[vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_bottom=”20″][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text el_class=”milepost-dateline”]MilePost – The Journal of the Motor Press Guild / Vol. 24, No. 4, April 2014[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”16506″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

MPG Receives Warm and Elegant Welcome at Kia Motors America

The March 11th MPG luncheon featured an exclusive K900 presentation, drive and lunch at Kia’s Irvine Headquarters

kia-2upMPG’s March luncheon at Kia Motors America gave members an exclusive opportunity to drive the 2015 Kia K900, Kia’s first luxury sedan. In addition to the drive loops and time behind the wheel, MPG members and guests were also treated to an in-depth presentation by both Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Michael Sprague and K900 Product Strategy Manager, Eddie Rayyan.


photo credit: Mike Jones Foto

Sprague detailed how the K900 will create a new and improved perception of Kia. Riding the wave of a successful launch of seven new or significantly redesigned products last year, Kia is also now partnering with other large brands to further boost consumer acceptance and awareness.

Sprague also spoke of the greater vision held by Kia’s management in Korea regarding product quality going forward.  “Coming straight from the top, Kia’s chairman has said, ‘Quality is first and foremost, our number one priority.’” Sprague said this statement also serves as the company’s explanation of their entry into the luxury sedan segment with the K900.

photo credit: Mike Jones Foto

13454887263_046775c614_zRayyan’s presentation highlighted the four areas of focus that the K900’s development was based on: design, luxury, performance and technology. With an in-depth view on product, Rayyan compared the K900 to other luxury vehicles like the Lexus LS, Audi A8 and BMW 7-Series. Rayyan said the Kia K900 targeted drivers make “no compromises,” and many standard features on the vehicle are costly options on most competitive models.

A transcript of the presentation containing all details and K900 product specs is available here.

kia-2up2photo credits: Bob Peterson Photography / Carrie Kim

photo credit, Carrie Kim

MPG extends its thanks to Kia for not only the presentation and drive, but for the incredible gourmet meal and elegant atmosphere created for our first luncheon of 2014. The event was well attended, and feedback from our members said they appreciated the Orange County location.

For more on the March Kia luncheon:

  • Click here to visit a Flickr gallery of photos, courtesy of Mike Jones Foto, Bob Peterson Photography and Carrie Kim.
  • Click here to watch the video recap of the event by Right Track Motoring.
  • Click here for an audio recording of the presentation.
  • Click here for a transcript of the presentation.

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MPG's Droptops & Dirt
Droptops & Dirt
Tuesday, May 13 from 9:00am-4:30pm

MPG Droptops & Dirt combines the off-road test drives of Trail Day with a new on-road convertible drive through scenic, twisty canyon roads. The day features competitive comparisons on challenging roads and trails with beautiful views and excellent photo locations. It runs 9:00 am to 4:30 pm and includes a tasty lunch.

This event is open to all current MPG members, however only Journalist and Analyst members may drive. All other active members, photographers and guests may ride along and, of course, enjoy a great lunch. Space is limited, so be sure to register for the event soon. We hope to see you in Malibu!
Calamigos Ranch, Malibu • Click here for a map • Click here for directions

Journalists and Analysts: $59.00
Non-driving members, guests and photographers: $45.00

Ready to sign up?
Register online with a credit card or call Larry Rusznak at (323) 3374-3674 to pay by check.

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mpgcovers14Congratulations to John Lamm,
Winner of the 2014/2015 Media Guide
Photo Cover Contest

Thanks to all MPG members who cast their vote for their favorite photo entered in our Media Guide Cover contest. John Lamm’s photo, shot in San Clemente with a camera mount on the rear deck of the Mazda MX-5 Miata, will be the one to grace the front of the guide, which is currently in production.

This year we’re doing things a little differently; membership cards have been sent separately from the guide. You can expect your 2014/2015 Media Guide in May.


Looking to lead? Bid for a key MPG staff position.

MPG is in the midst of re-structuring its management positions and has opened a bidding process for two contracted long-term staff positions:

MPG Executive Director
The MPG Executive Director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for MPG Nonprofit’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. She or he will initially develop deep knowledge of field, core programs, operations, and business plans. The contract job includes overall leadership and management, fundraising and communications along with planning and new business.

Business Operations Manager
The Business Operations Manager shall be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the MPG, overseeing office functions, monitoring the work of vendors, maintaining communication between the various levels of the MPG infrastructure, executing directives of the Executive Director.

>Click here for more information about the positions and how to apply.


2014 IVY Award Nominations Now Being Accepted

ivyawardIn case you missed the announcement, nominations for the 2014 Innovation Vehicle of the Year are now being accepted. Any member can nominate vehicles for the award, which will be presented to two winning vehicles at the 2014 LA Auto Show.

