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December 26, 2013

Don't Miss: Women's Automotive Association International Spirit of Leadership Awards, January 25, 2014

Womens-Automotive-Association-International-logoBe sure to mark your calendar for Saturday, January 25th, from 5 to 7 pm, at the 97th NADA convention in New Orleans, when the Women's Automotive Association International will be honoring four women with a Spirit of Leadership Award during a dinner at Tatum Channing’s Saints & Sinners. 

Established in 1999, the WAAI's "Spirit of Leadership" award is presented annually to professional women in the automotive industry in recognition of their significant accomplishments in their profession, community, and family. These women have dedicated their life to their profession and to giving back to others; and they serve as mentors and are role models to us all. Sustained superior performance, community involvement, influence and support of other women within the automotive industry are just some of the qualities these women possess. A Spirit of Leadership award is given for three automotive business sectors: 1) manufacturer, 2) dealership, and 3) supplier.

 This year's honorees include:

Maureen_LaFontaine_WAAISOLMaureen LaFontaine
Co-Owner, LaFontaine Auto Group

Maureen LaFontaine has been the backbone of the LaFontaine family business since the 1980’s. Maureen’s efforts and those of the entire Automotive Group have been recognized over the years. In 2009, Inforum, Michigan’s premier organization for professional women, granted Maureen the “Most Powerful and Accomplished Women Business Leaders” award. The LaFontaine Automotive Group is listed in Crain’s Business Top 100 Private Businesses in Michigan and is included in the Top 10 Auto Dealers in Michigan! Maureen is the mastermind behind the innovative ideas that make the “Family Deal” a recognized brand - not only for the sales associated with their dealerships, but due to green efforts that impact our environment. She is an example of hard work, commitment and family values that transcend into a successful business woman.


Christina-Schrank-waaisolChristina Schrank
President, National Auto Car (NAC)

Christina Schrank is the President of NAC, a leading administrator of tailor-made vehicle programs and innovative online business solutions. She oversees the direction of the company’s products, services and technology, and plays a vital role in NAC’s continued success.

Christina has spent more than 17 years within the administrative arena of the automotive industry, in a variety of capacities, and has extensive operations, business development, client relations, underwriting, marketing research and consulting experience. She is actively involved in the automotive industry, has published a number of industry articles, and is a member of Women’s Automotive Association International, and the National Association of Professional Women.


Alison_spitzer-waaisolAlison Spitzer
Vice President, Spitzer Management

Alison began working for Spitzer Autoworld in 2007. Her recognition of the clear need for a more sophisticated approach to the Internet quickly led to her role as the Vice President - Director of Marketing. Previously, Alison was the Development Coordinator at the Business Council for International Understanding. She received a Master of Arts in International Communications from the School of International Service at American University, specializing in international law and business. She also helped her father, Alan Spitzer, lobby in Washington for legislation that would help dealers who lost their franchises during the General Motors and Chrysler bankruptcies. The legislation, which gave dealers an arbitration process, was passed in 2010. She was recognized in 2011 by Crain’s Cleveland Business as one of Cleveland’s Forty Under 40.


Liz-Wetzel_waaisolLiz Wetzel
Director of Buick Interior Design – General Motors Global Design

As Director of Interior Design at General Motors’ European Design Studio located in Rüsselsheim, Germany, Liz is responsible for the Interior Designs for Opel and Vauxhall. Her role also encompasses Color & Trim, Component Design, Human Interface Design, and Perceived Quality. Liz started at GM as an interior designer in 1986 after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design from the University of Michigan School of Art and Design.

Her prior experience includes Director of Cross Brand Strategies for GM Designs Global Color & Trim, Component Design, and Human Interface Design at GM’s Design Headquarters in the United States as well as Director of GM’s Global Cross-Brand Studio, where she led the creation of creative “brand strategies” for each of GM's brands. For her accomplishments in the automotive design field, Liz has been recognized by the Automotive Hall of Fame, Automotive News 100 Leading Women, and the Women's Museum in Dallas Texas.


About Women’s Automotive Association International

Founded in 1995, WAAI centers its efforts on recognizing the achievements of women in the automotive industry, providing networking and relationship-building opportunities, and encouraging growth through mentoring, educational endeavors and scholarships.

For additional information on the 2014 WAAI Spirit of Leadership Awards dinner, including ticket information, sponsorship and advertising opportunities, contact Lynn M. Wilhelm by email:



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