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CEO Spotlight: Doerken’s Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is the president of Doerken Coatings North America. MICHauto spoke with Anderson about his priorities and motivations as an automotive executive.

What is your number one priority as CEO?
Our highest priority is to continue on our path of creating and investing in an enduring, healthy culture – one which is based on fundamental values such as team-first, respect for one another, integrity, and trust. Each member of our team plays a critical role in our collective success. Alignment with our core values is essential to working together and ultimately meeting our objectives. The culture is intended to provide a foundation where each team member is empowered to create value and innovate within their respective roles. Establishing a culture based on trust, respect, and integrity enables each of our colleagues to have confidence to execute their plan to succeed. This process has a beginning, though no end. The greatest reward is seeing team members embrace these values in their lives and behaviors, in and out of the workplace.

What are you grateful for?
There are so many elements of my life to be grateful for, I could write a chapter on this topic alone. For brevity, certainly family, friends, and community top the list. Followed closely by the opportunity to work with a great team at Doerken Coatings in North America and globally. In addition, the industry relationships developed over many years have provided opportunities beyond expectation. It is through these relationships that I have had the privilege to work with many talented individuals who have shaped my life. It is from life experience that I have gained the insight, knowledge, and practical wisdom that I endeavor to apply and share with others today.

How do you keep your team motivated in the face of conflicts or obstacles?
Overcoming obstacles and challenges is a daily event. Over the course of my life and career, I have been fortunate to learn a few valuable lessons. Encouraging our team to maintain awareness during difficult challenges and conflicts is the first step in creating a solution. By becoming fully aware of the challenge we can collectively work to provide an effective solution. Along with gaining awareness of a situation, we encourage a “response” rather than a “reaction.” The point is to keep the issue in proper context, align necessary resources, and develop a solution. Clarity to the simple process motivates our team to be creative and solution-oriented.

What is your favorite car and why?
Chevrolet Corvette. Exceptional performance and value! True American sports car legacy.