Donald L. Rust
Donald L. Rust was engaged in farming and military service throughout his first twenty-four years and envisioned a career as aeronautical engineer. All of that ended abruptly however when his boss at a Buick dealership encouraged him to enroll in an engineering program specializing in automobiles. Don received a scholarship to attend the General Motors Institute graduating with a degree in Industrial Engineering.
Eager to have an impact on how cars and trucks were produced, Don began his career at the Chevrolet engine plant in Flint, Michigan. As he advanced through various levels of management he observed a corporate culture that he felt was severely flawed. For example, he witnessed the disdain that upper management exhibited for the organization’s employees and the resistance those managers had toward any changes that were proposed by lower-level managers. These observations motivated him to embark on a career-long commitment to making positive change in how employees are treated. The response to his efforts was so impressive that he accepted the challenge to create and sustain a culture change in all his future assignments.
Don and his management team were able to turn the General Motors Tonawanda engine plant from being on the brink of closing to becoming one of the most efficient and productive engine plants in the world. Recognized for his achievements, Don received the Buffalo News Outstanding Citizen award in 1993. He has served on several boards, including the Federal Reserve Board of Buffalo, and the Board of International Motion Control Corporation.
In his spare time, Don can be found in his wood studio making segmented bowls and vases of rare imported woods, and spending quality time with his family.
Alan G. Weinstein
Alan G. Weinstein has been a coach to CEOs, a college professor, business consultant, author, and an entrepreneur. He received his PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Wayne State University and has held professorships at Carnegie Mellon University, Oakland University, and Canisius College, where he was chair of the Management and Marketing Departments. At Canisius, Alan founded the Center for Entrepreneurship, the Institute for Family Business, and Entrepreneurs on Campus.
With one of his students, Alan co-founded Lasertron, an Amherst New York entertainment company that manufactures and operates laser tag court games. And, in 1992, Alan started the first TEC/Vistage group in Upstate New York.
Alan has served on several boards including Perry’s Ice Cream, Lasertron, Stride Tool, and Ciminelli Development. He also facilitated a collaboration with several not for profit cultural organizations, helping them improve their financial health and flourish artistically. He has won several awards for his work with entrepreneurs, including the Edwin A. Appel Award from Babson College. As a teacher, Alan was twice selected Outstanding Professor by Canisius College MBA students.
His research has been published in several academic and professional journals, and for several years he co-authored a column titled “The Owner and Coach” in Buffalo Business First. His book, Executive Coaching and the Process of Change was published in 2013.
When not working, Alan can be found travelling, skiing, jogging, and working out at the gym, in order of enthusiasm.