New England Motor Press Association Announces Winter Vehicle and Ragtop Awards

— Association Also Honors Executives and Industry Standouts —

Cambridge, Mass., May 29, 2019 — At its annual awards dinner, held at the MIT Media Lab, the New England Motor Press Association honored four individuals for their outstanding contributions to the automotive industry and awarded trophies for the organization’s annual NEMPA Winter Vehicle, Ragtop and Automotive Excellence Awards.

“NEMPA members are in a unique marketplace in the country to test out vehicles in very real-world conditions – and those conditions can be tough,” said NEMPA President John Paul. “Our Winter Vehicle and Ragtop Awards are won by those vehicles that prove their capabilities in some of the most difficult driving conditions, in populated urban and remotely rural routes in a geographically distinct region that covers everything from oceans to mountains.”

More than 100 journalists and industry professionals gathered for the award presentation. Wayne Carini, host of Chasing Classic Cars, was the master of ceremonies.

Wayne Carini, host of Chasing Classic Cars was the master of ceremonies for the 2019 NEMPA Annual Awards Dinner.

Wayne Carini, host of Chasing Classic Cars, was the master of ceremonies for the 2019 NEMPA Annual Awards Dinner

“We are so pleased to honor these individuals for their significant contributions to the automotive industry,” John Paul explained. “Timothy Mahoney, Ree Hartwell, Russell Datz, and Lori Scholz were this year’s winners at the NEMPA Annual Awards event.”

The NEMPA Lifetime Achievement Award
Timothy J. Mahoney
Chief Marketing Officer, Global Chevrolet and Global GM Marketing Operations Leader, General Motors

With more than 35 years of progressive marketing experience and accomplishments, Tim has worked on a variety of major automotive brands including: Subaru, Porsche, Volkswagen and Chevrolet.  He has successfully led and managed teams across all aspects of marketing and brand management from product planning/marketing, research and strategy, marketing communications, digital/social and CRM.  

In his current role as CMO, Tim led the globalization of the Chevrolet brand for General Motors in over 100 countries under the north star of “Find New Roads”.  Under his watch, the brand ascended in Interbrand’s ranking of Best Global Brands. Tim has built a world-class marketing organization and as a result, Chevrolet moved from the 14th position in to the #1 position globally as the most effective automotive marketer according to the Effie Worldwide Organization and in to the 8th position across all industries.

Tim was recognized by Forbes Magazine as the third most influential CMO in the world and was named Automotive Marketer of the Year by MediaPost. He has served on a variety of boards and marketing advisory councils including: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Tim began his Automotive career in 1984 with Subaru of America Inc. He was instrumental in the brand’s move to an exclusive all-wheel drive portfolio and by the time he became Director of Marketing (1995-1999), he had introduced the world to a new category of vehicles – the “Sport Utility Wagon”, the Subaru Outback. He followed that up a couple of years later with the launch of the Subaru Forester.

In 1999 he became General Manager Marketing of Porsche Cars North America and quickly influenced the global launch of the new Cayenne – the first ever non-sports car from Porsche. Positioning the Cayenne as the “first SUV fathered by a sports car” became the guiding idea for all marketing communications and brand experience touch-points. By 2004 he was promoted to Vice President of Marketing then tapped to lead the creation of a 5-year Strategic Vision for North American division of Porsche AG.

In 2006-2011 Tim returned to Subaru as the Senior Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer where he rebuilt the brand’s image with the now famous “Love” campaign. His mission was clear- connect more emotionally and more deeply with the Subaru core. Under his watch, Subaru grew share and volume in the midst of one of the worst recessions in several decades. For his work, Tim was recognized by Brandweek as one of the top 10 marketers in the U.S.

Tim joined Volkswagen as the Chief Product and Marketing Officer (2011-2013). As the head of the brand, Tim saw the opportunity to reassert the powerful benefits of German engineering- something most other German car brands had all but dismissed.

Tim earned a Master degree in Business Administration in Marketing Management at Drexel University in 1983 and a Bachelor’s degree in Arts of Foreign Languages and International Studies from Newberry College in 1978.

Timothy J Mahoney graciously accepts the NEMPA Lifetime Achievement Award.

The NEMPA Charles E. Dole High Road Award
Ree Hartwell is the winner of the 2019 NEMPA Charles E. Dole High Road Award. Presented to an automotive professional who has emulated the enterprise, collegiality, helpfulness, integrity and good will that marked the career of Charlie Dole, for many years the automotive columnist for the Christian Science Monitor and dean of the New England automotive press corps.

Ree Hartwell spent nearly twenty years managing the press fleet for Jaguar Land Rover. During this time, she tirelessly fielded the countless requests from journalists – including those from the New England Motor Press Association. Prior to joining Jaguar Land Rover, Ree spent decades in various automotive public relations positions working for Volvo, Mercedes, and Fiat. With the unique ability to wield equal amounts of southern charm and tenacity, Ree paved her own road to success in the industry. She took excellent care of journalists and whatever brand she was championing.

In addition to taking care of business, Ree is also a loyal and loving mother and grandmother to her family.

Ree Hartwell accepts the 2019 NEMPA Charles E. Dole High Road Award presented by NEMPA Vice President, Clifford Atiyeh

The NEMPA Camel’s Back Award
Russell Datz
National Media Relations Manager
Volvo Car USA

Presented to a member of the automotive public-relations corps who has consistently and with good humor and genuine helpfulness risen to NEMPA’s often untimely and burdensome requests, rather than allowing them to be the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Russell Datz has been the National Media Relations Manager for Volvo Car USA since January 2015, and a fixture in the auto industry since 1990, when he got his start at MotorWeek, television’s longest running automotive program.

