Karen Leggio, 42
Vice President, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain for GM Latin America, Africa and Middle East, General Motors do Brasil Ltda
Education: Bachelor's, materials and logistics management, Michigan State University; M.S., operations management, Purdue University
What your college professors didn't teach you: "Those who helped me were the adjuncts; people who came in from the industry and taught. They taught things like (how to deal with) labor unions, how do you weave in the people side."
Career highlights (all with GM)
- 2004-05 Executive director, electrical, global purchasing and supplier footprint optimization
- 2002-04 Director, electrical, global purchasing
- 1999-2002 Director, supply, Vauxhall Motors, Luton, England
First automotive job: In production control at Chevrolet in 1985
Most fun automotive job: "When I went down to Spring Hill (Tenn.). I was part of the team that started Saturn. You were creating so many things new. There was a lot of clean sheet. We had a very small nimble team, including people from the UAW."
Proudest achievement: "I get the biggest kick when I see people I have mentored grow and achieve.
"In each of my assignments - helping someone overcome deficiencies, strengthen strengths, etc. - I take every opportunity at work to train or teach."
Current challenge: "Coming into a region where GM has a global purchasing organization, and having Latin America come together as a stronger region."
What about the auto industry surprised you: "The scope and reach."
What women need to know for success in the auto industry: "I wouldn't give different advice to a woman or a man. Be very global in thinking."
Job to which you aspire: "I want to be in an environment in which I can be creative and work to develop people. My options are more broad now based on the experiences I have."
What you do to relax: "I clean. I like to bake. It mostly focuses on the home and the family - homemaking is what I do to relax. My kids are 11 and 12 years old."