Support Our Scholarship Program


Newsletter - Spring 2018 Print

Women with Drive

 As they say, time flies when you’re having fun – or when you’re busy! And AWAF has been both! Check out all we have done first quarter of this year and find out what is upcoming for the rest of the year! Participate in some (if not all) of the great activities and events that are coming up.

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Support AWAF through Amazon Smile

AWAF is now listed as a charitable organization through AmazonSmile. By designating Automotive Women's Alliance Foundation as your favorite charity, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to AWAF.

AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know - same products, same prices, same service.

Click here to designate the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation as the organization of your choice to support and make sure when you shop through Amazon you are shopping on the AmazonSmile website.

“AmazonSmile and the AmazonSmile logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates."


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Be A Mentor to a Scholarship Recipient

Let's keep the relationship going with scholarship recipients and AWAF members...

The mentorship committee is seeking AWAF members who want to mentor for our upcoming 2018 AWAF Mentoring Program.  A program for past AWAF scholarship recipients to be mentored by experienced AWAF membership.

This is a great opportunity for AWAF members to give back, become a better leader and refine your own skills and networks. Be a part of women supporting women in automotive!

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Marion Wells at

Thank you for your support AWAF Mentorship committee.


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Past Event Highlights

Below are recaps of our 2017 holiday event, our 2018 mix and mingle and Fireside Chat. To see the photos for each event visit our photo gallery here.

Finding Joy at the Table - Annual Holiday Event, December 12, 2017 at the Birmingham Country Club, Birmingham - Nearly 100 attendees enjoyed a cup of cheer at our holiday event and had the opportunity to learn some important life lessons from our guest speaker Beverly Gaskin CPSM Executive Director of GPSC at General Motors. Special thank you to our sponsor of this event Brooks, Wilkins, Sharkey & Turco PLLC.  We also gave out two $2,500 scholarships to Alexandra Soluri, sophomore, Automotive Technology, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ, sponsored by Elder Automotive Group in memory of Irma Elder and Claire Couture, senior, Mechanical Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, sponsored by Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Read about both recipients by visiting our past scholarship recipient page here.
Below are just a few points Beverly gave us:

  • If you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right!
  • Don’t take things so personal, it’s just business and for the development of the business.
  • Ask open-ended questions that get people to communicate to you. 
  • Do what you’re doing today really well before you try to rush in to the next thing.
  • Participate in relevant organizations that relate to your role.
  • Today there are more people that can say no then say yes, so you need to be able to be influential.
  • Build networks. Women need to get as good at building networks as the men do.
  • Have an intelligent opinion based on fact... have a voice be brave and be bold.
  • The years go fast. She had no balance. She regrets missing out on personal things like seeing her niece cheer, and the day when her sister adopted.


After the Auto Show Mix & Mingle - Tuesday, January 30, Otus Supply, Ferndale  -  Over 80 people enjoyed mingling and reconnecting with fellow automotive colleagues.

Fireside Chat with Sandra Bouckley - Wednesday, March 28 at the home of Kim Ziomek  - Thirty members attended this intimate member-only event where Sandra Bouckley, a Society of Manufacturing Engineers board member, who recently retired after spending many years as an executive in global manufacturing and operations, gave her insight on being a woman in the automotive industry.
At this event the moderator always opens the Q & A with some light-hearted questions so we get to know the speaker personally.  Here are two of the questions.
•   Do you prefer automatic or stick shift? Sandra: Automatic.
•   Are you a morning or night person? Sandra: morning person.
Then it turns to a more serious note to get the speaker's thoughts on the automotive industry and being a woman in automotive. Here are some of Sandra's comments: 

  • We need to ensure that people know that manufacturing offers well-paying, attractive jobs.  It is not “dark, dirty and dangerous.”
  • 2017 was the highest year of growth for women in manufacturing since 1997.  Nearly 3.5 million women were employed in manufacturing in 2017.
  • Role models are still necessary. Some young women still don’t know what to wear.
  • Imagine what it would be like living through the #MeToo movement in the 80’s/90’s? How do you get rid of the unwanted attention?
  • Sometimes as a woman Sandra thought, I’ll get an MBA and get married so they’ll take me more seriously. Getting married and getting an MBA didn’t help all the crap.


    Go here to see all the pictures from the Fireside Chat.




