Commencement Speaker

Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America

Jim Lentz is the chief executive officer of Toyota Motor North America and an operating officer of parent company Toyota Motor Corporation, located in Japan.

Lentz joined Toyota 38 years ago and oversees all business for Toyota’s North American region, including manufacturing, research and development, sales, marketing, product support and corporate resources. Lentz’s vision of uniting all of Toyota’s affiliates across the U.S. culminated in moving the company’s regional headquarters to Plano, Texas in 2017.

Lentz has led and contributed to a number of key milestones in Toyota’s history, including the launch of the Scion brand; recognition of Toyota and Lexus brands as leaders in customer experience; and successfully navigating the company through significant challenges such as the great earthquake and tsunami in Japan and one of the worst recessions in U.S. history.

Lentz serves on the board of directors for Global Automakers, is chair of the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers, and is a member of the executive advisory board for Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. He was also appointed to the board of directors for the Texas Economic Development Corporation by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

He was named “Marketer of the Year” by Advertising Age in 2006, an Automotive News “All Star” in 2007 and 2017 and honored as “Industry Leader of the Year” in 2014 by the Automotive Hall of Fame.

Lentz earned both his undergraduate degree and M.B.A from the University of Denver.