How to nominate:

  • All MPG members are invited to nominate vehicles for the award. 
(“All” includes manufacturers)
  • We are encouraging every auto manufacturer to nominate the vehicles from their company that best represent the innovation focus of the IVY award.
  • Vehicles have to be on sale in the U.S. by January 1, 2015 to be eligible for the 2014 MPG IVY Award.
  • You may nominate up to three vehicles for each price class; vehicles priced below $30,000 and vehicles priced at $30,000 and higher.

Send an e-mail with your nominations to ivy@motorpressguild.org by June 30, 2014.

Please also visit AutoHarvest.org, our award partner, to learn more about the organization and their vision to accelerate innovation for advanced manufacturing and materials by creating a safe, independent web-based collaboration network to bring new technologies into the automotive industry and foster new market applications for automotive technology.


PR Positions Available: Pacific Communications Group

  • Senior Account Executive
    Automotive and Motorcycle experience a plus.
    We are looking for a professionally aggressive team member with excellent writing and verbal communication skills.
    The candidate should have knowledge of principles of public relations and marketing communications normally acquired through completion of a Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree with 3 or more years experience in a related field.
  • Account Coordinator or Assistant Account Executive
    Must be detail oriented, be able to write, communicate with clients, and be a team player with a positive attitude.
    This is an entry level position.  The candidate should have knowledge of principles of public relations and marketing communications normally acquired through completion of a Bachelor’s degree or advanced.

To apply: Please highlight your qualifications in a cover letter and send with your resume to Marlee Walsh at mwalsh@pacificcommunicationsgroup.com.
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Hello all!

I want to thank everyone for the warm welcome I received as MPG President at our mixer at Source Interlink in February. Sound system issues notwithstanding, I think the event was a huge success for those in attendance, accomplishing what we wanted to achieve. It proved to be a great opportunity for our members and the greater automotive community to network and relax in an interesting environment in Southern California and to kick off MPG’s 30th year as an automotive press guild. Ed Loh, Editor-in-Chief of Motor Trend, made it even more interesting by lifting the veil and sharing the slings and arrows that even a successful car magazine must suffer through in these days of cutbacks and lay-offs and we appreciated his candor.

What is happening behind the scenes of MPG is also interesting. For those that couldn’t see the screen or hear my voice at the meeting, you can download a PDF of our highlights from last year’s membership survey and how we, as an organization, plan to respond to our membership by re-evaluating our priorities and practices.

The bottom line is that we intend to deliver on the your wants and needs by revamping our existing events and services and by adding mixers and Power Trips to the ongoing calendar of events. Our main event dates for Droptops & Dirt (formerly Trail Day), Track Day and the Dean Batchelor Awards Banquet have now been published and we sincerely hope that you will pencil them into your calendar and try to reserve the time to attend and/or support our efforts this year.

Two important new players in this year’s event leadership are Russell Datz, the new Track Day Chair, and Alex Fedorak, our new Speakers Committee Chair. I know that both of these highly respected professionals will bring fresh insights and exciting changes to our calendar going forward, so please keep an eye out for announcements as we go along. And, plans are well underway for Droptops & Dirt in May, led by our ex-president, Aaron Gold. Please say hello to each of them at the upcoming Kia-hosted luncheon on March 11th in Irvine.

We plan to create three more industry mixers this year, but one networking opportunity coming soon is the return of our “Power Trips,” led by Dave Kunz and Dean Case. They promise to deliver a very fun way to spend your Sunday – cruising in your favorite ride and gaining exclusive access to the Toyota Museum in Torrance.

Our goal this year is to step-up MPG’s professionalism while helping you increase yours. In a volunteer organization, it’s always a challenge, but we are committed to putting the Motor Press Guild back on your calendar this year for all the right reasons.

All the Best,

— Joni Gray
President, Motor Press Guild

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“Social Media: Supercharging the Automotive Industry”

smcla-2012-logoTuesday, March 18, 2014 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Presented by Social Media Club Los Angeles at the Petersen Automotive Museum

How do the automotive industry’s top social media marketers go from 0 to 140 on Twitter while customizing posts on Facebook for their target audience? Find out as Social Media Club Los Angeles presents “Social Media: Supercharging the Automotive Industry.”

The panel will share their expertise on what’s under the hood in auto industry social media while discussing what fuels engagement. As one of the leading industries utilizing social media, hear what these trendsetters have to say and how their tools and skills can be universally applied across the sphere of social media users.

