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Lear Munich Hosts a Special Family Day

Nearly 500 Lear Oberding team members and their families recently enjoyed a special Family Day.

At the start of the June 26 event, guests received welcome packages including vouchers for snacks, drinks, dinner and a number for tombola (raffle) prizes. Attendees then had a chance to purchase raffle tickets for just 1€ each, with all proceeds going to the local hospice association for palliative research. Various suppliers donated more than 600 raffle prizes, such as weekend use of a Porsche, dinner, hotel vouchers for a getaway, toys and gift baskets.

Everyone enjoyed delicious food and refreshments and the kids participated in fun activities including table football (foosball), face painting, bounce houses and basketball games.

Lear executives Gideon Jewel (Pres. – Global JIT), Mariano de Torres (VP – Electrical, Europe & Africa) and Achim Braun (VP – HR, Europe & Africa) welcomed the attendees.

“We are very happy to have you all here today to help us celebrate,” said Gideon. “It has now been nearly four years since we moved into this building and in that time we have grown to include two other buildings in this area. We have won significant new business with Volkswagen Group, Mercedes and BMW. Those new business wins are no accident. They are a direct result of having great people and great products and for that I want to say thank you.”

“This year for Electrical has been strong, a year of improved performance; in fact, last year we established a new high versus prior history,” said Mariano. “In addition to growth in all Electrical businesses, we have seen Lear increase our involvement in the local community by continuing to support good causes. Also, we will be getting together as One Lear soon with nearly 100 employees in the B2B run here in Munich next month.”

“Having recently moved from Lear Asia, I can say as we stand here today Lear is moving in a good direction, our business is becoming stronger, we are becoming a stronger part of the community and we have some of the best people in the industry,” said Achim. “None of that would be possible without the contribution that each of you have made. We also understand that as an employer it is not just the employee who is impacted by Lear but also the whole family, and that is why we want your families to know how grateful we are and to have a day were we could celebrate your achievements.”

Families were also invited for a special tour of the Lear showroom, where they were given a rare glimpse into their family members’ workspaces, with information provided by Klaus Raab and Michael Menges (Seating Engineering), and Thomas Herzberg and Sebastian Schieffer (Electrical Sales). Afterwards, everyone delighted in a traditional German dinner, accompanied by live music and the raffle drawing.

“I would like to thank all who shared the day and add a very important thanks to Nadine Lichtensperger, who led the event organizing, and to all the volunteers for their hard work and commitment to make the day so successful,” Gideon concluded.  “With the donations from our suppliers and Lear gear for the raffle, it was also meaningful to raise a significant amount for the local hospice association as a way of giving back to the community.”


Stay updated on company news and automotive industry trends by following Lear Corporation on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Detroit Pride Shines at the Grand Prix

Despite inclement weather, the green flag still waved at the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle, May 29-31. Excited race fans cheered from the grandstands for several different races, including the Verizon IndyCar Series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road series. It may have been a bit rainy, but fans’ spirits and excitement levels remained high throughout the weekend.

The event was filled with Detroit pride as local businesses came together to fulfill their “need for speed” while supporting of the revitalization of Belle Isle and the surrounding city. As an event partner, Lear was in the good company of many respected global brands, as well as a number of Detroit favorites like G.M.,Fathead, Shinola, and Meijer. To help build awareness of Lear (and have a little fun while we were at it) our own Dan Schmelzer, played the role of “Victor” during Friday’s event. Dan donned a realistic fire suit and passed out Lear Gear to fans that stopped by to say hello. Even Paws of the Detroit Tigers got in on the game, and graciously posed for a pic with his new Lear t-shirt. 

To cap the weekend off, we celebrated a victory of our own, as Lear was named the winner of the Chalet Design Competition. The prize? A meet and greet with driver Marco Andretti! Our winning chalet design featured Lear seating, a mannequin suited up in a racing fire suit and a racing simulator.

We’re proud to have had the opportunity to sponsor such an exciting event. It was a great way to celebrate the city and our own role in automotive history. Between the impressive performance on the track, the unbeatable Detroit spirit and the great representation from Team Lear, it was certainly a race to remember!

To see more about what went on at the event, check out Lear on Instagram and Twitter!

Lear Sunderland Launches Academy for Job Seekers

Lear Sunderland recently launched a new UK government-funded, two-week training program with local partners Pinpoint Training and Recruitment. The initiative aims to support the local community by providing employability and manufacturing training to help create sustainable jobs.

The Lear Sunderland Employability Academy offers specific approaches to unemployed residents to help get them back into the workforce and introduce them to potential careers in manufacturing. Local job centers, work programs, training providers and Pinpoint’s own internal recruitment teams send referrals to the Academy.

Lear Sunderland developed the Academy with the goal that it can provide production operators for the foam facility moving forward; keeping in mind the plant’s current expansion plans.

“Lear benefits by gaining high caliber operators who’ve had some formal training on site, understand the business and process and have been given the opportunity to prove their suitability,” said Alison Burgin, Senior HR Officer. “The Academy will be ongoing to support our recruitment needs now and in the future.”

The program includes site tours and training on employability skills, resume (CV) writing, interview skills, teamwork, equality and diversity, job requirements and promoting Lear as an Employer of Choice. Those who continue to the second week of the Academy attend presentations by Lear departmental personnel regarding manufacturing process and quality issues. Attendees then spend several days on the production line to establish mutual suitability.

