Deborah Wahl, 37
Marketing Communications Manager, Lincoln Mercury, Ford Motor Co.
Education: B.A., economics, Wellesely College; M.B.A., marketing, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Master of International Studies, Joseph Lauder Institute of International Studies
First automotive job: Intern, General Motors Design Center, Sterling Heights, Mich.
Proudest achievement: "I'm a mentor to adolescent girls - my mission is to help them achieve their goals."
On being successful: "The secret to success is being able to come up with your own definition, then find a way to achieve that for yourself. Traditional definitions just don't cut it for women - way too limiting."
On being a woman in the industry: "In a sea of suits and ties, the biggest challenge to overcome is that emotion often is confused with weakness. We must prove that emotion leads to passion, and passion is strength."
Positions at Mazda North American Operations include:
- 1998-99 Group Manager, Brand Strategy and Communications
- 1997-98 Group Manager, Product Marketing
- 1997 Brand Manager, Trucks
Other positions at Ford Motor Co. include:
- 1996-97 Brand Manager, Brazilian Market
- 1995-96 Associate, Latin American Liaison Team