BREED Technologies, Inc. Loses Founder, Allen K. Breed
13 December 1999
BREED Technologies, Inc. Loses Founder, Allen K. BreedLAKELAND, Fla.--Dec. 13, 1999--BREED Technologies, Inc. ("BREED") (OTCBB:BDTTE) today sadly announced that its founder and Chairman Emeritus, Allen K. Breed, lost his long and valiant battle with cancer. Mr. Breed passed away at Sand Lake Hospital in Orlando, with family members by his side. Funeral arrangements were not yet complete. A public memorial service is being planned in Lakeland, FL. Mr. Breed is survived by his wife, Johnnie Cordell Breed, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BREED and children Leslie Breed Bates of Massachusetts, Daryl Breed Hoitt of New Hampshire, Douglas Allen Breed of Florida and Jeffrey Allen Breed also of Florida. Mr. Breed is also survived by his stepchildren, James Michael Cordell of Utah, Terry Daniel Cordell of Florida and eight grandchildren.
Mr. Breed founded BREED Technologies in 1987 to develop, design and manufacture automotive occupant safety technology. Under his leadership, BREED emerged as a key player in the occupant safety industry through focused research and development, innovative engineering and vertically integrated manufacturing. Consistently recognized for his continued achievements, Mr. Breed most recently was inducted into the 1999 Automotive Hall of Fame and received the 1997 Lifetime Achievement Award from Automotive & Transportation Interiors magazine for his contributions to the occupant safety industry.
"Allen Breed dedicated himself to the business of saving lives," stated Charles J. Speranzella, President and Chief Operating Officer. "His strength and enthusiastic spirit led him to touch the lives of millions of people around the globe. He will be sorely missed."
Driven by his entrepreneurial spirit and vision, Mr. Breed experienced success early in his career. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University, he joined RCA and rapidly rose to manager of manufacturing and design engineering. In 1955, he launched a joint venture to establish a division of Gruen Watch Company, and two years later, Mr. Breed founded his first company, Waltham Engineering. He formed Breed Corp. in 1961 to develop and manufacture safety and arming devices for the military. Later recognizing that these safety devices could be applied toward the development of crash sensors for automotive airbag systems, Mr. Breed developed his first airbag sensor design in 1968.
Breed Automotive, subsequently named BREED Technologies, Inc., was founded in 1987 as a spin-off from Breed Corp. and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 1992 under the symbol BDT. Today, BREED Technologies is a worldwide leader in the design, development, manufacture and sale of full automotive occupant safety systems.
Mr. Breed, who became Chairman Emeritus of BREED in 1997, remained active in the engineering community, serving on the Advisory Council for the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science of Northwestern University where he also received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. He was a member of the Motor and Equipment Manufacture Association's Automotive President's Council and the Society of Automotive Engineers. Mr. Breed's business efforts and accomplishments have been recognized with numerous awards, including: 1995 National Entrepreneur of the Year, 1993 Florida Entrepreneur of the Year, 1991 Supplier of the Year and 1989 New Jersey Entrepreneur of the Year. Mr. Breed was also inducted into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame in March of 1997.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete at the time of this news release. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be sent to Children's Hospital Boston for Judah Folkman's cancer research, c/o CHB Trust, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115 or to the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University, c/o Dean's Office, 2145 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208.