The President – Kirk J. Lewis
Mr. Kirk J. Lewis is the Chairman and President of Blue Springs Metals, LLC. Blue Springs Metals is a certified minority supplier of steel products to the Automotive and the Oil and Gas Industry. Blue Springs is headquartered in north east Mississippi and has annual sales of $160 million.
Previously, Mr. Lewis served as Deputy Mayor/Chief of Staff for the City of Detroit, serving under Mayor Dave Bing. In this capacity, Mr. Lewis managed the day-to-day operations of all city departments including the Detroit Fire Department and the Detroit Police Department. Prior to his appointment to Deputy Mayor/Chief of Staff, Mr. Lewis served as Chief Governmental and Corporate Affairs Officer under Mayor Bing. In this position, Mr. Lewis acted as the Liaison for the City of Detroit to the corporate and philanthropic communities, all educational institutions, as well as the local, state and federal governmental entities. Additionally, Mr. Lewis was responsible for the City of Detroit’s Department of Health and the Department of Human Services.
Mr. Lewis has more than 25 years of executive and financial management experience. He has been responsible for developing, reviewing, analyzing and implementing the strategic plans for various organizations. He brings a combination of operational and financial budgeting as well as creditor and union negotiation experience. In addition, he has significant experience in the implementation of financial and operational systems to improve company performance.
Mr. Lewis started his career as a staff accountant for one of the “big eight” accounting firms in 1984. He spent seven years in a finance and budgeting position for a major domestic automaker, in its credit arm, where he rapidly progressed through the organization. Mr. Lewis was initially hired as a municipal debt analyst and was responsible for analyzing project financing and municipal leases. He then became a registered investment professional for the credit arms of this same Automotive OEM. In this capacity, Mr. Lewis was responsible for the sale of commercial paper in the New York and New Jersey markets. During this time, he shared the responsibility for redesigning a new commercial paper issuance system. He was then assigned to long-term corporate debt, assisting in refinancing and structuring long and medium term debt issuances. Mr. Lewis advanced to the role of a profit consolidator for the automobile maker’s credit arm. During his tenure, he communicated extensively with senior management regarding the development of the company’s budget and budget variances.
Mr. Lewis then joined a certified minority Tier 1 Automotive Supplier, as the Director of Finance in 1994. He was later promoted to Chief Financial Officer and then became Chief Executive Officer and Partner. In addition, Mr. Lewis served as President of a joint-venture with a Global multi-billion dollar Tier-1 automotive supplier, where he was responsible for overseeing all of the sales, financial and manufacturing activities. During his time as President of this joint-venture, he oversaw a successful acquisition strategy that nearly doubled revenues over a three-year period.
As an executive in the automotive industry, Mr. Lewis was also able to successfully navigate several industry-wide challenges. During a precipitous decline in automotive sales, he was responsible for restructuring the operations and finances of the Tier 1 automotive supplier where he served as the Chief Executive Officer. He led the negotiations with various creditor groups and negotiated concessions from the bargaining unit. He reduced the break-even point of the company by 20 percent by re-aligning the company’s manufacturing operations. Mr. Lewis’ experience in detailed budget reviews with an emphasis on cash management, combined with an understanding of vendor and employee requirements enabled him to negotiate a successful restructuring transaction.
Mr. Lewis earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from Michigan State University and a Master in Finance from Wayne State University.
He is active in numerous business, philanthropic, community, and civic organizations, including:
Blue Springs Metals, LLC, Board of Directors
American Promise Schools, Board of Directors
The Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
Mr. Lewis’ immediate past affiliations include:
Habitat for Humanity, Board
Health Alliance Plan of Michigan, Board
Integrated Supply Chain Solutions, LLC, Board of Directors
Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Board
Urban Policy Advisory Group, Harvard Kennedy School
Detroit Zoological Society, Board
The Parade Company, Board
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Board
The National Association of Black Automotive Suppliers, Board
New Detroit, Board
The Downtown Detroit Partnership, Board
Business Leaders for Michigan, Board
Children’s Hospital, Board
Vanguard CDC, Board
Mr. Lewis has been recognized by several entities, including the Michigan Chronicle’s Men of Excellence and Crain’s Detroit Business “40 under 40.”