Cathy Clegg, 45
Plant Manager, Fort Wayne Assembly, General Motors
Education: Bachelor's, industrial technology, Eastern Michigan University; M.B.A., University of Virginia
What your college professors didn't teach you: "We needed to understand negotiation skills, not formal skills, as well as working in a variety of settings to get to solutions instead of one side or the other."
First automotive job: Associate engineer at Cadillac in Detroit in 1983
Career highlights (All with GM)
- 2001-04 Plant manager, Metal Fabricating Division, Marion, Ind.
- 2000-01 Program manager, trucks, Metal Fabricating Division
- 1999-2000 Operations manager, contiguous and service plants, Metal Fabricating Division
- 1997-99 Plant manager, Oshawa (Ontario) South Stamping
- 1995-97 Stamping manager, New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (GM-Toyota joint venture), Fremont, Calif.
- 1989-95 variety of positions, Metal Fabricating Division, Grand Blanc, Mich.
Most fun automotive job: "I really like the plants the best. I enjoyed my job at NUMMI from 1995 to 1997 running the stamping shop. We were going through a new model and learning Toyota production."
Biggest mistake and what you learned: "One year I worked in program management for product development. At first I didn't want to do it because I didn't want to put myself at risk. But I did it, and what I learned from that was a good thing. I learned that sometimes the things you don't want to do end up being the best thing for you."
Proudest achievement: "My relationship with my husband and kids is what I am most proud of."
Current challenge: "Our current challenge is how we position ourselves for the launch of the GMT-900. We need to execute a flawless launch."
What about the auto industry surprised you: "How quickly and how much it has changed since I started."
What women need to know for success in the auto industry: "You do have to make mistakes to learn the way."
Job to which you aspire: "More responsibility in manufacturing."
What you do to relax: "I walk, and I love sports. Also, relaxing with my family."