Post-Academy, trainees provided Lear with feedback. Many Academy attendees enjoyed learning more about Lear and appreciated the advice about what employers look for in prospective team members. Others gained a good understanding of interview skills and the proper mental approaches to seeking employment.

Last September, Gideon Jewel (Pres. – Seating, Europe & Africa) and Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson officially announced the expansion of the foam plant, with plans to create more than 100 jobs and extend the facility by 3,500 square meters to double the plant’s production capacity.


Stay updated on company news and automotive industry trends by following Lear Corporation on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Kettering University Students Gain Work Experience at Lear

Lear Corporation has enjoyed a long history with Flint, Michigan’s Kettering University.  Ray Scott, Executive Vice President and President of Seating, currently serves on Kettering’s board of trustees, and many Lear team members have studied at the school.

Kettering, previously known as General Motors Institute, offers cooperative work education and learning, while alternating with college courses. Its undergraduate students must complete a minimum of five co-op terms to graduate with degrees in engineering, math, science or business.

Kettering co-op students currently working at Lear include sophomore Devin Binelli (Mechanical Engineering), freshman Madeline Geffert (Business Administration), senior Jacob Kaarto (Industrial Engineering) and junior Nicky Patel (Electrical Engineering).

“During my time with Advanced Materials and Comfort Engineering, I am assisting my group with analyzing a combination of subjective, mechanical and geometric data to help improve the overall seat comfort, as we also conduct research and development to create related innovations,” said Binelli. “A key benefit in working with top industry professionals is the importance of learning how to interpret data properly by ascertaining information’s true importance and applicability.”

Having returned to the Global Product Marketing team after taking courses, Geffert explained, “Working as part of a truly collaborative and goal-oriented group has given me an opportunity to work with professionals who are always happy to guide me in the right direction and provide constructive advice.”

Seeing Lear’s community efforts has even further strengthened Geffert’s wish to contribute to causes that focus on improving the quality of education for children and young adults with cognitive disabilities. She has competed at the Collegiate DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) State Career Development Conference for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. As a winner in “Emerging Technology Marketing Strategies, she will attend the International Career Development Conference in Orlando, Florida, for further presentations among other college-age achievers.

“My mentors here require that I take ownership of projects and they hold me accountable for delivering positive results, while respecting and valuing my opinions,” stated Kaarto, who’s working on setting up a warehouse facility and helmet assembly process for Seating’s Advanced Manufacturing Engineering. “Their support has shown me that working as a team is the key to being successful. I am fortunate to work with a group of professionals that have provided me with challenging tasks, starting on my first day here at Lear. ”

Nicky Patel works on the Ford Escape wiring team and helps in the design and validation for the 2017 Ford Escape wire harnesses. “Working as a co-op at Lear has been the most rewarding experience of my college career,” Patel said.  “At Lear I am able to learn about things I would never learn in a classroom. The opportunity Lear provides by rotating its students through different groups is what I enjoy most. I have been a co-op at other companies but Lear has been the most welcoming and professional group.”

In contributing to “real world” projects, and working with experienced Lear team members, our Kettering co-op students observe the larger framework of teamwork and overall open communication in every department and job function.


Stay updated on company news and automotive industry trends by following Lear Corporation on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn

Lear Southfield Team Wins Weight Loss Challenge Award

Congratulations to our Lear Southfield team members for being awarded first place in the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Michigan “Win by Losing Weight Loss Challenge” in the “30–59 Participating” category!

Our own Christina Rangel, Manager of Health & Welfare Plan Administration, welcomed BCBS Account Manager Karen Parenteau, who praised the team for achieving the highest result in its group. Parenteau presented the award to Lori Hemingway, Senior IT Specialist, who accepted on Lear’s behalf.

“Lori has been coordinating weight loss challenges on the Southfield campus for the past several years, way before the BCBS ‘Win by Losing Challenge,’” said Rangel. “None of this would have been possible without her support and dedication.”

Hemingway explained, “This award is really a group effort, with every participant contributing to our weight loss total of nearly 300 pounds. Part of what is great about working at Lear is looking at things that add to work-life balance and being healthier is a key part.”

In addition to Hemingway and Rangel, Southfield team participants included: Ashley Baisch, Rhonda Bassett-Siegel, Jennifer Bernardelli, Rod Bradley, Sarah Braun, Katie Clark, Greg Fraley, John Gilbert, Gary Hammond, Pam Harris, Jeffrey Harton, Penny Harton, Christopher Johnson, Mark Karges, Tracie Kelp, Michael King, Patricia Kus, Kevin Lalonde, Jill Lohr, Dave McNulty, Susan Milana, Kerry Mitchell, Beth Moore, Robert Murri, Sashanka Nukala, Jennifer O’Dowd, Thom Polera, Jason Pringle, Suzanne Robison, Raylene Russell, Inshad Saad, Jeff Schiefer, Bill Schoewe, Rajesh Sivakumar, Bill Webster and David Zarzycki.

Please visit www.bcbsm.com/yourhealth to learn more about the challenge and to see the full list of winners. The website also offers a helpful online tool kit, complete with exercise and diet tips, more than 40 healthy recipes, videos on health and wellness and other resources for anyone interested in achieving a healthier lifestyle.


Stay updated on company news and automotive industry trends by following Lear Corporation on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn

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