Founder and CEO
Cheryl Thompson is the founder and CEO of the Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement. CADIA was launched in 2017 with the idea that diverse talent had long been overlooked and undervalued in the automotive industry. A member-based organization, CADIA provides Diversity, Equity & Inclusion tools, networks, insights, and practical advice to companies in the auto-mobility space.
A veteran of the automotive industry, Cheryl has over 30 years of experience at Ford Motor Company and American Axle and Manufacturing in positions ranging from tool and die, operations, manufacturing engineering and global leadership.
She is a Certified Diversity Professional through the National Diversity Council, a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt and is trained in Leadership Coaching. She received her undergraduate degree in Manufacturing at Siena Heights University, and her MBA from Michigan State University.
Cheryl has been recognized as a 2022 Automotive News All Star, 2019 Influential Women in Manufacturing Honoree, a 2019 Corp Magazine Salute to Diversity award winner, Marketing and Sales Executives of Detroit Platinum Award, and is the recipient of two Diversity and Inclusion Awards from Ford Motor Company.
A sought-after voice and speaker in the automotive, manufacturing and aerospace & defense industries, Cheryl has performed keynote addresses, workshops, and breakout sessions for many member companies and events, including Women in Automotive, Automotive News Leading Women Conference, Beyond the Wrench, TEDx Windsor, Women in Manufacturing (WiM), the American Automotive Summit, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and CADIA’s annual Rev Up 2030 event.