Elizabeth Wetzel, 36
Executive Vehicle Chief Designer, General Motors Design Center, General Motors
Education: B.F.A., Industrial Design, University of Michigan College of Art and Design; Executive Development Program, University of Illinois, School of Business Administration; Center for Creative Studies; Parsons School of Design
First automotive job: Technical Illustrator for heavy-duty trucks, 1983 summer intern, General Motors Truck and Bus Group
Proudest achievement: "Becoming the first female Vehicle Chief Designer in General Motors' history."
On being successful: "Choose a career that gets you excited - one that you have a passion for doing day in and day out. Surround yourself with talented and enthusiastic people. I have had the privilege of working with some of the most talented and enthusiastic people in the business. Besides my own passion, dedication and hard work, I owe much of my success to them."
On being a woman in the industry: "When I started in this industry 17 years ago I definitely stood out among the crowd of men. I didn't see this as a disadvantage but rather an opportunity to prove that I was willing to take on the challenge. The men I have had the privilege of working with have been my teachers, my mentors, and my biggest supporters. Their high expectations of me guided me to push myself to heights I never thought I would achieve."
Other positions at General Motors include:
- 1997-99 Vehicle Chief Designer, Buick Rendezvous, GM Design Center
- 1995-97 Lead Designer, Cadillac DeVille and Concours
- 1993-95 Assistant Chief Designer for all Cadillac Interior Designs, Cadillac Design Studio