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Women in Auto Care Announces 2020 Winners

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The Auto Care Association's Women in Auto Care community has announced the recipients of the 2020 Women of the Year Awards.

The awards include the Auto Care Woman of the Year, Auto Care Woman of Excellence and Female Shop Owner of the Year. The awards are presented annually to recognize the outstanding female contributors making a difference in the automotive industry.

The winners of the 2020 Women of the Year Awards are:

  • Auto Care Woman of the Year: Lauren Beaulieu, vice president of professional marketing at Advance Auto Parts;

  • Auto Care Woman of Excellence: Danielle Sonnefeld, vice president of business development for N.A. Williams Co.; and

  • Female Shop Owner of the Year: Kim Auernheimer, owner and business manager of Cool Springs Automotive LLC (dba CS Automotive)

The three women will be recognized at the virtual Women in Auto Care awards ceremony during the Virtual AAPEX Experience on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. ET and during Women in Auto Care 2021 events.

“The Women of the Year Awards honor three female leaders who have made a significant contribution in the auto care community,” said Olivia Newton, chair of Women in Auto Care. “This year we are thrilled to recognize our outstanding winners in a new digital format as we continue to showcase the tremendous impact women are making in our industry.”

Get to know the 2020 winners

Lauren Beaulieu serves as vice president of professional marketing at Advance Auto Parts. Beaulieu is a champion of diversity and launched the first team member network at Advance in 2018. The Women In Motion team member network (WIMN) is a community that creates opportunities for the women of Advance to grow professionally in an inclusive environment. The network of over 500 women and men advocates professional growth and enables mentorship opportunities. She works to advocate for women in the industry and believes the automotive aftermarket offers rewarding career opportunities for women, just as the industry would benefit from attracting and retaining smart and capable women.

Danielle Sonnefeld is the vice president of business development for NA Williams, a manufacturer representative agency. Celebrating 10 years with the company, Sonnefeld served as the director of marketing for the first seven years, moved into an account executive role handling a major retailer and was recently promoted to handle business development for the agency. She began her career as the marketing manager for Chicago Pneumatic Tool Co. She's passionate about the industry and volunteers her time to encourage, promote and support the next generation of leaders. She has been a member of Women in Auto Care since 2010 and served on its executive board from 2017-2020. She was an integral part of growing the scholarship program from less than $10,000 to more than $100,000 annually. Sonnefeld also serves on the Board of Trustees for The University of the Aftermarket Foundation and is the co-chair of the scholarship program. She serves on the Auto Care Association’s Events Committee and Manufacturers’ Rep Council.

Kim Auernheimer is the owner and business manager of CS Automotive in Brentwood, Tenn. She started the business with her husband, Rob, in October 2006. Fourteen years later, Kim and her husband now own a 6,400 square feet, 10-bay (8 lift) repair shop. Auernheimer feels that she has the best employees and they all live each day with the focus of "Everything we do, we do it the best we can!", not only in their quality of work, but in how they treat each other, their customers and their vendors. As a team, they work to improve and protect the image of the industry. Auernheimer has served as a mentor to several shops throughout the United States. She has written and developed training classes on systems and process, branding and time management. Auernheimer has taught courses at various trade events and is also a frequent guest on industry podcasts. Through all of her roles Auernheimer believes she can teach, encourage and assist shop owners in improving the financial and operational aspects of their business.

The Women of the Year awards are administered by Women in Auto Care volunteer committee members. The Woman of the Year is chosen based on her significant leadership and contributions to the auto care community throughout her career. The Female Shop Owner of the Year award is given to an outstanding woman who has a proven record of excellence in the automotive service industry and the Woman of Excellence award recipient is the Women in Auto Care associate who has provided recent outstanding contributions to the auto care industry.

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