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WOMEN OF COLOR AWARD WINNERS


2014


Alicia Boler-Davis with then-chairman and CEO Dan Akerson during a gathering to celebrate GM receiving a record number of J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study Awards in June 2013.


Launching a critical new product


In 2010, GM tapped Boler-Davis to lead the Orion Project to bring back online a shuttered plant and launch the Buick Verano and Chevy Volt. These two vehicles were critical to GM’s effort to compete in small cars, a market Detroit had mainly eschewed. Here, Boler-Davis held the roles of vehicle line director, vehicle chief engineer and plant manager for the Orion and Pontiac Assembly plants. As GM says, this was the first time in automotive history that one person held dual roles in product development and manufacturing while overseeing the operations of two assembly plants.


Still climbing, Boler-Davis got promoted again, this time to U.S. vice president of customer experience. And as if that was not enough, GM then named her vice president of global quality activities, for another first. No other individual had ever held two vice presidential roles at General Motors at the same time.


Recall that we earlier noted her consummate restless mind.


J.D. Power underscored the trust GM placed in Boler- Davis when in 2013 it named General Motors the original equipment manufacturer with the highest initial quality in the automotive industry, in a competition in which GM’s products won eight first-place finishes.


Laurels like that on Boler-Davis’ watch got her promoted yet again, to senior vice president, global quality and customer experience, leading a team of 1,400 people and reporting directly to chief executive officer Mary Barra.


www.womenofcolor.net The boss speaks Note what Barra wrote to the selection panel about Boler-Davis:


“I have known Alicia for many years, and I am proud to attest to the quality and value of her work and her unparalleled performance as a role model within General Motors, the automotive industry and the community at large.


“Within GM, Alicia is a pioneer. Her remarkable success [has] led to increasing responsibility until, in 2010 she was named plant manager of our Orion Township (Michigan) assembly facility, where we build the only sub-compact car assembled in the United States. She oversaw both the engineering and the manufacturing of the car — a huge assignment and another first for GM.


“Alicia’s penchant for making a difference extends beyond GM to the community at large. She is a board trustee for the Care House of Oakland County and a member of Links Inc., a volunteer organization for women. She serves as the leadership liaison for the GM women’s employee resource group, and is an active and avid mentor of fellow GM employees. In June 2014 she [delivered] the commencement address to Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.


“Personally, I have tremendous respect for Alicia and all that she had achieved, and it is an honor to recommend her for this award. She has accomplished much, she will accomplish much more.”


And that, as we say, is all that needs to be said. WOMENOFCOLOR | FALL 2014 27


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