[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. 25, No. 3, March 2015[/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’s kicks off 2015 with Town Hall Meeting at The Proud Bird

dscn3432The Motor Press Guild held a Town Hall Meeting at the Proud Bird Restaurant on Tuesday, February 24, 2015. Approximately 70 MPG members were in attendance to hear President Jason Fogelson deliver his “State of the MPG” address, and to hear from the Board of Directors about plans for 2015 and beyond. A spirited Q&A session followed the presentation, and members were invited to sign up for committee and other volunteering opportunities after the meeting.

Jim Dvorak from Mothers Polishes and Waxes generously provided gift buckets full of cleaning supplies as raffle prizes, and each table had a Mothers centerpiece of samples, which were also given away. Ford supplied some Ford Focus hats, which were handed out to members at random during the meeting, along with Track Days polo shirts and MPG lanyards.

In addition to Fogelson, MPG Board members Shad Balch, Aaron Gold, Joni Gray, Darryll Harrison, Deb Pollack, Brandy Schaffels and Doug Stokes sat in front of the room and fielded questions from the members. Board members Russell Datz, Michael Harley and Chris Woodyard were unable to attend due to conflicting professional commitments.  Staff members Pete Evanow (Media Guide Editor and Business Operations Manager) and Carrie Kim (Web/Communications Manager) were both introduced.

16701598955_46d68b176e_zFogelson’s address recapped the MPG’s 2014, and addressed the goals of 2015.

Three goals were specifically addressed:

  • A complete redesign and relaunch of the MPG website and member interface.
  • The launch of educational programming, and the reclassification of the MPG as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
  • Coordinated fundraising effort for all events and programming, rather than piecemeal (event-by-event) efforts.

MPG Treasurer Darryll Harrison then gave a brief outline of the MPG’s financial standing. The organization ran at a deficit in 2014, with a planned dip into cash reserves covering the loss. The budget for 2015 is still in process, with a goal of flat cash flow (no surplus/no deficit) for the year. The MPG budget and financial statements will be available for inspection on the new website.

A review of MPG events followed. Aaron Gold, Chairman of the Droptops and Dirt Committee, reported on planning for 2015. Fogelson reported on the MPG Invitational, the event at the LA Auto Show. Track Days Committee Chairman Russell Datz was not present, so Fogelson gave a brief recap of 2014 and stated that 2015 is subject to review. Dean Batchelor Award Banquet Chair Joni Gray reported on the 2014 event, and discussed our plan to return to the Petersen Automotive Museum for our 2015 event, pending the completion of the museum’s renovation.


Board Members have a little fun with fielding questions.
From L-R: Doug Stokes, Aaron Gold and Brandy Schaffels. Darryll Harrison, Joni Gray and Shad Balch.

Committee chairs and staff each gave a report, where applicable.

  • Michael Harley, MPG’s Vice-President and Chairman of the Membership Committee, was not present, so Fogelson gave a brief account of Membership’s close examination of applicants’ qualifications.
  • Joni Gray gave a preview of upcoming events planned by the Speakers Committee. Dean Case was introduced as the Chair of the Special Events Committee.
  • Gray gave a report for the Education Committee, a new committee designed to pursue the goal of implementing an educational program for aspiring automotive journalists.
  • Gray also gave a report on behalf of the Web/Communications Committee, with a brief rundown on the new website. Three bids were received for the creation of a new website, and the Board has accepted a bid and negotiated a contract with the winning bidder. Work has begun on the new website, which should be in beta within two months.
  • The MPG doesn’t currently have a Publicity Committee Chair, a vacancy that must be addressed quickly.
  • The MPG Vice President has traditionally chaired the Elections Committee, but there hasn’t been an assignment (or need) yet.
  • Fogelson gave a report for the Dean Batchelor Awards Judging Committee. Last year’s expansion of categories will be reexamined again this year, and further refined.
  • Evanow gave his report on the Media Guide from 2014/15 and the new Media Guide for 2015/16. Deadline for members information changes to be incorporated into the book is March 31, 2015, the same date as the ad deadline. Honda will cover the new book printing, and another manufacturer is on the verge of committing to paying for postage. The 2015/16 MPG Media Guide will be in the mail in June 2015.

