Why did you want to work in the auto industry? I grew up in Michigan. My family had a background in the auto industry, and I got an academic scholarship to Northwood University.

First automotive job: Began as a customer training consultant to dealerships for Reynolds and Reynolds in 1987.

Proudest professional achievement: I went up the service ranks a good part of my career. The first time I was named in a sales role — as a regional vice president at Reynolds in 1999 — was significant. I was the first female to be named in a sales leadership role.

Current challenge at work: At Penske Automotive Group, there are so many things to get done. We move so fast and run a really lean operation. My biggest challenge is just finding time.

Dream job: Outside of owning a football team, I would like to develop an accredited, college-level business course on customer satisfaction.

On crying: It was my first month in a corporate environment after being promoted to a senior management role at Reynolds. I had gone to a meeting for another department, and this guy read me the riot act. I maintained my composure during the meeting, but later I could feel the tears coming down. Some of the guys on my team pulled me aside. They told me I was going to go far in this company, but I needed to get a thicker skin. I will never forget that team, and I will never let myself get emotional again.

What you do to relax: I'm a sports nut and enjoy attending games, especially with my 11-year-old son. I like football, basketball and racing. I like to take short trips with my family.

— Donna Harris

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