“My hope is this award continues to inspire next-generation automotive leaders – as it has done for me – to go faster, go further and make a difference in the coolest industry and technologies in the world,” said Waraniak. “Henry Ford II led the creation of the iconic Mustang and Ford’s legendary GT40 victories at Le Mans in the 1960s. His influence shaped my career direction in engineering and racing and lives on today with this prestigious award honoring his name and legacy, as well as Ford’s return to Formula 1 Racing in 2026 and Le Mans this June with the Mustang GT3.”

“I am stoked John was selected for this award,” said Troy Lee, President of Troy Lee Designs. “John and I have worked together for many years, and I have always thought of him as part of the TLD family. We both have deep roots in the auto industry and a passion for racing. Having John as our Executive Automotive Advisor has allowed us to go faster and develop new business and growth opportunities in the automotive field as we move into the future.”

Waraniak was acknowledged for his influence and leadership accomplishments in aerospace technology transfer to automotive, motosports safety, racing, and performance industries for over 30 years with wide-ranging systems engineering experience, innovative technology insights, and frontline lessons for competing and winning in today’s automotive transformation. He was elected an SAE International Fellow in 2020 for his significant technical achievements and mobility industry contributions in both automotive and aerospace. His work at the intersection of strategy, technology and performance has helped organizations go faster and further by achieving the art of the possible through sustainable growth, innovation, performance and racing.

He is currently CEO and Founder of Have Blue Designs, LLC as well as Automotive Executive Advisor at Troy Lee Designs, Executive Advisor at Fox Factory, Board Advisor for the Indy Autonomous Challenge, and member of the Carroll A. Campbell Jr., Graduate Engineering Center External Advisory Board at CU-ICAR, Clemson University. He served as Vice President of Vehicle Technology for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) from 2006-2021 and held executive management positions at General Motors, GM Motorsports and Hughes Aircraft. Additional information is available at John Waraniak’s LinkedIn Profile: John Waraniak

About Have Blue Designs, LLC

Have Blue Designs, LLC is a proof of concept and technology demonstration company helping organizations push their potential by going faster and further through sustainable growth, innovation, performance, and motorsports initiatives.

Source: Have Blue Designs, LLC

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