Career ladder: With a chemical engineering degree from Michigan Tech and an MBA from Harvard University, Fream started her 30-year automotive career at General Motors Corp. in manufacturing, sales and engineering, followed by stints at Ford Motor Co., TRW Inc. and Visteon Corp., where she rose from associate director of Ford sales to VP of the North America Customer Business Group Strategy. Now 52, she became president and CEO of OESA in 2013.
Power metrics: OESA has more than 800 supplier executives within its council network of more than 430 member companies. Sixteen team members are dedicated to coordinating quarterly meetings, developing events and providing information to help members succeed. OESA's revenue was $4.7 million in 2015.
Special skill: "I am able to synthesize information, and develop strategies or plans … and do so quickly. My position plays to my strengths and background — having the perspective of a supplier and an OEM, and being able to foster relationships, build contacts, network and communicate with a broad range of people and companies."
Big win: Strengthening relationships between manufacturers and suppliers, and ensuring that the suppliers' voice is heard in the press and with government. "Suppliers are a tremendous part of the industry, and we need to make sure their impact and their role is well understood in the process of making big decisions."
Next goals: Attract new technology suppliers, increase government advocacy and improve global relations.
Power lesson: "Listen to your intuition. ... We have to learn to be mindful of our intuition. Pay attention to what is giving you pause. That's particularly hard to do in this hurry-up world that we live in.''
Best advice: "When you make it, give back. Not just money. Give your time, energy and efforts to help others be able to move forward and have similar opportunities to what you had." She said she would encourage others to take on roles and responsibilities to get experience and to perhaps stretch themselves in different ways, even things outside of what they think is ultimately what they want to do.
How you assist other women in your company, in your community and in the world: "We need to break down the stereotypes that exist about science and technology. People wouldn't look at me and say, 'She's an engineer.' But why not? My hope is to break down the stereotypes for women and minorities and others who wouldn't consider STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). You can have all kinds of careers with a STEM degree. One way to break the stereotype is to have examples be more visible."
Jennette SmithHere's how we produced this special section.
Jennette SmithWe view all of our honorees over the years as part of a "legacy list," some of whom should be considered as prospects for corporate and nonprofit board service.
Vickie ElmerNot that they have a lot of free time, but when they do, here's how the 100 Most Influential Women fill it.
Sherri WelchThe new study by Grand Valley State University of Fortune 500 boards shows a correlation between board diversity and healthier profits, and Michigan companies have ample opportunity to improve board diversity, the study's co-author says.
Staff Blog | Jennette SmithI've been living and breathing this project for months and got by with a little help from my friends in the newsroom and at companies across the state.
Staff Blog | Mary KramerThat's why Crain's Detroit Business has joined with the Michigan Women's Commission and Deloitte, among others, to create a path to help more companies find talent for their boards.
Crain's Detroit BusinessIn an effort to boost women's representation on for-profit corporate boards, Crain's Detroit Business on Tuesday night launched the Michigan Women's Directory. The launch coincided with the 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan recognition event that was attended by about 700 people.