Board of Directors

  • James Wallace

    Chairman of the Board, Director since 2007
    Mr. Wallace is Chairman of the Board of Cranel, Inc., a Columbus, Ohio, company that provides storage, imaging, and information technology services; data storage solutions; document imaging, storage, publishing, and duplication services; and support, to the storage and imaging industry. Previously, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Cranel, Inc. for more than five years. Mr. Wallace is the Chairman of the Company’s Nominating Committee and serves on the Company's Compensation Committee. Mr. Wallace has affirmatively been identified as an independent director by the Board of Directors. Mr. Wallace brings to the Board experience working with an entrepreneurial company, an understanding of various technologies, and manufacturing expertise.

    Chairman of the Board
    • Leslie Brown

      Director since 2016
      Ms. Brown, has owned and served as Chairperson of Metal Flow Corporation, a Holland, Michigan based high volume producer of technically sophisticated custom metal-based components through deep draw processes. Including operations in China, Metal Flow Corporation globally ships approximately 1.3 million parts daily for a variety of automotive applications including airbags, decorative trim, emissions, fuel handling, sensors, and solenoids. As such, Ms. Brown has a significant understanding of, and experience with, challenges faced by manufacturing companies that supply the global automotive industry. In addition to her years of experience as an entrepreneurial automotive supplier, as a prominent local business woman serving on a variety community organization boards of directors (including as Chairperson of the Holland Hospital Board), Ms. Brown has demonstrated a high degree of personal and professional integrity. Ms. Brown provides the Board with unique insight and perspective, especially in terms of developing and maintaining an entrepreneurial team.

      • Steve Downing

        Director since 2020
        Steve Downing is the President and CEO of Gentex Corporation. He joined Gentex in 2002 and served in various leadership roles in commercial and financial management before being promoted to the role of CFO in May 2013. In June 2015, he was promoted to Sr. Vice President with responsibility for the Company’s business development and sales functions. On January 1, 2018, he was elected President and CEO. In addition to his work with The Right Place, Hospice of Holland and other non-profits, Steve is an avid supporter of US Veterans’ groups, and has been instrumental in the creation of Gentex’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives.

        • Gary Goode

          Director since 2003
          Mr. Goode is the Chairman of Titan Distribution LLC, an Elkhart, Indiana, company that offers consulting and distribution services related to structural adhesives, and has held that position since 2004. He was previously employed at Arthur Andersen LLP for 29 years, including 11 years as the managing partner of its West Michigan practice, until his retirement in March 2001. Mr. Goode is the Audit Committee Chairman at, and a director of, Universal Forest Products, Inc. He is the Chairman of the Company's Audit and Compensation Committees, and serves on the Company's Nominating Committee. Mr. Goode has affirmatively been identified as an independent director by the Board of Directors and as an audit committee financial expert. Mr. Goode's career in public accounting has provided him the opportunity to work with a great variety of small and large companies, both publicly held and privately held, in a broad array of industries (including automotive and technology companies). Mr. Goode's experience brings the Board of Directors a well-developed financial perspective and familiarity with publicly held companies.

          • James A. Hollars

            Director since 2014
            Mr. Hollars is currently a member of the Advisory Board of Racemark International, a supplier of high end automotive floor mats. He was Senior Vice President International for the Company from 1999 to 2009. Mr. Hollars’ automotive career began at Chrysler Corp in 1965 in material control. In 1973 he joined Lear Siegler, Inc, a supplier of automotive, aerospace and commercial products. During a 25 year career he held management positions at six divisions, including three as Division President and participated in the management buyout of Lear Siegler Seating Division, an automotive seating supplier. From 1990 to 2009, he lived and worked in Europe, first for Lear Corp., then Gentex, during a period of rapid growth for both. He developed relationships and a working knowledge of all the major European automobile manufacturers. Mr. Hollars brings to the Board an exceptional understanding of customer sales, support and decision making processes, especially in Europe, the Company’s largest geographic market. He is familiar with the Company’s core business principles and what it takes to work in an entrepreneurial environment. Mr. Hollars has been affirmatively identified as an independent director.

