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Don Manvel awarded with the “Gold Merit Decoration of the Republic of Austria”

November 8, 2012

On Oct. 24, 2012, Consul General Thomas Schnoell awarded Mr. Don Manvel, Chairman and CEO of AVL North America, the “Gold Merit Decoration of the Republic of Austria” for his distinctive services to Austria.  

Leadership in innovation and technology has defined Don Manvel’s career. For over 25 years, he has focused on successfully bringing leading-edge technologies to market. For the last decade, he has been doing so for AVL. AVL is headquartered in Graz, Steiermark (Styria) and is the recognized leader in developing clean and efficient technologies to power the world. As Chairman and CEO of AVL Americas, Don Manvel has led the company to significant growth and acclaim for innovative engineering solutions. Many Austrian engineers have had the pleasure to spend time working in one of AVL’s US operations and have brought their intercultural experience back to Austria. No one knows for sure when Don’s love affair with Austria really started. From 1993 until 1996 Don was the CEO of Chrysler Austria and Chrysler Eurostar and was responsible for building what is now Magna´s factory in Graz. Today, within Austrian business circles, Don Manvel is “THE Austrian – American Mr. Automotive”.

Don Manvel is an enthusiastic backer of programs and initiatives that inspire young people, including the first robotics competition for high school students and the SAE award-winning “A World in Motion” program for K-12 students. Don Manvel also offers his contacts at Detroit´s Center for Creative Studies and other academic institutions in the Midwest to Steiermark universities in order to further build trans-Atlantic bridges. The Republic of Austria is also thankful for Don Manvel’s support for so many Austrian initiatives in the US. This includes celebrations of the Austrian National Day in Chicago and the network of Austrian scientists in North America.

Don´s late wife Shelly left the world much too early this July and was specially recognized as Don’s partner in private and business success at the decoration ceremony. It took place at the Center for Creative Studies and Mr. Christian Buchmann, Minister for Economy, Europe and Culture/Provincial Government of Steiermark, Ms. Kathryn List, Chairman of the Board at AVL Cultural Foundation and Austrian Trade Commissioner Franz Roessler were all pleased to attend and offer their congratulations.