The 2016 Auto Care Women of the Year awards were presented last week by Women in Auto Care, formerly the Car Care Council Women’s Board (WB), at a press conference at The Venetian, during AAPEX 2016. Amy Bonder, vice president of sales and strategy, Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO), has been chosen as the 13th annual Auto Care Woman of the Year. Judith Zimmerman Walter, chief financial officer and co-owner, Zimmerman’s Automotive, has been named 2016 Female Shop Owner of the Year and Susan Ulrey, vice president, global customer business unit, ride performance, Tenneco, was named Auto Care Woman of Excellence.
The Women of the Year awards are administered by the Women in Auto Care Membership Development Committee. The Woman of the Year is chosen based on her significant leadership and contributions to the auto care community throughout her career. Female Shop Owner of the Year is given to an outstanding woman who has a proven record of excellence in the automotive service industry, and the Woman of Excellence is the Women in Auto Care associate who has provided recent outstanding contributions to the auto care industry.
Auto Care Woman of the Year
As vice president of sales and strategy at BSRO, Amy Bonder guides the company’s overall sales strategy. A member of the BSRO leadership team, Bonder has been instrumental in the success of Vision 2020, BSRO’s long-term strategy to be ranked among the most admired customer service companies by the end of the decade. Driving the business-to-business arm of Vision 2020, Bonder has shifted the company’s approach to a strategic account management and value-selling focus, leading to increased customer satisfaction. Prior to working at BSRO, Bonder spent six years with Advance Auto Parts, starting as director of national accounts and holding numerous positions of increasing responsibility within the company, including vice president of sales and commercial value proposition.
An advocate for women in the automotive industry, Bonder supports the formal mentoring program of Women in Auto Care, as well as BSRO’s program. She also plays a key role in BSRO’s Women’s Business Council, which aims to engage and inspire women working at BSRO in store, field and corporate roles. To make an even more significant impact, she is working with Bridgestone Americas to expand the Women’s Business Council to the rest of enterprise.
Female Shop Owner of theYear
Judith Zimmerman Walter’s 20,000-square-foot facility in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, sports a 12-bay shop with seven ASE-trained and certified technicians, one service manager and two service advisers. The business also includes a quick lube facility and a used car division. She oversees the thriving full-service automotive business, now run with the help of her daughter.
Walter’s shop was one of 10 shops to make it on Motor Age’s 2014 “Top Shops List.” In 2011, Walter was awarded the “Les Ginanni Business and Community Connection Award” for continuously contributing to the West Shore Chamber of Commerce community through her business and personal efforts. She also was awarded one of the “Best 50 Women in Business – 2007” awards recognizing her vital impact in creating jobs and building strong community.
Auto Care Woman of Excellence
Susan Ulrey, MAAP, has worked in the auto care industry for more than 13 years, most recently as executive director, customer experience, for Tenneco’s North America Aftermarket business unit. Throughout this period, she has been a leading advocate not only of women serving at every level of the auto care industry, but also of the millions of female consumers who rely on the industry’s products and services. She spearheaded a series of women’s car care clinics aimed at helping consumers more confidently manage the vehicle maintenance and repair experience.
Ulrey is former chairperson of the AASA Technology Committee; member of the Auto Care Association Government Affairs Committee; longtime WB member; and in 2016 was a featured speaker at the ACPN “Knowledge Exchange” Conference. She has received the Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award and was co-recipient of the R.L. Polk Inventory Efficiency Award.