Women's Automotive Association Names Leadership Honorees


BIRMINGHAM — Maureen LaFontaine, Christina Schrank, Alison Spitzer, and Liz Wetzel, will receive the esteemed 2014 Spirit of Leadership Award presented annually by the Women’s Automotive Association International. The award recognizes outstanding professional achievements and contributions to the growth, stature and progress of the automotive industry.

As co-owner of LaFontaine Auto Group, a multi-franchise operation serving the Detroit metro region, LaFontaine has been instrumental in leading the company to exceptional sales success and achieving the dealership’s Gold LEED certification status. Schrank is president of National Auto Car, a provider of innovative vehicle service-agreement programs and online dealer contracting technology since 1984.

 Spitzer, vice president of Columbus, Ohio-based Spitzer Management, a family-run dealership group, earned her stripes working on behalf of beleaguered dealers to save their General Motors and Chrysler franchises from dealership network consolidations, and is co-author of Grand Theft Auto. Wetzel, director of Buick interior design, General Motors global design, and an Automotive Hall of Fame inductee, is recognized for her innovation and creativity in the automotive design field.

The women will be honored at the 15th Annual Spirit of Leadership Awards Reception on  Jan. 25 in New Orleans. The reception will take place during the 2014 NADA Convention. A portion of the event proceeds will be contributed to the WAAI International Scholarship Program, which provides tuition assistance to qualified students pursuing careers in the automotive industry.

“The women we’ve chosen to honor are noted not only for their extraordinary careers, but also as role models and mentors in the automotive industry and their community,” said Lorraine Schultz, WAAI founder and CEO.  “They truly embody the spirit of leadership, and we are proud to recognize their accomplishments.”

Founded in 1995, WAAI centers it 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.