DENSO Employees Contributing to a better world

23 Years of Giving: The DENSO North America Foundation

  • DENSO Announces at Auto Show

    DENSO’s North American President and CEO Tony Takeuchi announced the formation of the DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF) with DNAF President John Voorhorst (left) and board member Dr. David Cole at the 2001 SAE World Congress. 

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”   

These are words that DENSO, with its mission of making the world a better place, has lived by for decades. But in 2001, the company set out to “do more” and became the first Japan-based automotive supplier in North America to establish a charitable foundation here.  

The DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF) was created to provide grants to institutions of higher learning with a focus on engineering, technology and business. Additionally, in the DNAF mission, organizers codified relief grants for communities with DENSO operations reeling from the effects of natural disasters.  

Tony Takeuchi, who was President and CEO of DENSO International America (DIAM) in 2001, announced the fund’s formation at the annual Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress, in Detroit that year.  

  • DENSO Race Car

    In 2008, the DENSO North America Foundation crossed the U.S. border, approving grants to colleges and universities in Canada and Mexico – furthering its advancement of higher education in engineering and related business programs.  The University of Guelph and Conestoga Technical College were initial recipients of grants to support Formula racecar design projects. 

A Different Kind of Automotive Launch 

In his remarks to a room filled with journalists, automakers and suppliers from around the world, Takeuchi explained that it was a DENSO priority “… to support education, human services, environmental preservation and the arts … Now, we want to do more.”  

Since then, DENSO has encouraged universities and educational institutions throughout North America to apply for grants for a variety of efforts, including capital campaign support, scholarship programs, undergraduate research and student projects.  

But perhaps at a more grassroots level, ordinary and extraordinary people alike – students, families and communities across North America – have been inspired, supported, encouraged and extended a hand-up, thanks, in part to the tireless efforts of DENSO employees whose work helps make the fund possible.   

  • Man hands people water amid tornado's devastation

    The “2011 Spring Storms” ripped through the southern United States in May of that year.  In response, the DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF) donated $50,000 to the America Red Cross.  One of the principles of the DNAF is to provide support in times of disaster, especially in communities where we operate. 

Bettering Communities for 23 Years 

Since 2001, DENSO has continued its mission by providing $16.6 million in grants to more than 110 organizations, helping students advance their educations, universities and colleges develop talent and their communities, and charitable organizations respond to disasters. 

The founding DNAF Board of Directors officers and directors were John Voorhurst (DNAF President), Michael Kummer (DNAF Treasurer) and Barbara Wertheimer (DNAF Secretary). Other DENSO employees serving as directors included James Woroniecki, Stanley Tooley and Mark Jonas.  DIAM President Takeuchi served as adviser and Dr. David Cole, director for the Center for Automotive Research, was also a founding director. 

2024 and Beyond 

The Board of Directors is excited to continue supporting the focus areas of the DENSO North America Foundation in 2024.  Watch for more information as grants are reviewed and presented this year.