30 in Their Thirties: Jesse Venegas // 32


Vice President/Business Unit Manager, Ideal Setech/Ideal Group, Detroit
Employees: 108/400, Revenue: $58M/$215M

For nine of the last 10 years, the Ideal Group in southwest Detroit has been selected as a supplier of the year by General Motors. “It’s a tremendous honor, but we take nothing for granted,” says Jesse Venegas, business unit manager at Ideal Group and vice president of Ideal Setech. The latter enterprise, a division of Ideal Group, allows GM and other large corporations to better manage production equipment including stamping presses, robots, hydraulic pumps, and an array of electronics. In partnership with Setech, a Nashville-based supplier of highly-specialized production and replacement parts, the two companies provide OEMs with critical components while reducing inventory at assembly, stamping, engine, and transmission plants. “We handle the automotive side, and Setech handles other manufacturers in North America and around the world,” Venegas says. Venegas’ father, Frank, founded Ideal Group in 1979. “I started sweeping floors at 12 years old, and when I was 14, I was operating welding equipment and fabricating steel,” Venegas says. “I was a union iron worker for a time, working on projects at the University of Michigan and airports. It was a great training ground.” Most recently, Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Venegas to the Hispanic Latino Commission, a division of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Venegas also serves on the board of the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “If you work hard, everything else will take care of itself,” he says. — R.J. King