James David Power III, WG'59

2010 Joseph Wharton Award for Lifetime Achievement

James David Power III, WG'59
J.D. Power and Associates

Dave Power has spent almost 50 years as a pioneer in customer satisfaction work, with 40 years as founder of what has become one of the most prestigious marketing information companies in the world—J.D. Power and Associates. The company numbers among its clients virtually every automotive manufacturer and importer serving the U.S. market, in addition to clients in many other industries around the world. With corporate headquarters in Westlake Village, California, J.D. Power and Associates has domestic offices throughout the United States, and international offices in Beijing, Bangkok, London, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Toronto. The company’s reputation as a premier resource of customer satisfaction data and consultancies has led to research and projects in a variety of industries including automotive, financial services, telecommunications (cable, cellular, local and long distance telephone), travel, home builder, utilities and healthcare. He sold the company to The McGraw-Hill Companies in 2005.

Today Dave focuses his attention on several boards of directors and on his family’s philanthropic interests.  Mr. Power frequently speaks to top management and boards of directors of companies worldwide.

Following graduation from College of the Holy Cross in 1953, Mr. Power served four years of line officer duty aboard a Coast Guard icebreaker in the Arctic and Antarctic. He subsequently earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. He joined Ford Motor Company and later worked for McCann-Erickson Worldwide’s Marplan division as a marketing research consultant for General Motors. Prior to launching J.D. Power and Associates in 1968, Mr. Power worked as a strategic planning executive for several clients.

Dave founded J.D. Power and Associates with his wife Julie in 1968, literally at the kitchen table in their suburban home outside Los Angeles. Julie fought a valiant battle with multiple sclerosis for over 20 years but succumbed to its effects in 2002.

In 1992, Mr. Power was a recipient of the Automotive Hall of Fame’s Distinguished Service Citation, awarded each year to seven of the industry’s most accomplished leaders. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from several colleges and universities. He is the patriarch of his family’s foundation that is dedicated to education, entrepreneurship, and medical research and multiple sclerosis.