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The Original Woman at the Wheel

I’d like to introduce you to one of the original Women at the Wheel … a woman who has paved the way for many.

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Amy Antenora has been reporting on the automotive aftermarket since 2002.

This week, we unveiled our third-annual AMN Women at the Wheel issue. We are so proud to be able to recognize some of the aftermarket’s women leaders again this year. Every year, incredible new stories are brought to light, and I have no doubt you too will walk away impressed and inspired.

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You will be able to learn a little more about this year’s class of AMN Women at the Wheel starting on page 4 of this month’s issue, as well as online at aftermarketnews.com/women-at-the-wheel. However, here on this page, I’d like to introduce you to one of the original Women at the Wheel … a woman who has paved the way for many.

When we began the call for nominations for this year’s program, longtime content partner and friend Ron Hesse, president and CEO of GlobalAutoIndustry.com, shared the remarkable story of his mother, Elisabeth Renes, pictured above in the 1960s.

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According to proud son Ron, Renes was working at Van Gend & Loos in Velp (Gld), Netherlands (now part of the DHL worldwide logistics network) in the administration department – which did not pay that well for a newly divorced mother with three children. When a job opportunity opened up as a truck driver, Renes immediately informed the company that she was more than capable of doing the job. And she got it, making her the Netherlands’ first female truck driver. She started driving delivery vans in 1961 and moved up to heavier trucks after one year. She did this for four-and-a-half years, while raising her family.

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Renes, who turns 88 this year and now resides in Holland, Michigan, says the job was “fantastic.” As you will see in this month’s issue our 2022 Class of Women at the Wheel share some common traits with Ms. Renes – tenacity, courage and the desire to grow and keep learning. Congrats to you all!      

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