Advertising alumnus Terry Inch ’83 spent the last 16 years of his communications career with General Motors. Over his tenure, he advanced through several leadership roles, ultimately becoming the executive director of Global Connected Customer Experience (GCCX) Operations. In this position, he oversaw 5,000 people in 11 different locations in all aspects of the business from service support and delivery to sales and technical assistance.
Inch’s tireless dedication, strong leadership and fresh thinking greatly contributed to OnStar/GCCX’s success in the field. But since May 1, he’s been enjoying his next phase: retirement. After a lifetime of strategic career moves, Inch is confident that effective communication was vital to his professional path.
“The ability to communicate with other people and make sure that they’re receiving the message you’re trying to send — and that you’re understanding how they’re responding to that message — is critical to success in whatever you do,” said Inch.
Keeping People Safe
Less than a month ago, Inch was working with groups of people and their teams to monitor the company’s actions to figure out what could be improved, whether from an experiential, performance or repair standpoint. No matter what was needed, Inch was always available to assist.
“I’m incredibly accessible,” said Inch. “It’s important to make sure that there’s always an open line. It’s constantly working with people to make sure you’re removing roadblocks or looking ahead and identifying things that need to get fixed or working with the teams to get it fixed.”
Inch recognizes that while some purchase the OnStar service as a way to get from point A to point B easier, the bottom line is that OnStar is a safety and security service. His job was to make sure that both the vehicle and customer were safe, and that required constantly striving to improve.
“No matter how good you do, you know you can do better,” said Inch. “You’ve got to take the whole machine apart and put it together again better for the next day, for the next month, for the next year.”
Finding a Place to Thrive
While keeping people safe on the road is rewarding in itself, Inch found the relationships he built within the company to be some of his most gratifying work.
“In the 16 years that I’ve been here, I’ve had people that have come in at entry-level positions that are now executives within the organization,” said Inch. “Just the satisfaction that comes from getting the right people in the right jobs and watching them grow and be successful is extremely fulfilling to me.”
It’s clear that Inch has had a very fulfilling career with GM. As he looks back and reflects on his time in the industry, Inch notes that having passion in your work is the most effective way to find success, no matter how you define it.
“The minute people start trying to figure out how many more days until vacation — the minute the job becomes a chore — then it’s time to find something else to do,” said Inch. “You’ve got to find something that you’re really passionate about and inspires you to do your best.”
By Kaitlin Dudlets