Don Gebers

Profile Updated: February 10, 2011
Don Gebers
Residing In: Lenexa, KS USA
Spouse/Partner: Julie
Occupation: Testing and Validation Engineer
Children: Jamie, born 1990. Jamie has been living in NJ with my ex-wife and attending Ocean County College for More…Pre-nursing. This fall she is transferring to Kansas University in Lawrence, KS, about twenty minutes from my home.
Yes! Attending Reunion

After high school, I attended UNL. I was back in town for the summer of 1980, and a night many of us will never forget.
In Lincoln, I worked 40 hours per week at two part time jobs while a full time student to pay my own way through college. I worked as a professional photographer, and built custom van conversions. I earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering degree.
Upon graduation, I went to work for General Motors where my first assignment was to work on the team which designed and built the assembly plant in Kansas City, KS. When that was complete I was transferred to NJ to improve the productivity of the Linden, NJ assembly plant.
While in NJ, I met and married the mother of my daughter. I worked on a team which completely gutted the assembly plant and converted it from manufacturing cars to S-10 pickups and Blazers. I was awarded the Chairman's Honor Award for my work to bring the S-!0 four door crew cab pickup to market faster than GM has ever introduced a new product, 12 months from design to dealer showrooms.
The assembly plant was about 15 miles from the World Trade Center as the crow flies. I was on the roof of the plant on 9/11 and watched the second tower collapse with my own eyes. F-16's were circling Manhattan and flying directly over my head, low enough I could see the pilots as they banked their turns. That experience changed me and it is one I hope to never repeat.
I changed jobs and transferred to the Quality department where I used my knowledge of the manufacturing process to root cause and resolve quality problems. My marriage ended after ten years, and I was transferred back to the plant I helped design after 16 years in NJ. I went through a divorce, moved half way across the country, and started a new job, all within thirty days, a very stressful time in my life.
After returning to Kansas City, I ran the San Diego marathon in 2004. I didn't win, but I finished all 26.2 miles. Been there, done that, no desire to do it again. After a couple more years in the Quality department, I was selected to lead an Issue Resolution Team for new product launches. We evaluate new vehicle designs, identify problems during the prototype builds, and resolve them with the design engineers. The first product I worked on was the Saturn Aura which won many awards including North American International Car of the Year. I next worked on the completely redesigned Chevrolet Malibu. The Malibu won more awards than the Aura, and again won North American International Car of the Year. No other automotive manufacturer, foreign or domestic has ever won this award in two consecutive years. I was awarded the Chairman's Honor award for the Malibu winning J.D. Powers Best in Segment in Initial Quality the first year it was on the market. It was rated better quality than well established segment rivals, the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Corolla.
My latest project is the all new Buick LaCrosse which will start being shipped to dealers in the second half of July, 2009.
I am happily remarried. I married Julie in July 2008.
Update 2/10/11:
The Buick Lacrosse has been a huge success. Sales have increased over 140% from the previous model. Our assembly plant added a third shift at the start of 2010 to keep up with demand for the Buick LaCrosse and Chevy Malibu. We now build cars 24 hours per day, 5 days per week.
I have been assigned to work on two new models. We have never had launch teams work on two new products at the same time before. But since the bankruptcy we have to do more with less.
I am currently working on a hybrid version of the Buick Lacrosse. I am also working on the next generation of the Chevrolet Malibu.

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Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 12:36 AM
Partners in crime, Julie and Jamie
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 12:36 AM
Jamie and the car she thinks will be hers some day