Ron Lawrence

Ron Lawrence

  • Director, Marketing, Sales and Proposal Management (Retired), Bombardier Transportation

  • Board Chair, 100 Black Men of Western PA

  • Compassionate Mentor and Community Leader, Western PA

Ron was born in Gulfport, Mississippi and attended segregated elementary, middle and high school there. He began college at HBCU Xavier University of New Orleans, Louisiana.. 

Ron later graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Detroit He also earned a BS degree in Math and Physics from Xavier University, New Orleans, Louisiana and did extensive coursework towards a Masters degree in Business Administration at the University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky. Ron graduated from the University of Detroit on May 8, 1970, married his wife Valerie on Saturday, May 9 and started work in Louisville, Kentucky on May 11, 1970. 

He began his career with the Boeing Company as a telemetry engineer and test assistant working in the NASA Apollo Moon Landing Space Program in 1968 on an engineering co-op assignment where he worked with the African American women of “Hidden Figures”.  Upon graduating from the University of Detroit he accepted an engineering assignment with the General Electric Company in Louisville, Kentucky, where he worked in Design, Advance design and Production Engineering. 

He and his wife, Valerie and son Ronnie later moved to Virginia in 1974 with the Westinghouse Electric, Corporation, where he worked as Manager of Market Planning and Distribution in the Industrial and Commercial Air Conditioning Division.  Westinghouse transferred him to Pittsburgh in 1978 where he worked at its corporate headquarters as Manager of Market and Strategic Planning for the Air Conditioning Group.  Ron moved to the Transportation Division of Westinghouse in 1981 where he worked as Deputy Program Manager, Program Manager, and Senior Program Manager for the Washington D.C Metro, Atlanta Airport People Mover, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit System, Denver Airport People Mover system, and Singapore Bukit Panjang Transit Projects. 

After Westinghouse was bought out by the Daimler-Chrysler in 1988, Ron was promoted to Vice president, Signaling and Auxiliary Equipment, ABB-Daimler-Chrysler Transportation, then to Director, Project Development and Sales Total Transit Systems Division, Director Project Management of Sekurflo Security Products, and then to Director, Marketing, Sales  and Proposal Management, Bombardier Transportation, Rail Control Solutions, Americas Division.  Ron Retired from Bombardier in April, 2015.

Ron has travelled extensively over six continents, and some 24 countries in North America, South America, Europe, Nordic Region, Middle East, and Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. Ron is very much interested in the education of African American Youth and works tirelessly to help them navigate “life’s highway”.  In 2015 he was selected as the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Highmark, and Bank of NY Mellon’s Jefferson Award winner for the Pittsburgh Region’s Most Outstanding volunteer and represented the Region at the National Jefferson Awards Ceremony in Washington DC. The award was for his 30 years of volunteer service with the 100 Black Men of Western Pennsylvania Mentoring Organization.  Ron also received the Urban League’s 2015 Ron Brown Award for Community Service, the Omega Psi Phi 2015 award for Citizen of the year, and 2019 Judge Livingston Johnson- Boy Scouts Life Time Achievement Award. Ron also serves on several Boards in Pittsburgh, including the Boy Scouts Laurel Highlands Council Scout-Reach Division, A+ Schools, 100 Black Men of Western Pennsylvania, and the Iota Phi Foundation of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.  

Ron’s perspective and hope for life for Africans in America is based on a quote from Paul Robeson; “We realize that our future lies chiefly in our own hands.  We know that neither Institutions nor friends can make a people stand unless it has strength in its own foundation; that people  like individuals must stand or fall on their own merit; that to truly succeed they must practice the virtues of self-reliance, self- respect, industry, perseverance and economy.” As current Board Chair of the 100 Black Men of Western Pennsylvania, Ron has dedicated himself, for the past 32 years, to working with over 3,000 African American youth in the Western Pennsylvania region, motivating them to achieve and to believe in the immortal words of Malcolm “X”, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”.