women in auto care

women in auto care

Who We Are
The Women in Auto Care (WiAC) organization is dedicated to the advancement, education and empowerment of women within the auto care industry. Email us: womeninautocare@autocare.org

What We Do
Women in Auto Care is dedicated to providing opportunities, education and career leadership to women in the auto care industry through conferences, networking, scholarships, education, data, awards and more.

  • Annual Women's Leadership Conference - focused on professional development, offering several educational and networking opportunities
    • Accredited by Northwood University since 2012 - offering continuing education unit (CEU) credits
  • Scholarship Program – Women in Auto Care grants scholarships to deserving high school and post-secondary female students
  • Awards – Women in Auto Care administers and sanctions awards at the Women in Auto Care awards ceremony during AAPEX in Las Vegas
    • Women of the Year awards
    • The Automotive Communication Awards
  • Mentor Program – Women in Auto Care curates mentor relationships based on individual goals, fit, and experiences
  • Community Liaison

    Jessica Finnerty, CEM
    Manager, Meetings and Events

    Women in Auto Care Executive Committee Members

    • Olivia Newton (Chair), Standard Motor Products
    • Nicole Brennan, Hopkins Manufacturing
    • Brandi Gardner, AutoZone
    • Jacquie Hower, Zimmerman’s Auto
    • Kylie Hirko, Vehicle Repair Group | Endeavor Business Media
    • Jacki Lutz, Sensata Technologies
    • Jessica Toliuszis, N.A. Williams
    • Jill Trotta, RepairPal
    • Rhonda Young, Kukui Corporation

    Women in Auto Care Champions

    Women in Auto Care Champions have exclusive opportunities to help support our key initiatives through ‘Micro Volunteering’ efforts. Champions earn insight and exposure to the committee and meet volunteer requirements for certifications, such as ACP.

    Click to expand initiatives:
    + Communications and Communication Awards (AAPEX)
    + Conference Planning /Women of the Year Awards
    + Global Collaborations
    + Mentoring
    + Scholarships
    + Shop Owner and Technician Collaborations
    + Sponsorship


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  • Women in Auto Care organizes and hosts an annual leadership conference. This conference provides attendees with dynamic speakers and workshops including personal and professional development tools and updates on industry trends. All attendees are eligible to receive continuing education units (CEU) credits toward their Automotive Aftermarket Professional (AAP) or Master Automotive Aftermarket Professional (MAAP) professional designations. 

    Our conferences have been accredited by Northwood University since 2012.

    Next Events:

    Women in Auto Care Mentoring Mixer (Online Event)

    January 14th @ 7pm EST | Microsoft Teams

    "Bragging Better" with Stacey Miller, Senior Director of Communications, Auto Care Association

    While there is nothing wrong with being humble and down to earth, there are times where you must speak up in your career. Giving your achievements, initiatives and accomplishments a voice can help advance your role, increase your influence and showcase talents others might not have known about if you didn't speak up. In this mixer, Stacey will share how to brag gracefully alongside real-life examples of outcomes from bragging about yourself to the right people. Bragging rights are granted to all those who attend!

    If you are interested in joining the Mentoring Mixer please email Jessica Toliuszis at jtoliuszis@nawilliams.com or sign up here.

    Women in Auto Care Book(ish) Club (Online Event)

    January 28th | Microsoft Teams

    Women in Auto Care is launching a book-ish club and we’d love you to participate!These will be fun, one-hour calls once a month to connect and share. Maybe you read the book, maybe you don’t read the book. Judgment free zone! You’ll have a blast and pick up a trick or two while connecting with our Women in Auto Care community.

    Our January book is The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

    There are two opportunities to join - select whichever time works best for your schedule:

    • Hooked on Books: Overbooked Breakfast Club - 9 a.m. EST/ 6 a.m. PST
    • Books + Bubbly: Cocktails with a Literary Twist — 7 p.m. EST/ 4 p.m. PST

    To sign up to participate, please click here. Information on buying the book can be found here.

    Women in Auto Care Week (Virtual Event)

    February 22 - 26, 2021 | Virtual Event

    The Women in Auto Care team is thrilled to bring you its first-ever Women in Auto Care Week. This five-day virtual conference, taking place Feb. 22-26, 2021, will give us the space to re-energize, refresh, recalibrate, reflect and reimagine—exactly the spirit we all need to kick off 2021 with a bang!

    For more information, click below.


    Women in Auto Care Summer Conference

    July 14 - 16, 2021 | TBA

    More details to come in 2021!

    Browse through previous event photos

  • Women in Auto Care awards provide recognition to the amazing contributors within the automotive industry. The committee reviews applicants and nominations and administers awards annually for both women of the year and automotive communications awards. Winners are recognized at the Women in Auto Care awards ceremony and reception during the Virtual AAPEX Experience and at Women in Auto Care 2021 events.

