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    Newsletter - Fall 2019 Print

    Women with Drive

    Greetings AWAF Members,

    I hope you are having a wonderful start to autumn!

    August 12 was an absolutely beautiful day for our “Swinging Fore Scholarships” golf outing at the Edgewood Country Club!  The golf outing is our major scholarship fundraiser – this year’s event brought us to a total of $444,500 in scholarships presented.  In addition to great golf, there was the opportunity to bid on lunches with auto and mobility executives like Ford’s Joe Hinrichs, GM’s Christine Sitek, and CAR’s (and AWAF Executive Advisory Committee member) Carla Bailo.  I was the lucky winner of lunch with Carla and it was wonderful to have “up close and personal” time with an industry leader!   

    That was followed by our first (but definitely not the last!) event at Cauley Casa Ferrari on September 25.  Joe Cauley and his team were very gracious hosts to AWAF and our speaker, Dr. Diane Peters of Kettering University.  We got an up-close look at gorgeous classic and new Ferraris as well as the chance to hear Dr. Peters give us an overview of the development of autonomous vehicles.   

    Upcoming events include our signature Pumps & Power on November 5 featuring Karina Morley, Global Chief Engineer – Battery Electric Vehicle Propulsion Systems at FCA at Sole Sisters in Royal Oak.  And we have a brand-new event coming up on November 12 – a Virtual Happy Hour with Carla Bailo. This is a Zoom video chat with limited attendance, so sign up now. We close out our year with our Holiday Event on December 5 at Art Leaders Gallery featuring Christine Sitek, COO of General Motors Connected Customer Experience.  

    We are always looking for new ideas to fuel women’s progress in the automotive and mobility industries, so please let us know what’s on your mind.  I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming AWAF event!


    Sue Rokosz
    President, AWAF


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    Save The Date For These Upcoming Events

    Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - Pumps & Power
    Join us for shoe shopping, networking and being inspired by a woman leader in the auto industry! This year's speaker is Karina Morley, Global Chief Engineer Battery Electric & Fuel Cell Vehicle Systems, FCA US, LLC. The event takes place at Sole Sisters in Royal Oak. Limited to 50 Attendees so don't delay in registering.


    Tuesday, November 12, 2019, Virtual Happy Hour with Carla Bailo. Join us for a virtual Zoom video chat where Carla will share insights on the recently released book The Road to the Top is Not on the Map: Conversations with Top Women of the Automotive Industry, published by SAE in collaboration with Inforum and the Center for Automotive Research. Limited to only 24 participants. Register here.


    Thursday, December 5, 2019 - Annual Holiday Party
    Save the date to join us at the Art Leaders Gallery in West Bloomfield where you can enjoy some holiday cheer, holiday shopping and be inspired by Christine Sitek, Chief Operating Officer General Motors, Global Connected Customer Experience. Attendees will receive a 10% discount on any item purchased during the event and ALG will donate to AWAF in an amount equal to 10% of the total cumulative purchase price of all items purchased during the event. Registration will open in late October.


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    Past Event Highlights

    Making new connections, learning new skills and golfing were all part of our past events. To see all the photos for these events, visit our photo gallery here.

    Christmas in July on July 16th. 
    Nearly 40 women got a head start on Christmas shopping at the iconic Leon & Lulu, metro Detroit’s award-winning lifestyle retail store.  Besides stellar shopping, attendees had the opportunity to meet Anna Sun one of AWAF’s recent scholarship recipients. Anna did a book signing for her recently published children's book  “Sara’s Spark for STEM,” which focuses on the importance of young girls in STEM. And, Janine Fruehan, style advisor for WORTH New York, gave tips on how to put your best fashion foot forward, closet must haves that are work appropriate ...or not! 

    On September 25, 2019  nearly 50 people attended The Challenges of Getting Robotic Chauffeurs: Working Towards Autonomous Vehicles with special guest speaker Dr. Diane Peters, Ph.D. of Kettering University. The event took place at the new Cauley Ferrari dealership in West Bloomfield.



