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Finalists Announced for the 2007 Urban Wheel Awards

Published Dec 22nd 2006, 6:04pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Uwa_bannerStar-studded Event to Honor Diversity in the Auto Industry

DETROIT, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- An independent panel of automotive journalists have announced finalists for the 2007 Urban Wheel Awards. Winners will be honored at the 11th Annual Urban Wheel Awards, which will be held at the Max M. Fisher Music Center on January 9, 2007, in conjunction with Press Week of the North American International Auto Show.

Now in its 11th year, the multicultural event is known as the "Academy
Awards" of the auto industry, a time when celebrities are the ones presenting awards to automotive manufacturers, executives, suppliers, advertising agencies and motorsports organizations who have contributed to diversity in the industry.

The winner of the Best Automotive Diversity advertisement for 2006 will also be announced. The Diversity Automotive Advertisement of the Year Award is given to an advertising agency that produces the most popular print ads geared to African-American, Latino and Asian markets It is voted on by thegeneral public, who decide on the winners in each category. Consumers are encouraged to log on to the On Wheels website at and 15 other websites to select their favorite ads.

"The Urban Wheel Awards honors the pioneering automotive industry leaders who transcend the mainstream and embrace diversity to create products and services that appeal to a larger customer base," said Randi Payton, President & CEO of On Wheels, Inc. which founded the awards.

A special Life Time Achievement Award will also be given to Deborah Coleman Young, who rose from a working class family in St. Louis, attending public schools, to make history as the first woman at Ford to run a vehicle assembly plant. Coleman served as president, CEO and chief operating officer of AutoAlliance International, a manufacturing venture owned by Ford and Mazda Motor Corp. She was also the first woman and the first African-American to lead a South African firm when she was named CEO and group managing director of Ford Motor Co. of Southern Africa.

Finalists are named based on the tally of votes by the panel of judges, from more than 15 multicultural, automotive trade, and general market media.

Finalists Are:

African American Executive of the Year
William Perkins, President
Bill Perkins Automotive Group

Don E. Goodwin
Vice President
Scientific Labs and Proving Grounds

Joe W. Laymon
Group Vice President
Corporate Human Resources & Labor Affairs
Ford Motor Company

Asian Executive of the Year
Joe Chao
Vice President
Advanced Manufacturing Engineering

Mei-Wei Cheng
Vice President - Ford Motor Company
Chairman & CEO Ford Motor (China), Ltd.

Devinder Bains, President
Taft Chevrolet

Latino Executive of the Year
Stephanie Valdez-Streaty
Sr. Manager Diversity & Philanthropy
Nissan North America

Marcos S. DeOliveira
Executive Director
Product Development
Ford Motor Company

Manuel Gonzalez, President
Sterling Auto Group

Supplier of the Year

New Technology Steel
James Group International Corp.
The Bartech Group

Company of the Year

Ford Motor Company
General Motors

Car of the Year

BMW 3-Series Coupe

Honda Fit

Hyundai Elantra

Truck of the Year
Acura RDX

Chevy Silverado

Ford Edge

Diversity in Motor Sports Finalists

National Hot Rod Association

Urban Youth Racing School

For more information about the 11th Annual Urban Wheel Awards, to obtain tickets, or to sponsor the event, visit , or call (313) 963-2209 or go to

Detroit-based On Wheels, Inc., is a multicultural, multi-media company that publishes African-Americans On Wheels, Latinos On Wheels, and Asians On Wheels magazines, which are distributed in more than 100 newspapers throughout the United States and have a combined readership of 5 million. Additionally, On Wheels founded the Edward Davis Education Foundation, which provides scholarships to students pursuing secondary degrees in the automotive industry.

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