Forging positive change, Mara Downing is a third-generation John Deere employee
Mara Downing is Vice President of Global Brand and Communications at John Deere and a third generation John Deere employee. Speaking to Quad Cities Regional Business Journal, Mara shares how she leads a team devoted to sharing the John Deere story.
Having followed her father Ron Sovey, a retired Senior Manager-Labor Relations, and grandfather Glenn Sovey, who was an East Moline Harvester Works Production Worker, into a career with John Deere, Mara now shepherds the messaging and branding of the John Deere story.
Holding an MBA from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University, Mara joined John Deere in 2000, having held the positions of Director of Deere’s global brand management and corporate citizenship, and the John Deere Foundation President.
Taking pride in her career
Advocating for John Deere is personal for Mara. "When you think of Deere doing business in 30 different countries and us providing support in about every place where we do business and you think about our presence even here in the Midwest, that translates to millions of dollars (in giving) just in the Quad Cities," she explains.
"You want people to be proud to live in the Quad Cities and tell their friends to come live here and start a career and continue to see the community thrive.”
Driving communication activities
Now overseeing John Deere's enterprise communication activities, Mara's team is responsible for the brand, corporate citizenship, the John Deere Foundation and Deere’s licensed product business.
Having helped shaped how Deere supports the communities where its employees work and live, Mara also chairs United Way of the Quad Cities and serves on the boards of Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, Southeast National Bank (SENB) and the John Deere Classic.
"When I think about ‘how did I get to where I am today,’ I just had an incredible network of advisors. It was almost like an informal board of directors both inside and outside the company who have just been incredible mentors to me and an incredible support system," recalls Mara.
Read the article in full to learn more about Mara's career journey with John Deere.
PARTNER CONTENT: Developed in collaboration to support IWD's Women Forging Change Mission.