January 2013 President’s Letter

OK, New Year’s Day has passed but my family celebrates the Jan. 6 holiday, so happy Three Kings Day! For once I’m early with a letter.

Thanks to all who attended and supported our Holiday Party on Dec. 11. Where else are you going to get a gospel group and Greg Jarem in the same room? Santa Bugsy once again outdid himself. (There are photos on our Web site, at nempa.org.)

The PR crew from Volkswagen came to visit the week before, and it was a successful evening at Automotion HQ. Scott Vazin, VP Brand Communications for VW America, said, “The evening was an opportunity for the Volkswagen team to reacquaint themselves with the NEMPA members. We walked away impressed by their professionalism, high caliber of media and camaraderie. It’s clear we underestimated the importance of this group and plan more engagement in the future.”

As we’re fond of saying here at NEMPA, the only friends we don’t have are the folks we haven’t met yet—and we feel there are a few OEMs that we don’t know all that well. Are you a PR person wondering, “What’s NEMPA all about?” We invite you to come and meet us. Do as VW did. They now know how active we are.

Even if you feel as if you already know us, we’d still like to meet your extended media team. Come and break bread with us. You won’t be disappointed. It doesn’t have to be a product presentation, just some quality time getting to know one another. Contact John Lawlor or me to get the ball rolling.

Our Winter Vehicle judging will take place on Feb. 9 at John Lawlor’s Automotion facility. Do you have vehicles in our fleet yet for evaluation? Remember: It doesn’t have to be brand-new product. The Jeep Grand Cherokee has won two years in a row and Lisa Barrow is working hard on a “three-peat.” As the lottery says, “You can’t win if you don’t play.”

Also, you can’t win if your vehicles show up only on Feb. 7 and depart Feb. 12. Your best bet is to get sufficient vehicles into our fleet for an extended period. Nor does the judging end on Feb. 9; we usually have to go past that date to make sure every media member has been behind the wheel for more than a few minutes.

The winners will be announced as soon as possible and then the awards will be presented at MIT in May, as now usual. Speaking of MIT, we have an interesting new topic for our annual technology conference too, which you and your corporate execs will want to take part in. (Much more on this to come.)

The Winter Judging on Feb. 9 will be our monthly meeting. All media members are expected to attend; OEM members will be recovering from the Chicago Auto Show and are excused from another trip to a wintry climate in the same week.


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