President & Chief Executive Officer
When Peter Anthony joined UGN as a sales and marketing manager in 1992, he had a vision. He knew UGN had a great brand name and innovative technologies but it needed to diversify into products that complemented the core business.
Just 10 years later, he took the helm as its chief executive and today the nearly half a billion dollar business has realized that vision and more. One that creates careers—not jobs—for team members, exceeds customer expectations, and increases shareholder value while creating one of the best suppliers in the industry.
With four manufacturing facilities in the U.S.—and a fifth in Mexico—a technical office, a research facility, and corporate offices in three additional cities, UGN boasts eight-figure investments into the communities in which they operate. He has led the opening of five new plants and, because of that, has created hundreds of jobs throughout the years, even laying claim to major expansions during down economies.
As well as opening new plants and creating new jobs, Peter has initiated the strategic sale of one manufacturing plant to re-engineer the business and provide even more stakeholder value.
His drive to embrace the Toyota Production System as the foundation of the UGN business model has resulted in maximum productivity and efficiency and has allowed the organization to better train team members for longevity.
He hosts take-out lunches in every UGN facility to share financials, discuss where the organization is against goals, and answer team member questions, which fosters a sense of transparency and trust. Team members are always aware of what’s going on at all levels. Many times, thoughts or suggestions from the meetings result in changes which make UGN stronger. It’s the UGN Way.
His overall strategic planning for acoustic and interior trim for the Japanese transplant automotive industry in North America has allowed him to provide his executive leadership across the entire organization and around the world.
A career like Peter’s clearly demonstrates a powerful combination of independent thinking, perseverance, and high standards.
At the heart of his achievements is his ability to maintain strong business relationships, anticipate market changes, experiment with new organizational structures to maximize team member growth and potential, and to always be on the lookout for organizational cost savings, such as sourcing and eradicating bottlenecks.
These all ensure UGN remains a highly profitable enterprise and an industry leader in the delivery of innovative, state-of-the-art automotive products.
Peter is a three-time finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award Midwest and was recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40.
He is a past board member for Make-A-Wish Foundation of America and is past-chairman of the board and board member emeritus for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois. He also sits on several outside for-profit boards.
He is a member and past-president of the Bluegrass Automotive Manufacturers Association (a Toyota Production System independent forum), a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, and a member of Vistage International.
You can connect with him on LinkedIn.