Chris Meyers Moore
Chris Meyers Moore never set out to blaze a path for women in the corporate arena when she graduated from the University of Michigan with high honors. But that is exactly what she did. She began her sales and marketing career at the male-dominated Detroit Diesel engine subsidiary of General Motors. Then left to work for the Hudson’s Department store chain—where, as Director of Special Events, she earned places in the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s largest apple pie and the world’s largest flag. With a growing reputation for innovative marketing, she was hired back by GM to be the advertising manager at Pontiac. It was a significant milestone in women’s workplace achievements; Meyers became the highest ranking woman in the international auto industry. The milestone was significant enough to warrant her inclusion in the book, Michigan Women: Firsts and Founders which includes such notables as Marie-Therese Guyon Cadillac who in 1702 was the first European woman settler in Michigan and Jennifer Granholm who was elected Michigan’s first female governor in 2002. Armed with a $300 million advertising budget, her job was to sell cars. Lots of them. And she did just that. Meyers was the creator of the famous “Iron Duke” engine commercial and the “Smokey and the Bandit” Firebird tie-ins with Burt Reynolds. She increased dealer participation in advertising funding 300% –an early indication of her selling skills when she “sold” the dealers on Pontiac advertising campaigns.
Needless to say she was not welcomed with open arms into the exclusively, all- boys’ automotive inner sanctum. Nevertheless, she literally broke the glass ceiling in the auto industry and scores of women today owe their careers to her efforts. As a result of that difficult experience, she has been a lifelong champion of working women. So much so that she was sought out to participate in the launch of Working Woman magazine. “It was an opportunity to share my belief that women can lead a fulfilling life balancing career and family,” recalls Meyers whose daughter Kathryn has chosen a sales career in the health care industry. Meyers is also remarkable in that she left the security of a giant corporation to start her own diversified national sales and marketing company, Laine Meyers Marketing, Inc. with offices in Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles. Over the past 24 years, she has counted as clients such prestigious companies as The New York Times, CBS, Hearst, Conde Nast, Readers Digest and Forbes.
No wonder that Advertising Age picked her as one of the “100 Best and Brightest” in the United States or that Glamour Magazine named her One of the Top Ten Working Women in America. Her company Laine Meyers Inc. was recognized by the National Association of Women Business Owners as one of the “Top 10 Women Owned Businesses in Michigan.” She has been the cover subject of national business magazines. Meyers was Michigan Advertising Woman of the Year and was the recipient of the Vanguard Award for Leadership from Women in Communications. Her accomplishments are recorded in 12 MarquisWho’sWho compendiums including the flagship Who’s Who in America.
Meyers preferred to staff her offices with young women and trained them for future success. Many of her “Laine Meyers” alumnae now hold high positions with national companies. Others have started their own companies. As Charles Townsend, CEO of Conde Nast, the publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair and scores of other magazines, summed it up:
“Quite literally Chris has served as a role model for generations of women in the arena of media sales and marketing. ‘I want to be just like Chris Meyers is a mantra I repeatedly hear’.”
Looking for new challenges, Meyers co-founded Corp! Magazine in 1999. Under her leadership the magazine thrived to become the largest business publication in Michigan. She sold it ten years later. It is still being published. Reflecting on her career, Meyers is quick to say that one of her greatest satisfactions has been to give young women a start in the highly competitive field of advertising and marketing. She is credited as well for her pioneering efforts to convince the auto industry to recognize women as a significant market. Meyers crafted the largest single revenue sponsorship package in the Hearst Corporation history when she put together Chevrolet, the Women’s Sports Foundation and Cosmopolitan Magazine for a multi-tiered advertising and special event extravaganza. As she recalls: “It is hard to believe now but it was a hard sell to convince auto executives that women had more of a say than the color of the paint when it came to buying a car.”
In recognition of her achievements on behalf of women, she was asked to found the Michigan chapter of the exclusive International Women’s Forum (iwforum.org) which counts
among its diverse members Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, playwright Wendy Wasserstein and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Her work with the Forum has taken her as far afield as China and Tibet. She is now a member of the North Carolina IWF Chapter also. For her accomplishments she was elected a Northwood University Distinguished Woman in 2002. For several years, she has led a panel of Distinguished Women in a Leadership Forum geared to help young women learn from the experiences of other DWs. Despite her demanding schedule, Meyers has served on many boards including the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dean’s Advisory Committee, School of Business; Central Michigan, Advertising Council; YMCA, Michigan, Board of Directors; Oakland County Bar Association, Judicial Candidate Review Committee; President, Women’s Economic Club; and Haven, a Michigan shelter for abused women and children to name a few.
Meyers is a certified small business counselor and a partner in The Whale Hunters, a national business consulting company. She is often sought out as a speaker on entrepreneurial issues, the glass ceiling and women moving ahead in business. Recently Meyers and her husband Oliver Moore relocated to New Bern, N.C. In Eastern North Carolina, Meyers was responsible for founding Eastern Carolina Economic Club, ( www.ecec-nc.org ), a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering local women to lead and succeed. It is currently in its third year of operation. Continuing her career in publishing, Meyers was motivated by her personal health problems to create, with her husband, The Wellness Directory, The Women’s Guide to Health & Fitness. As it provides real tools to increase awareness about women’s health issues, The Wellness Directory answers demands for a convenient listing of all health and wellness providers in Eastern North Carolina.