Support Our Scholarship Program


    Newsletter - Summer 2018 Print

    Women with Drive

    Greetings AWAF Members,

    Linda TaliaferroWell this summer has really been amped up with the heat and humidity being to record numbers! But I am careful to complain because November and December will be here before we know it, and I will be saying, once again, that I can't wait for the summer because of the cold!!  

    If you missed the Christmas in July event, you definitely missed a treat.  This was something new our fabulous event's team created, and it was a great success!  They have a wonderful calendar set for the rest of the year, so be sure to visit our website and get the details. 

    I would like to bring your attention to what we have planned for August.  It is our annual Swinging Fore Scholarships Golf Outing, to be held on August 14th at Indianwood Golf and Country Club in Lake Orion.  This is our first time at Indianwood and we are very excited.  If you have joined us in the past, then you know what a wonderful event this is, and we look forward to seeing you again this year.  However, if you haven't joined us before, then you surely want to kick-off this annual engagement with us on Aug. 14th.  In addition to the luncheon, gift bag and other wonderful items, we are holding an online auction that you will be able to participate in from your phone!  I have seen some of the items and....well I don't want to give it away you will have to see it for yourself!!!  There are more details in the newsletter and on our website, including a link for you to register

    I thank you in advance for joining us in support of our mission to make impactful change in the careers of women in the automotive industry.


    Linda Taliaferro
    President, AWAF


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    Past Event Highlights

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

    Spring Mix & Mingle - Wednesday, May 23, Clubhouse BFD, Rochester Hills
    Spring had finally arrived and over 35 people enjoyed mingling outside while connecting with other automotive colleagues.


    Professional Development Worshop - Emotional Intelligence: The Heart of Great Leadership! - Friday, June 8, VisTaTech Center at Schoolcraft College, Livonia - AWAF Board member Corinne Smereka led this lively, highly interactive and entertaining session providing participants a step-by-step method for improving personal and business EQ.  Attendees learned how to leverage key strengths to apply EQ in the workplace and create strategies to tackle emotionally charged conversations. This event was highly successful with 100 percent of attendees giving it an excellent score both in value and meeting course objectives.

    Autobody News interviewed our co-chairs of professional development about the workshop. Read the article to learn more.

    Christmas in July - Thursday, July 12, Leon & Lulu, Clawson - Over 65 people attended this fun event where they mingled with other automotive colleagues, heard special Christmas memories from various members and shopped. Leon & Lulu donated 10 percent of the sales that day back to AWAF!



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    Save The Date For These Upcoming Events

    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. So many ways you can participate:
    Become a sponsor. Just let us know by August 2nd so we can have the proper sign recognition for you.
    Golf - bring a team or if as an individual and we can match you up with other golfers. This is your opportunity to golf on one of the top 100 courses in the country.
    Donate an auction item - we are going online this year so we need to know by August 2nd as we will open up the auction before the event.
    Attend the luncheon. Can't take the whole day. Join us for lunch, participate in the online auction and celebrate with us was as we award scholarships to four deserving women.

    Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - Speed Mentoring takes place at Faurecia in Auburn Hills. Attendees will have the opportunity to gain access to executive level women and men in an intimate setting. Attendees will be broken up into small groups (6 people + executive) and rotate through the room in 15-minute intervals, giving the attendees an opportunity to ask questions and get advice from all the executive guests. This experience offers the unique chance for the groups to discuss key topics in an informal and friendly setting. The small group dynamic also allows the attendees to network and bond, creating additional value. More information and registration to open late August.

    November 5, 2018, - Pumps and Power is at a new venue this year - Neiman Marcus at the Somerset Collection in Troy. Our speaker is Anya Babbit, founder and CEO of SPLT, which markets a ride-sharing app to companies to coordinate travel for employees. Registration should open in early fall.

    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 in the 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?

    Enabling informed, empowered automotive professionals is AWAF's goal.  Our promotion of, and support for, personal and career growth drives our unique value proposition.  As an added benefit to your membership, all AWAF members have access to all AutoBeat Group publications.  Whether your interest is in AutoBeat Daily, AutoTech Daily, AutoBeat Europe, AutoBeat Asia, or AutoBeat Insider - availability to all, a $300 value, is included in your annual AWAF membership dues! To get the code that gives you access to this subscription log into your account at AWAF, then click on Documents and other information on left side of page. Questions? Email

    Coming Soon for Members: AWAF 1:1 Professional Coaching!!  New flight launching this fall!  Stay tuned for additional information and details/dates to follow.


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    Membership Corner

    Congratulations Vicki Adams who was the member survey winner of the Starbucks Card.  In the next newsletter you will find out more about the survey results.

    Welcome Anju Bhalla to the AWAF Board. She has joined as Event Co-chair and was instrumental in our past event Christmas in July. Read more about Anju here.


    Katie Bryk (Schultz), Marketing Director | Bush Seyferth & Paige PLLC, & AWAF Marketing Committee Member

    This Newsletter's Featured Member -  Katie Bryk, Marketing Director, Bush Seyferth & Paige and AWAF Marketing Committee Member

    First, we'd like to congratulate Katie Bryk for being recognized as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly 2018 “Unsung Legal Heroes." Read more here about this award.   

    Getting to know Katie Q & A:...

    How did you end up in the auto industry?
    My first passion was interior design, which was the focus of my undergrad.  Around the time that I received my B.A., the recession and house market faced a downturn. I then decided to pursue my second passion, marketing, where I was still able to create designs – just in a different fashion.  After graduating with my MBA with a specialization in marketing, a friend who was leaving her position at BSP referred me for my current position.  I have been there ever since!  One of our firm’s major practice groups is product liability and many of our clients work within the automotive industry, so there was not only a learning curve for legal, but also for the auto focus. 

    What is the most common challenge you face being a woman in the auto industry?
    Getting your voice heard and ideas taken seriously.  I am grateful to work at a women-owned law firm and look up to the highly respected and distinguished women who have blazed the trail for us! 

    Give us a fun fact about yourself?
    Last fall, I broke my leg at the gym only two days before my honeymoon. This was a major disappointment, but happy to report it all worked out!


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    Scholarship Recipients

    FurnissElizabeth Furniss awarded $2,500 on April 24, 2018

    Furniss is a senior, completing her mechanical engineering degree from Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan in December 2018.  After graduation, Liz plans to pursue a Master of Automotive Engineering with a focus in powertrain engineering.  Her future career aspirations include being be a part of developing technology aimed at improving engine efficiency, reducing emissions, and creating a more sustainable society. 

    Liz is a long-time competitive golf player and is on LTU’s varsity women’s golf team.   In November 2016, she joined the highly competitive international collegiate competition Formula SAE Race Team and leads the design and fabrication of the exhaust system for the 2018 vehicle.  Her hometown is Berwick, Nova Scotia, Canada.

    Angella Volchko awarded $2500 on June 6, 2018

    Volchko is a senior at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, completing her Mechanical Engineering degree in May 2019.  Having excelled in system dynamics and thermodynamics, her next plans are attending graduate school.  

    Angie activities include OSU team member of EcoCar, Club Volleyball, Society of Women Engineers, president of Longboarding Club, and an undergraduate teaching assistant in the Mechanical Engineering Department. At Bosch Engineering in Novi, MI, she interned in the software and electrical engineering areas coding display diagnostics for cluster telltales, soldering cluster harnesses, and linking EMC requirements to CAN commands.  Her hometown is Kent, Ohio.


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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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    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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