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Jill Lajdziak, Rita Case, Cynthia Fergusson and Susan Givens to receive Spirit of Leadership award during NADA 2007

Published Nov 28th 2006, 11:05pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Logo_waai_2 The Women’s Automotive Association International (WAAI) will present its 12th annual Spirit of Leadership awards at a fundraiser luncheon to be held during the 2007 NADA convention in February.  The annual luncheon is scheduled to be held in Ballroom D at the Las Vegas Hilton February 3 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.

"The four women we are honoring this year are an inspiration for all women to achieve the highest level of success in a leadership role and in service to their communities." said Lorraine Schultz, Founder of the WAAI. "Recognition of these outstanding women highlights the many diverse opportunities available to women in the automotive industry.”

"Highlighting the achievements of women like Jill Lajdziak, Rita Case, Cynthia Fergusson and Susan Givens at Spirit of Leadership events each year provides a unique networking opportunity for automotive industry women to connect and support each other", states Jody DeVere, President of the Women's Automotive Association International.

Proceeds from ticket and table sales will help the WAAI provide scholarships for young women seeking careers in the automotive industry.  Tickets prices are $65.00 for members and $85.00 for non-members and can be purchased by contacting the WAAI at 248-646-5250.

About the 2007 Award Recipients:

Jilllajdziak_1 Jill Lajdziak is the Saturn Division General Manager.  She is responsible for the brand’s sales, service and marketing operations.  Jill has been with Saturn since 1986, previously serving in Marketing, Retail Network Development and Customer/Retail Operations & Strategies.  Jill also has valuable automotive retail experience, previously serving as a sales and service representative at a GM dealership.  She is a native of Brillion, Wisconsin.  Jill is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing and Management.

Pro_pictures_005 Susan Givens is the Vice President of Systems Marketing, dba AutoSuccess Magazine.  Susan started with Systems Marketing in her final semester at the University of Louisville where she received her degree with a major in Business Management and a minor in International Business.  She soon became a part owner with the company. The focus of the magazines is to create a positive avenue for the readers to learn and grow. Susan has made this way of thinking part of her everyday life. Susan also serves on the panel of expert women on, Inc.

Cynthia_ferguson_head_shot Cynthia Ferguson is’s Northwest Regional Director.  Cynthia has over 25 years experience in newspaper and online media advertising sales and management. In 2004, as a District Sales Manager for, Cynthia’s team was awarded “Corporate Volunteer of the Year” by Crisis Nursery in Phoenix, Arizona. Continuing with commitment to community as a central core value, under her direction, the North West Region focuses heavily on community involvement.

Rita_case_photo_06 Rita Case is COO of the Rick Case Automotive Group, a group of 14 dealerships in three states. Automotive News ranked the Rick Case Automotive Group in the top 20 largest dealership group in the U.S. Rita Case is dedicated to customer service and community support, and is passionate about the automobile business. She is committed to exceeding their customer’s expectations and treating every customer as her best friend.

Last year’s WAAI honorees include: Jennifer Lanzafame, Director and Co-owner of the Cessnock Automotive Group; Nancy Phillips, Founder of Nancy Phillips Associates Inc; Deborah Renshaw, NASCAR professional race car driver; and Tere A. Zubizarreta, President and CEO of Zubi Advertising.

About the WAAI

The Women’s Automotive Association International (WAAI) was founded in 1995 when Lorraine Schultz brought to life the vision of an organization dedicated to the development and advancement of women as automotive industry leaders.  Today, the organization continues to thrive throughout the United States and Canada as the leading women’s global organization dedicated to this purpose.  The WAAI is a non-profit, professional society comprised of women who are key players in all aspects of the automotive industry.

The WAAI is dedicated to:
•    recognizing the achievements of women in the automotive industry;
•    providing education and news of particular interest to women in the industry;
•    building relationships through networking opportunities and the other forums;
•    encouraging growth through mentoring, educational endeavors and scholarships.

Corporate sponsors for the year’s event include and Additional Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Marcela Fink – Event Chairperson or
Lorraine Schultz - CEO
Women’s Automotive Association International
Marcella Tel: (305) 259-2067 or Lorraine 248-646-5250

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