Mary Carpenter, 40
Executive Vice President and COO, GM Planworks
Education: B.S., mass communication, Miami (Ohio) University
What your college professors didn't teach you: "My marketing and advertising professors couldn't possibly have anticipated the transformation of the business driven by technology and fragmentation. If the major 'mass communication' exists anymore, it shouldn't."
First automotive job: Assistant media director on the Oldsmobile account at Leo Burnett in 1994
Most fun automotive job: "The role I've had being a part of the management team during the pitch and startup for GM Planworks in 2000."
- 1997-2000 Vice president and media director, Starcom MediaVest Group
- 1994-97 Assistant media director, Leo Burnett
- 1989-94 Media supervisor, Leo Burnett
- 1987-89 Media planner/buyer, Leo Burnett
Biggest mistake and what you learned: "Once you've made sure the mistake won't happen again, don't dwell on it."
Proudest achievement: "The opening and expansion of GM Planworks."
Current challenge: "Figuring out how to get ad-zapping, Web-browsing consumers to pay attention to GM."
On being successful: "Making a difference - to my client's business, to the culture of my company and to the individual people I work with."
What about the auto industry surprised you: "The sheer size and scope of advertising spending. A single automotive brand outspends entire corporations in other industries."
What women need to know for success in the auto industry: "I don't believe you need to change your approach or behavior to compensate in some way for being a woman. Your accomplishments and relationships will speak for themselves."
Job to which you aspire: "I love the job I have now - working in an exciting industry for a client with high expectations and powerful resources."
What you do to relax: "Playing with my two young kids - and to relax from that, Bikram yoga."