Detroit Colour Council Officers

Cari Coffer - Past President

Color Experience: 20+ years working as a Craftsmanship and Appearance Engineer in the automotive industry. Cari has worked at various OEM and Tier 1 companies and also College for Creative Studies. Cari manages customer accounts for Appearance and Color/Grain/Gloss and manages all suppliers worldwide to develop new products/colors. 

Education:  Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University and dual Masters Degrees in Marketing and MBA from Walsh College.

Lisa Benedict - President
Color Experience: Over 30 years of automotive design working at General Motors.  Currently employed with the Design Quality Appearance team.   Lisa manages several vehicle lines for Appearance definition, responsible to coordinate appearance attributes with materials engineering, global design and the release communities.  Through her career with General Motors she has held several positions all related to color and appearance engineering.  Lisa also dabbles in freelance residential interior color consulting and design.

Education:  BBA  and  AA Residential and Commercial Design Management – Northwood University, Midland, MI

Major areas of study included material and textiles for commercial and industrial uses, and architectural design and layout.

Sabrina Morris - Vice President
Color Experience: Sabrina has worked in automotive coatings for 5 years. She is currently employed with Axalta Coating Systems as a Color Product Engineering Specialist serving the Light Vehicle OEM segment. In this role she is responsible for managing the development of new exterior body colors. This includes color styling, automotive color trend analysis, color matching, color formulation and adjustments, material testing, and color standardization.

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Engineering Sciences from Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI.

Frank Pizzo - Treasurer
Position: Treasurer

Color Experience: 20 years in the Automotive Coatings World and 4 years in the General Industrial Coatings market.

Bio: Currently employed with BASF as the General Motors Color Program Manager, responsible for new BASF Color Developments and secondary matches with GM Design and Engineering groups from inception through launch.

Chelsea Nungesser - Secretary
Color Experience: Chelsea has been on the Engineering Staff at Honda of America’s ELP Paint & Bumper Paint Department (Materials Group) in East Liberty, OH for 2 years. Previously, Chelsea worked at ArcelorMittal in Illinois as a Metallurgical Quality Engineer.

Education: Materials Science and Engineering, B.S., Ohio State University

Christie Navarre - Board
Color Experience: Over 12 years working with color formulation of coatings and quality control in the automotive industry. Currently employed by Thierry Corporation in Royal Oak. Manages all customer accounts for the paint division and plasma treatment technology. Responsible for operations and quality control for the production of OEM exterior and interior paint color standards. Also responsible for quality control of interior masters of all commodities.

Previous employment in the industry was in the R&D lab at Kay Automotive Graphics, where she was responsible for color matching and formulation.

Education:  Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University.

James Hall - Education
Color Experience: Works as an engineer for General Motors in the Vehicle Systems – Paint organization.

Responsible for exterior body color development. Includes assembly plant color processing, durability testing and color standards. Previous color engineering assignments in GM’s Interior Engineering organization and GM Design. Past President of the Detroit Colour Council. Current Chairman of Detroit Colour Council Education Committee. Worked with Bill Longley to create the Detroit Colour Council Metallics Course.

Education: Bachelor Degree from Wayne State University.

Don Castle - Advertisement
Color Experience: Over 50 years in the automotive business. 40 years with GM. Considerable experience with trim products.
Last 15 plus years in Sales( JS Chamberlain & Assoc., Inc ) which included painted automotive plastic products
Memberships at this time – ESD, MI.State Bar, AARP

ME from GMI (Now Kettering).
JD from Detroit College of Law (Now MSU).

Tracy Metivier - Media
Color Experience: Over 8 years working in various color focused positions in the Metro Detroit Area. Currently employed by General Motors Company, Design Center in Warren, MI. With this position she manages the Appearance Definition database and is responsible to coordinate appearance attributes with materials engineering, global design and the release communities. Previously, Tracy was a Craftsmanship, Color and Appearance Specialist with FCA, Auburn Hills, MI. Tracy got her initial start at The Parade Company in Detroit working on projects involving precise color mixing to create and build company logos for custom exhibits at events including NAIAS. Additional companies she has been part of include Autoneum, Novi, and Benecke-Kaliko, Auburn Hills, involving similar color and design responsibilities. From time to time Tracy also works on freelance photography, interior design, and graphic projects for pleasure.

Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with Furniture/Design major focus from The College For Creative Studies, Detroit, MI

Bob Santine - Website
Color Experience:  Bob has over 25 years experience in color measurement instrumentation sales, training, and support. Currently employed by BYK Gardner USA as the Regional Sales Manager for the Ohio Valley region.  Previously held a similar position with X-Rite and HunterLab.  Past President of the Detroit Colour Council.
Nick Lena - Standards
Nick Lena has degrees in both Engineering and Marketing. He joined GTI Graphic Technology, Inc. as Director of Color Technology in October 2011. In this role Nick oversees the LightSupport Calibration and Re-certification Service Program and also provides technical and sales support for both the Graphic Arts and Color and Appearance products. Nick joined GTI from Gamma Scientific where he was the Product Line Manager for Commercial Lighting, Military and Display Measurement. He previously worked for KonicaMinolta as Director of Technology and Business Unit Manager for Radiometric Products and Solutions. In this role he was responsible for the technical support and marketing efforts for all Spectrophotometers, Spectroradiometer and Colorimeter products.
Nick was also with GretagMacbeth for 20 years as Lighting and Radiometric Product Marketing Manager. At GretagMacbeth he developed and taught over 300 seminars on topics including Fundamentals of Color, and Appearance, Color Measurement and Light and Light Measurement. He was the author of their still current course books, The Fundamentals of Color and Appearance and has been the guest speaker for such organizations as Detroit Color Council, Color Marketing Group, Estee Lauder, Sikorsky, General Motors, Mattel, Disney, Honda, Jaguar, Boeing, Bayer, American Greeting, Microsoft, American Gem Trading Association, Frigidaire, Steelcase, The American Society of Appraisers and The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists.
He is an active committee member of The American Society of Testing Materials, (ASTM) E12 Color and Appearance committees and is the Chairman of the ASTM E12.11 Visual Methods Committee. Nick has recently been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Detroit Color Council.
Nick has been a member of the Illumination Engineering Society of North America, (IES) since 1978, a member of IES Committee on Color and has developed webinars on lighting measurement and the color metrics used for LEDs on the IES Education web site. In addition Nick was an active member of the ANSI / ISO TC42 standardization efforts on Visual Evaluation of Color and Uniformity in the Graphic Arts and participated in AATCC RA36 on Lighting Communications for Textiles and Apparel and was an advisor to the CIE (International Commission on Illumination) committee TC1-44 for Practical Daylight Sources for Colorimetry,
Katie Miller - Membership
Color Experience: Katie is currently employed by Sherwin Williams as a Color Matcher III for the Performance Coatings Group R&D Color Formulation Field Lab. Prior to her current role, she held a Color Chemist position with NPA Coatings where she was responsible for the development of exterior body colors for the OEM segment. This included color matching, color formulation and adjustments, material testing, color standardization, and customer support for new color trials.

Education: Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from Cleveland State University.

Rae Roby - Co-Event Coordinator
Color Experience: Rae is the Automotive Business Line Manager for the US and Canada for BYK Gardner USA and partners with Automotive OEM and Suppliers to develop Color and Appearance Programs to improve quality and harmony of vehicles. Prior to going BYK Gardner, Rae worked at NB Coatings in Technical Support and Development. Rae has over 20 years’ experience in the Automotive Industry and has been successful with implementing new color programs at many OEM’s, by developing OEM specific color equations, tolerances, and procedures.

Education:  Rae holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University.

Cassandra Briggs - Co-Event Coordinator
Color Experience:  Over 5 years’ experience in Color Design and Development, product formulation improvement, launching, testing, manufacturing and customer support for both waterborne and solvent borne technologies to serve globally renowned manufacturers such as GM, Nissan, Hyundai/Kia, Ford, FCA and others. Currently fulfilling these responsibilities under Axalta’s Color Development group with a central focus in their Automotive Plastic Components Business Division.

Avid promoter of employee safety, active member of the Axalta Emergency Response Team.

Education:  Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry-Minor Chemistry from University of Michigan.

Christian Aho - Standards

Color Experience:  Christian has worked in automotive color, coating and plastics for 19 years. Currently employed with Americhem as a Technical Sales Account Manger servicing the Automotive marketplace. Color experience consists of color development for R&D and Quality Control laboratories. Also spent 5 years as a Quality Manager residing over quality systems, quality control laboratory, and specification test lab functions. He has familiarity with ASTM, SAE and OEM specifications for color and performance testing for automotive industry. Having experience in Research and Development, Advanced Materials Engineering, Quality Management, and Operations Management throughout his career provides him with a full understanding of all aspects of how a part goes from the development phase to being packaged and shipped at the end of the production process.


Jon Lawniczak - Standards

Color Experience:

Jon Lawniczak is Marketing / Technical Service Manager for Industrial Coatings and Automotive Coatings at Eckart America Corporation, part of the Altana Group.  In this role, he focuses on developing applications for Eckart’s pigment technology to enhance and advance visual and functional aspects of Industrial and Automotive coatings.  Jon began his career in Coatings as a paint formulator for Automotive OEM coatings in Detroit.  He continued his work in formulation and product development in the Technical Service labs and R&D labs of Eastman Chemical Company.  Jon has held roles in Market Development and Business Development.  He serves on the FOCUS Conference Committee which organizes the annual FOCUS Conference on Automotive Coatings for the Detroit Coatings Society.  He earned his BS/Chemistry and MS/Physical Chemistry degrees at Michigan State University.  Jon and his wife, Kolleen, live in Louisville, Ky.