Matthew Si­moncini

LEAR CORP. CEO FUNDS GROUPS THAT ED­U­CATE LO­CAL YOUTH

The Detroit News - - Front Page -

Matthew Si­moncini is not just the CEO of a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar au­to­mo­tive sup­plier. Si­moncini, of Lear Corp., is at the helm of a com­pany that con­trib­utes mil­lions an­nu­ally in sup­port of com­mu­nity ef­forts through­out Detroit and south­east­ern Michi­gan.

Raised in East English Vil­lage on the east side of Detroit, Si­moncini said his up­bring­ing shaped him per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally.

“Ev­ery­thing from the tough­ness that we have as Detroi­ters,” he said. “The un­der­dog sta­tus. The way that we ap­pre­ci­ate things ... It’s also shaped a lot of our phil­an­thropic ef­forts at Lear Corp. be­cause we know specif­i­cally the needs in Detroit and how great they are.”

Si­moncini was named to the top job at Lear in 2011, af­ter serv­ing as se­nior vice pres­i­dent and chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer since 2007.

Lear fo­cuses on ed­u­ca­tion, help­ing stu­dents pre­pare for col­lege through pro­grams such as the Lear Au­to­mo­tive Youth Academy and VIP Men­tor­ing, Si­moncini said.

Lear also re­ha­bil­i­tates parks in the city of Detroit.

“I think our finest mo­ment was get­ting the pool open at Rouge Park, which was a huge un­der­tak­ing,” said Si­moncini, 56. “It was amaz­ing to see all the kids swim­ming in a pool

Ed­u­ca­tion: that had been aban­doned for years.”

Si­moncini also is in­volved with Ju­nior Achieve­ment of South­east­ern Michi­gan, where he tu­tored years ago. Lear’s in­vest­ment in the or­ga­ni­za­tion in­cludes the Detroit Fi­nan­cial Free­dom Project in 2016, a three-year ini­tia­tive to im­prove the fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy skills of 8,000 Detroit teens. “I know the dif­fer­ence Si­moncini has made in the lives of thou­sands of young peo­ple in Detroit,” said Mar­garet Trimer-Hart­ley, pres­i­dent and CEO of Ju­nior Achieve­ment of South­east­ern Michi­gan. “The in­vest­ments he and Lear Corp. have made in JA and many other youth pro­grams are build­ing smarter, savvier stu­dents who will be­come con­fi­dent, ca­pa­ble con­sumers ...”

Si­moncini sits on var­i­ous boards, in­clud­ing Wayne State Univer­sity Foun­da­tion, Down­town Detroit Part­ner­ship and Michi­gan Opera Fam­ily: child Why hon­ored: His com­mit­ment to give back to the com­mu­nity Theatre.

“The opera has my heart,” he said. “I’m Ital­ian. I was raised in a house where my par­ents would ar­gue over who would sing off-key when they were singing opera. If the in­fra­struc­ture of its city is its trans­porta­tion, its job, its ad­min­is­tra­tion, then the soul of the city is the arts. We need to make sure that we con­tinue to fos­ter it.”

Candice Wil­liams

Robin Buck­son / The Detroit News

Shell Jones founded the 25,000-square-foot Play-Place, which draws spe­cial needs chil­dren and adults of all ages and abil­i­ties from around south­east Michi­gan.

Daniel Mears / The Detroit News

Matthew Si­moncini, pres­i­dent and CEO of Lear Corp., also is on the board of the Michi­gan Opera Theatre. “The soul of the city is the arts. We need to make sure that we con­tinue to fos­ter it,” he says.

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