Tribune staff reports
Pamela Carter, who broke barriers for women in law, government and business in Indiana, is retiring as Cummins Inc.’s Distribution Business president.
Carter was the first woman to lead one of Cummins Inc.’s four main business units, and in 1993 she became Indiana’s attorney general — the first African-American woman elected a state attorney general in the United States, according to a Cummins news release.
She has been with Cummins since 1997. Carter initially served as the company’s vice president — general counsel and corporate secretary. She then held several key positions within Cummins Fleetguard before leading Cummins Filtration from 2005 to 2007. She has been president of the Distribution Business unit since 2007.
Her retirement is effective April 1.
“Pamela is a uniquely talented individual, who joined us as a skilled lawyer and very quickly mastered the business side, becoming one of our top business leaders,” Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger said in the release. “She is a leader in every sense of the word who helped grow our business across the globe, strengthened our communities and made those around her better. She will truly be missed.”
Distribution sales were $1.5 billion in 2007 when Carter took over leadership of that unit. They were on pace to reach $5 billion in 2014, a compound annual growth rate of about 18 percent, Cummins said.
Carter also helped Cummins expand its operations in Africa and last year oversaw one of the largest acquisitions in Cummins history when it bought its formerly independent distributors in North America, the company said.
She also was a champion for underrepresented demographic groups at Cummins, including women, Africans and African-Americans and all people of color, and also worked to recruit and hire veterans, according to the media release.
“My time at Cummins has been extremely rewarding,” Carter said in the release. “Doing good at our company means more than making money. Business success is part of it, but there is also a rich tradition of building stronger communities to ultimately build stronger markets for our products. I’ve seen how powerful that combination can be.”
Carter, a 1984 Indiana University School of Law graduate, was deputy chief of staff to Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh from 1988 to 1992. She spent some time in private practice at the Baker & Daniels law firm in Indianapolis and then ran for Indiana attorney general, serving in that post from 1993 to 1997. She briefly went back into private practice before joining Cummins.
Cummins said it would announce Carter’s successor this week.