Kara and Susann both work on full size trucks for Toyota; Kara from the development side and Susann from the manufacturing side.
Susann had an opportunity to join the Rebelles at the finish line in 2022, sparking an interest in off-roading and an FJ Cruiser purchase.
An R&D leader suggested having an executive on the team as a unique mentoring/reverse mentoring opportunity. Susann’s enthusiasm at the finish line had not been forgotten and she said yes when Kara reached out.
I am an introverted extrovert that loves learning and competing, especially when that competition is against myself. I have more hobbies than time, my favorite of which are cooking, hiking, and travelling.
Senior Program Manager, Toyota Motor North America, R&D
There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear.
I used to work with a bunch of dummies. I spent the first 14 years of my career as a safety and crashworthiness performance development engineer.
The Rebelle Rally allows me to combine my love of the outdoors with my love of vehicles. 2023 will be my second Rebelle. This year's preparation has pushed my mentorship skills working with my new teammate and supporting other rookies. Competing allows me to further build my off road skills and lead development of ever better Toyota trucks.
Podcasts: The Daily, Criminal, Unlocking Us
Favorite recent read: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Shows: Ted Lasso, Schitt’s Creek, Severance
Running the Rebelle in 2022!
I am an independent, driven person, who loves to take on new challenges, personally and professionally. I also enjoy being part of a team where I can connect and learn from others, building synergy as we work toward a common goal.
Manufacturing Vice President, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas
San Antonio, TX
"Every damn thing is your own fault, if you are any good." Ernest Hemingway
I proposed to my husband 27 years ago.
The opportunity arose and I couldn't turn it down. It is such an amazing feeling to compete in the truck that my team builds every single day, the Toyota Tundra. I feel like I am representing every single person on my team who has a part in building our product and although it's a little daunting, I feel incredibly blessed to be in that position. And having a veteran teammate, who is an amazing coach, just makes it all feel like the perfect timing.
My daughters. We have moved a few times in my career with Toyota and those transitions have contributed to two independent young woman, unabashed to be themselves. I want to show them that you can achieve whatever you set out to do, but the most rewarding successes are built from the learning blocks of failure.
Podcasts: Embedded, Ear Hustle, Radiolab
Books: Demon Copperhead, East of Eden, The Angels are the Reapers
Shows: The Righteous Gemstones, Yellowjackets, Andor
Living in, and exploring Japan, for two years