            • Richard Schaum

              Director since 2011
              Mr. Schaum has nearly four decades of experience in product development, manufacturing and program management. He has a long and distinguished career at Chrysler Corporation. By virtue of Mr. Schaum's former executive positions at a large automaker, he has a thorough understanding of the global automotive industry and the unique challenges faced by automotive suppliers. He is a fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Mr. Schaum has affirmatively been identified as an independent director by the Board of Directors. He currently sits on the Board of Directors and the Corporate Governance Committee at BorgWarner, Inc. and on the Board of Directors and Compensation Committee of Sterling Construction Company, Inc.

              • Kathy Starkoff

                Director since 2018
                For the past 30 years, Ms. Starkoff has provided technology-focused leadership that spans from higher education to Fortune 500 organizations. She has skillfully translated digital and technological innovations into strategy, directed enterprise risk management, and guided mission-critical system, process and organizational changes. Her background includes serving as CIO at The Ohio State University, where she was a member of both the President’s Council and the University’s Management Committee, providing strategic direction and advice to the President, key leaders and the Board of Trustees. Prior to that assignment, she served as CTO and Group Vice President of Limited Brands, a $6 billion global retailer, now LBrands, and prior to that as CTO and Senior Vice President at Bank One Corporation, now Chase. In addition to her role with Gentex, Ms. Starkoff currently serves as Board Chair of Flying Horse Farms and is also a board member of the SeriousFun Children’s Network. She has served as vice chair of Columbus Academy’s Board of Directors, and Nominating and Governance Committee Chair, as well as a member of the Head-of-School search committee. Ms. Starkoff has served as an advisor to the National Science Foundation’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Kent State University.

                • Brian Walker

                  Director since 2018
                  Mr. Walker served for 29 years at Herman Miller, Inc., a $2.38 billion provider of office furniture, fixtures and equipment, that employs nearly 8,000 people worldwide. While there, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer for 14 years, and as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Executive Vice President in prior roles. During his tenure at Herman Miller, Walker gained a strong reputation for his commitment to sustainability and inclusivity initiatives, and his relentless focus on developing and growing Herman Miller’s addressable market through acquisitions and significant investments in research, design and digital business tools. Under his leadership, Herman Miller earned various sustainability and inclusivity awards, including the Human Rights Foundation's top rating in its Corporate Equality Index for 11 years in a row. Before joining Herman Miller, Brian worked as a CPA for the accounting firm Arthur Andersen. In addition to Gentex’s board, Brian serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for The Right Place, Inc., West Michigan’s regional economic development organization, and as lead director of Briggs and Stratton Corporation, where he chairs the Compensation Committee and serves on its Finance Committee. He is also a member of the board of directors of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company and Universal Forest Products, Inc., where he serves as the Audit Committee chairman. Walker is a certified public accountant and a graduate of Michigan State University.

                  • Dr. Ling Zang

                    Director since 2021
                    Dr. Ling Zang is a professor at the University of Utah affiliated with the Department of Materials science and Engineering. He is also the Director of the Utah Center for Interfacial Sciences, Nano Institute of Utah. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and was previously an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, NSF CAREER Award winner, and K. C. Wong Foundation Research Fellow. Dr. Zang earned his B.S. in physical chemistry from Tsinghua University and Ph.D. in chemistry from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr. Zang’s research focuses on nanoscale imaging and molecular probing, organic semiconductors and nanostructures, optoelectronic sensors and nanodevices, and photocatalysis and photovoltaics for conversion of solar energy, with the goal to achieve practical applications in the areas of public safety, renewable energy and environmental protection. Dr. Zang has been awarded with various federal grants (from NSF, DHS, DOE/ARPA-E, NASA, etc.) to support his broad range of research in nanoscience and nanotechnology. More than 25 patent applications have been filed from Dr. Zang’s lab. Dr. Zang also founded Metallosensors, Inc. and Vaporsens. Dr. Zang’s background, education, and research complement the Company’s vision and focus on continuing to be a technology leader. Dr. Zang’s experience in academia as well as his vast understanding of bringing technology from a laboratory environment into commercialization will serve the Board well. Dr. Zang has been affirmatively identified as an independent director by the Board.