Najarian, Sullivan to be honored as distinguished Swanton alums




Two new members will be inducted in the Swanton Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame this week. Ceremonies will be held Friday to celebrate their induction, including at Friday’s Swanton High School basketball game.

Peter Najarian and Lori Chamberlain Sullivan are this year’s inductees.

Peter Najarian

Najarian graduated from Swanton High School in 1956. He was class treasurer his freshman year and class president his sophomore, junior and senior year and student council president his senior year. Najarian played football, basketball, baseball and track while at Swanton.

He decided to attend the University of Toledo and graduated in 1960 with a degree in mechanical engineering. In 1961 he started a 40-year career working for General Motors Corporation.

In 1962, Najarian received his master’s in mechanical engineering and was recognized as the Outstanding Graduate Student in all of the graduate school students with straight As.

In 1966, he was promoted to General Supervisor of Production and in 1970 he again was promoted to Superintendent of Production.

In 1973, Najarian was again promoted to Department Head of the Industrial Engineering Department. Then in August 1974 he was transferred to the Muncie, Indiana Chevrolet plant for 13 years as the General Superintendent of Production overseeing the activities for 2,000 employees.

In Muncie, he was active in the Chamber of Commerce elected as president and served on the board of directors. Najarian played a significant role in getting a new four-lane highway to connect it to Interstate 69. The road was nicknamed Pete’s Pike for his work on this project for Muncie.

In 1987, he was transferred to the Toledo Powertrain Transmission Plant where he was responsible for 4,000 employees. This plant produced 42,000 transmissions per week.

In June 2000 Najarian retired and enjoys playing golf, doing yard work and traveling with his wife, Donna.

Lori Sullivan

Sullivan is a 1987 graduate of Swanton High School. At Swanton she was a varsity cheerleader, class officer, a member the National Honor Society, worked on the Hoop Tree for four years, helped with bloodmobile drives, and ran track.

After graduation, she attended The University of Detroit and received her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. She then continued her education and received a Masters of Science in Engineering at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute.

She started to work for General Motors where she was responsible for vehicle mass reduction and fuel economy. While there she started “Lite News” that provided technical communications to 500 employees in various departments.

In 1995, Sullivan moved to product research where she was responsible for design exploration, design direction and brand character for future products. She supervised, trained and developed 10 analysts in market research, analysis and communication techniques.

Sullivan then became brand character manager for the Saturn brand which included design philosophy, brand positioning, and target market analysis.

From 2003-2005, she was Internet and Direct Marketing Manager for the Saturn brand. She planned and executed spending for an annual budget that ranged from $6.5 million to $9 million.

Then she became the Strategy and Media Planning Manager where she was responsible for overall marketing strategy and development of a media plan, which resulted in a 12% increase in retail share, 20% revenue growth and 20% share increase.

She managed a media budget of $150 million, covering all types of media. She then transferred to Business Planning Manager for General Motors.

In 2009, Sullivan started her own consultant business and has worked for Coke, Hallmark, Visa, Chase, and Kellogg. Her group develops strategies to help the companies grow.

In 2010, she joined the MRM Worldwide where she works on strategic planning and is now their Leadership and General Management Group account director. Sullivan leads a team of more than 200 supporting the General Motors retail and sales marketing client. They have achieved an account revenue growth of 20% over three years.

In her spare time Sullivan enjoys photography, wine charm making and writing blog posts. She is married to Todd and has two children, Sydney and Noah.