I’m now deep into my second one-year term as President of MPG, and at the beginning of my second three-year term on the Board of Directors. As with any volunteer position, my friends and colleagues frequently ask me that loaded question: “Why do you invest your time and energy in the Motor Press Guild?”
It’s a very easy question for me to answer, and I suspect that most of my fellow Board Members would have a similar reply.
I serve the MPG because I believe in its mission: “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.”
Automotive journalism was not my first career path. Before writing about cars, trucks and motorcycles, I worked in the entertainment industry. I started out as a Literary Manager for a New York theater, then became an agent (representing writers and directors). I left agenting to become a producer, concentrating on film projects. After a while, I grew disenchanted with entertainment. I lost my passion for the business side of it, because it didn’t match the mission. I decided to find a way to make a living pursuing my passion, which has always been automotive. I went to work as a production assistant on a cable television show about transportation, and started writing spec car reviews on the side. Luckily, I got my reviews into the right hands, and I wound up with enough freelance writing assignments and gigs to make a living as a reviewer and journalist.
What I discovered along the way was something I rarely found in the entertainment business: Happiness. I was happy doing my job, and I found myself as part of a community of passionate professionals who were also happy. Folks were smart and ambitious, but collaborative in a way that I’d never experienced before. Everyone seemed to come to automotive journalism and public relations from a different, unique direction. Interesting, lively, intelligent people who all had one thing in common: They all loved cars.
I joined MPG early in my career, and I always appreciated the events and programs that the organization produced. When the opportunity came to join the Board of Directors to help steer the ship, I leapt onboard.
Several previous Presidents of MPG have offered me advice and counsel during my term, and I am grateful to them. I’ve heard that it’s a thankless job, but honestly, I don’t agree. I get a great deal of enjoyment and appreciation when I see MPG members at events. I see them gathering information, socializing and having fun. Knowing that I have been in some part responsible for that feels like thanks to me, and I’m so glad that I have the opportunity to participate.