Haitian American Haitian Leaders

Haitian American-Canadian Automobile Designer Ralph V. Gilles

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Ralph V. Gilles (born January 14, 1970) is a Haitian American-Canadianautomobile designer. Gilles is currently the President and CEO of the SRT Brand and Senior Vice President of Design at Chrysler Group LLC. He styled the 2005 Chrysler 300 — after joining Chrysler in 1992.Gilles is a resident of Oxford, Michigan.

Gilles was born in New York City to Haitian immigrants and raised in Montreal, Quebec. Gilles has been passionate about cars since the age of 6 and began drawing concept vehicles by the age of 8. When Gilles was 14, an aunt (Giselle Mouscardy) noticed he was talented at sketching cars and wrote to former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca to inform him of her nephew’s talents.

A reply came from K. Neil Walling, Chrysler’s design chief at the time, suggesting Gilles attend one of three design schools.He attended the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. In 2002, Gilles received an Executive MBA from Michigan State University.

In August, 2008, Gilles replaced the now retired Trevor Creed as Senior Vice President of Design. In October 2009, Gilles was promoted to President and CEO of the Dodge Car Brand.He was replaced as Dodge’s CEO in June 2011, remaining Senior Vice President of Design and becoming CEO of Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology division.

According to NewsOne:

Although Ralph Gilles has moved comfortably in to his role as President and Chief Executive Officer of Street & Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, he made huge waves as the lead designer of the popular Chrysler 300 sedan in 2005. Starting with the company in 1992 as part of the design team, the New York-born Gilles worked up to become Chrysler’s Senior Vice President of Product Design – a position he also holds today. Having won several awards for his work in both the automotive industry and business, Gilles remains one of Black America’s top engineering minds.

Watch Gilles talk about the future of Dodge and Chrysler here:

I have yet to meet any popular Haitians with my maiden name but happy to hear about a Haitian who share my married name doing big things.

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