Spanning three decades, Kristin’s mechanical engineering knowledge, natural leadership talents, and obsession with excellence make her a standout competitor in the male-dominated automotive industry.
Synchronicity played a hand in Kristin’s current position as CIO of Park My Fleet, which builds staffed mobility hubs for fleet vehicles. The state of electric vehicle (EV) technology and its relationship with consumers require data points no one had.
Questions like, What’s the current state of EV charging infrastructure? How well does the consumer adapt to EV technology? What are the gaps that impede EV mass adoption?
To answer these and other consumer-related questions, Slanina took advantage of an offer to set up an EV Cannonball run.
In her role as a chief innovation officer, she served as executive producer and managing director of the Charge Across America EV rally, televised on NBC Sports.
She orchestrated and led five teams to compete in driving electric vehicles from NY to LA for a 10-day televised production. Kristin drove alongside the teams, who each had a different EV, the full 3300 miles in a Tesla. She takes the data story and EV 101 on the road, speaking to audiences from CFOs to dealers and resellers.
Her stint as COO of TrueCar, an online portal for car-buying for consumers and a network of over 10K certified dealers, developed during a highly competitive recruiting process, where she was referred to as the “purple squirrel” for her unique pedigree as a core engine engineer.
Her “future-of-mobility” expertise, consumer-fulfillment strategies, and savvy business leadership made her an ideal experiment for TrueCar.
In a prior role as Chief Transformation Officer for Thirdware, an IT consulting firm, she led the Emerging Technology Group and paved the way to augment Thirdware’s partnership with Ford and other Tier 1 OEMs on vehicle software development, machine learning, and blockchain technology.
Earlier in her career, Kristin defined and scaled EY’s future mobility business model, skyrocketing revenue from $0 to $20M globally in the first year.
EY had wooed Kristin away from Ford originally to create and develop its global mobility practice. Kristin advised clients on the future of mobility and smart cities. Enticed by her unique background as a powertrain engineer with automotive and digital innovation, she became the new Executive Director of Automotive Transportation Mobility at EY. In that role, she secured multimillion-dollar funding to develop the Tesseract (blockchain) platform. Integrating blockchain technology, automotive ecosystems, and strategic, operational frameworks.
Following two decades of success at Ford, Kristin’s reputation as a mobility expert attracted other automotive giants and business leaders.
Intrigued by Chrysler’s opportunity to head and restructure its fuel economy/greenhouse gas and propulsion strategy, Kristin accepted a position as Director of Strategy and Planning.
Within two years, she delivered five new direction strategies. The plans actualized a 10% savings in fuel economy with a 50% reduction in launch costs.
With ten years of core engine experience and many promotions within the Ford ecosystem, her proven leadership skills and unbridled enthusiasm, as well as her positive attitude, put her in the spotlight as the architect of Ford’s Future of Mobility blueprint.
With a mission to shape Ford’s strategic response to social, environmental, and economic challenges, Kristin built a global enterprise team, forged collaborations with technology leaders (IBM, Intel, Apple, and Google), and engaged academic partners (MIT, University of Michigan, and Stanford).
Kristin’s leadership efforts culminated in Ford’s Smart Mobility initiatives announced at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show by Ford’s CEO.
A Woman of Firsts
While an MIT graduate student, Kristin completed an internship program at Digital Equipment, culminating in a master’s thesis in Tribology, which is “the study of friction, wear, lubrication, and the design of bearings; the science of interacting surfaces in relative motion.”
Upon graduation, she was hired by Ford as a Powertrain engineer, where she completed two years in the prestigious Ford College Graduate Program.
An exciting opportunity led her to Ford’s Cologne Engineering facility, where she was promoted to the first female engineer in Ford of Germany.
Immersing herself in the culture, she became semi-fluent in German and earned distinction as the first woman in the all-male company soccer league.
Widely recognized as an industry expert and thought leader, Kristin is a sought-after spokesperson and
leading authority on the future of mobility, connected and autonomous vehicles, and smart city
initiatives. She is quoted and often featured in major global media outlets.
In 2016, she was named one of the “60 Who is Steering Self-Driving Vehicles” by Automotive News.
Kristin embraces her rarity as a woman in a male-dominated culture. Because of the balance of perspective it creates, she credits her female strengths for her success. She is an intuitive communicator and an innate people person. She volunteers as a mentor to hundreds of women throughout her career.