Eastern Michigan University
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Chairman and CEO of Ford Land Celebrated for Career and Influence

Published August 13, 2015

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Donna Inch

Donna Inch (BBA78, MBA84)

Eastern Michigan University has known for decades that alumna Donna Inch is a woman of achievement and courage, but this April the Michigan Women’s Foundation made it official. The non-profit foundation honored Inch (BBA78, MBA84) as a “Women of Courage and Achievement” at its 2015 Southeast Michigan awards dinner, held at the MGM Grand Detroit.

The foundation, which celebrates the careers and community service of some of the state’s most outstanding women, is dedicated to achieving social and economic equality for Michigan’s women and girls.               

“I was extremely honored to be recognized by such a wonderful organization doing great things for women. It was truly an evening of empowering women,” says Inch, the chairman and CEO of Ford Land, the real estate arm and wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. The Dearborn resident holds bachelors and master’s degrees in finance and business administration from Eastern Michigan University.

The awards event also included a panel discussion in which business leaders discussed important issues facing women today, such as climbing the corporate ladder, being present at the executive leadership table and running successful women-owned and operated businesses.

“The Southeast Michigan dinner, now in its silver anniversary year, allows us to shine a much-deserved spotlight on the region’s most admirable female executives and community leaders—role models for us all,” says Carolyn Cassin, the organization’s CEO.

Honorees also talked about their “tipping points”--experiences that helped them go from good to great, and shared the best advice they’ve ever given or received.

Inch credits Eastern’s College of Business with setting a “great foundation” for her career. “The College of Business significantly helped me understand the keys to problem solving and provided skills for working with colleagues to achieve great results,” says Inch. Eastern also provided her with leadership opportunities as a resident advisor, she added.

Inch was appointed to the CEO position in 2010. Ford Land plans, constructs, manages and redevelops properties worldwide. Inch, along with her staff, have global responsibility for real estate, engineering and construction, energy supply and efficiency, facility management services and workplace design for Ford Motor Company’s office, manufacturing, research and warehouse space. In addition, Inch’s team is also responsible for managing a commercial portfolio of properties for leasing to non-Ford tenants. Inch sits at the center of Ford’s resurgence as a company, and has a distinct perspective on the role Michigan’s auto industry plays in the national economy.

The Dearborn resident has received many other honors throughout her career, including being featured in DBusiness Magazine’s “2013 Powered by Women,” issue; named among “Women Who Lead” 2013 by Detroit radio station WJR 760 AM; and honored with the Ford Motor Company Global Diversity and Inclusion Award (2014). She also serves on the EMU Dean’s Advisory Board.

Inch and her husband, Howard, have been married for 33 years and have two grown children.

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