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Marissa Hunter


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Director, FCA US Brand Advertising and Head of Advertising Ram Truck Brand, FCA US
Auburn Hills, Mich.
Age: 41
Education: B.A., communication arts and sciences, Michigan State University

What attracted you to the auto industry? The fast-paced nature.

First automotive job: BBDO, an ad agency. I started in the traffic department in 1998. As we were creating advertising, the traffic coordinators routed the creative pieces to all of the internal stakeholders to make sure everything was checked off.

Big break: The decision to change from an agency to FCA.

What is the major challenge you've faced in your career? One challenge was trying to get this organization, and the team of people who ultimately reported to me, to absolutely and truly embrace the possibilities that exist for us if we have enough courage to take big risks. It's a challenge to inspire people, to be the person who is expected to inspire people.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career? Both of my parents. My dad has been an especially strong mentor. My husband has been a wonderful friend and mentor in my career, always being the cheerleader saying, "You can do it. You're going to be great."

Tell us about your family. We'll be married 15 years in March. [My husband] is quite the entrepreneurial spirit himself. Farmer, she's 10 months old. She is a border collie/terrier mix. (The dog's name is inspired by the Ram brand's "Farmer" Super Bowl commercial.)

What's your favorite weekend activity? We have a relatively new home, and I like to decorate and be inspired about how the interior design and decorating needs to go. I like to do a lot of it myself.

Are you able to maintain friendships? Yes, you just have to commit yourself. You don't need a ton of friends, you just need enough good people around you who you can trust and vice versa.

If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? My father's grandmother. She died two weeks before I was born. To hear stories, she sounds like the most interesting, wise, stubborn, motivated, innovative woman who was maybe even before her time. I always felt slighted that I didn't get to meet her.

Name one talent you wish you had. I can't sing. I always wanted to be a singer, even if just for fun in a band or something. I was not blessed. I guess I can go to vocal lessons and maybe go from bad to not so bad, but I would never go from bad to good.

By Vince Bond Jr.

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