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    Swinging "Fore" Scholarships Golf Outing

    What a beautiful day for golf at AWAF's 24th Annual Swinging "Fore" Scholarships golf outing on August 12, 2019 at Edgewood Country Club.  Congratulations to the following winners:
    Putting Contest & Women's Closest to the Pin: Blaire Miller
    Men's Closest to the Pin: Jim Gervers
    Women's Longest Drive: Megan Renaud
    Men's Longest Drive: Travis Valentine
    Men's Team: Mills Sales Company - Grant Mills, Dave Slavin, Dave Bishop, Mike Belenky
    Women's Team: Schuler Inc. - Kimberly Spencer, Sunshine Garcia, Nicola Nicholson
    Mixed Team: EY - Randy Miller, John Cassidy, Paul Moore and Carmen Holthaus

    This annual golf outing raises funds for AWAF's Scholarship program, which supports women in the quest for a career in automotive.

    We are truly grateful for this year's golf outing sponsors.


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    Member Benefit - Are You Taking Advantage of This?

    In Silicon Valley, using an executive coach is a badge of honor. A sign of being valued and on a developmental leadership path.

    In Detroit, well, we are evolving away from the perception of “fixing” to a more modern interpretation: enhancing and managing leadership and change management skills.

    AWAF’s coaching program only costs $150 for six sessions, a great value compared to market value of $1800 or more! For more information on this member benefit and how to sign-up go here.


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    Membership Corner

    Call for nominations. With 2020 approaching, we are looking for AWAF members who are interested in serving on the Board of Directors or one of our many committees. please email nominations committee members Amy MacDonald, [email protected] or Anju Bhalla,  [email protected] or Jane Bishop, [email protected] to discuss further.  Please contact us before Friday, November 1.

    Olga Alavanou, Vice President, Global Sales & Program Management for Lear Corporation has joined AWAF's Executive Advisory Board.  The EAC offers senior level executives in the automotive and affiliated industries the opportunity to provide counsel and guidance to AWAF for thought provoking ideas related to strategic direction, mentorship to AWAF membership and enhance relationships through professional socializing. 


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    Scholarship Recipients

    Since our last newsletter we have given out four scholarships to the following:

    Madeline Bale
    Awarded 8/12/2019

    Claire Button
    Awarded 8/12/2019
    Caroline Orange
    Awarded 8/12/2019
    Kristen Postiglione
    Awarded 8/12/2019

    For bios click on their name or visit our past scholarship recipient page for all bios and all of our scholarship recipients.



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    STEM Presence

    Thank you to the volunteers and board members that represented AWAF so well at U of D Mercy’s Science Technology Engineering Preview Summer (STEPS) program on July 15th.

    The event kicked-off in the afternoon with the girls snacking on pizza during a roundtable discussion where introductions, conversations and STEM ideas flourished.

    “This event provided great experience to the girls and they appreciated the opportunity to talk with professionals in STEM,” said Norman Bent, Director Pre-College Programs, College of Engineering and Science, University of Detroit Mercy. 

    Working in groups of 4 to 6 the girls, volunteers offered their expertise to guide the girls in the assembly of four-wheel drive climbing vehicles.

    Looking into the next year, we are considering holding the event for at least a half-day or longer to allow more time to complete the activity and for more follow-up discussions.

    This was AWAF’s second STEM initiative.  Plans are in the making for partnering in one more STEM event for this year.

    U of D Mercy’s STEPS Program I and II is a summer camp for girls only, grades 8th-12th. The Science Technology Engineering Preview Summer (STEPS) camp introduces female students to the exciting world of engineering, science and robotics. Attendees participate in activities that give them hands-on experiences similar to those of a college engineering student. STEPS is an opportunity for girls to learn more about what engineers do. Program participants will build and program a (EV-3) robot, while gaining an understanding of manufacturing techniques, robotic control systems, circuits and sensors. In the second part of the program, the girls participate in more advance activities related to coding, advance robotics, and other activities supporting areas of electrical, mechanics and computer engineering. Girls have the option of attending STEPS I and STEPS II or may choose to attend only one of the STEPS camps.



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