Adriane Brown, 47
President and CEO, Honeywell Transportation Systems
Education: B.S., environmental health, Old Dominion University; M.S., management, Sloan Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
What your college professors didn't teach you: "What they didn't tell me was that college was all about your ability to learn. What you were studying was not as important as you doing it well."
First automotive job: Business manager of automotive substrates for the Americas and Asia at Corning Inc. in Corning, N.Y. in 1993
- 2001-05 Vice president and general manager, Honeywell Engine Systems & Accessories
- 1999-2001 Vice president and general manager, aircraft landing systems, Honeywell Aerospace
- 1998-99 Vice president and general manager, Environmental Products Division, Corning Inc., Corning, N.Y.
- 1993-98 Division vice president, automotive substrates business, Corning
Most fun automotive job: "This one because I get to drive fast cars and make them perform better."
Biggest mistake and what you learned: "Buying a 1974 Jensen Healey in 1984 against my father's advice. I had it all figured out and had my mechanic lined up. Nine months later I was at the dealership buying a nice reasonable sports car - an RX-7. The lesson for me was sometimes you have to experience it yourself to learn. But when you make a mistake, you need to learn from it. As my dad would say, just pay tuition once."
Proudest achievement: "Being selected to lead a $4 billion enterprise and standing in front of the corporation outlining the successes and challenges ahead."
Current challenge: "Finding the next product that changes the game and provides something uniquely special to the market."
On being successful: "Don't take success for granted. You have to earn it every day."
What about the auto industry surprised you: "The insatiable desire for technology in cars. Cars are safer, they do more things, and they are more fun to drive."
What women need to know for success in the auto industry: "Let your work speak for you the loudest. Doing so will allow leaders to say, 'Here is a person with a track record of success; let's hire them.'"
Job to which you aspire: "The job I focus on the most is the one I am in today. I did not know how to be what I have become today. So I enjoy wherever I am. I keep my antenna out, but what's important is the task at hand."
What you do to relax: "Golf. Relaxing with family."