Entrepreneur SEEN

Paul Mascarenas

August 27, 2015
 Former Chief Technical Officer Ford Motor Company

Meet Bloomfield Hills resident Paul Mascarenas. A native of the United Kingdom, he and his wife, Ruth, and their daughters Emily and Anna moved to the area in 1995 for an assignment with Ford Motor Company. In 1997, they relocated to Cologne, Germany, but returned in 2002 when Mascarenas became vice president of Ford’s vehicle programs and leader of its global engineering team.

Mascarenas retired from Ford in September 2014, having spent the last four years of his career as the company’s chief technical officer. He and his family continue to enjoy living in the area while their youngest daughter finishes high school at Detroit Country Day. “We love the schools here,” he says. “We also like living in a place with four distinct seasons.”

But retirement has been anything but quiet for Mascarenas. He currently serves as the president and chairman of the board of the International Federation of Automotive Engineering Societies, providing assistance to nearly 200,000 automotive engineers around the world. He is also a member of the board of directors of ON Semiconductor and Mentor Graphics and a special venture partner with Fontinalis Partners, a Detroit-based strategic investment firm co-founded by Bill Ford Jr. The firm focuses on technology companies in the rapidly emerging area of next-generation mobility solutions.

“I enjoy keeping busy on a full-time basis,” Mascarenas says. “I’m also proud to be part of the Detroit story and the comeback of the area. The work I’ve done since my retirement is my chance to give back to the next generation in a field that has served me so well over the years.”

Industry changes: There’s been an amazing change in the automotive industry over the last three decades and that is the level of technology that’s being integrated into the vehicles. There is so much software to control things like safety and fuel emissions while at the same time offering infotainment for the driver and passengers. Connected vehicles are making our driving experiences safer and more efficient.

Professionally speaking: I’ve always been passionate about the opportunities that technology can bring to vehicles. There is a natural curiosity for me as well as a desire for practical applications. My experiences working with the latest technologies and the best engineers in the world to deliver the best products to our customers have been very rewarding.

Proudest career accomplishment: Recently, I was awarded the very prestigious OBE (Order of the British Empire) and named an Officer of the British Empire for my contributions to British industry on behalf of the auto industry. The ceremony took place on June 25 and Her Royal Highness Princess Anne presented the award to me at Buckingham Palace. I was tremendously proud and surprised to be recognized in this fashion. It was a wonderful and very memorable experience, and I was excited to be able to share it with my family.

Career thoughts: I always try to stay abreast of the latest developments in technology and business. I’ve been an advocate for working together and building strong team relationships. With a good team behind you, you can accomplish great things.

Passion for: I like to stay active and keep fit by playing golf and working out. I also enjoy cycling and tending to our garden.

Life in Bloomfield Hills: The schools here are great. I like the local amenities including the shops, different restaurants and our fitness club. It is a comfortable place to live. I grew up in England and spent some time in Germany, but this area feels like home for us now.

Favorite place hang out: ML Cafe is one of our favorite local restaurants. It’s a great menu with a fun ambiance. I also like the new Lifetime Fitness on Telegraph. It just opened last year, and the new facilities are clean and well equipped. It’s a perfect facility for working out and very convenient, too.

My perfect day: A great round of golf followed by a drive in my Mustang. I enjoy driving the car, and this is the perfect area to explore because there are so many fun things to see. Spending time with my family is great, too.

What most people don’t know about me: I’m not a great golfer by any means, but I’ve still managed to get two holes-in-one! The first one was at Springdale in Birmingham in 2012. The second was at Fox Run in Plymouth the following year. I can’t believe I was able to do it one time, let alone two! I’m a modest guy and don’t like to brag, but that was pretty cool! NS

— Interviewed by Matthew TotskyPaul Mascarenas

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