Women in Auto Care, a community of the Auto Care Association, recently announced the recipients of the 2020 Women of the Year Awards. The Women of the Year Awards include the “Auto Care Woman of the Year,” “Auto Care Woman of Excellence” and “Female Shop Owner of the Year,” which annually recognize the outstanding female contributors making a difference in the automotive industry.
The three recipients of the Women of the Year Awards 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 winners of the 2020 Women of the Year Awards are:
- Auto Care Woman of the Year: Lauren Beaulieu, vice president, professional marketing, Advance Auto Parts
- Auto Care Woman of Excellence: Danielle Sonnefeld, vice president, business development, N.A. Williams Company
- Female Shop Owner of the Year: Kim Auernheimer, owner and business manager, Cool Springs Automotive, LLC (dba CS Automotive)
“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, 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.”
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 more than 500 women and men advocates professional growth and enables mentorship opportunities. She has been an advocate for women in the industry by lending her voice when needed, opening the doors to opportunity and supporting career growth and development. Beaulieu believes that the automotive aftermarket offers a multitude of rewarding career opportunities for women. She also feels the need to attract, retain and promote smart, capable women who will help to innovate and move the industry forward.
Danielle Sonnefeld is the vice president of business development for NA Williams, a leading manufacturer representative agency in the auto care industry. 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 Company, which complemented her previous work experience at both a full-service marketing agency and an international public relations firm.
Sonnefeld is very 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. During this time, she was an integral part of growing the scholarship program from less than $10,000 to more than $100,000 annually. Sonnefeld serves on the board of trustees for The University of the Aftermarket Foundation and is the co-chair of the scholarship program, which awards more than $600,000 in scholarships from more than 40 organizations. She currently serves on the Auto Care Association’s Events Committee and Manufacturers’ Rep Council. Sonnefeld earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and an MBA in global marketing.
Kim Auernheimer is the owner and business manager of CS Automotive in Brentwood, Tennessee. The business was started by Auernheimer and her husband, Rob, in October 2006. Fourteen years later, she 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 been honored to serve 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 several industry podcasts. Through her roles as a mentor, trainer and speaker, Auernheimer believes that she is able to 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.