School of Business Administration

In the driver's seat

icon of a calendarSeptember 30, 2019

icon of a pencilBy Rene Wisely

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In the driver's seat

Amy Martin seated at a computer desk, smiling at the camera
The expertise Amy Martin ACC/FIN '93 honed and the connections she made throughout her career set her on a path to CFO and Vice President of Finance at General Motors Canada. Photo by Laryssa Hulcio.

As a mentor to women entering the workforce, Amy Martin, ACC/FIN ’93, advises to focus on networking. “As you build your network, the world gets smaller and your opportunities will grow.”

Now Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for General Motors Canada, Martin’s career is a testament to this advice. From her days as an Oakland University business student, taking classes and getting involved in student organizations, her commitment to excellence and networking shines.

Whether it’s crossing the globe to live in São Paulo, Brazil, for a two-year work assignment, followed by a three-year stint near Toronto, Canada, or immersing herself in an accelerated statistics class while pursuing a double major at OU, Martin welcomes challenges.

“I couldn’t have written this script, but I enabled it by being open-minded about each opportunity along the way and making the most out of each position,” Martin says.

Martin launched her career at Arthur Anderson thanks to the connection she made with the company through her business student organization leadership and participation.

“I was involved in two organizations at OU that focused on networking: OASIS – Oakland Accounting Students Information Society -- and Beta Alpha Psi, an honorary accounting fraternity,” she says. “It was through OASIS I was introduced to Arthur Andersen’s International Trade and Customs Group. I immediately knew this was the practice area I was interested in pursuing.”

The expertise she honed and the connections she made as an International Trade Customs Consultant at Arthur Anderson led to her first position at General Motors. At GM, Martin continued to rise as she took on roles of increasing responsibility moving from Customs Specialist to Global Customs Director before being promoted to her VP and CFO leadership position in 2017. She is also a member of GM Canada Board of Directors and GM Canada’s Executive Committee.

“Twenty-two years later and there is never a dull moment because it’s always challenging and rewarding,” she says.

A self-described advocate for women in business, Martin is active in professional women’s organizations as well as involved in programs that encourage young girls to consider careers in STEM fields. She is on the leadership team of GM's Women in Finance organization and a Women’s Council mentor. She received a GM WOMEN recognition award for her commitment to integrity, leadership and the empowerment of women at GM. She regularly serves as a mentor for several women and men.

“It is empowering for women to have the opportunity to learn from and engage with other women, and women leaders,” she says. “We need women well represented at all levels and positions.” In the past, Martin has spoken about how equal representation of men and women in business generates a breadth of opinion, improves team outputs and the decision-making process.

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