On the Rise: Marisa Blank
Director of OE account management | Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC | Age: 38
What was your first job in the industry?
I was a co-op for Dow Automotive in the plastics development group.
What attracted you to the industry?
I grew up in Michigan with several family members in the industry. In high school, although I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian, the college tests all pointed toward engineering, so I pursued an engineering degree instead.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
The market downturn in 2008-2009 was very difficult to manage.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Many mentors throughout my career have helped me on the road to success.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
I have my name included on a patent from my time at Dow. Although I have now moved into a sales function, I still take pride in my engineering background and the time I spent in the research and development arena.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Leading a globally-focused team in a technical sales organization.
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
What’s the one thing you wish someone would have told you before you entered the industry?
That the bottom would fall out in 2009.
How do you encourage others to enter the industry?
If you like fast-paced, technical work, have an aptitude for engineering and a passion for automotive, this is the place for you!
Tell us about your family.
I have a fantastic, supportive husband and two beautiful babies, along with two fur kids.
What’s your favorite weekend activity?
What keeps you up at night?
Tell us something about yourself others might not know.
I have a less technical, more artsy side. I’m good at interior design.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Mindless TV or movies.
Name a talent you wish you had.
Music, and specifically to play the violin.
What’s your favorite food?
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
If we took your cell phone away and said it would cost you $1,000 to get it back, how long would you survive until you paid the ransom?
A long time — until my paycheck was taken away with it.