|Wilmer (Wil) Cooksey, Jr.
Wil Cooksey has been the manager of the world's only Corvette plant since February 1993. Before joining the Chevrolet team, he was the production manager of the Pontiac Grand Prix at the Fairfax, Kansas, assembly plant.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Cooksey received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Tennessee State University in 1965. He earned a master's degree in industrial engineering from the University of Toledo in 1972 and completed postgraduate doctorate work in mechanical engineering.
A Distinguished Graduate of the Officer's Training School, Cooksey served as an executive officer in the U.S. Army Artillery, 1st Lieutenant. His last assignment was a year in Vietnam, and for his efforts there he was awarded the bronze medal.
Cooksey began his career with General Motors as an assistant professor in industrial engineering in Flint, Michigan. In 1976 he transferred to the St. Louis plant where he held several positions until 1980, when he was assigned to be production manager for the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme coupe and sedan at the Doraville plant in Atlanta. In 1990 came his transfer to the Fairfax assembly plant in Fairfax, Kansas.
In 1997 Cooksey received the "Black Engineer of the Year President's Award."
Also in 1997, Austin Peay University named him "Achiever of the Year" in their Focus Program. This year Cooksey received a Presidential Citation from the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education in recognition of exemplary experience that honors Tennessee State University. Dollars & Sense Magazine honored Cooksey in their 1998 "Salute to America's Best & Brightest Business and Professional Men and Women." Cooksey is featured on the cover of African Americans on Wheels magazine as they named the Corvette the "Best Urban Car of the Year." He has been honored as an Outstanding Graduate of Tennessee State and named a "Black Achiever in Industry" by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Cooksey serves on the boards of the following organizations: the United Way of Bowling Green, First American Bank, Greenview Hospital, the Kentucky Museum, Western Kentucky University School of Business Advisory Board, Drug Abuse Resistance Education Advisory Council and Advancing Minorities' Interest in Engineering Executive Advisory Board.
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