Donna Inch: Tackling the big job of overseeing Ford Motor’s land holdings

December 01, 2012  |  Dan Rafter  |  Print Article  |  Email this Article

Donna Inch

Donna Inch
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Ford Motor Land Development Corporation
Dearborn, Mich.

Ford Motor Company owns huge tracts of available land across the country. And when the motor giant needs to sell or lease this land, it turns to Donna Inch, chairman and chief executive officer of Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford Motor Land Development Corporation.

Inch has served in this position since January of 2010. It’s a big job, with Inch overseeing a real estate portfolio that includes manufacturing, research and development, distribution and office properties.

It can be particularly challenging for Inch and her staff to find new uses for closed automotive plants.

Inch, though, has been creative in meeting this challenge. For instance, earlier this year, Inch worked with officials with Southfield, Mich.-based NAI Farbman to help the corporate services division of Oakwood Healthcare move 500 employees into two single-story buildings in Dearborn owned by Ford Land.

Inch’s unique position requires her to put all of her business skills to use. Fortunately, Inch boasts a rich business background that helps her as she and her staff seek out new uses for Ford’s land holdings.

Inch came to Ford already possessing a strong financial background. She earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration from Eastern Michigan University, and joined Ford in 1978 as an industrial relations analyst. During her time at Ford, she has held a series of finance and management positions in the company’s customer service, marketing, sales and product development divisions.

Bob Shanks, Ford’s vice president and controller, said the decision to move Inch to her current position was an easy one. It also turned out to be the right one.

“Her management style, business acumen, and active involvement in developing our people have made her a respected leader within the company,” Shanks said in a written statement announcing her promotion. “The Ford Land team is fortunate to have her at the helm.”

Inch is also committed to her profession. She is actively involved in recruiting for Ford, and frequently mentors employees through Ford’s Professional Women’s Network and Women in Finance employee resource groups.

Inch’s long-term success at Ford has earned her several top honors during her career. Treasury and Risk Management has identified Inch as one of the top women in finance, while Crain’s Detroit Business named Inch to its Top Ten Women to Watch list in 2010.

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