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Published: Thursday, 2/13/2014

Edward J. Shultz; 1944-2014: Early Dana executive ‘was great mentor’

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
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Edward J. Shultz, a founding executive of the leasing and financing subsidiary of the leading automotive supplier and his employer for 35 years, what is now Dana Holding Corp., died Wednesday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, South Detroit Avenue. He was 69.

He had pancreatic cancer, his wife, Joyce, said.

Mr. Shultz of Sylvania Township was chairman and chief executive officer of the former Dana Commercial Credit Corp., retiring about a decade ago. In 1996, he moved the subsidiary into a 55,000-square-foot headquarters on Richards Road in Toledo. That year, Dana Commercial Credit became only the second Ohio firm to receive the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award.

Mr. Shultz at the time expressed delight at the honor which, he said, “recognizes Dana Commercial Credit’s commitment to quality products and services.”

Paul Bishop, who was president of the subsidiary, said: “He was responsible for everything.”

“Once you worked for him and with him, he became a part of your life,” said Mr. Bishop, now president and chief operating officer of Ice Industries. “He was independent in his thinking. He was willing to be truthful. He was willing to go against popular consensus. In a large corporation, which typically has political waters that need to be navigated, he was very adept at that.”

Mr. Shultz developed a culture in which he encouraged people to push themselves, said Joe Beham, who was vice president of capital markets at Dana Commercial Credit, “but if you failed, you knew he had your back and learned your lesson and moved on.”

“He was a great mentor,” Mr. Beham said. “He had a great business gut instinct.”

Mr. Shultz, a certified public accountant, was talented with math and statistics, his wife said, and a professor of his at Bowling Green State University encouraged him to seek work at Dana. In 2001, BGSU honored him as an accomplished alumnus.

His first job at Dana in 1966 was as an internal auditor.

As Mr. Shultz moved through the corporation, new duties took him to St. Catharines, Ont.; Reading and Berwick, Pa.; Richmond and Fort Wayne, Ind.

In 1981, he became general manager of the leasing and financial division of Dana Commercial Credit. He became a member of the Dana Corp. world operating committee in 1986, the year he became vice president of financial services of Dana Commercial Credit. He was named president of the subsidiary in 1990 and its chairman in 1994. He was named a member of the Dana Corp.’s policy committee in 1999.

He also was responsible for data, telecommunications, and information technology at Dana.

He’d been an adviser to the University of Toledo business school. From 1997-99, he was a member of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority board.

His sons attended St. Francis de Sales High School, and he’d served on the board of trustees, the finance committee, and the endowment board. After their sons graduated, he and his wife continued to sponsor a student every year. A student services center at the school is named in his honor.

“He was an amazing person,” said the Rev. Ronald Olszewski, president of St. Francis. “Ed was somebody who when he was involved with something, he jumped in with both feet. He liked to make things happen.”

He was born Aug. 29, 1944, in Fostoria to Blanche and Richard Shultz. He was a graduate of St. Wendelin High School in Fostoria.

He liked to cook and the challenge of preparing a gourmet dish.

“His real love was having barbecues for his employees,” Mr. Bishop recalled. “He said whenever you think morale is flagging, take care of it with a barbecue. We had great parties while we were working hard at Dana Commercial Credit.”

Surviving are his wife, Joyce Shultz, whom he married Feb. 13, 1970; sons, Jonathan, Eric, and Nathan Shultz; sister, Eleanor Householder; brothers, Gerald and Thomas Shultz, and three grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Friday in Walker Funeral Home, Sylvania Township. Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Joseph Church, Sylvania, where he was a member.

The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio; St. Francis de Sales High School, or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.



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