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Catherine Clegg

General Motors

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GM North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations Vice President, General Motors
Age: 55
Education: B.S., manufacturing technology, Eastern Michigan University; MBA, University of Virginia; M.A., advanced leadership studies, Indiana Wesleyan University

What attracted you to the auto industry? I grew up in Detroit. My father was a draftsman for General Motors, so I was always aware of the auto industry. And I enjoy making things.

First automotive job: As a college student in the early 1980s, I had a job with GM drafting machine tool parts used to manufacture powertrains.

Big break: I got a chance to be on a team charged with restructuring [GM's] manufacturing footprint.

What is the major challenge you've faced in your career? As a manufacturing manager [after GM emerged from bankruptcy], leading a stamping consolidation project that saved the company $175 million in structural costs. Also, having a strong family life, a strong marriage and raising two great kids.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career? My father, the GM draftsman, who always encouraged and supported me.

What should be done to encourage women to enter the auto industry? Expose girls to production, perhaps as early as upper elementary school. That way, you help girls get some exposure to figuring out the practical problems that are involved in building things.

Tell us about your family. I've been married to my husband, Chris, for 32 years. We have two daughters, 27 and 24.

What's your favorite weekend activity? I love team sports. In high school and college, I played hockey in a Dearborn [Mich.] travel league. I've gotten back into hockey and play in a recreational league now.

What's your guilty pleasure? Chocolate. And pizza. I could eat pizza every day of the week.

Name one talent you wish you had. I'd like to be able to play the piano.

By Jesse Snyder

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