Scott Harrison Chosen Leader and Innovator of the Year


SOUTHFIELD, Mich., April 23, 2009 – Scott Harrison was named the fourth-annual Grant Thornton Leader and Innovator of the Year this evening, with many additional weekly honorees from the past 12 months among those in attendance at a special reception at Lawrence Technological University.

The “Leader & Innovator” award recognizes and rewards leaders and innovators in the state of Michigan who have demonstrated or created unique ideas, technologies, products or abilities that generate a better quality of life in our communities while leading companies, community organizations or enterprises. Harrison was chosen from among 46 award nominees profiled almost weekly since March of 2008. The award is also sponsored by Lawrence Technological University and WWJ News Radio 950. Last year’s winner, Dr. Michael W. Long, was on hand to present the2009 award to Harrison.

“The strength of Michigan today, and its recovery through future growth, is reliant on people in communities all across the state who demonstrate their leadership through innovation, determination and professionalism – highly-valuable traits found in all the nominees,” said Jeff Robinson, office managing partner at Grant Thornton LLP. “For these reasons, Grant Thornton LLP is privileged to be able to publicly recognize all their efforts and hard work, and we especially congratulate Scott Harrison for being selected the Grant Thornton Leader & Innovator of the Year.”

Harrison is the CEO of Azure Dynamics in Oak Park. Also known as AZD, Azure is a global leader in the development and production of hybrid electric, and electric components and powertrain systems for commercial vehicles. Recently, Automotive Engineering magazine stated that when Harrison talks about Azure delivering a 40 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, he’s not dreaming. His words are based on real-world experience with hundreds of vehicles in daily fleet service, where Harrison has shown a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and maintenance costs over conventional trucks.

Harrison joined Azure in 2007, coming from Hayes Lemmerz, a two billion dollar per annum Tier 1 auto supplier, where he was group president responsible for two global businesses. Before joining Hayes Lemmerz in 2001, he was vice president and general manager of Fisher Scientifics’ Lab Equipment Group.

Scott began his automotive career with General Motors Corporation where he spent seven years at the Delco Chassis Division and participated in GM’s Supervisor Exchange Program with Toyota. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Harrison earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Ohio State University and his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dayton.

“These men and women are key to Michigan’s future and the diversification of its economy,” said Lewis N. Walker, Lawrence Tech president, about the 46 nominees. “These profilees and their accomplishments prove that our state continues to be a global source of innovation and advancement. We are delighted to join with our partners WWJ and Grant Thornton LLP to help recognize the successes of this remarkable group.”

The awards reception leads off Lawrence Tech’s annual open house on April 25, featuring special displays and demonstrations by the University’s students, including results of applied research, community studies and other solutions to a variety of real-world problems.

Anyone can make nominations for future Leader & Innovator award honorees by going to Each spring, a Grant Thornton Leader & Innovator of the Year will be selected from among those honorees profiled during the preceding 12 months.

Weekly Leader & Innovator honorees considered for the 2009 award, who were nominated and have been featured in co-sponsor WWJ News Radio 950’s Great Lakes IT Report by editor Matt Roush, are listed in order of most recent with information that was correct as of the date of their profile:

  • Leanne Bowen: Senior Project Manager at Jones Lang LaSalle in Detroit
  • Dilip Dubey: CEO of Netlink in Madison Heights
  • Randal Charlton: Director of TechTown, the Wayne State University (WSU) research and technology park
  • Heidi Jacobus: Chairman and CEO of Cybernet Systems in Ann Arbor
  • Jon E. Barfield: Chairman and President of The Bartech Group in Livonia
  • William Stough: Executive Director of theSoutheast Michigan Sustainable Business Forum in Detroit
  • Mitchell Rohde: COO of Quantum Signal LLC inAnn Arbor
  • Rob Fowler: President and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) in Lansing
  • Marn Myers: President and CEO of theJudsonCenter in Royal Oak
  • Maryann Rivers: President and CEO of Entertainment Publications LLC. in Troy
  • Mark Symonds: President and CEO of Plexus Systems Inc. in Auburn Hills
  • Ken Rogers: Deputy Oakland County Executive and Executive Director of Automation Alley in Troy
  • Rand Mueller: Co-founder and CEO of Guidepoint Systems in Pontiac
  • Daniel Young: President and CEO of Aegis Bleu, LLC, in Lansing
  • Rupesh Srivastava: Chairman, President, and Co-founder of H2H Solutions, Inc.; President and CEO of Youngsoft Inc.; and Founder, President, and CEO of
    Youngtronics LLC, all in Wixom
  • Derek Gentile: President and CEO, EEI Global, Inc
  • Jeff Ewald: President and Founder of Optimization Group Inc. in Ann Arbor
  • Don Hicks: Founder, President, and CEO of LLamasoft Inc. in Ann Arbor
  • Ewa Matuszewski: Co-founder and CEO of Medical Network One in Rochester
  • Predrag “Pedja” Sukovic: Co-founder, President, and CEO of Xoran Technologies Inc. in Ann Arbor
  • Ronia Kruse: Co-founder, President, and CEO of OpTech, LLC, in Detroit
  • Kelly Burris: Attorney, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, Ann Arbor
  • Rajesh Kothari: Managing Director and Founding Partner of Seneca Partners in Birmingham
  • David Blaszkiewicz: President of the Detroit Investment Fund in Detroit
  • Keith Albertie: Executive Vice President of RKA Petroleum Cos. in Romulus
  • Wael Berrached: Founder and CEO of Eview 360 in Farmington Hills
  • Terry Barclay: President and CEO of Inforum and theInforumCenter for Leadership in Detroit
  • Rosemary Bayer: Sales Director at Sun Microsystems Inc. in Southfield; Founder of the Michigan Council of Women in Technology (MCWT)
  • Catherine Juon: Co-Founder and Catalyst, Pure Visibility Inc. in Ann Arbor
  • Nabil Grace: Chair and University Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering at Lawrence Technological University
  • James Toeniskoetter: Director, President, and COO of HirotecAmerica in Auburn Hills
  • Scott Harrison: CEO of Azure Dynamics inOak Park
  • Michele Hodges: President, Troy Chamber of Commerce
  • Sonali Vijayavargiya: Founder and Managing Director, Augment Capital LLC in Ann Arbor
  • Kevin Pavlov: President and COO, BluWav Systems LLC in Whitmore lake
  • Prabahkar Patil: Chief Executive Officer of Compact Power Inc. in Troy
  • Amanda Christides: President, Plymouth Technology Inc. in Rochester Hills
  • Louis Glazer: President and Co-Founder of Michigan Future Inc. in Ann Arbor
  • Dennis Callewaert: Founder and President, Oxford Biomedical Research in Oxford
  • Rob Cleveland: CEO and Founder of ICON Creative Technologies Group in Ann Arbor
  • Dave Morin: CEO and Co-founder of Cielo MedSolutions LLC in Ann Arbor
  • Jonathan Smith: Founder and CEO of ChiefOptimizer LLC in Keego harbor
  • Linda Blair: Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer, ITC Holdings Corp. in Novi
  • Jan Garfinkle: Founder and Managing Director of Arboretum Ventures in Ann Arbor
  • Franz Schneider: Founder and CEO, Humantech in Ann Arbor
  • Aaron Timlin: Executive Director, Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID)

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