Nov. 3, 2022—The Women in Auto Care Awards Presentation at AAPEX served as an opportunity to further this mission and showcase the work being done by the group.
This year's ceremony attracted the largest audience it had ever seen, according to Jessica Toliuszis, who was the master of ceremonies. Toliuszis is with Highline Warren, and she is the chair of the Women in Auto Care executive committee. Attendees gathered for the ceremony at the AAPEX Stage located in second-story expo lobby.
Toliuszis encouraged audience members to resist being the pawn and to be the chess player instead, an analogy that lends itself well to the shifting automotive aftermarket landscape and relays the impact that each individual can have on the industry.
"I want everybody to feel engaged and empowered in our industry," Toliuszis said.
Toliuszis also shared that the WIAC conference will be held in Palm Springs, California, from February 27 to March 1, 2023. The excitement is building leading up to this event considering Women in Auto Care has celebrated some major achievements recently. This has included a $1 million milestone in overall award distribution, which was announced by the group in October and was recognized again during the ceremony.
The awards ceremony also provided stage time for many of the women who were recognized, including the following prestigious award winners:
- Woman of the Year: Kim Nolan, BBB Industries, LLC
- Female Shop Owner of the Year: Kristi Hudson, Troy Auto Care II
- Woman of Excellence: Kathleen Long, RepairPal
- Female Shop Owner of the Year: Megan Dineff, Ervine's Auto Repair & Grand Rapids Hybrid and EV
Remarks made by the winners reflected themes of empowerment as well as the opportunity for impact by prioritizing diversity and representation throughout the industry.
"I want to have an impact on others, that's the reason I'm here," Long said.
Additionally, winners talked about elements of perseverance and the importance of dedication to the industry. They spoke about being grateful for the Women in Auto Care community, as it continues to support women in the aftermarket both now and into the future.
"Women in Auto Care has helped me turn a job that I like into a career that I love," Dineff said.