smoke free looks good & it will get up & go
Carnegie, Oklahoma, United States
smoke free looks good & it will get up & go
We've seen some pretty great commencement speeches over the years. There was Steve Jobs' incredibly inspiring Stanford address in 2005, John Stewart's insightful speech to the graduating class of William and Mary in 2004 and Steven Colbert's hilarious 2011 address at Northwestern, but automotive executives aren't strangers to honorary degrees. Former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner spoke at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011, and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne recently gave the keynote at Walsh College's 100th Commencement Ceremony. The executive knows a thing or two about success and following one's beliefs to fulfillment.
"I constantly encourage my co-workers at Fiat and Chrysler to go beyond the cliche and the conventional to try new approaches and change perspective each and every day," Marchionne said. "I exhort them not to repeat the same things, the same approaches, and I remind them they are indeed free. The freedom I am talking about is something inside you. It is determined by how open minded you remain, how receptive you are to the new and to the different, to the infinite possibilities that present themselves even if you don't go looking for them or could never have imagined. Being free means that you have the strength not to be conditioned by what others want you to do or by what may seem to be the easiest choice."
Amen to that. You can check out the brief press release on the address below as well as a video of a few highlights from the speech.
We knew there'd be no Chrysler IPO before the end of this year, but Fiat is determined to get the best run going into 2014 and is back at the poker table with the UAW. The delay was said to be Chrysler's desire to clean up a tax issue with the IRS; turns out that also bought the carmaker time to try and close a deal for the UAW's 48.5-percent stake in the company before the IPO happens.
Whereas the price Chrysler was willing to pay was once more than $1 billion under the UAW's asking price, the gap has closed to just $800 million of late. A recent valuation of the company at $10 billion - a valuation the UAW has disputed - means Fiat would be looking to pay about $4.2 billion instead of the $5 billion that the UAW seeks. But the UAW needs to hold out for the highest amount it can get because its pension obligations through the Voluntary Employee Benefit Association (VEBA) are $3.1 billion greater than the VEBA's assets, which include the Chrysler stake.
There's a clause in the agreement that Fiat can buy the VEBA shares for $6 billion, but Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has said that the UAW "should buy a ticket for the lottery" if they even want $5 billion. The UAW, though, has more time to wait; it's Fiat that wants access to Chrysler's $11.9-billion war chest and that would like to avoid the risk of paying the full $6 billion for the UAW share if the float really takes off. With other valuations of Chrysler as high as $19 billion, a hot IPO could make that $6 billion look like a bargain.
The United Auto Workers and Chrysler recently sponsored 92 works of art created by 50 of the automaker's unionized and salaried employees for the 2013-14 Artists at Work Exhibition, the ninth such show, which recognizes the creative process required to make art and manufacture vehicles. Chrysler says the event is "the country's only juried art show sponsored by a major corporation and a labor union." Unfortunately, the exhibit is not open to the public, but we have images to share of the winning pieces as well as other interesting exhibits in the gallery above.
"Art and manufacturing have more in common than you might think," says Keith Mickens, Chrysler-UAW National Training Center co-director from the UAW. "The creative process involved in producing a memorable image on a canvas can be used to help build quality vehicles on an assembly line."
A diverse range of art forms are showcased, from metal sculptures to ceramics to photography to paintings and more. Four Detroit-area professional artists narrowed down over 600 submissions to the 92 works of art that were shown at the exhibit, then awarded "Best of Show" prizes to three employees for their work (the first three images in our gallery) and selected 11 employees for honorable mentions. The overall winner is the sculpture above by Joseph Aiuto, titled "Childhood Anxiety."