DEARBORN, Mich., July 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- FordDirect, a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and its franchise dealers, announced the promotion of several FordDirect employees, including the appointment of three employees to senior vice president: Senior Vice President of Digital Retail Solutions James Casazza; Senior Vice President of Customer Engagement John Gottschalk; and Senior Vice President of Global Digital Innovation Marianne Tappy.
-- Casazza joined FordDirect seven years ago and most recently held the position of vice president of dealer services. As senior vice president of digital retail solutions, Casazza leads product strategy and delivery across a portfolio of digital marketing services including websites, mobile solutions, consumer marketing and inventory management. He previously held roles in technology and product development at FordDirect. Prior to joining FordDirect, Casazza was a product development engineer in telematics at General Motors. Casazza holds a bachelor's degree in economics, a bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering, and a master's degree in electrical and computer engineering, all from Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds a Master in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. -- Gottschalk has more than 17 years of automotive retail experience, and was vice president of business development and strategy before being named senior vice president of customer engagement. In this role he leads the Customer Engagement team across all business lines where his responsibilities include building and maintaining customer relationships. Gottschalk's previous experience includes more than seven years at his family's Ford dealership in Pittsburgh, where as vice president he helped develop AutoNationDirect.com and established the sales and finance process for AutoNation's Online Auto buying service. He received a bachelor's degree in general studies with concentrations in biology and psychology from Kent State University and a Master of Business Administration in finance from Duquesne University. Gottschalk is also a graduate of the National Automobile Dealers Associations Dealer Academy. -- Tappy was most recently the vice president of digital strategy and business development for FordDirect before her promotion to senior vice president of global digital innovation. She joined FordDirect seven years ago, after working for Ford Motor Company, Digitas and Medtronic in various engineering and marketing positions. In her new role, Tappy is responsible for setting the global strategic direction across various digital experiences including online shopping, social and digital advertising. Tappy earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering University, a Master in Business Administration in manufacturing engineering and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.
"We are confident in the ability of our employees and happy to recognize their valuable contributions to FordDirect," said Stacey Coopes, CEO of FordDirect. "Their hard work and dedication played a significant role in helping FordDirect reach its 2013 goals and we look forward to continued momentum this year."
FordDirect also appointed the following employees to senior director positions: Jared Amaral, Rebecca Caldwell, Charlene Chu, Jason Harper, Chris Johnson, Ron Len, Jill Orlando, Christiane Parker, Madhu Reddiboina and Jody Stidham.
FordDirect (forddirect.com) is a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and its franchised dealers to create a comprehensive Web presence for dealers and provide digital marketing and advertising services that help dealers sell more cars and trucks. FordDirect provides dealers new and pre-owned digital marketing and advertising services, call tracking, lead management solutions, dealer websites, search optimization and marketing, database marketing, marketing services for regional dealer advertising groups and other digital services. FordDirect is headquartered in Dearborn, Mich.