Kim Kosak, 33
Director of Advertising and Promotions, Cadillac, General Motors
Education: B.S., marketing, Wayne State University; M.B.A., marketing, Wayne State University; Kellogg Executive Development Program, Northwestern University
First automotive job: Market Research Analyst for Chevrolet, 1989
Proudest achievement: Leading the successful marketing launch of the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado
On being successful: "Mentors can play a major role in cultivating successful leaders. I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to learn from and observe the style of two extraordinary leaders who helped rebuild the Chevy Truck brand: Kurt Ritter, now general (marketing) manager of Chevrolet; and Mac Whisner, Chevy truck advertising and promotions director. I try to adopt their approach for being successful, which is to clearly understand where you want to end up, stay relentlessly focused on that vision, surround yourself with the best people possible and most importantly, as Kurt always says, 'keep big things big and small things small.' "
On being a woman in the industry: "Although conventional wisdom is that to be a woman in the auto industry means you are either 'crazy or writing a book,' I've found more opportunities than obstacles. With half of all consumers being women and even more influencing the purchase, a consumer-oriented woman's perspective can be invaluable."
Other positions at General Motors include:
- 1998-99 Assistant Brand Manager, Marketing, Chevrolet Silverado
- 1994-98 Advertising Manager, Chevrolet Trucks
- 1993-94 Product Line Manager, Chevrolet Mali