CORRECTION: The trio of new board members started Dec. 1. A previous version of this article incorrectly identified their start date.
The Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association’s board of directors is going high tech.
The organization that represents about 300 Canadian auto supply companies has added a trio of board members, all with significant ties to technology, and not necessarily auto.
Greta Cutelenco, CEO of Acerta, Kevin Magee, the chief security and compliance officer of Microsoft Canada and Frantz Saintellemy, president and COO of LeddarTech joined the board Dec. 1, 2020.
Their election “signals the expanding influence of Canadian technology in advancing Canada’s automotive supplier base in the global automotive sector,” the APMA said in a statement.
APMA President Flavio Volpe says the new members allow the board to better reflect the rapidly changing makeup of the Canadian supply sector.
Volpe said the previous board members, over the last two years have been seeking “more non-traditional board members on an automotive board.”
“The industry is pivoting toward technology both in the plant and in the vehicle, with an eye to cybersecurity,” Volpe told Automotive News Canada.“The smarter these cars become, the smarter we have to be at getting ahead of those issues and competencies.”
Technology is becoming such a huge part of the auto industry that Volpe went so far as to suggest a name change for his association.
“In all seriousness, we should rename the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association the Auto Systems Suppliers Association because increasingly, what we’re talking about here is the convergence of technology in the plant and in the product.”
THE NEW MEMBERS
Cutulenco has worked on system testing, monitoring, and analysis for automakers and Tier 1 suppliers, including Bombardier and Magna. She has also been included on the Forbes 30-Under-30 list for manufacturing and was named one of 2019’s Canadians to Watch by Automotive News Canada.
“"The automotive industry is in a period of fundamental change,” Cutulenco said in a statement. “At the forefront of this, disruptive technologies such as AI, are enabling automotive manufacturing companies to reinvent themselves through the power of data. This revolution will reshape the production line.”
Magee is one of Canada’s leading authorities on cybersecurity, cyber risk governance and the convergence of cybercrime and cyber warfare.
“The convergence of automobiles and technology is accelerating and along with it the need to ensure both physical and cyber safety,” he said in the same statement. “Canada is uniquely positioned to not only address these needs but also to become a centre of excellence and world leader in defining the road ahead for this emerging market. In order to do so, we will need to form new partnerships to spark innovation and enable success. “
Saintellemy comes to the APMA with more than 21 years of experience in the electronics and automotive industries, with specialized knowledge in autonomous driving, AI, the Internet of Things and automation applications.
“Everything that you and I think is cool in vehicles, LeddarTech does it,” Volpe said. “Adding these three heavyweights is a really strong indication of how important we think the role of tech in mobility is and we don’t plan to respond to it, we plan to lead the conversations.”