Advisory Board

Gwendolyn Hatten Butler
Hatten Albert Strategic Advisors LLC

Ms. Hatten Butler is an Independent Director of Mutual of America Financial Group, Wells Enterprises, Inc., and Ferguson Partners. She is the former President and Chief Investment Officer of Capri Investment Group, a real estate development and direct investment firm that has completed more than $14 billion in commercial real estate investments over the past 25 years. Ms. Hatten Butler is a senior business leader with an outstanding track record in delivering strong results over the course of her 35+ years in the financial services, investment, and real estate industries.

Ms. Hatten Butler is a strategic, creative, analytical, and energetic C-suite executive with extensive experience in change management, business restructuring, and high performance team building. She is an audit committee financial expert with demonstrated success in developing and executing growth strategies, managing regulated businesses, capital markets, risk management, capital raising, economic development, and nonprofit and for-profit corporate board leadership.

Prior to joining Capri Investment Group, Ms. Hatten Butler held senior leadership positions at UBS Global Asset Management, Bear Stearns Asset Management, SEI Capital Resources, and Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company. While holding those positions, Ms. Hatten Butler maintained active FINRA Series 7, 63, and 65 licenses.

Ms. Hatten Butler is a member of the Board of Directors of Mutual of America Financial Group, Wells Enterprises, Inc., and Ferguson Partners. Ms. Hatten Butler is Chair of the Community Development Commission of the City of Chicago. She is active in numerous industry, civic, and philanthropic organizations, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Real Estate Executive Council; the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, where she chairs the Nominating Committee; Develop Detroit; and the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. Ms. Hatten Butler is an active guest lecturer at the University of Michigan, New York University, and Northwestern University.

Ms. Hatten Butler received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. in Finance from Northwestern University. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Seaway Bank and Trust Company and chaired the Risk Management committee. Ms. Hatten Butler previously served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Securities Professionals and as President of the Board of Directors of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.
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Gordon Follmer

Throughout his career, Gordon Follmer has been actively involved in developing and implementing financial business strategies that enable companies to prosper and grow. Gordon was the founding partner of Follmer Rudzewicz & Company, one of the seven firms that merged in 2000 to form UHY Advisors, Inc., and was a member of the firm’s National Executive Committee and National Board of Directors for several years.

He was instrumental in expanding the firm’s financial and business consulting service offerings to include ISO/QS consulting, HR consulting, change leadership, and marketing communications services, as well as growing the delivery of industry-specific service lines. Gordon specializes in profit enhancement and wealth preservation strategies, taking the lead role in the sale, merger, or acquisition of a business; creating strategies to help troubled companies increase earnings and profits; providing crisis management strategies; preparing and implementing plans to prevent and identify fraud; and performing succession planning and estate planning services.

Gordon works with both public and private closely held companies, with a major emphasis on restructuring and growth. He assists major automotive manufacturers and minority automotive suppliers with turnaround strategies and identifying and implementing growth opportunities. Additionally, Gordon provides expert witness testimony in federal and state courts involving business transactions, contract disputes, lost profits, and fraud activity.
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Ron Hall Jr.
Bridgewater Interiors, LLC

Ron Hall is President and Chief Executive Officer at Bridgewater Interiors, LLC. Bridgewater is an automotive interiors manufacturing firm, specializing in just-in-time assembly, sequencing, and delivery of seating systems. It employs more than 2,400 people at four facilities in the U.S. Ron has been with the company in various roles of increasing responsibility since 2007, succeeding his father, company founder Ron Hall, Sr., in 2015.

A lawyer by training, Ron spent the several years of his early career as a Detroit-based corporate attorney at Dykema, PLLC, a prominent business law firm.

He earned his Juris Doctor degree at the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a Darrow Scholar, received the Book Award for excellence in Administrative Law, and served as an associate editor on the Michigan Journal of International Law. Ron holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Political Economy from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, and served several years on active duty as a field artillery officer in the US Army. He attained the rank of captain and, among other awards, was decorated for meritorious service in the Persian Gulf War.

In addition to various business pursuits, Ron sits on multiple nonprofit boards, where he has held additional leadership and committee positions.
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Sylvester Hester
Global Automotive Alliance (GAA)

Sylvester Hester is President and CEO, Global Automotive Alliance (GAA). The enterprise is comprised of six manufacturing and logistics companies with one Canadian and 20 U.S. operations, and over 1,400 employees. Since stepping into this role in 2008 Hester’s focus on operational excellence and sustained growth has resulted in a corporate acquisition, entré into new markets, an increase in facilities, innovation in product and service delivery and enhanced national and global relationships. GAA companies are: ARD Logistics, Global SQ, Grupo Antolin Wayne, Key Logistics, Vitec, and STM-LM.

Global Automotive Alliance began as an automotive supplier in 1999 and today has the reputation for providing quality manufacturing and exceptional logistics management to aerospace, automotive, food & beverage, government, retailers, and pharmaceuticals. Hester led the aerospace expansion, including two new logistics operations in Charleston, SC, and in 2013 Global SQ, a logistics company providing quality inspection services for Toyota in Georgetown, KY was acquired.

His lengthy career in the automotive parts manufacturing began in 1985 as an engineering technician for General Motors Advanced Engineering. He quickly moved up to project engineer/project manager at Regal Plastics in Michigan. In 1993 while at Regal Plastics, Hester was promoted to Vice President and his success in that position prepared him to initiate and launch ARD in 1998 when chairman and CEO, William Pickard selected him as president of ARD near Atlanta, Georgia. In 2003 he was named president of GAA’s newest acquisition, Key Logistics and today Hester is president of Global SQ, LLC and president and CEO of Grupo Antolin Primera.

In addition to serving as president of GAA’s Advisory Board of Directors, Hester is board member for the Southern Region Minority Supplier Development Council, board member of Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, sitting Chair of MBEIC Automotive Manufacturing Committee, and past board member of the Atlanta Business League. He is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

Hester holds a Master of Science in Administration degree with concentration in Leadership from Central Michigan University, and has a Bachelor of Science in Plastics Engineering with an emphasis in Polymer Chemistry from Ferris State University. He has completed the Advanced Minority Business Executive Program (AMBEP) at Dartmouth College Tucks School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management Advanced Management Education Program (AMEP) at Northwestern University.

Sylvester Hester splits his time between Atlanta, Georgia, Birmingham Alabama and Detroit, Michigan with his wife Pleshette and they have two sons, both in college. Hester enjoys reading and golf whenever possible.
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