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Save The Date For These Upcoming Events

The events committee is working hard planning many upcoming events including traditional favorites like Pumps & Power and Fireside Chats as well as new venues and themes for networking, socializing, and professional development. Here are just a few dates that are confirmed for the rest of the year.

Friday, June 8, 2018 -  Professional Development Workshop - Emotional Intelligence will be presented by Corinne Smereka at Schoolcraft College VisTaTech 18600 Haggerty Road Livonia, MI 48152. Registration will open the end of April. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - Swinging "FORE" Scholarships Golf Outing. Our largest fundraiser for scholarships takes place at Indianwood Golf & Country Club in Lake Orion, MI. This year registration and breakfast begins at 8 am with a 9 am shot gun start.  We will be on the Old Course which has hosted PGA and LGPA tournaments since the 1930s. For more information and to register go here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - Annual Holiday Event will take place at The Whitney in Detroit. Enjoy a cup of cheer and network with fellow automotive colleagues this holiday season. Our guest speaker this year is Joe Hinrichs, Executive Vice President and President, Global Operations, Ford Motor Company.  Registration for the event will open early fall. But we have sponsorship opportunities for this event. If interested in more marketing exposure please go here for more information. 


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Member Benefit - Are You Taking Advantage of This?

Members can to fill out their membership profile information about themselves. Have you logged on and filled information about yourself in the member information editor? You can easily upload a photo of yourself and add your bio. You can designate the description of your type of business and can pick and choose what you would like listed in the member directory that all members have access to online. You can also click at the bottom of the editor form which groups you should be assigned to by job classification and industry. By doing this, when people access the member directory they can learn more about you. Go here to log in. Questions? Email 


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Membership Corner

Jeena Patel has stepped down from per position on the board of Vice President, General Counsel. Thank you, Jeena, for all of your time, dedication and support while being a part of AWAF. We hope to see you at future events.  

A Very Warm Welcome to Lisa Zimmer! She joins the Board of the Directors as the new Vice President, General Counsel.

Lisa has more than 28 years of experience in employee benefits, almost 23 of those years as an attorney. She counsels employers in the design, documentation, implementation and compliance of their 401(k) plans, pension plans, and nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements. She has successfully represented clients with matters before the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Before entering law school, Lisa worked in human resources and benefits administration. Click here to read more about Lisa. 

Pam Dancu, Account Executive at MC2

How did you end up in the auto industry?
I ended up in the auto industry after attending Northwood University and starting out my career with a tradeshow company supporting various automotive suppliers. Since then I have been focused on working with automotive OEM manufacturers as well as tier one and two suppliers leading their experiential marketing programs for the past 20 years!

What is the most common challenge you face being a woman in the auto industry?
Sometimes it is hard as a woman to initially gain the credibility of being able to understand complex automotive components and technologies. At times it takes a strong strategic leadership role in the planning process to gain that trust and it is critical to validate that understanding.

Give us a fun fact about yourself?
I probably know more about axles than most women should! I believe you need to truly market a product, and you have to immerse yourself in the brand, product or technology!


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Thank you Sponsors


Gold Sponsors
   Faurecia       Magna   

                          Atlas Copco                   Leggett & Platt Automotive Group              

Michigan Economic Development  Corporation

              Autobeat Group                    

Silver Sponsors
Friendly Ford Lincoln
Plante Moran
     Yazaki North America, Inc.

Bronze Sponsor
The Henry Ford


Special Scholarship Sponsor
Elder Automotive Group

Become a sponsor go here


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Housekeeping Items & Friendly Reminders

If your membership is up for renewal, please visit our website, log-in and renew today! We guarantee you will not want to miss any of these upcoming events!

• Please don’t forget to “Join”, “Like” and “Share” on AWAF’s social media pages

• Please remember to keep your member profile up to date on the AWAF website - adding your profile picture and ensuring your company name is up to date! 

• Please visit our website to keep an eye on the news section for more opportunities and events.

We’d like to thank all of our Committee Members who ensure our programs are successful.
If you‘d like to join a committee, please email us at If you have
suggestions for the newsletter, please reach out to your AWAF Board Marketing Co-Chairs
Michelle Blakeley or Patricia Price

Mission Statement: The mission of the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation is to advanceand empower women in the automotive industry.
Vision Statement: The vision of the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation is to help create and sustain a diverse industry optimized by empowered women.

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