March 2012 President’s Letter


Excuse me for the delay in getting this president’s letter out more than a week into March. There have been changes afoot that had me hold off.

Let me start by saying there is no March NEMPA meeting. We had a busy February with our winter awards judging, a Mazda presentation at our February meeting (itself moved to accommodate Valentine’s Day) and a Buick presentation at John Lawlor’s headquarters—a great space to do a program.

The big announcement is our Autonomous Vehicle Conference at MIT and Annual Awards Dinner have had a date change. They will take place on Friday, May 11, instead of Thursday, May 10. There were scheduling conflicts at MIT that couldn’t be resolved. I apologize for eating into your weekends, which we hate to do.

But this is good in some respects because it means our dinner will be now be at the breathtakingly beautiful MIT Media Lab. Go to and you will be amazed at what a stunning structure it is. Paul Parravano, NEMPA’s good friend from MIT, promises it has beautiful views across the Charles River of the Boston skyline.

Like last year, the conference itself will be at the Faculty Club at the MIT Sloan School of Business. Lunch will be served, the roundtable will follow, and then we walk a couple blocks over to the Media Lab for a cocktail reception and an evening of awards and camaraderie that celebrate NEMPA’s Silver Anniversary.

More details will follow in the April president’s letter and other communications from NEMPA. One thing I should stress is book your hotel room as soon as possible. We weren’t able to block out rooms this year at the Cambridge Marriott, so go with hotels you know in Boston. We can help coordinate transportation back to your hotel after the dinner (or at least put you in a cab).

We’re still seeking suggestions for panelists for the conference. We’ll close off submissions by March 15 and then work closely with the panelists to deliver a great program. It’s a good and timely topic.

Looking ahead, most of you know by now that the Ragtop Ramble / Crustacean Crawl returns July 19 & 20. The Boston Harbor Dinner Cruise is on the evening of July 19, followed by the drive to Maine on July 20.

This year is extra special because we are adding a third day called “Cool Cars for Kids.” On Saturday, July 21, we will bring kids from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute to the Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation for a special day. Plans are still in the works, but I hope all manufacturers will step up and help make the event memorable. Hats off to Tamara from Mazda who has arranged to bring the Super 20 Concept that debuted at SEMA. It’s a stunner. Who’s ready to top that?

As you can see, there’s a lot going on in New England in the next few months. Clear your calendars to join us. You won’t want to miss out.

Have a great month. If I don’t see you in Boston first, I’ll see you at the New York Auto Show next month along with a contingent of NEMPA members.


Keith Griffin, President

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