A servant leader eats last. They ensure that their team is taken care of before they sit at the table. You will find no finer example of this leadership style than Monica Brand, Chief Human Resources Officer at Detroit Manufacturing Systems.
Monica is a true champion of our culture- having forged her thirty-five-year career upon a foundation of non-negotiable values and a firm commitment to ethics. Under her guidance, our work-family is empowered to rise to their best, most authentic version of themselves.
Monica’s path to excellence began after she blazed a trail within her own family. She became one of the first women in her family, but certainly not the last, to earn a bachelor’s degree. She graduated from GMI, now Kettering University, with a degree in Industrial Engineering, and went on to earn her MBA from the University of Michigan.
Engineering was traditionally a male-dominated field. As an African American woman, Monica often found herself to be the only female and the only person of color in the room. Under these circumstances, she struggled to have her voice heard, but this difficult experience ignited a passion within her to make a meaningful impact on others. She understands the importance of feeling listened to, appreciated, and accepted- which is just one reason why she became an outstanding leader in the HR career path which eventually followed.
As the CHRO at DMS, Monica believes in giving people the benefit of the doubt and treating them the way they want to be treated. But this is only part of what makes her so excellent; it is her compassion and empathy which make her a highly effective leader in the truest sense. There are many examples within our work family of how her department created a positive, meaningful impact on struggling team members, including finding a safe place for an abused woman to reside and buying clothing and food for an employee in a desperate circumstance. Monica is proud to oversee a department that has elevated team members from positions on the assembly line to leadership roles within the organization.
All too often, Human Resources develops a reputation for serving the company and not its people – but with Monica, we serve our people first, and that, in turn, serves our company. This servant’s heart is a gift from both her faith and her parents’ encouragement- things that have shaped her more and are treasured beyond any accolade she has ever earned or will receive in the future. She believes God opened the door for her to serve our work family at Detroit Manufacturing Systems, and she has embraced that opportunity with passion and joy- which she freely gifts to our entire team.
Her father often told her, “You can be anything you want, as long as you are willing to work for it.” And that is the reality that Monica brings to all of us within the organization.
Thank you, Monica, for serving as a beacon of excellence for all of us to follow. You are a shining example of how impactful and effective authentic servant leadership can be, and we are proud to work beside you.