Automotive Hall Of Fame Announces 2020/2021 Distinguished Service Citation, Industry Influencer Awardees

The Automotive Hall of Fame celebrates innovators who have played a key role in the global mobility industry

This year’s Distinguished Service Citation and Industry Influencer awardees continue the tradition of recognizing highly admired individuals at the forefront of their fields addressing the challenges of future mobility.

Postponed from 2020, the annual Induction and Awards Ceremony for the Automotive Hall of Fame, the premier institution for collecting, celebrating and sharing the global motor vehicle industry’s history, will occur in July 22, 2021 and recognize two Distinguished Service Citation awardees and six Industry Influencer awardees.

2021 Distinguished Service Citation Awardees

The Distinguished Service Citation recognizes individuals who have had a significant positive impact on the industry or their respective organizations. This year’s awardees are being recognized for work in the automotive sector to meet two urgent and life-threatening global challenges – the COVID-19 pandemic response and support of anti-racism and inclusion.

Sir Lewis Hamilton, Professional Driver, Formula One

Hamilton’s talent and inspiring personality have made him a role model and ambassador for his profession. He holds several records, including the most Formula One wins, most wins with a single constructor, most consecutive points finishes, and most podium finishes., In addition to his winning record, Hamilton is receiving the award for using his platform to support antiracism as a human rights issue on the world stage.

Ray Scott, CEO, Lear Corporation

Scott has held executive positions at Lear Corp. for the past three decades, including his current role since 2018. He is responsible for the strategic direction and operational leadership of the company. In addition to being recognized as a leader in the industry, Scott is being awarded for his work in supporting the creation of the Safe Work Playbook and its wide-spread, magnanimous sharing across the industry.

2021 Industry Influencer Awardees

The Industry Influencer Award recognizes individuals who are influencing and leading through their actions, innovations and visible positions on issues pertinent to the automotive industry and its future. They are admired by their peers and respected by key decision makers.

Jim Baumbick, Vice President, Enterprise Product Line Management, Strategy, and Planning, Ford Motor Company

Baumbick is being recognized for his work ensuring Ford’s global product strategy and planning are properly implemented; leading global product line teams to deliver products customers desire and value, and that drive end-to-end business results; and leading Ford’s Project Apollo in the fight against COVID-19.

Laurent Borne, President & CTO, Stoneridge

Borne’s work in developing the game-changing commercial vehicle safety technology, MirrorEye® Camera Monitor System, and his continued leadership in the advancement of future vehicle technologies are accomplishments that led to his awardee status.

Nelda J. Connors, Founder & CEO, Strategic Partner, Pine Grove Holdings, LLC

Connors is an awardee thanks to her success as a strategic partner providing outstanding financial, technical, and operating expertise to diversified industrials, original equipment manufacturers (OEM), suppliers and distributors.

Chris Ludwig, Vice President, EPIC Experience Team, HARMAN International

Ludwig is being recognized for his work driving the vision and execution of the total in-car experience through sound, technology and design. His work on AKG branded audio systems with Cadillac and advanced functionality subsystems in vehicles ultimately displaced the longest standing branded audio partnership in the market.

Ben Volkow, CEO, Otonomo

Volkow is an awardee based on his work in creating the world’s pioneering vehicle data platform and marketplace for sharing and utilizing data gathered from connected transportation solutions.

Deborah Wahl, Chief Marketing Officer, General Motors

Wahl’s being recognized for her vision to drive cultural acceptance of electrification, implementation of winning go-to-market strategies, and her efforts to bring more diverse representation into GM and its agency partners.

“After having to postpone last year’s event due to COVID-19, we are looking forward to getting back to our normal of celebrating awardees this summer,” said Automotive Hall of Fame President, Sarah Cook. “This year’s Distinguished Service Citation and Industry Influencer awardees continue the tradition of recognizing highly admired individuals at the forefront of their fields addressing the challenges of future mobility.”

In addition to recognizing the Distinguished Service Citation and industry Influencer awardees, the annual event will recognize Mobility Innovator awardee Harold Goddijn, CEO of TomTom and a member of its management board, as well as the 2020/2021 Automotive Hall of Fame inductees:

  • Honorary Chairman Mong-Koo Chung, the innovative leader and former chairman who grew Hyundai/Kia into the world’s fifth largest car manufacturer and established the Hyundai brand as one known for quality and reliability.
  • Thomas Gallagher, the former chairman and president of Genuine Parts Corporation who successfully championed the independent owner model of NAPA stores, promoting distribution models that kept stores competitive and rooted in their communities, and advocated right to repair legislation.
  • Jay Leno, who is capturing generations of automotive enthusiasts through his passion for all things automotive.
  • Helene Rother, one of the first women designers in the industry and at General Motors. Known for her impeccable taste in design, Rother moved the post-war car market from interiors designed for utility to ones designed for luxury and sophistication.

Event Details

The Automotive Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony will be held July 22, 2021, on the Detroit Riverfront. For event details and sponsorship information please contact: Margarite Fourcroy at [email protected].

About the Automotive Hall of Fame

The Automotive Hall of Fame tells moving stories of those who have made outstanding contributions to the automotive industry. Founded in 1939, the Automotive Hall of Fame has honored 762 individuals from around the world, that have impactful and important to automotive and mobility industry. The Automotive Hall of Fame is located at 21400 Oakwood Blvd in Dearborn, Michigan and is open to the public for tours. You can also visit the Automotive Hall of Fame online at or on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Katherine E. Ackerman

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