    Watch this informative CarmCast on the benefits of getting involved

    CarmCast Auto Care Association Awards Highlights

    Automotive Communications Awards

        Information on 2021 Awards Will be Available Soon

    Recognizing companies and agencies that provide automotive information through outstanding advertising, marketing and public relations efforts. The communications awards cover several Business to Consumer and Business to Business categories. Companies can submit for as many categories as they see fit.

    Winners will be recognized via the following channels:

    • Mention in press release announcement;
    • Recognition in the Women in Auto Care Virtual Awards Ceremony during the Virtual AAPEX Experience on Tuesday, Nov. 3;
    • Inclusion in recording of Virtual Awards Ceremony to be posted across association social channels and the Women in Auto Care website
    • Inclusion in social media initiative to showcase winners with their awards
    • Recognition during Women in Auto Care 2021 conferences and events; and
    • Opportunity to contribute thought leadership for an upcoming Women in Auto Care webinar.

    Entry fees: $195 for first entry / $125 for each additional entry

    Automotive Communications Award Categories (PDF)   

    + Award Eligibility and Criteria

    Submit your Entry

    Women of the Year Awards

    Honoring deserving women throughout the industry with three Women of the Year Awards:

    • Auto Care Woman of the Year -This award is presented annually to a woman who is a leader, mentor, and role model  who has made significant and outstanding contributions to the auto care industry.
      2020 Winner: Lauren Beaulieu, vice president, professional marketing, Advance Auto Parts
    • Female Shop Owner of the Year - This award is presented annually to an outstanding female shop owner who demonstrates role model behaviors, leadership and commitment to the advancement of women.
      2020 Winner: Kim Auernheimer, owner and business manager, Cool Springs Automotive, LLC (dba CS Automotive)
    • Auto Care Woman of Excellence - This award is presented annually to a woman who is a Women in Auto Care member and who has provided recent outstanding contributions to the auto care industry while demonstrating role model behaviors, leadership and commitment to the advancement of women. She is considered a rising star in the industry.
      2020 Winner: Danielle Sonnefeld, vice president, business development, N.A. Williams Company
    + Award Eligibility and Criteria

    Please note that winners must be a Women in Auto Care/ Auto Care Association member in order to accept the award. For information on membership, please contact Jessica Finnerty at jessica.finnerty@autocare.org

    Click here to view the past Woman of the Year Award Winners.

  • Join our mentorship program as a mentor or mentee. We will partner you for a mentor relationship that will help you grow. 

    Mentee Benefits


    Mentor Benefits

    • Personalized development opportunity to address individual learning needs
    • Opportunity to develop new skills and expertise
    • Access to independent and objective perspectives
    • Enhanced confidence in dealing with challenges and issues
    • Enhanced networking opportunities
    • Goals setting and follow through
    • Clarity and career direction and advancement
    • Support during times of change and transition
    • Learn new things
    • Share your knowledge with a young professional
    • Build additional professional relationships
    • Develop leadership and management skills
    • Gain fresh perspectives through interaction
    • Invest in the future of the industry
    • Helping others and see them progress
    Join the Mentoring Program Refer a friend

    Program Participants are encouraged to

    • Mutually establish clear goals
    • Meet monthly
    • Connect at industry events
    • Have FUN!
  • Every year, Woman in Auto Care awards multiple scholarships for high school and post-secondary female students that are looking at a career in the Auto Care Industry.


     scholarship timeline

    Women in Auto Care is thankful to partner with the University of the Aftermarket Foundation to provide hundreds of scholarships each year. Named a Lifetime Trustee in 2018, Women in Auto Care joins the industry-wide initiative to support the next generation of students entering our business.

    Thank you to Cornwell Tools for partnering with us for our Tool Kit awards!

  • Women in Auto Care is supported by a number of industry organizations whose generous support helps the community continue to operate exceptional programs that encourage women to participate in the industry and empower women in the industry throughout their careers.

    Would you like to support Women in Auto Care and make an impact on the industry? Review our Sponsorship Information Packet for a variety of opportunities to support our community, initiatives, and help make a lasting impact.




    Sponsorship dollars and membership dues support the following programs:

    • Bi-annual leadership and educational conferences with high-value personal and professional development. Conferences provide attendees the opportunity to make valuable business connections and the opportunity to earn CEU credits.
    • Awards - since 1998, Women in Auto Care have recognized outstanding achievement in marketing and communications through the Automotive Communications Awards. These awards provide recognition and elevate exposures for award participants
    • Women of the Year Awards - since 1994, Women in Auto Care has recognized top females in all segments of the industry through the Women of the Year Awards at AAPEX. These awards provide recognition and elevate exposures for award participants
    • Scholarships - since 2004, Women in Auto Care has awarded more than $450,000 in scholarships to female students seeking careers in our industry

    Donate to the Scholarship Fund

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