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Contact: Mark Bilek

Senior Director of Communications and Technology
Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Office: (630) 424-6082
Cell: (847) 652-0632

Contact: Jennifer Morand
Director of Public Relations and Social Media
Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Office: (630) 424-6084
Cell: (630) 391-1986




CHICAGO (Jan. 27, 2020) – Chicago Auto Show organizers, in partnership with A Girls Guide to Cars and Women in Automotive, announced the fourth annual What Drives Her Luncheon and networking event during the show’s Media Preview on Friday, Feb. 7 at McCormick Place.

Influential women will come together once again to highlight industry trends and share personal experiences surrounding the important impact that females have on the automotive industry. The overarching theme this year will focus on how women are shifting the public conversation, how they are building careers in automotive and how they are impacting sales and economic trends.

“Each year, the interest – and attendance – of this event continues to grow, showcasing the importance of this topic,” said Kelly Webb Roberts, a board member for the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, producer of the Chicago Auto Show. “We’re thrilled to continue to host this event to bring together some of the most influential women in the industry who are at the forefront of helping shape and change the industry for the better.” 

“Women are the most influential auto buyers; they buy or influence the purchase of 85 percent of all cars, but they only hold 27 percent of jobs and can be out of tune with automotive marketing. How can we change that?" said Scotty Reiss, founder of A Girls Guide to Cars and member of the board of Women in Automotive.

“To know, ask someone who has done it,” Reiss said. “Women who have risen to the highest ranks in the industry, who are sharing the message through marketing, who are mentoring and setting an example for other women.” Reiss continued. “People who attend What Drives Her at the Chicago Auto Show will have a first-hand opportunity to learn from some of the top women in the field. They will share how to appeal to consumers who are not engaged in your message, how to build a career in a male-dominated field and they will get a peek into the coming year to learn what opportunities lie ahead.”

ABC 7 Chicago’s Roz Varon will emcee the event this year, and Webb Roberts will provide the welcome and opening remarks to kick off the program. Amy Marentic, director of regional product line management, Ford Icons, will lead the opening fireside chat: Harnessing an Iconic History to Build Your Future.

MediaPost’s Senior Reporter Tanya Gazdik will moderate the first panel discussion surrounding “Marketing to an Unengaged Consumer” and how to break down that barrier. Contributing to this panel are Hyundai’s Chief Marketing Officer Angela Zepeda, Porsche North America’s Director of Experiential Marketing Keitha Blackburn and Cooper Tire Director of Brand Development Jessica Egerton.

Kelley Blue Book’s Senior Analyst Patti Chapman will then lead a presentation “Trends and the Future: Driving Forces in the Auto Market.” Following,’s Editor in Chief Jennifer Newman will moderate the final panel “Challenging the Status Quo to Build a Career in Automotive.” Speakers on this panel include BorgWarner Director of Marketing and Communications Michelle Collins, Senior Director of B2B and Product Marketing Lisa Farrar and CDK Global Director of Customer Success, Minority Dealer and Women Retail, Kathy Gilbert.

Pre-registration for What Drives Her on Friday, Feb. 7 is required. Please click here to register. What Drives Her begins promptly at 11:30 a.m. with a coffee networking event at the Grand Concourse Media Stage (inside McCormick Place) and concludes in Hyundai’s exhibit with a dessert reception and raffle beginning at 1:45 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to use event hashtag #WDHCAS2020 when posting on social media.

Event sponsors include CDK Global, Cooper Tire, Hyundai, Kelley Blue Book and Turtle Wax.

The What Drives Her event continues to be one example of how Chicago Auto Show organizers actively engage the female demographic. Foresight Research reports the Chicago Auto Show has an almost even split of male and female attendees: 45 percent of which are female. 

For more information on the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, visit or watch this promotional video. Media can visit for more information or to register for media credentials.


About the Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Founded in 1904, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association is one of the nation's largest metropolitan dealer organizations. It is comprised of more than 420 franchised new-car dealers and an additional 150 allied members. The group's dealer members employ about 19,000 people in the metropolitan area. The association has produced the world-famous Chicago Auto Show since 1935. For more information please visit


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