The 2017 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview will open on Thursday, Feb. 9 with a keynote from Ralph Gilles, Head of Design, FCA – Global, during the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) breakfast from 8-9 a.m.
Newly elected MAMA President Jill Ciminillo will introduce Ralph Gilles to more than 400 attendees at the annual Auto Show kick-off breakfast. Gilles is responsible for overseeing all vehicle designs for the FCA brands including Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Fiat, Ram and Alfa Romeo. Since first joining the Company in 1992 as a designer, Gilles has put his extensive academic background in industrial design and business administration to use, holding various positions within the Company. In 2015, Gilles was named a member of the Group Executive Council (GEC) for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA). The GEC is the highest management-level decision making body within the FCA organization and is led by the FCA Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
“This auto show is one of my favorites as it showcases a diverse collection of vehicles set within the incredible backdrop of Chicago. It’s always a great feeling to be here and meet people, outside of Detroit, who share the same passion and enthusiasm I have for this industry,” said Ralph Gilles, Head of Design – FCA Global. “The MAMA team truly embodies that automotive enthusiasm and it’s an honor to be able to kick-off this year’s show with the topic of automotive design.”
Gilles is extremely active inside and outside the Company. He serves as the executive sponsor of the Chrysler African American Network (CAAN) in addition to playing a supporting role with The Chrysler Global Diversity Council. He also serves on the board of the Michigan Design Council. At his alma mater, The College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit, Gilles is a member of the CCS Board of Trustees and the CCS Capital Committee.
“It’s an honor to have someone of Ralph’s caliber to open the nation’s largest auto show,” said Mike McGrath, Chicago Auto Show chairman. “FCA has long supported the Chicago Auto Show with executive addresses, important product introductions, indoor test tracks and the largest display it produces worldwide.”
Doors open for the MAMA breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 9. Valid media or exhibitor credentials are required for admission.