After the reports and a brief wrap up, the floor was open to member questions. Questions and comments covered Track Days, Dean Batchelor Awards Judging, job placement and mediation, among other topics. Before the Q&A was over, the Mothers raffle winners were selected, and table centerpieces were also awarded.

View gallery of images, courtesy of Myles Regan/Regan Digital Images

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March Media in the News luncheon with John Krafcik of TrueCar, Inc. at the Long Beach Marriott

krafcikAfter a 10-year executive stint at Hyundai Motors America, 5 of which was as CEO, John Krafcik made a career move to sit in the president seat at TrueCar, an online pre-pricing tool that has recently gone public and is aggressively pursuing both dealer participation and consumer awareness. MPG Media in the News host and automotive analyst, Eric Noble, will dig into the story behind Krafcik’s decision to move into a technology career, what he’s learned along the way and what TrueCar’s plans for the future of car-buying looks like.

Long Beach Marriott
4700 Airport Plaza Drive
Long Beach, CA 90815 (click here for directions)
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
11:30 social // 12:00 lunch

Members: $25 // Guests: $30

April MPG Luncheon: Toyota Mirai Presentation at The Proud Bird

miraiGet tickets via Eventbrite

MPG is proud to announce that there will be a presentation on Toyota’s go to market strategy and walk-around for the Mirai fuel cell vehicle by Mark Oldenburg, National Fleet Marketing, Mobility and Strategic Planning Manager for Toyota Motor Sales USA.


The Proud Bird
11022 Aviation Blvd.
Los Angeles 90045 (click here for directions)


Tuesday, April 14, 2015
11:30 social // 12:00 lunch


Members: $25 // Guests: $30

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Welcome new MPG Board Member, Brandy A. Schaffels

boardmemberBrandySchaffelsMPG is proud to announce the newest Board of Directors Member, Brandy Schaffels

A true car girl at heart, Brandy A. Schaffels has spent more than 25 years as a journalist supporting the automotive industry, and earned her stripes working at such magazines as Car Craft and Motor Trend.

As a busy freelancer in the automotive industry, Brandy wears a variety of hats:
As Chief Editor of the female-friendly website, AskPatty.com, Brandy creates a variety of informative, lifestyle, and entertaining content on all subjects from car care and maintenance, to woman-focused vehicle reviews and news.

As Social Media Strategist for the Santa-Barbara-based public-relations firm AKN PR, Brandy manages the consumer facing voice for their clients AutoLiv Night Vision and Salt Cave spa and boutique.

As the Senior Editor and Content Manager for TrueCar.com, Brandy built their editorial department to help the site better inform consumers with news about new vehicles and technologies to aid them in their new car shopping decisions. She also assisted their social media efforts through Twitter and Facebook, as well as by participating in automotive conversations in such advice sites as Quora. Brandy still supports the consumer-facing TrueCar Blog, providing weekly data-driven content, and supervising development of and providing content for their partner-facing multi-user blog at TrueCarBuying.com.

Brandy entered the digital space in 1999 as the Project Manager for MotorTrend.com, developing, writing, and photographing all kinds of editorial content from automotive reviews to domestic and international auto shows; managing their their forums and e-newsletters; and oversaw their Spanish site MotorTrendenEspanol.com.

Brandy has more than 15 years of experience in the online realm. A specialist in social media, including keyword and search engine optimization, syndication and bookmarking services, product evangelization, and best web practices, Brandy is popular on both Twitter and Facebook, and can expertly leverage these networks to provide additional exposure to her clients.

Brandy first burned rubber in a red 1976 Chevy Monza and will never forget her first true muscle car: a Root Beer Brown 1968 Mustang Coupe with a 289cid small-block V-8. Her current daily driver is a blaze yellow 2011 Ford Fiesta she has nicknamed Sunshine. She has two sons — a 21-year-old named Benjamin, and 12-year-old Tristan — and three cats. She can be reached at brandy.schaffels@gmail.com.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” thickness=”2″ width_in_percentages=”” up=”40″ down=”40″][vc_column_text]


takeittothelimitpostersmall35th Anniversary Screenings of “Take it to the Limit”

Forest & Ocean Gallery will present 35th anniversary screenings of the classic motorcycle film “Take it to the Limit” at 480 Ocean Avenue, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 from April 9-12. The film features producer/director/MPG Journalist Member Peter Starr, champion motorcycle riders and celebrities. Arlo Guthrie is scheduled to attend on April 9. World-famous motorcycles will be on display and the film will be shown in its entirety.

