Meet Our Speakers

Don Bent

COO, Oshkosh Defense

Don Bent is the chief operating officer at Oshkosh Defense. He is responsible for driving the operational excellence needed in executing current programs and winning future business, as well as overseeing procurement, manufacturing and quality/continuous improvement. Previously, Bent was the vice president of operations for Oshkosh Defense and Oshkosh Finishing Services.
Bent joined Oshkosh Defense in 2010, helping lead the production ramp-up of the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) and the international production launch of the MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV). He has also served as the vice president of operations for Oshkosh Corporation’s Fire & Emergency business segment, leading all operations including a resurgence of the Pierce operation in Bradenton, Florida.
Prior to joining Oshkosh Corporation, Bent had extensive experience in engineering and manufacturing, leading lean manufacturing transformations at General Motors, BorgWarner and Amcor Packaging.
Bent holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from GMI Engineering & Management Institute and a master’s degree in manufacturing management from Kettering University.

Gary Silberg

Partner, National Automotive Sector Industry Leader, KPMG

Gary is the Firm’s National Automotive Industry Leader, as well as the Global Lead Partner for Ford Motor Company. Gary has 25+ years of business experience, including over 17 years in the automotive industry.

Professional and industry experience

Gary has advised numerous domestic and multinational companies in areas of strategy, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures. His specific focus includes helping clients identify and evaluate new investment and growth strategies from technology start-up companies to large scale multibillion-dollar investments.
For the past eight years he has focused on the intersection of technology and the automotive industry with groundbreaking research on Self-Driving Cars, connectivity and mobility demand services.
He has also worked on some of the most iconic, complex and strategic transactions in the industry. In particular, Gary has worked as an advisor to Ford Motor Company on its three most recent divestitures: Aston Martin, Jaguar/Land Rover, and Volvo and it’s recent multibillion AV Joint Venture with Volkswagen. Mr. Silberg has also advised Chrysler Corporation as part of its transaction with Fiat and now is working on the Peugeot/Fiat Chrysler transaction. He also has extensive knowledge and experience working with tier 1 automotive suppliers.
He has assisted several start-up automotive companies in developing their long-term strategies and business plans.
Gary is fluent in French and speaks basic level Chinese (Mandarin).
Thought leadership in the Automotive Industry

Gary is the chair of the annual Executive Automotive Share Forum Series, conducted in parallel with the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and Los Angeles.
He has written extensively about the industry. A selection of Gary’s recent publications include:
Autonomy delivers: An oncoming revolution in the movement of goods
Islands of Autonomy
I see. I think. I drive. (I learn).
The Clockspeed Dilemma – what it means for automotive innovation
Me, My Car, My Life … in the ultra-connected age
Self-driving cars: Are We Ready?
Self Driving Cars: The Next Revolution
Automotive semiconductors: The new ICE age
The future of automotive retailing
Gary also often provides media commentary on global trends in the automotive industry, including many guest appearances on CNBC, Squawk Box, Bloomberg TV – Other news media interviews include The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Reuters, Fortune, Forbes, Bloomberg, Wired, The Silicon Valley Business Journal, CNN Money, Industry Week, Outlook Business of India, China Auto and Yomiuri Shimbun of Japan and Automotive News.

Patrick Lindemann

President, Transmission Systems & E-Mobility, Schaeffler Group USA

As President of Transmission Systems & E-Mobility, Patrick Lindemann is responsible for the development and manufacturing of transmission systems and electric drives in North America. This includes torque converters, CVT, double clutch, and transmission components such as one way clutch, clutch packs and carriers, as well as P2 hybrid modules and electric axles (two of Schaeffler’s leading E-Mobility technologies). Patrick started his career with Schaeffler over 24 years ago as a design engineer focusing on dual mass flywheels. Since then, he has worked in a variety of roles leading Schaeffler’s research and development efforts on clutches and torque converters. Prior to his current position, Patrick served as Vice-President of Transmission Systems & Hybrid Drives. Patrick has 82 Patents and holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Siegen in Germany.

Sven Beiker

Founder and Managing Director, Silicon Valley Mobility

Dr. Sven Beiker has spent more than two decades focused on the future of mobility and automotive safety during a career spanning BMW Group, McKinsey & Company and Stanford University. Today, Sven is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Mobility, a consulting and advisory firm he founded in 2017 specializing in technical diligence, product roadmaps and business models for mobility. Sven is also a Lecturer at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University where he teaches strategies for startups and corporations in the field of automated, connected, electrified and shared mobility. His mission is to improve sustainability, safety, efficiency, and convenience in how consumers use automobiles. Dr. Beiker also serves on advisory boards of several startups in the mobility space, as an advisor to the German American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco, and as an advisor / co-editor to the Lecture Notes in Mobility of Springer Science+Business Media.

Pete Mento

Global Trade, Customs and Finance Consultant, Mento LLC

Pete Mento specializes in the elimination, recovery and minimization of duties and taxes associated with importing and exporting. He also assists companies with import and export trade compliance, audit defense and cargo security programs. He is considered one of the most insightful and connected trade professionals in the world and his projects have recovered over $1 Billion in duties, taxes and fees over his 20 year career.
Pete has served as Partner and Practice Leader for the Customs Practices of Tax Firms like Ryan, KPMG and Crowe. In these roles he has established important connections between tax, finance and trade for his clients.
He has also run the global Customs operations and consultancies for major Freight Forwarding Firms like Expeditors, C.H. Robinson and Crane Worldwide. He now consults private firms and transportation companies in the development, marketing and innovation of Customs, Regulatory and Global Trade Products, Secured Transportation Offerings, Trade Consultancy, Integrated Managed Services and Software Solutions.
Pete is a Customs House Broker who also received his ALM in Government (Trade Theory Focus) from Harvard University and did his undergraduate work at Maine Maritime Academy where he served five consecutive terms as a member of the advisory board.
A Trade Academic who has written many articles and work papers on Trade Theory and Trade Practices especially the role programs like C-TPAT and AEO had on the global economy.
Pete is a highly sought-after speaker for events all over the world. A former professional standup comedian, he has conducted sold out lectures to tens of thousands of people in every imaginable venue – from University lecture halls to night clubs. His style of mixing economics, history and humor is always a welcome change for his clients and students. His Trade School webinar series has become the standard for staying up to date on issues of global commerce and his podcast “Trade Geek” boasts over 10,000 subscribers.
He is the most unlikely trade nerd you will ever meet.......