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William Powell '69

William Powell earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from IUP in 1969. He earned a master’s degree from Pacific Lutheran University in 1975 and also participated in the Harvard Executive Development Program in 1987.

Powell served as a captain of the United States Army in the U.S. and in Europe from 1969 to 1976.

Currently, Powell is the North America vice president of Industry Dealer Affairs for General Motors Corporation. Over the past thirty years, he has become known and respected throughout GM for his dedication to employees, dealers, and the business.

In his current leadership position in GM’s Vehicle Sales, Service, and Marketing group, Powell is responsible for developing and maintaining strong, positive dealer relations throughout the corporation and with customers. His overarching responsibility for the dealer network area comprises a variety of diverse activities, including Minority Dealer Development; Motors Holding; Dealer Network, Planning, and Development; State Dealer Relations; Global Retail Network; and the Chevrolet Global Council.

In the Global Retail Network, Powell works with leaders across the globe to understand and expand the dealer network. He leads development and implementation of strategies that will increase business for dealers and GM worldwide.

Powell and his leadership team also work with government bodies and lobbyists on issues critical to the automotive industry, including fuel economy, carbon dioxide legislation, hybrid technology, franchise laws, and dealer agreements.

He began his career with GM in 1977 with Buick as an employee-in-training and became assistant sales manager of the western region. He served in various sales and service positions, gained a thorough knowledge of the automotive business, and was consistently promoted into several key management positions.

A volunteer speaker, Powell addresses forums supporting Minority Dealer Development and Women Affinity Groups, both external and internal to GM. He regularly serves as a keynote speaker for local, state, and national dealer organizations such as the National Automobile Dealers Association, state automobile dealer associations, and Automobile Retailing Today in Washington, D.C. He has also volunteered his services representing GM in support of the United Way Foundation and as a guest speaker for Northwood University fundraisers.

Mr. Powell is a member of the United Negro College Fund, Inc., a board member of Automotive Retailing Today, and a past board member of Judson Center, a Detroit nonprofit organization that helps children, families, and adults across six counties.

A native of Reims, France, Powell resides in Northville, Mich., with his wife, Betty, and their twin eight-year-old daughters, Alexandria and Adriana.

He is a 2007 recipient of the IUP Distinguished Alumni Award.

Profile published on 6/30/08

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