Member Updates


SheIsSEMA Spotlight: Autumn Schwalbe of Ford Motor Company Brings New Perspective to Role


The SEMA Businesswomen's Network (SBN) has named Autumn Schwalbe, Ford Performance Parts Planner and Specialist at Ford Motor Company, as the network's newest #SheIsSEMA spotlight member.

Get to know Schwalbe, and how her passion for vehicles has boosted her career in the SEMA News interview below.  

SEMA News: How many years have you been with your current company, and what do you enjoy most about working there?  
Ford Performance Parts Planner and Specialist Autumn Schwalbe: I've been with Ford full-time for three years, and I've also had three summer internships with them. I love working with great people and all the Ford Performance vehicles. 

SEMA News: What is the most challenging part of your business or job?  
AS: The most challenging part has been learning a whole new side of the automotive industry. I knew the basics about chassis, and now I'm working as a chassis parts specialist and planner. It has been a challenge to learn everything, but I also have a huge desire to learn new things. 

SN: How many years have you been in the industry, and what was your first industry job?  
AS: Seven years--my first job was at the Ford Performance Info Center/Tech Line, answering phone calls to answer questions regarding Ford Performance vehicles and parts. I also attended events as a product specialist. 

SN: What three qualities got you to where you are today?  
AS: Passion, determination and work ethic, these qualities have helped me stand out from others my age. I have worked very hard to get to where I am, and my passion shines through when others don't have a passion for vehicles and racing. 

SN: Being a woman in the industry, what have been your biggest challenges and accomplishments?   
AS: Being a woman is very hard in a male-dominated industry, but it pushes me to step out of my comfort zone. Sometimes, I am questioned, but I bring a new and fresh perspective to my role. 

SN: Who are your role models or mentors in the industry?   
AS: My role models are Jeannee Kirkaldy with Ford Performance Motorsports, Natalie Simon with Ford Performance Parts and Nicole McElroy with RECARO; they have all guided me and gave me amazing advice. 

SN: What is the best career advice you have received?  
AS: Do what you love, and it will never feel like work. I continue to go on a path that isn't normal at Ford Motor Company. I follow my passion for motorsports and performance. 

SN: Have you always wanted to work in the automotive industry?  
AS: Yes, I knew I wanted to work in the industry. The amazing people and vehicles keep me here. My passion is automotive marketing and working events. I love the customers and showing girls and women that they can also work in the industry! 

SN: Who was the most influential person on your career/goals?  
AS: My best friend Amanda Sorenson. She has helped me and even helped me celebrate my career milestones and goals. 



Fill out a #SheIsSEMA spotlight form to submit a self-nomination or nominate a colleague and highlight how you or she is contributing to the specialty-equipment industry. Selected candidates are automatically eligible to be considered for SBN's #SheIsSEMA Woman of the Year award, featured on SBN's social media, SEMA News and recognized on the website.