Sheila Vaden-Williams, 40
Education: B.A., economics, Fisk University; J.D., Harvard Law School
First automotive job: Executive director, NAMAD, 1994
Proudest achievement: "I personally developed a curriculum for diversity within the automotive industry and delivered that training. This allows me to help manufacturers understand the business case for diversity. I interface personally with senior level manufacturers to effect change."
On being successful: "I consider myself successful when I go into my office and make sure that NAMAD achievers have win/win solutions for the manufacturers, ethnic minority dealers, suppliers and consumers. At the end of the day, I come home and lay my head on the pillow and ask if I have made the world a little bit better - if I have, I've been successful."
On being a woman in the industry: "It has been a unique privilege to bring a perspective to the industry. These are the key players in the largest industry in America, and I've been able to show them what we have in common unites us more than our differences. There's still a lot of work to be done, and I'm energized and excited to participate in what will be the biggest revolution in the industry."
- 1991-95 CEO, Vaden, Williams & Associates Inc.