The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business in Detroit has announced Barbara J. Pilarski, head of business development for Auburn Hills-based Fiat Chrysler Automobiles-North America, as the 2020 recipient of its Distinguished Alumni Award.
Established in 1981, the award recognizes graduates from the school whose achievements over a career in business, education, or public service have brought honor and distinction to the school.
Pilarski earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from WSU in 1985 and began her career at what is now FCA North America the same year. She went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from Ann Arbor’s University of Michigan in 1988.
Joining Chrysler Corp. as a financial analyst at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant, Pilarski went on to hold various positions within the company’s business development, finance, and human resources organizations.
She was named head of business development for FCA North America from 2009-2017 and again in 2019. She is responsible for identifying, developing, negotiating, and executing strategic partnership arrangements with automakers, suppliers, and other third parties that provide value to FCA. From 2017-2019, Pilarski served as the company’s head of human resources. She was responsible for providing services and support to about 90,000 employees and contractors across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
In 2015, Pilarski was named a Powered by Women nominee by DBusiness magazine. She serves on the finance committee of the board of directors for Beaumont Health and is also a board member for Metro Detroit Youth Clubs and a member of the Campaign Cabinet for United Way of Southeastern Michigan.
Pilarski will be honored at the Ilitch School’s 40th annual Recognition and Awards Program. A date has yet to be decided.