SMCLA is offering a discounted price of $7 all MPG Members.
(General admission for this SMCLA event is $10)

Click here to buy tickets for the event.
(Use Promo Code FastCars for MPG discount).[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” thickness=”2″ width_in_percentages=”” up=”40″ down=”40″][vc_column_text]



  • Toni Avery – Freelance Journalist
  • Alex Brar – Autoknowledge
  • Karl Brauer — Kelley Blue Book
  • Marc Carter – Managing Editor – The Torque Report
  • Megan Green – Photographer – Ponycargirl.com
  • Seth Hunau – Videographer – Car Pro USA – The Jerry Reynolds Show
  • Bradley Iger – Senior Editor – Winding Road Magazine
  • Randy Kerdoon – KNX 1070AM Radio
  • Ken Manfred – Ken Manfred Photography
  • Alan Rider – Freelance Writer
  • Aaron Robinson – Car and Driver
  • Benjamin Shahrabani — Petrolicious
  • Dianne Spain – taketwotv.com
  • Vern Vihlene – President – Racerschannel

Public Relations

  • Quincy Armstrong – Director of Marketing – Rusnak Auto Group
  • Nicolas  Beard – Mazda North American Operations
  • Andrew Ganz – Subaru PR
  • Adam Martin – Vice President – Hagerty
  • Marques McCammon – Managing Director – Nstig8, Inc
  • Michael Minielly – Mercedes-Benz USA
  • Jessica Sever – Pacific Communications Group
  • Michael Stewart – Ketchum PR
  • Kevin Williams – GM Account Manager – Page One
  • Eva Wasko – Cohn & Wolfe
  • Nicole Yelland – Autotrader.com


  • Scott Hyde – Autosource Inc.


  • Jens Bechmann – Events International
  • Fred Cerritos – Source Specialist LLC.
  • Gabriel Soufo – Gadget Review
  • John Hutchinson – President – Red Rocket Auto Tech, LLC.
  • Stephen Lautenschlager – Freelance
  • Don Lofthouse — Evox Images
  • Hyacinth Nier – The Line Hotel
  • Brandon O’Brien – Motor Driven Images
  • Eugene Parmenter – President – Parmenter Marketing Services
  • Molly Saleen – Saleen Automotive
  • Robert Sanchez – Road To Review / Hyperformance Inc.
  • Olivia Summers – Stunt Driver
  • Chris Vournakis – Senior Account Director – Designory
  • Dana Zamalloa – Blue C Advertising

Note that you alone are responsible for managing your profile and contact info in MPG’s database. Log-in to your account at www.motorpressguild.org: Find the “Profile” tab and then click on “Edit.” Make sure to click the “Save” button (bottom left) when you’re done. This is the data published in MPG’s annual Media Guide/Membership Roster and you are the only one that checks its accuracy.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” thickness=”2″ width_in_percentages=”” up=”40″ down=”40″][vc_column_text]


Any member is welcome to submit items to this monthly newsletter that are of specific interest to fellow members:

  • Member Chronicle stories
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Job Openings

Acceptance and revision are at the discretion of the Editor. MilePost does not publish general industry PR or paid ads. Member Chronicle stories can be adventures you’ve had, special talents you possess, what you drive, your first car, a car you crashed, one you lived in, epic (or not so epic) drives, etc. In other words, think freely and keep things in good taste. Shoot for 400-800 words and include some images if you have them.

Deadline is seven days before the end of the month. Send both words and pictures (small JPEGs, please) to: milepost@motorpressguild.org

NOTE: Members who wish to publicize non-MPG events or announcements may do so themselves on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/motorpressguild. And be sure to “like” our page while you’re there.

Motor Press Guild, P.O. Box 4215, Redondo Beach CA 90277 • 323-374-3674[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” thickness=”2″ width_in_percentages=”” up=”40″ down=”40″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1431038828070{padding-left: 20px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”milepost-sidebar” css=”.vc_custom_1437632940225{padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;}”]MilePost is the monthly online newsletter of the Motor Press Guild


MPG at Kia Motors America
Upcoming MPG Events
President’s Message
You’re Invited
New Members
Contribute to MilePost


Joni Gray, President
Jason Fogelson, Vice President
Darryll Harrison, Treasurer
Jeff Glucker, Secretary
Mike Antich
Shad Balch
Brendan Flynn
Michael Harley
Deb Pollack
Doug Stokes
Chris Woodyard


MPG Business Operations Manager
Larry Rusznak

MPG Web/Communications Manager
Carrie Kim

Media Guide Manager
Pete Evanow


The Motor Press Guild is the largest automotive media association in North America. This exclusive, non-profit organization is dedicated to upholding the highest ideals in automotive journalism and promoting education and information exchange within the motoring press. Members include print journalists, photographers, broadcasters and new media professionals, as well as public-relations representatives, consumer groups, and governmental bodies tied to the automotive industry. Student memberships are available as well.For more information, please visit www.motorpressguild.org.

Motor Press Guild
P.O. Box 4883
Orange, CA 92863[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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