MARY ANN WRIGHT:
 




 
 
 
 
 
Director of sustainable mobility technologies and hybrid and fuel cell vehicle programs, Ford Motor Co. Wright has concentrated on product development during her 17-year Ford career, including serving as the lead engineer for the launch of the 2000 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable redesign and the Lincoln LS. She started working on hybrid and alt-fuel vehicles about two years ago, and was chief engineer on the Ford Escape Hybrid. Today, she's working on Ford's efforts toward sustainable mobility solutions such as hybrids, H2-powered fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen internal combustion engine technologies. She's also a tireless advocate for animals, including leading the effort to build a new Dearborn Animal Shelter that will be modeled after the LEED-certified Ford Rouge Plant.


WHERE BORN: Dearborn

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "Without a doubt the credit goes to my Mom and Dad who provided the encouragement and opportunities to allow me to be the best at whatever I pursued. I sit back now and see the incredible sacrifices my parents made for all us kids, and the confidence they instilled in us. I mean, they put me through school three times. Professionally, it's Al Kammerer, now executive director of product development at Jaguar and Land Rover. I've worked with him since 1990 when he took me into product development and provided me with incredible work experiences that landed me where I am today."

LAST BOOK READ: "'The Tailor of Panama' by John le Carre."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Energetic. Passionate. Disciplined. Neurotic I get up at 3:30 a.m. every day to work out!"

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "The stuff I'm responsible for is where the industry is headed reducing and eventually eliminating reliance on fossil fuels to power our vehicles. I think there will be hybrid technology in every vehicle within the next 10 to 20 years. I'm not going to tell you everyone will be driving fuel cells, but this technology is part of our sustainable future. I don't believe there is a single solution. Rather, it will be a journey where we deliver a portfolio of technologies with great fuel economy and zero emissions."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "I love my plasma TV."

FAVORITE PLACE: "In the air, flying"

FAVORITE HOBBY: "Flying."

FAVORITE FOOD: "I'm a vegan; my favorite thing is baked tofu. It's not the slimy supermarket stuff most people think of when they think of tofu. It's fantastic."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "I don't know about a hidden talent, but I'm proud of my ability to create a team and build excitement with the people I'm working with regardless of the project."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "Not only for my work, but also as an advocate for animals. I think kindness to animals translates into a kinder world. I'm a big advocate for the Dearborn Animal Shelter, and we're leading an effort with Ford and Lawrence Technological University for a new shelter building."

At the annual awards reception in May 2015, one Leader & Innovator from the previous 12 months will be selected as the Leader & Innovator of the Year.