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Automotive News Honor: ZF'S Aine Denari and Elizabeth Umberson are Recognized Among 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry

LIVONIA, Mich., Nov. 9, 2020 -- ZF's Aine Denari, former Senior Vice President, Advanced Driver Assist Systems business and Elizabeth Umberson, Vice President, Materials Management for ZF North America have been named among 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry by Automotive News. Aine, Elizabeth and their co-honorees are featured in a special section of the Nov. 9 issue and were recognized at a virtual, exclusive celebration sponsored by Automotive News and Deloitte.

100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry recognizes women who are leaders in the automotive field – those who make major decisions and have significant influence at their companies.  Automotive News has published the list of the industry's top female executives every five years since 2000.

This year's honorees come from 72 companies. They are CEOs, COOs, CIOs, CMOs, engineers, plant managers, dealer principals and more. And, for the first time, many work in the new mobility sector

Aine Denari spent the last six years at ZF in critical roles for the company. She joined the former TRW Automotive in 2014 as Vice President, Product Planning and soon after was given the lead responsibility of the integration of TRW into the ZF Group, one of the largest such acquisitions in the history of the supplier industry. Most recently she served as the head of ZF's Advanced Driver Assist Systems business, leading the division beyond its growth target of $1 billion in annual sales as a critical part of the company's advanced safety and automated driving developments and overseeing a portfolio of highly advanced products including ZF's industry-leading supply of automotive cameras.   

Elizabeth Umberson has had a distinguished career at ZF over the past 25 years, significantly contributing to the company's success in many business-critical ways. In 1999, she became the company's first female plant manager at its Gainesville, Georgia, facility. And in 2010, she was charged with establishing a production facility for wind turbine gearboxes where she managed a $100 million budget to build the plant, hire 230 employees, and launch a high-quality product that led the industry in reliability for wind turbine gearboxes. Most recently, after ZF acquired TRW, she was a key member for the integration of materials management in North America helping to transition from a decentralized purchasing organization to a centralized organization working collaboratively across the globe while saving costs and enhancing efficiency.

"A comparison of the 2020 and 2015 Automotive News lists of 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry confirms that the status of women in the industry continues to improve. There are 13 CEOs of automakers and suppliers on the list this time, up from six in 2015 and two in 2010," said Mary Beth Vander Schaaf, Automotive News managing editor and leader of the project.

The 2020 class of Automotive News' 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry emerged from a months-long nomination and judging process that attracted hundreds of entries from the United States, Canada and Mexico. 

"Our selection committee made many difficult decisions," said Vander Schaaf. "The talented, powerful executives on this list are at the forefront of thousands of successful women in the auto industry."

Since 1925, Automotive News has been the primary source for news happening among automotive retailers, suppliers and manufacturers. Distinct from other publications in the field, Automotive News remains a fully subscriber-paid publication, a testament to the value it delivers to the reader. The award-winning weekly print edition, robust website, email newsletters and video broadcasts are backed by a global team of more than 65 editors and reporters.

ZF Friedrichshafen AG
ZF is a global technology company and supplies systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology, enabling the next generation of mobility. ZF allows vehicles to see, think and act. In the four technology domains Vehicle Motion Control, Integrated Safety, Automated Driving, and Electric Mobility, ZF offers comprehensive solutions for established vehicle manufacturers and newly emerging transport and mobility service providers. ZF electrifies different kinds of vehicles. With its products, the company contributes to reducing emissions and protecting the climate.

ZF, which acquired WABCO Holdings Inc. on May 29, 2020, now has 160,000 employees worldwide with approximately 260 locations in 41 countries. In 2019, the two then-independent companies achieved sales of €36.5 billion (ZF) and $3.4 billion (WABCO).

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