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Coffee with Corporates: Q&A with Carol Jean Milner of Nissan North America

Time for a coffee break? Take a few minutes to get to know Carol Jean Milner, Director of Facilities, Service & Support and Supplier Diversity at Nissan North America, presenting sponsor of the 2020 WBENC Summit & Salute.

What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry? 

A new kind of Automotive Industry that includes digitalization that will change and enhance customer experience.  Digitalization will change the way consumers buy, maintain and use their vehicles in areas of connectivity, autonomous driving, electric powertrains and so much more. It is an exciting and challenging time for Automotive.

What education/training programs should women entrepreneurs make sure to learn more about?

Understand the many uses of Digitalization/Technology and transform your product or service in ways that fully support this trend. This is the future, and it is imperative that women business owners are not behind on this new trend. Get in front of it; make this your DIFFERENCE and shine.

What piece of advice would you give to women entrepreneurs that want to do business with your corporation? 

Be prepared to show off your innovation, communicate clearly and succinctly why your Company is best in class. Use facts and data to demonstrate why we benefit awarding you business.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

 Automotive is a highly competitive industry and very much male, many times I am the only Woman in the Room. My mother’s advice: “Always be your authentic self, stay true to your values, and good things will follow”. She was right!

What are you reading or listening to now?

Thunderhead, the second book in Neal Shusterman’s sci-fi trilogy. Set in the far future, people live forever and society is controlled by an advanced computer system known as the “Thunderhead”. Population is managed by an elite group known as “Scythes”, who decide who dies, when and how. Even in a world managed by an advanced computer system, ego, greed, and power is still prevalent.

What’s the best way to start your day? 

With my morning coffee in hand, I read my morning texts. Each morning I review two daily texts. One from my brother, who provides a thought-provoking “quote of the day”. The second is from my BFF, using words, pictures, or song, to start the day in a state of gratefulness and calm. Then I ask for God’s grace to give me strength to be my best “me” as I go through the day. (There are no bad days, only not what we expected.)

Fill in the Blank

When I face a challenge, I… take a deep breath, decide what is in my control and then develop an action plan.

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… to worry less and follow my heart more.

The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my family.

Diversity and Inclusion inspires me because, … in this space, small changes create major impact.


Nissan North America

Nissan’s U.S. operations include automotive design, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Over the past 36 years, Nissan has invested more than $12.4 billion in U.S. manufacturing and now has the capacity to build 1 million vehicles and 1.4 million engines annually at its four U.S. assembly plants.

Learn more at nissanusa.com