Director of Marketing Research at Ford Motor Company
November 1979 was a critical moment in the history of the domestic automobile industry. In the aftermath of the Iranian oil crisis of 1979, Japanese cars and trucks flooded the U.S. market. For Raymond Ablondi, Ford's director of marketing research, the task at hand was to mobilize his staff of 30-35 research professionals to find a new way to bring the voice of the customer into the decision-making process at Ford. Under Ablondi's leadership and guidance, his staff developed methods of providing the customer information necessary to guide Ford's quality improvement programs, even at the plant level. Gearing to achieve is nothing new for Ray Ablondi, who has had a history of success at both Ford and Middlebury. In 1952, the campus leader and star runner - winner of the Hazeltine-Klevenow Cup for best combining ability in athletics and excellence in scholarship - graduated from Middlebury to the London School of Economics on a Dutton Fellowship. Three years later, he returned to the United States with his Ph.D. and joined Ford as a financial analyst. In 1958, he took a position as an automotive marketing and research manager with a Michigan advertising agency, but returned to Ford in 1962 and held a variety of sales, marketing, and corporate staff positions. Adapted from Middlebury Magazine, Winter 1988 pg. N-18
Former Governor of Vermont and U.S. Senator from Vermont
Deceased in 2006
Stafford is the only individual to have served in every major statewide office--attorney general, lieutenant governor, governor, U.S. representative and U.S. senator. Stafford's life of service began in 1953 when he was appointed deputy attorney general for Vermont and continued through his career as U.S. Senator which ended in 1988. His life stands as a model of service, selfless dedication and commitment to the community--whether that community be Rutland, Vermont, the U.S. or the planet. We have all benefited from the compassionate and researched concern that he has shown for the preservation of our land and wildlife and for the access to and continued quality of teaching and research within our educational institutions. We sincerely hope he is not the last of a breed but rather a leader who has set the course for his successors.
Marcia Stigum is an accomplished author with more than a half dozen books on topics ranging from introductory economics, to banking, and money markets. As president of Stigum and Associates, Ltd., she is looked upon as one of the foremost authorities on the subject of the money market, serving as a consultant and advisor to major banks, corporations, government agencies and institutions internationally.