Claire Skinnner, 46
Chairman and CEO, Coachmen Industries
Education: B.F.A., journalism/marketing, Southern Methodist University; J.D., University of Notre Dame
First automotive job: When Coachmen was founded in 1964, legend has it, Claire and her brother picked screws up from the floor for pay.
Proudest achievement: "Right here (at Coachmen), simply because I was able to help lead the company's growth in the 1990s when Coachmen Industries went from $270 million in sales to $850 million in sales."
On being successful: "My success is driven by the fact my entire career has been focused on how to be the best contributor for my employer. Hard work and perseverance have been my focus. If you can be the best employee, your employer will recognize you."
On being a woman in the industry: "I believe that being female is a competitive advantage to the extent that women have a better pulse of what the consumer wants in the areas of product features and comfort."
Other positions at Coachmen Industries Inc. include:
- 1990-97 Executive VP
- 1983-85 VP of Advertising and Public Relations
- 1981-83 Civil Litigation Attorney, McKenna, Stores, Rowe, White and Farrug, Chi