By Dennis Seid
BLUE SPRINGS – A Toyota and Nissan veteran has been tapped as the new vice president of administration for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi.
Sean Suggs, 48, replaces Doug Formby, who announced his retirement recently. Suggs takes over Jan. 31, and will oversee all areas of administration including human resources, general affairs, safety, accounting and finance and production control.
“I’ve worked 10 years for Toyota and six with Nissan,” Suggs. “I’m really excited about being here with Toyota Mississippi,”
Suggs joined TMMMS on Nov. 4.
“It’s a great privilege to be asked to lead the plant at this important moment in its history,” he said. “I started my automotive career with Toyota, so this is like coming home.”
The plant began building the 11th-generation Corolla sedan in July, its second model in less than two years. Next spring, it will begin exporting Corollas to Central America and Latin America.
Before joining TMMMS, Suggs was director of strategy, administration and human resources from 2011-2013 for Nissan’s North American headquarters in Tennessee.
He is no stranger to the Magnolia State, however. Before his stint at Nissan’s headquarters, he headed production quality at the automaker’s Canton plant.
Suggs’ began his automotive industry career with Toyota in 1998 at the company’s Princeton, Ind., manufacturing plant. He was named general manager of quality planning in 2008 at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana and oversaw professional development, vehicle quality and manufacturing quality for current and new model production.
He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Oakland City College in Oakland City, Ind., and his MBA from Auburn University.
He and his wife, Janet, have six children, ages 18-27, as well as two grandchildren.
“I’m like Silly Putty in their hands,” Suggs said of his grandchildren.
When he’s not at the plant, Suggs’ hobbies include golf.
“But my grandchildren are my priority,” he said. “Family comes first.”
As for Toyota’s role in Northeast Mississippi, Suggs said he would continue building on the relationships his predecessors developed.
“We want to strengthen those relationships with the communities, the cities and the counties,” he said.
Said Formby, “Sean will be a tremendous asset to our team. His history with Toyota and his professional career in the automotive sector gives him a vast understanding of what Toyota Mississippi needs to be successful.”