Prior to Volvo he worked with a long list of automotive companies, helping lead and guide their communication efforts: SEMA, Consumer Reports, Fisker Automotive, Lotus Cars, Tire Rack and others. He even dabbled in quantum encryption technology to protect our electrical grid from hacking, before it was cool.

Datz has a degree in Mass Communication from Towson University. A native New Yorker, he traded in his snow shovel for flip-flops and lives with his wife and two children in Southern California. His daily driver is a 2019 Volvo V60 wagon.

Former President of NEMPA, Craig Fitzgerald (Right) congratulates Volvo’s Russell Datz on winning the 2019 NEMPA Camel’s Back Award while NEMPA’s Vice President, Clifford Atiyeh looks on.

NEMPA Camel’s Back Double Hump Award
Lori Scholz
Public Relations Manager
Hyundai Motor America

NEMPA President, John Paul presents Lori Scholz with the NEMPA Camel’s Back Double Hump Award.

Only ever awarded once in the 32 years of NEMPA’s history, the Camel’s Back Double Hump Award is given to a member of the automotive public relations corps who has consistently and with good humor and genuine helpfulness risen to the NEMPA requests rather than allowing them to be the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.” This award is given in earnest to a person that has already won the Camel’s Back Award, but has continued to deliver unwavering dedication and professionalism over decades of service to the NEMPA group.

Lori Scholz is a Public Relations Manager for Hyundai Motor America.  She has been a member of the PR team for over 15 years and is responsible for managing Hyundai’s vehicle press fleet in 13 locations across the United States. This includes the securing and logistics of vehicles used for all media launch programs, comparisons, media loans and press fleet operations. In addition, Lori plays a key role in planning and executing national and regional vehicle launch programs, assists in the planning of auto show reveals and supports regional press association events throughout the country.

Prior to joining the Communication’s Division, Scholz held various positions throughout the organization including: Western Region Consumer Affairs, Fleet & Remarketing and National Sales. Lori began her career at Hyundai in 1990 supporting the Vice President of National Sales and the President and Chief Executive Officer of the company.

Scholz is a member of the Orange County Public Relations Society of America, New England Motor Press Association, International Motor Press Association, Texas Auto Writers Association, Motor Press Guild, SAMA, in addition to the Northwest Automotive Press Association.  Lori was recognized as one of PR News’ Top Women in PR in 2018.

Scholz graduated with her Bachelors of Arts Degree summa cum laude in Organizational Management from Vanguard University Southern California. Lori lives in Huntington Beach, California, with her husband of 36 years and one of her three daughters and is also grandmother to two grandsons and one granddaughter.

NEMPA Winter Vehicle Awards

2019 NEMPA Official Winter Truck of the Year
RAM 1500

NEMPA President, John Paul congratulates RAM’s Carl Lally on winning the coveted 2019 NEMPA Official Winter Truck of the Year.

2019 NEMPA Official Winter Sedan of the Year
Genesis G70

Kevin Smith of Genesis Accepts the award from NEMPA Vice President, Clifford Atiyeh

NEMPA Best in Class Sub-Compact SUV
Hyundai Kona

NEMPA Best in Class Compact SUV
Subaru Forester

NEMPA Best in Class Mid-Size SUV
Honda Pilot

Best in Class Large SUV
Ford Expedition

Ford’s Michael Levine graciously accepts the award for the Ford Expedition on behalf of Ford.

NEMPA Best in Class Compact Sedan/Wagon
Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

NEMPA Best in Class Mid-Sized Sedan
Nissan Altima

NEMPA Best in Class Luxury Sedan
Volvo S90

NEMPA Best in Class Luxury Compact SUV
Acura RDX

NEMPA Best in Class Luxury Mid-size SUV
Infiniti QX50

Infiniti’s Alexandra Amelang accepts the award for the Infiniti QX50 from NEMPA Vice President, Clifford Atiyeh

NEMPA Best in Class Full-Size Luxury SUV
Lincoln Navigator

NEMPA Best in Class Green Vehicle Hybrid or PHEV
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

NEMPA Extreme Vehicle Award
Ford F-150 Raptor

Yankee Value Award
Kia Brand

NEMPA President, John Paul presents the Yankee Value Award for the Kia brand to Kia’s Neil Dunlop.

The Ragtop Awards

NEMPA Best in Class Convertible
Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda’s Trevor Smith accepts the award for the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

NEMPA Best in Class Luxury Convertible
BMW M850i xDrive

NEMPA Best in Class Ultra-Luxury Convertible
Mercedes-AMG SL63

NEMPA Automotive Excellence Awards

The Yankee Cup Technology Award
Zero-Emissions Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Freight Vehicles

The Ritvo Design & Elegance Award
Toyota Motor North America
2020 GR Supra

The Yankee Supplier Award
Qualcomm Technologies
3rd Generation Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Automotive Cockpit Platforms

Qualcomm’s Maged Zaki accepts the award for
3rd Generation Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Automotive Cockpit Platforms .

About New England Motor Press Association (NEMPA)
The New England Motor Press Association was founded in 1987 to coordinate professional media coverage of the auto industry in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, whose 14.5 million citizens have unique demographics and automotive preferences. NEMPA’s media members appear on network and cable TV, on the Internet and radio, and in regional and national newspapers and magazines. For more information, please visit:

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