Recent News



The finalists of the 2022 What Drives Her Awards have been selected, with the presentation set to take place during the Chicago Auto Show's Media Preview on Friday, Feb. 11 beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Now in its fifth year, What Drives Her has become a cornerstone event of the Chicago Auto Show's Media Preview. Over the years, the event has welcomed dozens of leading female professionals to the stage to share trends, stories and personal anecdotes of the integral role that women hold in the auto industry. This year, the program has evolved to an award ceremony, in partnership with A Girls Guide to Cars and Women in Automotive, to recognize and present awards to three females within the industry.

The finalists for the following categories have been announced.

Rising Star: Employed by an automaker, auto retailer or core automotive supplier; job title no higher than vice president; works primarily in North America; she may be notable for her empowerment of others, her breaking down of barriers that allows others to follow, her pursuit of non-traditional roles or jobs, her leadership, and taking on additional roles such as leading an employee resource group or mentoring program.

Lisa Matarazzo, Vice President of Toyota Division Marketing at Toyota Motor North America
La Shirl Turner, Head of Advanced Color and Materials Design, Stellantis
Dana White, Hyundai Chief Communications Officer
Linda Zhang, Ford F-150 Lightning Chief Engineer

Best In Craft Media: Employed as a fulltime or parttime North American journalist, content creator or media with a focus on the automotive industry; demonstrate general excellence of craft; create work that illuminates the role of women in the automotive industry or, through voice and narrative, create more accessible automotive information and more inclusive automotive storytelling.

Jill Ciminillo, Managing Editor, Pickup Truck + SUV Talk
Tanya Gazdik, Automotive Editor, MediaPost
Sue Mead, Freelance Writer and Off-Roading Champion
Elana Scherr, Senior Editor, Car and Driver

The winner of the third category, Best Retailer, will be announced onsite during the event. The recipient of this award must be employed by a Chicago-area dealership and demonstrates a high level of commitment and drive to any task at hand, whether that's in sales, service or technical support.

"Recognizing the women who are changing the automotive industry from the inside helps open doors for those who want to follow," said Scotty Reiss, founder of A Girls Guide to Cars and board member of Women in Automotive. "These rising stars are lighting the way for others to build the fun, passion-driven and rewarding career of their dreams."

"We are proud to continue our partnership and support of the What Drives Her event at this year's Chicago Auto Show," said Kathy Gilbert, senior director, Minority Dealer and Women Retail, CDK Global. "Our focus at CDK is to help connect the automotive industry and create a future that embraces equal representation and access for everyone. With a strong, inclusive workforce, we can collectively drive the innovation our industry needs to meet the rapidly evolving consumer expectations for simple and convenient car-buying and ownership experiences."

Nominations were submitted from a variety of women within the industry ranging from auto manufacturers, suppliers, media and dealers. Distinguished jurors included women like Lauren Fix, The Car Coach; Sharon Carty, Car and Driver; Stephanie Brinley, IHS Markit; Kristin Shaw, The Drive; Jennifer Newman,; Nicole Wakelin, Boston Globe; Carly Schaffner, Forbes Wheels; Cherise Threewitt, U.S. News & World Report; among other notable jurors.

The three awards will be presented during the Chicago Auto Show's Media Preview during a pastry and coffee reception the morning of Friday, Feb. 11 from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. in the Media Center Lobby, located just off of the Grand Concourse. Pre-registration for this event is required. Click here to RSVP:

For more information on the Chicago Auto Show or Media Preview, visit or

Back to News