Key Staff

Meet the staff that makes it happen.

Ron Wong, Chairman

Prior to Joining Lakefront, Ron spent 27 years with the Ford Motor Company, where he served most recently as Manager of the Infrastructure Support Department. While implementing Ford's global engineering CAD/CAM/CAE/PIM (C3P) computer infrastructure strategy, Ron made significant contributions to Ford's Information Technology architecture. He was instrumental in implementing Ford's first commercial CAD system, developing the first worldwide industry CAD data exchange standard with the National Bureau of Standards, and establishing Ford's TCP/IP Internet with the government ARPANET. In his last assignment with Ford, Ron lead the global consolidation of all of Ford's distributive computer infrastructure support activities. This consolidation of 150,000 desktop computers and 650 systems professionals achieved annual saving of $140MM within two years, and established an Asset Management support program which is recognized as "best-in-class" in the industry.

Prior to his time with Ford, Ron worked for seven years as a physicist and mathematician in the aerospace industry, developing telemetry and guidance systems for Space General Corporation, Aerojet General Corporation and Compuspec Corporation. Ron has served on Dell's Global Advisory Board, Ford's Information Technology Steering Committee and was president of Honeywell's Large Systems Users Association. Ron has served as vice president of the Chinese American Educational Cultural Center of Michigan (CAECC), a member of the Ford China Advisory Board, and founder of the Ford Corporate Community Computer Donation Program.

Ron graduated from Pomona College with a B.A. (Physics) and received his M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. He is now working on his doctoral dissertation in mathematics, as he completes the requirements for a Ph.D. at the University of California at Los Angeles. Ron is currently on the Board of Directors of three corporations.

Thomas Prendergast - CEO Co-Founder

In the years Thom has been president now CEO of Lakefront he has introduced new programs and processes that highlight the most efficient ways to look at asset management. Most recently he was the visionary behind the Ford Energy Park. He began by convincing Ford the best usage of the idle Ford Wixom plant was to bring alternative energy manufacturers into the empty facility. Lakefront then solicited hundreds of alternative energy OEMs and introduced the top candidates to Ford Land. Creating the negotiations of The Ford Energy Park; that will create 4,000 direct jobs and thousands more in the alternative energy sector.

Thom has been on the front lines of trying to establish Michigan as one of the leaders in manufacturing alternative energy equipment. He believes alternative energy manufacturing is a great opportunity to bring jobs back to Midwestern empty manufacturing plants.

Thom established capital investors for a start up technology Exchange Company out of Minneapolis called ZONE TRADER.COM. He closed the first investment round of $5M by a top fortune 100 company for an equity position in ZONE TRADER.COM and followed by $60 million round of capital investment. This technological approach to managing capital equipment changed the process of life cycle management for major corporations through out the US and Europe. These principles and practices are still the foundation of asset management and disposition. After growing the business Thom managed the sale of ZoneTrader to the international equipment exchange Dove Bid.

Prior to joining Lakefront, Thom was Senior Vice President at Comdisco. He spent over 14 years working his way up through the ranks at Comdisco. During his tenure at Comdisco he built and managed the most profitable region for Comdisco. His success generated a $1 billion asset portfolio of technology.

Ed Penkala - Executive Vice President

Ed Penkala brings over 30 years of diversified business experience in lease/funding and corporate information technology solutions. He was president of Tech Team Capital, a company that provided lease/finance solutions to major corporations including Consumers Energy, Goodyear, Sprint, Chrysler, Selectcare, Entergy, etc., the lease portfolio consisted of over $500 million dollars of assets including I.T., medical, material handling, manufacturing and facilities equipment. During his tenure the company expanded it’s customer base and developed and in-house remarketing division for off lease assets.

Ed also served as Vice President Sales & Marketing at National Tech Team, a prominent corporate I.T. and call center solutions provider whose customers included Ford Motor Co., UPS, Chrysler, Liberty Mutual, Visteon, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Wayne County (Mi) the City of Detroit, the European Union, etc. He managed successful customer growth in sales both in the U.S. and Europe, responsibilities included the management of 30 sales and marketing professionals.

Ed also was a CIO for a publicly traded manufacturing company where his major accomplishments included the development and implementation of computerized shop floor process control systems that improved quality, yield and customer service.

Dick Tucker, Board Member

Dick has over 35 years of broad experience in the Information Technology field including areas such as application development, computer and network planning, and operations. Prior to joining the Lakefront, Dick spent 33 at Ford Motor Company. During his career at Ford he was responsible for the development and launch of numerous major vehicle, parts, dealership, finance, and personnel IT applications.

He also managed Ford's Corporate Data Centers and was responsible for implementing operational efficiencies and asset management processes that improved availability and reduced cost significantly. This resulted in Ford winning two consecutive COMPASS Data Center of the Year Awards. Additionally, Dick managed Ford's Telecommunications Planning Department during a time of rapid network expansion necessary to support the Company's globalization and Internet requirements. The annual operating budgets of the Data Center and Telecommunications Departments were in excess of $150 million. After leaving Ford, Dick worked as a consultant with Hewlett Packard on the Ford account sales team. Mr. Tucker has a BS Degree in Mathematics from Walsh University in Ohio and a MBA in Management from the University of Detroit.

Steve Taflinger, Board Member

Steve brings over 35 years of broad leadership experience in the automotive and IT staffing industries. His 33 years at Daimler Chrysler included executive positions in the Information Technology Management (ITM) organization, Product Development and International Operation. Steve joined the ITM group in 1996 and held the position of Director IT Control, Supply and Asset Management for 5 years. His ITM experience included responsibility for the management and negotiation of all major IT supplier contracts, as well as building and leading a new European organization resulting from the Daimler Chrysler merger in 1998. Steve also served on Dell's Advisory Council for 2 years.

Steve's Product Development experience was founded with the Truck Platform Team and included responsibility for the financial success of 3 new products encompassing over 3 billion in plant and equipment investment and significantly greater bottom line contribution.

Steve graduated from Bowling Green University with a B.S. in Business and an MBA from Michigan State University.