Support Our Scholarship Program


    Newsletter - Fall 2018 Print

    Women with Drive

    Greetings AWAF Members,

    Linda TaliaferroAs 2019 is coming to a close very soon, our nominations committee is looking for members interested in serving on the 2019 Board of Directors or a committee role.  We have several openings and if you want to know about  the types of committees we have please read here. If you have an interest in serving on the board or a committee or want more information, please contact Jane Bishop or Kim Ziomek by November 2nd. I can attest that working on a committee and on the board gives you a great opportunity to enhance your leadership skills and also develop closer relationships with other women in automotive. 

    This week AmazonSmile is donating 5% (ten times the usual amount) to Automotive Women's Alliance Foundation when you shop at This is an easy way to support the mission of AWAF. Later this month and next, if shopping on Amazon for gifts, please also do so through AmazonSmile and designate Automotive Women's Alliance Foundation. This is an easy way to support AWAF and its mission.

    Finally, I hope you will join me at our last two events of the year: Pumps & Power on November 5th at Neiman Marcus at The Somerset Collection in Troy and our Annual Holiday Event on December 5th at The Whitney in Detroit. More details are later in this newsletter. These are both great ways to increase your network, gain new insights and be inspired by others working in automotive.


    Linda Taliaferro
    President, AWAF


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    Support AWAF through Amazon Smile

    Through November 2nd, AmazonSmile is donating 5% (ten times the usual amount) to Automotive Women's Alliance Foundation when you shop at

    Amazon Smile

    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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    Save The Date For These Upcoming Events

    Monday, November 5, 2018 - Pumps & Power is at a new venue this year - Neiman Marcus at the Somerset Collection in Troy (2nd floor in the shoe department).  This fun and inspirational event mixes shoe shopping with professional insights from special guest speaker Cassidy Tucker, Director of Operations or Splitting Fares, Inc. (SPLT), which markets a ride-sharing app to companies to coordinate travel for employees. Registration is open and includes heavy refreshments, a Godiva tasting booth, valet parking and some other special surprises!

    Joe HinirichsWednesday, 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.  There is limited space, so don't delay in registering to attend. Registration includes heavy appetizers, beer, wine and complimentary valet.


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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.

    23rd annual Swinging "Fore" Scholarships Golf Outing fundraiser took place on Tuesday August 14th at the Indianwood Golf and Country Club in Lake Orion, MI.
    Read the article written by Chasidy Rae Sisk in Autobody News for complete details. 

    Special thank you to all our golf outing sponsors.

    Speed Mentoring took place Wednesday, September 26th at Faurecia, Auburn Hills, MI. Over 60 people had the opportunity to meet and interact with 10 different executives from a variety of companies and functions in an intimate setting. Attendees were grouped at tables of six and then the 10 executives rotated to each table giving career advice and inspiration. The executives included:
    Ashwini Balasubramanian, Engineering Manager (Customer Application for GM), ZF Braking Division
    Corinne Diemert, VP Sales, Valeo North America
    Elizabeth Griffith, Director of Engineering, GM Global Interior Systems, Faurecia NA
    Lisa Lunsford, CEO and Co-founder, Global Strategic Supply Solutions and VP of Marketing and Sales, Deshler Group
    Gene Gunn Oswalt, VP Human Resources - Total Rewards, M & A, Bosch
    Carrie Uhl, VP Purchasing and Supply Chain, Americas, Magna International
    Adrienne Myrand, Director Talent Acquisition and Management Development, Faurecia NA
    Kristin Dziczek, VP, Center for Automotive Research (CAR)
    Jashmita Patel, Sr Program Manager, Global Electronics,  ZF 
    Dreta Roggenbuck, Global VP for Trim Cover Sales & Program Management, Foam Operations and Crafted by Lear, Lear Corp.

    Professional Development Workshop - Finance and Accounting for the Non-Financial Manager on Friday, October 19, 2018, VisTaTech Center at Schoolcraft College, Livonia The workshop was conducted by Jean Stenger, CPA, Senior Manager at DKSS CPAs + Advisors, based in Troy, MI.  Jean is also a member of the AWAF Board of Directors, serving as Treasurer; and she is an invaluable asset in keeping our fiscal house in order!

    The four-hour session was educational, highly interactive and fun – and, in some cases, a great refresher for those participants whose college accounting classes were a long way back in the rearview mirror!  Participants included professionals and managers in engineering, sales, program management, finance, purchasing, education and training as well as small business owners.

    The workshop included:

    • Understanding the fundamentals of accounting and finance
    • Critical financial reports – how to read them, what to know, how to spot “red flags”, how to   use them to answer key questions re: business growth, investments, etc.
    • Budgeting in order to add value, not just as an exercise
    • Key Performance Indicators – break-even point, ratios, benchmarking
    • Projecting cash flow
    • “Owning” your financial statements – know your numbers, talk your numbers and use your numbers to define your future – both professionally and personally
    • Becoming confident in your knowledge of the numbers – and never be afraid to ask questions!


    Jean StengerJean is a respected expert in her field and clearly conveys her knowledge – as well as her passion – for accounting and finance.  She also made what could be a dry subject very fresh and fun – and applications to daily work and life scenarios were used throughout the session.

    The session concluded with the participants concurring that the workshop was extremely valuable and expressing a high interest in a future full-day workshop to delve further into this very important and universal subject.  It’s well documented that a strong foundation in finance and accounting is critical to success – especially if you’ve got your eye on the C-Suite!


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    Membership Corner

    AWAF Membership Survey Update!

    Thank you to those who participated in our AWAF member survey, and congratulations to Vicki Adams who won the Starbucks gift card just for participating! 

    In our efforts to build a better organization, we appreciate your input! Some of your feedback includes:

    • The organization meets your expectations in regard to mentoring, scholarships, and communication
    • You want an elevator pitch so you can further promote AWA
    • Our members enjoy our industry speaker, social/mixer, and panel events
    • For some, cost and location of events are a concern
    • Members feel welcome in our organization
    • You like our professional development topics
    • We could “amp up” our social media presence
    • You visit our website frequently, and registering for events is easy
    • Our value was rated “good” to “excellent” by the majority
    • All survey takers would recommend AWAF to friends and plan to renew

    We are happy to share all the data details if you are interested.   Please reach out to Membership Co-Chairs Kathy Smith or Dawn Dorsch with ideas to improve your member experience with AWAF!  



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    Scholarship Recipients

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

    Katherine Uvick
    Awarded on 9/26/2018
    Valerie White
    Awarded on 9/26/2018
    Mary Fogwell
    Caylynne Teem
    Awarded 8/14/2018
    Jane Illarionova
    Awarded on 8/14/2018
    Emily Walker
    Awarded on 8/14/2018

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

    Magna recently featured one of our scholarship recipients in their Magna Minute video. Check it out on our Facebook Group page!


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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 advance and 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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