The Economics & Strategy Talk: Strategy & Innovation in the Automotive Industry will be held on October 29 at 6:00pm to 7:30pm CT via Zoom.
This panel discussion is a part of the quarterly Economics & Strategy Talks hosted by DePaul University’s Department of Economics Business Strategy & Decision-Making Program. This panel of automotive industry experts will discus the most pressing topics related to automotive strategy and innovation. Some topics may include supply chain, the role of OEMs, electrification, automation, and trends in wholesale, resale, and digital.
- Brittany Strebel – Lincoln Operations Manager at Ford Motor Company
- Brett Strebel – Market Representation Manager at Ford Motor Company
- Chris Schaafsma – Global Innovation Director at ITW
- Neil Feuling – Senior Director of Strategy & Business at FYUSION
This panelists will discuss prepared questions for 1 hour which will be followed by a 30-minute audience Q&A. If you’d like to submit a question before the event, please fill out the form here.
Brittany Strebel is a proud Clemson University graduate and a 2020 Kellstadt Graduate School of Business graduate. Upon graduation from Clemson University, Brittany began her career at Ford Motor Company and has worked her way up to her current role of Lincoln Motor Company Sales Operations Manager for the Great Lakes Market Area. In this role she manages a team of employees dedicated to ensuring Lincoln Dealers are prepared for current and future business needs. Brittany was a participant in Ford Motor Company’s Catalyst Accelerate Program, is a proud member of the Fast Forward Ford Women’s panel and enjoys giving back as a mentor through various community outreach initiatives such as LaunchU and StreetWise.
Brett Strebel currently serves as a Market Representation Manager for Ford Motor Company. His role puts him on the forefront of the dynamic automotive distribution model that has been disrupted in recent years by Tesla, Rivian, and Lordstown, to name a few. A proud University of Wisconsin graduate and 2019 Kellstadt Graduate School of Business graduate, Brett’s entire professional career has been working for Ford Motor Company serving its Dealer network.
Brett is a facilitator for Ford Advocates for Belonging, was a Ford Motor Company Capstone Project participant, and enjoys giving back through volunteering at the Greater Chicago Food Depository and serving as a fundraising runner for Advocate Health Care.
Chris Schaafsma of ITW
Following several years of engineering and project management experience in automotive assembly plant construction, laser welding and plastics processing equipment Chris Schaafsma took a product development role (R&D Engineering Manager) at ITW Trans Tech (a product decorating equipment building company). As soon as he needed to make decisions about what to develop next, he took a greater interest in market research and business strategy that eventually let him to DePaul’s MBA program.
After additional roles at ITW’s corporate Innovation Center, and managing innovation at one of ITW’s other automotive businesses, he moved into his current position as Global Director of Innovation at ITW Seats, Safety & Motion, where he is responsible for leading a team, establishing processes and building strategies that will create valuable new products for ITW’s automotive OEM customers. Chris holds a BS in Physics from Greenville University, BS in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and MBA in Leadership & Change Management from DePaul University.
Neil Feuling of FYUSIO
Neil is a seasoned strategy and business development leader whose career has extended across multiple industries with experience in both large companies as well as fast growing venture backed startups. He has a track record for successfully leading strategic partnership, marketing and product initiatives in digital advertising, marketplace, e-commerce and mobile app businesses with a focus in the automotive industry over the past 11 years.
Neil is currently Senior Director, Strategy and Business Development at Fyusion – a computer vision and machine learning technology company that enables the creation of high resolution, optimized 3D images with deep AI understanding. With over 150 patents, Fyusion builds next-generation applications with a focus on automotive vehicle inspections, intelligent damage detection and 3D digital merchandising.
Fyusion was recently acquired by Cox Automotive in January 2021 and Neil now leads growth initiatives leveraging Fyusion technology across Cox Automotive business units spanning wholesale, retail, sell and trade, rental, mobility, repair and service, insurance and more.
Prior to Fyusion, Neil served as VP, Business Development at Autolist, a fast-growing mobile app for car searchers. In addition, he has held positions at LeEco / Faraday Future, a global autonomous electric vehicle OEM, Beepi, a venture backed peer to peer vehicle marketplace to buy and sell cars online, and Cars.com, a leading digital marketplace that connects car shoppers with sellers. He earned his MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship and MS in Finance from DePaul University, Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.
While at DePaul, Neil was Founding President of Kellstadt Markeing Group, was the graduate assistant to the Chair of the Entrepreneurship Program, and taught entrepreneurship classes. Neil was a Founding Partner of the Coleman Circle supporting the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center at DePaul and has been an Advisor focused on strategy, marketing and finance to many startups.