Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Fred Bauer grew up in the Midwest. He graduated cum laude from Michigan State University with a major in electrical engineering and a minor in business. At Michigan State, he was a member of Etta Kappa Knu, a collegiate honors fraternity. In the mid-1960's, Bauer founded Simicon Company, a manufacturer of electronic control devices for heating and air conditioning products. He sold the company in 1972 to Robertshaw Controls, a major manufacturer of automatic control systems for buildings and appliances. Shortly thereafter, Bauer joined Robertshaw, where he held positions of division manager, corporate officer, and vice president. Bauer founded Gentex in 1974 to develop, manufacture and market photoelectric smoke detection devices. In 1982, Gentex introduced the world's first electromechanical (motorized) auto-dimming mirror. Five years later, Fred and a team of research scientists and electrical engineers developed the world's first electrochromic auto-dimming rearview mirror. Bauer is currently Gentex's chairman and CEO. He has over 100 patents spanning multiple industries and was the 1998 recipient of Ernst & Young's Master Entrepreneur of the Year, an international award. He is a former director of Junior Achievement in Holland/Zeeland, and a former advisory-board member for Underwriters Laboratories Industry Council.