Ricardo North America President Marques McCammon wants to inspire a new generation of student engineers to maximize their educational opportunities and tackle problems such as reducing carbon emissions and delivering on the promise of vehicle automation and virtual product development. Upon his recent appointment as a board member for ConnectED, a non-profit organization that partners with school districts to inspire and equip students for success in college, career and civic life, McCammon said, “I hope to represent encouragement for young students, especially in STEM, to show them that it doesn’t matter what their background is – what matters is their drive.”
McCammon, whose engineering and design company specializes in advanced propulsion, software and thermal management, joins Clare Bertrand, JFF Labs’ director, and Alexandra Kennedy, Twitter’s global head of partnership strategy and operations, as the newest board additions to ConnectED.
ConnectED works with school districts and communities across the country to transform how students learn, including co-designing college and career paths, encouraging technical education opportunities and boosting achievement in math, science, English and social studies.
McCammon, with experience including designing cars for Chrysler, marketing electric vehicles and leading global software teams for connected and autonomous software, will provide perspective and insight from the executive suite regarding the skills required to better prepare students for lasting success in high-wage and high-skilled careers.
“We are so impressed with Marques’ understanding and commitment to STEM education. He is steeped in automotive technology and engineering. From his early days in Detroit through today with Ricardo North America, he’s been involved in nearly every facet of the transportation industry,” said Gary Hoachlander ConnectED president and CEO. “It’s such a gift to have him on our board. He brings expertise and a deep understanding of all forms of propulsion, engineering and transportation that can be useful for students who want to pursue those career paths.”
Hoachlander said McCammon will be integral in relaying personal insight to students about what tech giants are looking for in employees, while also encouraging more people of color and residents of urban areas to take an interest in science and technology. McCammon will also help identify opportunities, such as internships, job shadowing and career mentorship to build bridges between the classroom and the workplace.
“The ConnectED mission – to create clear direction from high school to college and into a career – provides hope for young students,” McCammon said. “Even though every student will undoubtedly be confronted by a series of challenges, I want them to know that a strong work ethic, a hunger to succeed and a willingness to learn does lead to a college education, work at exciting companies and, in the best scenario, helping the world become a better place.”