Execs from Lear Corp, Olympia Entertainment join WSU School of Business Board of Visitors

The Wayne State University School of Business is proud to welcome two new members to its Board of Visitors (BOV). Board of Visitors members serve at the invitation of the dean of the School of Business. Their role is to advise and support the dean on the strategic direction and advancement of the school.

The two new members bring the total BOV membership to 38. A full board roster is available at business.wayne.edu/about/board-of-visitors.

The new members are:

Jeffrey H. Vanneste
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Lear Corporation

Jeffrey H. Vanneste is responsible for Lear's global financial strategy and a wide range of financial activities, including accounting, financial transactions and controls, financial reporting, corporate business planning and analysis, treasury, tax matters and information technology.

Prior to joining Lear, Vanneste served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for International Automotive Components Group (IAC).  

Vanneste joined Lear in October 1991 as controller of the Detroit plant.  He was with Lear Corporation in positions of increasing responsibility over 15 plus years including:  vice president of finance, European operations, vice president of corporate business planning and analysis, vice president of finance, seating and vice president of finance for the Ford and GM Divisions.

Before joining Lear, he was assistant controller for Champagne-Webber, Inc. in Fraser, Mich. and prior to that was an audit senior at Cooper & Lybrand.

Vanneste received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting in 1983 from the Wayne State University School of Business and a Master of Business Administration degree from Michigan State University.

Thomas S. Wilson
President and Chief Executive Officer
Olympia Entertainment 

Thomas S. Wilson was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Olympia Entertainment in February 2013 and is responsible for identifying opportunities to package and promote the substantial assets of the organization through multi-venue offerings and creative promotions.  As one of the most diverse and leading sports and entertainment organizations in the country, Olympia Entertainment owns and operates Detroit’s Fox Theatre, the intimate City Theatre and also books and operates Joe Louis Arena and books Comerica Park. Wilson is also responsible for guiding and growing these venues as well as looking for opportunities to expand the portfolio. 

Wilson had an illustrious 32-year career with the Detroit Pistons, including the last 22 years as president and CEO of Palace Sports & Entertainment, Inc. (PS&E). Wilson oversaw the Detroit Pistons and the organization’s three venues: The Palace, DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadow Brook Music Festival.

The organization reached unprecedented success in 2004 when the Detroit Pistons won the NBA World Championship, the Tampa Bay Lightning – then owned by PS&E – earned the NHL’s Stanley Cup and the previously PS&E-owned Detroit Shock began defense of the WNBA title it earned the previous season. It marked the first time in pro sports history an ownership held three trophies simultaneously. 

Wilson has been active in the community throughout his career.  He has served as President of the Pistons Palace Foundation, has been a board member of Boys Hope/Girls Hope, The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Boy Scouts, and Director of The Parks Program.  He has been an honorary chair for the Salvation Army and Forgotten Harvest, active with the Boys Club and with March of Dimes, and is on the Board of Trustees for CATCH.

A native of Detroit, Wilson graduated from Cass Technical High School and earned his bachelor’s in business administration from the Wayne State University School of Business in 1971. He and his wife Linda reside in Oakland Township.