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About Donald A. Winkler

Don Winkler was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, through December 2001, of Ford Financial, the largest automotive finance company in the world.

Don Winkler is well known for his distinctive approach to business management and leadership development. His Breakthrough Leadership process has been featured in several major publications such as The New York Times, Fast Company and The Wall Street Journal. The Journal noted in a lengthy article on Don's philosophy, "Don Winkler has a brain for the 21st Century."

His approach to management is highlighted in the new business book, "Simplicity: The New Competitive Advantage in a World of More, Better, Faster." Author Bill Jensen describes Don Winkler's approach to problems this way: "Don believes the real breakthroughs in business often result from organizing information in ways that enable people to ask new and tougher questions about critical issues." He is a professor of Corporate Strategies and International Business at the University of Michigan School of Business Administration. Don's graduate course on Breakthrough Leadership is called Driving Fundamental Change in a Business: A CEO's Perspective.

Don's dynamic approach to organizational effectiveness and problem solving has resulted in increased annual earnings of 20 to 30 percent for the businesses he has managed. Prior to his appointment at Ford Credit, Don served as Chairman and CEO of Finance One, the finance company arm of Bank One Corporation. Under his direction, Finance One became the nation's second largest bank-owned provider of automotive financing. While there, Don served as a financial advisor in the establishment of the automotive Internet site, carsdirect.com. Before Bank One, he held several domestic and international senior positions at Citibank.

An active participant in civic life, Don is a national spokesperson in educating people about learning differences. He is a board member of the International Dyslexia Association and the National Center for Learning Disabilities and has served as a Trustee of the Forman School in Litchfield, Conn. He is a trustee at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The college awarded him an honorary doctorate. He serves as a board member of the Financial Services Roundtable. He is married and has two children.

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