Dates and times:
Thursday, April 9; 6-9 PM
Friday, April 10; 11 AM – 6 PM
Saturday, April 11; 9 AM – 6 PM
Sunday, April 12; 11 AM – 6 PM

For more information, contact Ludo Leideritz
Forest & Ocean Gallery
(949) 371-3313 or (949) 350-9370


California Festival of Speed

New MPG member Martin Lipp has invited all MPG members to attend this action-packed two-day event at Auto Club Speedway on April 11 and 12. Media credential applications will be available directly though his office starting February 27. Write pca.cfos@gmail.com to be e-mailed an application.

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boardmember-JasonFogelsonThanks to everyone who came out to the MPG Town Hall Meeting at the Proud Bird on February 24.

I don’t mind admitting to a few butterflies before I took the mic that afternoon. In an organization like ours there’s always a danger of an “us and them” mentality to creep in between the Board of Directors and the Membership. We called this Town Hall Meeting in order to dispel that mindset before it had a chance to take hold. We wanted to open the books, talk about what we are doing and planning, and to hear from you about what you wanted from the organization. In our meeting before the Town Hall, the Board all agreed to commit to honesty and transparency in all of our interactions with the group. We made a conscious effort to listen, to be open to all input, both positive and negative, and to move forward with the will of the membership.

I was proud of my fellow Board Members, and even more proud of the membership. There was an air of respect in the room, and a genuine commitment to improving our events and interactions for the benefit of the membership. Even more than the formal part of the meeting, I was struck by the side conversations and the follow up emails that I got from members, offering to contribute to and participate in various programs and event planning. My butterflies proved to be unfounded. The overall feeling that I left with was positive, energized and engaged.

Now, the work begins.

Coming up this month, we’ve got the next installment of our Media in the News sessions. This time, Eric Noble will interview John Krafcik, President of TrueCar. Krafcik has taken over the reins at TrueCar after a highly successful stint as Hyundai’s CEO, and brings a unique perspective to the automotive business. Last year’s Media in the News event with Angus MacKenzie, Chief Content Officer for TEN: The Enthusiast Network, was highly successful, and generated several articles for our members. We hope that you’ll find some news value in this month’s event, too.

See you on the road,

— Jason Fogelson
President, Motor Press Guild[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” thickness=”2″ width_in_percentages=”” up=”40″ down=”40″][vc_column_text]



  • Manuel Carrillo III – Internet Brands
  • John Kraman – NBC, NBCSN, Discovery And Velocity Networks
  • Andrew Maness — theroadlessdriven.com

Public Relations

  • Aileen Clarke – Communications Manager, West Region, Infiniti USA
  • Allie Meyer – Senior PR Specialist, Acura
  • Javier Moreno – Corporate Communications Manager, Toyota
  • Alan Ohnsman – SVP & Chief Communications Officer, Truecar Inc.
  • Scott Vazin – Vice President – Corporate & Regional Communications, Toyota


  • Nancy Banks, Manager – Corporate Reputation, Toyota
  • Matt Carpenter – hotrodsandguns.net
  • Charles Evanstad – FABTRANS, Inc.
  • Martin Lipp – California Festival Of Speed
  • Ben Miller – Puget Sound Business Journal
  • Billy Neal – FABTRANS, Inc.
  • Roger Ormisher – VP Automotive Brand Experience, Nth Degree

ALL MEMBERS: 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_1437594559222{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


Town Hall Meeting at the Proud Bird
Upcoming MPG Events
New Board Member, Brandy Schaffels
You’re Invited
President’s Message
— Jason Fogelson
New Members
Contribute to MilePost


Jason Fogelson, President
Michael Harley, Vice President
Darryll Harrison, Treasurer
Chris Woodyard, Secretary
Shad Balch
Russell Datz
Aaron Gold
Joni Gray
Deb Pollack
Brandy Schaffels
Doug Stokes


MPG Business Operations Manager
Pete Evanow

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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