Jan Bertsch, 48
Vice President, Sales and Marketing Finance, Chrysler Group
Education: B.A., finance, Wayne State University; M.B.A., Eastern Michigan University
What your college professors didn't teach you: "The complexity of the work environment and balancing your life. We did theories and case studies in school. One thing that teachers never taught you, and you never thought about, was the necessity to have balance in your life. Work is a very important part of your life, but it is important to feel good about all the pieces of your life."
First automotive job: Financial analyst at Ford Motor Co. in 1979
Most fun automotive job: "The spinoff of Visteon from Ford was a tremendous experience. I had the ability to play a key role as treasurer of Visteon to take the company public, establish a new organization and integrate new policies and procedures."
- 2000-01 Vice president and treasurer, Visteon Corp., Dearborn, Mich.
- 1999-2000 Assistant treasurer, Ford Motor Co.
- 1998-99 Treasury director, Ford Motor
- 1997-98 Director, global banking, Ford Motor
- 1994-97 Treasurer, Ford of China
Proudest achievement: "It is the feeling I get every day when I go home and see my kids and family. When I think of my kids, the professional achievements sometimes seem to pale by comparison."
Current challenge: "When I came to Chrysler, I came to the sales and marketing area. I had never worked in that area at Ford. My challenge today and every day is navigating through the excitement and frequent changes in the world of selling our vehicles. I am in charge of the pricing and incentivizing of our vehicles and finding the perfect balance that makes our net pricing work for us and for our customers. It is challenging and fun."
On being successful: "For me, it means working hard, being respected by the people that I work with and that I work for and those in the industry. It means making changes for the good and leading a strong team and feeling good about your company, family, life in total. For me, being successful means having fun. I have been lucky in my career to have that, having kids who are proud of you and a partner who supports you, doing all those things that are meaningful to me."
What women need to know for success in the auto industry: "Just be yourself. Work hard and apply yourself. You will be rewarded for the hard work and dedication and contribution you make."
Job to which you aspire: "I've always just wanted to grow. I want to learn something new every day. I want to make sure I feel I am contributing to the company. I tend not to look at specific jobs and say that is what I want. An operational job, a finance job within Chrysler are very appealing to me."
What you do to relax: "In the summer and early fall, I spend a fair amount of free time on weekends with my family at motor drag strips.
"My husband and one of my sons are avid racers. I am a member of the crew team, and I pack the parachutes after the race, I download the computers, I help read the results with what is happening to the clutch.
"I have two active little girls now, and one is an avid ice skater. So I spend time on some weekends at the rink or traveling to competitions. I love to cook, and I love to garden. My whole family loves to travel, and we have a motor home."