Grace Lieblein figures that being named chief engineer for the GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave and Saturn Outlook is the greatest achievement of her General Motors career. It also came with the requisite amount of stress — something she handles pretty well.
"When I got into this assignment, my husband and daughter knew this would be a pretty intense couple of years and that I would have to travel a lot or spend a lot of time at the plant or with suppliers or whatever," she says. "You just deal with it."
With the new crossovers on the road, Lieblein is like a proud parent.
"You see the vehicles drive by, and I'm waving to people, and my daughter is like, 'Mom, don't do that!' But it's my vehicle."
Name: Grace Lieblein
Title: Vehicle chief engineer for front-wheel-drive trucks
Personal life: Married to Tom, a GM engineer. They have a 16-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old English springer spaniel.
Lives: Rochester Hills, Mich.
Works: Warren, Mich.
Education: Industrial engineering degree from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) in Flint, Mich., and an MBA from Michigan State University.
Big break: Managing GM's desert proving grounds in Arizona. "I went out there in 1996. It was an assignment broader than just engineering because I had the whole proving grounds — HR, finance, community relations, everything.