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Press Release: MEMA CEO Bill Long Named Northwood University 2022 Outstanding Business Leader

Honorees to be recognized on April 23 at Henry Ford Museum

Date: February 14, 2022

Northwood University and the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) are proud to announce Bill Long, president and CEO, MEMA, is among the 2022 class of Outstanding Business Leaders.

The Outstanding Business Leader Award honors men and women from across the world who have made a difference in their business and community.

Long, who has more than 40 years of experience in all sectors of the automotive industry, came to MEMA at a critical time. Vehicle suppliers were witnessing some of the greatest technological innovations in history while navigating significant regulatory mandates, workforce shortages, tariffs and border adjustment taxes, and a new North American trade agreement. Through Long’s leadership, vehicle suppliers were deemed essential during the pandemic and MEMA gained a vital seat at the table with government policymakers and has emerged as a powerful voice in the national conversation on the issues affecting its 1,000 member companies.

2022 Class of honorees include: 

  • Jim Fitterling, Chairman and CEO, Dow

  • Michael LaFontaine Sr., President, LaFontaine Automotive Group

  • Ben Manthei, Managing Partner, Redi-Rock International

  • Lisa McClain, Congresswoman (MI-10)

  • Andra Rush, CEO, Dakkota Systems

  • Angela Steele, Publicis Groupe

Additionally, Manik Thapar, owner of Eco Wise Waste Management, will be honored with the Richard M. DeVos Young Entrepreneur Award.

Northwood University annually recognizes a select group of business professionals for their achievements, support and exemplary leadership of the communities in which they live and work. These individuals serve as role models for Northwood University students as they share their experiences and obstacles they have encountered, in addition to how they overcame them while on the road to success.

In the four decades since the program began, more than 300 business leaders from more than 30 states and several countries, have been recognized. These honorees represent a vast, diverse, group of people from dozens of industries and fields of business expertise.

The Outstanding Business Leader Awards are presented by the Northwood University Board of Trustees. Each awardee is selected on the basis of personal achievements which typify the unique philosophy of Northwood University. Criteria used in the selection of awardees include a contribution to the philosophy of private enterprise, support of the integration of business and the arts, contribution to education, economic innovation, creative marketing ideas, community involvement, religious leadership, philanthropic contributions, as well as business success. All honorees past and present serve as role models for Northwood University students. 

Northwood University bestows the tremendous honor of the Outstanding Business Leader Award over a multi-day celebration ending with a formal gala event where the members will receive an engraved crystal recognizing their honor. 

The 2022 gala will be held Saturday, April 23, at The Henry Ford Museum, 20900 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, Michigan.

For more information about the Outstanding Business Leaders event, including lodging, please call Jessica Hufford at 989-837-4465 or email To see event details, please visit

Bill Long is president and chief executive officer of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). MEMA represents the voice of the automotive and commercial vehicle supplier industry—the largest sector of manufacturing jobs in the United States. MEMA advances the industry and champions the business interests of its members through its Washington, D.C. office and four market-focused associations: Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), MERA - The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing, and Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA).
Long is a highly-respected industry leader with more than 30 years of experience in all sectors of the automotive industry. He joined MEMA in 2012 to lead its AASA division before taking the top spot as MEMA president & CEO in February 2019. Prior to joining AASA, he served as president of Long Strategies LLC and as managing partner of BC Partners LLC, providing strategic planning, brand relevance, and leadership services to clients in the automotive industry. Long is most recognized for his 25 years at Echlin/DANA, leading the company’s engine management division, and as executive vice president, North American operations for Proliance International, a leading manufacturer of temperature control and heat exchange products. He is also well-known in motorsports circles where he served as a corporate officer for NASCAR in Daytona Beach and as a top executive for the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Long serves on numerous boards, including the Automotive Hall of Fame, the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF), Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Advisory Board, Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation, and the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation. Long is also a past chairman of the National Car Care Council.
During his time at DANA, Long was awarded the prestigious MEMA Triangle Award and Northwood University’s Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award, recognizing his work in educating federal lawmakers and serving as a technical expert on issues concerning the industry’s access to vehicle on-board diagnostics and repair information. Long was also honored with the Jack Arute Sr. Excellence in Motorsports Award for his contribution and dedication to the motorsports industry.

Northwood University is committed to developing transformative leaders of a global free-enterprise society and prepares students for success in their careers and communities. Rooted in the Northwood Idea, the University promotes the importance of free enterprise, ethics, individual freedom and responsibility. Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at a full-service, residential campus located in Midland, Michigan. The Adult Degree Program is offered in multiple states and online for students with transfer credits and work experience who are looking to complete their undergraduate degree. The DeVos Graduate School of Management offers MBA and Master of Science degrees in Finance, Business Analytics, Human Resources and Organizational Leadership with day and evening, and online delivery options. The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program is delivered online, with a differentiated focus on leadership and business analytics using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. International education is offered through study abroad and at International Program Centers in Switzerland, China (Changchun and Wuxi), Sri Lanka, and United Arab Emirates (UAE). For additional information regarding Northwood University, visit