Green Festival Speakers
John Viera was appointed director, Sustainable Business Strategies for Ford Motor Company in January, 2007. Mr. Viera is responsible for developing global sustainable business plans, reporting externally on the company's environmental and social performance, and leading the company's engagement and partnerships with non-government organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders. In January 2009, Mr. Viera assumed the responsibilities of the company's environmental policies, consistent with his current title of Director, Sustainability and Environmental Policy. Viera has held several positions within Ford Motor Company during his 25 year tenure before being named to his current position. For the first seven years of his career, he worked in the company's Heavy Truck Division. In 1992, Viera was responsible for the Truck Product Planning organization that lead Company efforts in the development of natural gas-fueled pickup trucks. In 1994, Viera led the efforts of the Truck Computer Aided Design organization. In 1997, Viera was appointed manager, Plant Engineering Vehicle Team, Explorer and Mountaineer programs. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, Viera was responsible for all on-site engineering personnel for Explorer plants in Louisville, St. Louis, Missouri, and Valencia, Venezuela. He returned to Michigan in 1999 to become the chief engineer for the Ranger Compact Pickup and Electric Ranger, including current and future model programs. In 2002, Viera took on the company's mid-term cost reduction initiative, building a team which delivered $1.2 billion of savings in eighteen months, beating his assigned target by over a year. In 2003, Viera became chief engineer for the Expedition and Navigator Full Size SUVs, with full responsibility for current and future model programs. Viera is an active member of the Product Development arm of the Ford African Ancestry Network (FAAN), with a focus on mentoring and counseling, and speaking at workshops. Mr. Viera currently serves on the advisory board at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. On the personal front, Viera is an active member of the St. Andrew's Church Men's Club, focusing on fund raising activities for Youth Clubs and Senior Homes in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area. A native of Chicago, Viera attended the University of Michigan, receiving his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1984 as well as a Masters in Business Administration in 1992. He resides near Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife of 20 years, Karen, and their three children, JJ (18), Allison (16) and Kenny (13).