James S. “Jim” McElya, executive chairman and chief executive officer of Cooper Standard, was presented the prestigious Triangle Award by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) during the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) 2012 Outlook Conference and 14th Annual Meeting of Members here today.
“From its inception, the Triangle Award has not been an annual award. It is only presented when truly deserving candidates are found — those whose contributions have advanced the motor vehicle parts supplier industry,” said Bob McKenna, MEMA president and CEO at the presentation. “It is MEMA’s most prestigious award, presented only to truly outstanding candidates in recognition of unselfish contributions to the automotive industry. Jim McElya is just such an honoree.”
Noting McElya’s stellar career of more than 33 years in the automotive industry, including his rise to his current position with Cooper-Standard Holdings Inc. and its principal operating subsidiary Cooper-Standard Automotive Inc., McKenna said, “Jim has had a wonderful career with his day job in the industry, but that’s not why we are recognizing him. He has been an avid and strong supporter of his industry’s trade association.”
McElya joined the OESA board in 2003, was its chairman in 2006-2007 and continues to serve on its board of directors. He also has served on the MEMA board since 2006, was its chairman in 2008-2009 and has served on the MEMA Executive Committee since 2007.
“To quote Jim on the 10th anniversary of OESA: ‘OESA is unlike any other organization, as it fills the vital need of offering a single unified voice to government and automakers, as well as providing invaluable insight to help members successfully navigate the stormy seas of change.’” McKenna said. “Jim truly understands the value a trade association brings to the industry it serves.”
McKenna also extolled McElya for his tireless efforts on behalf of the associations and the industry during the financial and automotive crisis of 2008-2009. “Jim made himself available to come to Washington and help make the case for the automotive industry and the critical role of suppliers with the automotive task force,” McKenna explained. “His steadfast, fact-based testimony helped convince the Task Force and Congress that the role of suppliers was critical to the survival of the automotive industry as a whole. Throughout the many meetings and conference calls during that time, Jim was always available, involved, and leading our efforts.”
The MEMA Triangle award is the highest honor bestowed by the association and its affiliates: OESA, the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA) and the Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA).