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News of  May 09, 2001


GM Forms Diversity Marketing And Sales Organization

Detroit - General Motors announced the formation of a diversity marketing and sales organization to focus on the women's market and the growing markets for African-American, Hispanic-American, and Asian-American consumers. The new Center of Expertise on Diversity is designed to enhance cross-divisional planning and execution, capitalize on the company's scale and share of voice, increase GM's understanding of multi-cultural consumers, support and leverage local dealer efforts, and serve as a resource within the corporation to coordinate and communicate learnings.

The Center will be jointly led by Judy Hu, executive director-advertising and marketing strategy and operations; and Michael Jackson, executive director-sales support. Both have extensive experience in marketing to ethnic consumers. The joint reporting relationship is designed to take advantage of Hu's role in managing the corporate advertising team and Jackson's role to support the integration of GM's field sales and brand marketing efforts.

Judy Hu

Michael Jackson

Photos: GM

The Center will be staffed by Chris Robinson, director of diversity marketing and sales-African-American; Sonia M. Green, director of diversity marketing and sales-Hispanic/Asian-American; Miriam Muley, director of diversity marketing and sales-women; Sandra Reid-Smith, manager-African-American marketing; and Diane Romanelli, manager-diversity marketing.

Robinson joined the team from OnStar, where he held the position of director of marketing since 1999. He was responsible for the OnStar brand's advertising, direct marketing and promotional efforts, including the award-winning "Batman" integrated marketing campaign. Prior to that, he was manager of truck advertising for Chevrolet. Before joining Chevrolet in 1997, Robinson spent a year at Ameritech as manager of marketing communications.

He also worked at Leo Burnett Advertising Agency, where he held a number of client service positions, including managing Asian and European initiatives for United Airlines. He joined General Motors in 1984 as a college cooperative education student at the Electro-Motive Division in LaGrange, Il. He earned a bachelor's degree in industrial administration from GMI Engineering and Management Institute (now Kettering University) in Flint, Mich. in 1989; and a MBA from the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business in 1991.

Green joins GM from her own consulting firm. She also recently launched Joielle, a start-up company. She spent 26 years with Avon, gaining management experience, both domestic and international, in sales promotion, sales support, new product development, purchasing and marketing strategy and execution.

She has held leadership positions (president and chair of the board of directors) in the National Hispanic Corporate Council, an organization made up of Fortune 500 companies focusing on the business interests of corporate America and the Hispanic market. She earned a bachelor of science degree from Bernard M. Baruch College-City University of New York in 1977. She has also participated in several executive programs at the graduate level at New York's Columbia University.

Muley joins GM with more than 20 years of successful brand management experience and new product development, which have all focused on women as a target audience. Through her work at a variety of firms, including Avon, Johnson & Johnson, Clairol, and Carson, she has developed extensive experience in product positioning, creative advertising, and building brand equity.

During her six years at Uniworld, a leading minority advertising agency, she managed creative and media efforts for Avon, Bristol-Meyers, American Express, and Alberto Culver. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Marymount Manhattan College in 1976, and an MBA degree from Columbia's Graduate School of Business in 1978.

The Center will also work closely with GM's Public Policy and employee interest groups to ensure a totally integrated corporate approach. "This Center of Expertise is an extension of our overall philosophy of the importance of diversity in all aspects of the business," said Ronald L. Zarrella, GM executive vice president and president of GM North America.

(May 3, 2001)

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