J. D. “Dave” Power III ’53, founder of J.D. Power and Associates, has been inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame, joining the ranks of elite company names like Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Porsche and Royce. The only organization of its kind in the world, the Automotive Hall of Fame is committed to preserving and promoting automotive history for the future and celebrating the insights and ingenuity of people, like Power, who have contributed to the auto industry’s success.
A Worcester native, Power was inducted on July 24, 2014 at the Automotive Hall of Fame’s annual Induction Awards Gala Ceremony, held at the College for Creative Studies, A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education in Detroit. The event was highlighted by the induction of Power and three other individuals into the Hall of Fame, the honoring of the Industry Leader of the Year and the issuance of two distinguished service citations. Power received the Automotive Hall of Fame’s Distinguished Service Citation, awarded each year to the industry’s most accomplished leaders, in 1992.
Power’s firm, J. D. Power and Associates, is a prestigious global marketing information firm that surveys customer satisfaction, product quality, and buyer behavior. Power has traveled around the world presenting information and awards to auto industry CEOs, engineers and assembly workings, working to instill in them the voice of the costumer. The firm is a highly trusted resource for consumers shopping for big-ticket items, including cars and boats, and for services including hospital care and insurance, with corporate headquarters in Westlake Village, Calif., domestic offices throughout the United States, and nine international offices in Canada and Mexico, South America, Asia Pacific and Europe.
Power was born and raised in Worcester, and comes from a long tradition of Holy Cross graduates. His father, James Jr., was a 1920 graduate; two of his uncles graduated in 1916 and 1923; his brother, John, was a member of the class of 1969; his daughter Susan Power Curtin is a 1993 graduate and a member of the College’s Board of Trustees; and his grandson, J. D. Power V recently graduated from the College in May.
Attending Holy Cross while the country was still recovering from the Great Depression, Power learned “about the need for living within your means and sharing with people less fortunate,” he told Holy Cross Magazine. Influenced by this experience, he created The Power Family Scholarship, helping make the full educational experience available to qualified Worcester County students who might not otherwise get the opportunity. Since it was first awarded in 2006, The Power Family Classes of ’20, ’53, ’69 and ’93 Endowed Scholarship has helped nine students receive a Holy Cross education.
Among his long list of accolades, Power recently published a book, “POWER: How J.D. Power III Became the Auto Industry’s Adviser, Confessor, and Eyewitness to History,” (Fenwick Publishing, September 2013), which looks back on his 50 years in the auto industry, offering compelling anecdotes about the industry’s biggest players and is informed by his first-hand experienced all its major developments. In 2010 he received the Joseph P. Wharton Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Wharton Alumni Association. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from numerous colleges and universities, including Holy Cross in 1994, California Lutheran University, and California State University Northridge.
The Automotive Hall of Fame began to take shape in 1939 when a group of men met in New York City to create an organization to perpetuate the memories of the early automotive pioneers. By the mid-1990s, the Hall of Fame had found home in Dearborn, Mich., near the birthplace of Henry Ford, where it is situated today as a part of the MotorCities National Heritage Area. The Hall of Fame, which has honored more than 800 men and women, including nearly 300 who have been inducted, is constantly expanding its role as a primary source of inspiration for those working in the global automotive industry. From North America to Europe and Asia, the organization intends to serve as a primary resource for information about those who shaped the auto industry.
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