Jacqui Dedo, 44
President, Automotive, Timken Co.
Education: B.S., electrical engineering, General Motors Institute
First automotive job: Senior sales engineer for brake systems at Robert Bosch Corp. in 1987
Most fun automotive job: "My current one. Quite honestly, I am having a wonderful time. I enjoy work. I always tell my team what I always told myself: Whenever you leave for work in the morning, you are leaving the most important part of your life - your children, husband, mother and girlfriend. You are walking out on it. If you are not walking out for something incredible, you shouldn't leave the most important things in your life. I have been married for 21 years; we have two children. Every morning I leave to go do something that I really enjoy, or I wouldn't leave. At the age of 44, I have a larger family structure than I had at 22, so the job structure has to be more fun.
- 2001-04 Vice president and general manager, worldwide market operations, Motorola, Farmington Hills, Mich.
- 2000-01 Sales, marketing and customer enablement executive, Covisint LLC, Southfield, Mich.
- 1999-2000 President, Ford value team, Robert Bosch GmbH, Stuttgart
- 1996-99 Vice president, technical sales and marketing, Bosch Braking Systems, Robert Bosch Corp., Farmington Hills, Mich.
"I enjoy working here and as part of the auto industry. A lot of people say the auto industry is a challenge to work in, but I think it is the most fascinating in the world."
Biggest mistake and what you learned: "The biggest mistake I've made was somewhere between the age of 30 and 35. I realized - and I wish I could remember the day it happened - that it's not about how much you know and what a difference you can make but how much you can enable in other people."
Proudest achievement: "My proudest achievement is being married for 21 years to a wonderful man and having the benefit of having so far successfully had a relationship of 26 years with him and two wonderful children from that relationship. We were both engineers at GM together when we started. He is retired from GM and managing our children. We were both traveling a lot. Five years ago I had only one child and was pregnant, and we decided we were outsourcing our kids.
"He's a fabulous personality and a natural teacher and fabulous engineer. He can sit down and guide them in a perspective most kids don't get. There is no right way to raise a family. It is what works for the couple."
Current challenge: "My biggest challenge is working within Timken to restructure the automotive business and to move forward with what our customers are looking for."
On being successful: "Be true to yourself. Ambition is the greatest detriment to success. You need to understand what you are good at and love what you do. If you love what you do and give it your all, you will be successful."
What about the auto industry surprised you: "The world outside the auto industry doesn't sufficiently understand its value - the economic scheme of things and the technology scheme of things. I am amazed when I hear people refer to it as an old-tech and old-age industry; when you look at the regulatory and durability requirements, it is phenomenal."
What women need to know for success in the auto industry: "Do not focus on being a women or the difference from being a man. Focus on your strengths and development needs. Accelerate your strengths and shore up. Realize it's not an industry for the faint of heart."
What you do to relax: "I play with my kids - 5 and 10 years old - and go for walks with my husband, my kids and my dog. I enjoy tennis. I love going to my farm in northern Michigan, where we go canoeing and fishing and hiking and get away as a family."