Lin Cummins, 53
Senior VP, Communications, ArvinMeritor Inc.
Education: B.S., Wayne State University; M.A., speech and communications, Wayne State University
First automotive job: Account Executive and Producer, Multi-Media Relations Group, Ford Motor Co., 1977
Proudest achievement: "The IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) award I won for the women's program I developed and implemented at the Ford Tractor Division in 1985 brings me a great deal of pride. Our campaign, entitled "Women and Agriculture," focused on the idea of women being thought of as key decision-makers and seeing them as playing important roles in the agricultural business. Through our research we found that women made the majority of the decisions in the agriculture industry, dealing with the mechanics; buying, servicing and financing tractors and equipment; and purchasing parts. We established a council of 12 women who advised us how to market our products to the agricultural community. We listened to them and changed all of our advertising and refocused our literature toward the female market. We even redesigned the tractor to fit the female frame. Because of this research and the program, we were ahead of our time in reaching the women's market."
On being successful: "You have to always add value and make sure you are making a contribution to the company. You need to be a strategic planner and be able to implement action plans at e-speed. There are people who work 18 hours a day but don't quite add value or contribute to the company. You must always be able to measure the value of what you do."
On being a woman in the industry: "To me, we've gone beyond my generation of women who were a minority in a male-dominated industry. Today, I see no difference in our skill sets. If you are the best at what you do, that's what really matters."
- 1999-2000 VP, Communications, Meritor Automotive Inc., Troy, Mich.
Positions at United Technologies Automotive, Dearborn, Mich., include:
- 1997-99 VP, Advanced Marketing and Worldwide Communications
- 1996-99 VP, Communications and External Affairs
- 1977-96 Various positions at Ford, including: Director, Broadcast, Global News Department; Manager, Public Affairs, for Ford International Operations, Ford Financial Services Group and Ford Tractor International Ope