M.S. Central Michigan University
B.S. Ferris State University
Year Elected to the Board: 2017
City of Residence: Birmingham, AL
Sylvester Hester is President and CEO, Global Automotive Alliance (GAA). The enterprise is comprised of six manufacturing and logistics companies with one Canadian and 20 U.S. operations, and over 1,400 employees. Since stepping into this role in 2008 Hester’s focus on operational excellence and sustained growth has resulted in a corporate acquisition, entré into new markets, an increase in facilities, innovation in product and service delivery and enhanced national and global relationships. GAA companies are: ARD Logistics, Global SQ, Grupo Antolin Wayne, Key Logistics, Vitec, and STM-LM.
Global Automotive Alliance began as an automotive supplier in 1999 and today has the reputation for providing quality manufacturing and exceptional logistics management to aerospace, automotive, food & beverage, government, retailers, and pharmaceuticals. Hester led the aerospace expansion, including two new logistics operations in Charleston, SC, and in 2013 Global SQ, a logistics company providing quality inspection services for Toyota in Georgetown, KY was acquired.
His lengthy career in the automotive parts manufacturing began in 1985 as an engineering technician for General Motors Advanced Engineering. He quickly moved up to project engineer/project manager at Regal Plastics in Michigan. In 1993 while at Regal Plastics, Hester was promoted to Vice President and his success in that position prepared him to initiate and launch ARD in 1998 when chairman and CEO, William Pickard selected him as president of ARD near Atlanta, Georgia. In 2003 he was named president of GAA’s newest acquisition, Key Logistics and today Hester is president of Global SQ, LLC and president and CEO of Grupo Antolin Primera.
In addition to serving as president of GAA’s Advisory Board of Directors, Hester is board member for the Southern Region Minority Supplier Development Council, board member of Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, sitting Chair of MBEIC Automotive Manufacturing Committee, and past board member of the Atlanta Business League. He is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
Hester holds a Master of Science in Administration degree with concentration in Leadership from Central Michigan University, and has a Bachelor of Science in Plastics Engineering with an emphasis in Polymer Chemistry from Ferris State University. He has completed the Advanced Minority Business Executive Program (AMBEP) at Dartmouth College Tucks School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management Advanced Management Education Program (AMEP) at Northwestern University.
Sylvester Hester splits his time between Atlanta, Georgia, Birmingham Alabama and Detroit, Michigan with his wife Pleshette and they have two sons, both in college. Hester enjoys reading and golf whenever possible.