Joe Loughrey was with Cummins Inc.—the world’s largest independent diesel engine manufacturer—for over 35 years until he retired on April 1, 2009. He was Vice Chairman of Cummins since August 1, 2008, served as President and Chief Operating Officer from May 2005 through July 2008, and was a member of its Board of Directors since 2005 and the Board of The Cummins Foundation since 1992. During Loughrey’s career, Cummins (which is based in Columbus, Indiana) grew into a Fortune 200 company with over 40,000 employees and more than $14.3 billion in sales in 2008.
Allert Brown-Gort is Associate Director, Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He is also a Fellow of the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame. His research interests are immigration policy, and the political opinions and policy priorities of Mexican-American and Mexican immigrant leaders. A citizen of both the United States and Mexico, he has served as an advisor to the Fox administration in Mexico and to the U.S. Senate Hispanic Task Force. Professor Brown-Gort regularly lectures and provides media commentary on issues related to Latinos, immigration, and U.S.-Mexico bilateral relations at the regional, national, and international levels.
Suresh Garimella is Associate Vice President for Engagement and the Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering, at Purdue University where he is Director of the National Science Foundation Cooling Technologies Research Center. Dr. Garimella has served as Jefferson Science Fellow at the U.S. Department of State since August 2010, in the International Energy and Commodity Policy office of the Economic Bureau. As a part of this Fellowship, he explored pathways to a clean energy future. Most recently, he was appointed Senior Fellow of the State Department’s Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), a regional partnership announced by President Obama at the April 2009 Summit of the Americas.
Mr. Mark R. Gerstle has been Vice President of Community Relations at Cummins Inc. since 2011. A life-long Indiana resident, Gerstle sits on over nine area Boards, working to improve education through roles with the Indiana Commission on Higher Education, and Columbus Education Coalition. For Gerstle, improving educational systems in Columbus helps “attract people, retain people, and keep the communities healthy.” The Spanish-speaker attended Indiana University for both his B.A. and J.D., bringing his legal expertise to IBM before joining Cummins, Inc. in 1988. Now serving as the VP of Community Relations, Gerstle works with the Cummins Foundation on Indiana-based grant programs.
Jamie P. Merisotis is president and chief executive officer of the Lumina Foundation, the nation’s largest private foundation committed solely to enrolling and graduating more students from college. Before joining Lumina in 2008, Merisotis was founding president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy. Merisotis’ work has been published extensively in the higher education field. Merisotis serves on the board of numerous institutions around the globe, including the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and Anatolia College in Thessaloniki, Greece. He also serves as president of the Economic Club of Indiana.
Dr. Norman Wilson is an ordained minister of The Wesleyan Church and serves as associate professor and Coordinator of the Intercultural Studies Department at Indiana Wesleyan University. He has served as pastor of Free Methodist Churches in Indianapolis, as a Wesleyan missionary in Peru and Puerto Rico, as Director of PACE (Program for Accelerating College Education), Houghton College’s adult degree completion program, and as Director of International Ministries for Global Partners of The Wesleyan Church overseeing ministries in over sixty countries. He has written on missions and intercultural theory and practice, compassionate evangelism, immigration issues, and more.
To engage a broad community of Midwesterners in a conversation about immigration the “Task Force on Immigration and U.S. Economic Competitiveness: A View from the Midwest” has gone on the road to learn more about the immigrant communities throughout the region. The forums highlighted how immigrants contribute to local economies and the integration challenges local communities are facing, among other issues. 8 forums were held in the late summer and early fall. Local leaders participated. The diverse canvas of immigrant communities and local issues was put on full display.
Moderated by Suresh Garimella, Associate Vice President for Engagement, Purdue University. In collaboration with Greater Lafayette Commerce, Purdue University, and ImmigrationWorks, USA.