Ron Ford’s associate of applied science degree from Moraine Park Technical College has been the springboard to a rewarding career. He is now president and CEO of Deutz Power Systems of America, the third-largest power generation company in the world, and has been named Moraine Park’s 2008 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.
“The education I received at Moraine Park opened doors for me that were incredible,” said Ford, who lives in Norcross, Georgia.
It wasn’t until a decade after graduating from North Fond du Lac High School that he enrolled in Moraine Park’s Electro–Mechanical Technology program. “I worked for quite a while after high school in law enforcement and then switched careers and became a locomotive mechanic,” said Ford. “But I found there was a void in my knowledge when it came to the electrical part of my occupation. So I enrolled at Moraine Park.”
After completing his Moraine Park degree, Ford joined Kohler Co.’s Power Systems Division in Kohler. As a field technician he traveled the globe establishing complex power generation systems within prospering, third-world and war-torn countries alike. He took on technical, product and sales training responsibilities across North America. Upon earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Marian College, he served in many executive-level posts. As an area sales manager for Kohler, Ford grew product sales exponentially.
In 2004 he joined Tampa Armature Works (TAW) in Tampa, Fla., a large distributor of Kohler power generation systems, where he improved technical service and industrial sales and managed the consumer group division. Ultimately, he became responsible for the entire Power Systems Group at TAW and helped boost revenue by 59 percent. Today, as president and CEO of Deutz, Ford is responsible for a company that produces very large power generators and has a commitment to alternative energy.
Ford’s selection as Alumnus of the Year resulted from more than his highly accomplished professional life; it’s also due to his dedication to the community and Moraine Park. For eight years he served on the Moraine Park Electro–Mechanical Technology advisory board and his contributions were many, according to Raj Pathare, Moraine Park’s dean of trades and manufacturing.
“Ron influenced the program by identifying occupational competencies and assisting in recruitment and placement of program students,” said Pathare. “He donated equipment, sponsored field trips for program students and was active in creating public awareness of Moraine Park’s programs.”
Ford is also known for his contributions as a member of the Electrical Generating System Association, a trade group of generator manufacturers, and the Tampa Bay Elks Lodge.
He feels honored to be selected as the College’s Distinguished Alumnus and said giving back was the least he could do. “If I didn’t have the skills learned from my associate’s degree, I wouldn’t be anywhere now,” he said.
For more information about Moraine Park’s programs, visit www.morainepark.edu and click on Academics.