Video: Porsche Cars N.A. Chief Operating Officer Joe Lawrence gives Rikard Lecture

Did you know Porsche Cars North America headquarters in Atlanta currently employs 14 Oglethorpe students and alumni?

On September 27, Oglethorpe welcomed Joe Lawrence, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Porsche Cars North America, for a Mack A. Rikard Lecture in the Conant Performing Arts Center.

A senior executive from one of the world’s premiere automobile companies and an Oglethorpe University Board of Trustees member, Lawrence gave insight into Porsche’s development as a global brand in America and discussed the decision to build their North American headquarters and Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, share his own career path, and offer career advice for today’s college students.

As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Joe Lawrence is responsible for sales and dealer network development in the United States. He also oversees Porsche Cars North America’s field operations and the Porsche Academy. Lawrence assumed his current role in August 2013 after serving as President and CEO of Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. for four years. He began his career selling cars in his hometown of El Paso, Texas in 1989. Prior to arriving at Porsche, he worked for 15 years at BMW in a variety of sales and marketing positions in the United States, Germany, and Canada. Lawrence holds a B.A. in Economics from Southern Methodist University and an M.B.A. from Emory University.

The Rikard Lecture Series introduces students to current issues in business as presented by business and civic leaders who are recognized leaders in their professions. Established in 1991, the series is named after Mack A. Rikard ’37, an Oglethorpe alumnus, honorary degree recipient, Athletic Hall of Fame member and Trustee Emeritus. The program is overseen by a committee of faculty and staff and co-chaired by Barbara Henry and Dr. Lynn Guhde. Rikard, who passed away in December 1996, was a former president of Allied Products Company in Birmingham, Ala., and a supporter of Oglethorpe athletics and student scholarships. 

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