MAMA News

  • 24 Jul 2019 4:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At the recent 2020 Ford Explorer launch program in Washington State, MAMA member Gary Witzenburg played the role of good Samaritan. While on the drive, which was a hot, dry day, he came around a curve but drove through a big cloud of dust. He was curious why there was so much dust as he didn't see any other cars on the road. Wondering what had caused it, he turned around, pulled over and walked along the road looking for a vehicle off down the hill. He didn't see one at first but instincts kicked in. When asked for more detail, Gary said "I thought I heard someone crying for help, so I kept walking, then spotted the car way down the hill. I could hear a woman crying and screaming for help." He proceeded to call 911 and waited at the top of the hill for them to arrive. After quite some time, the woman, who had also called 911, was pulled to safety.

    Gary is an award-winning automotive journalist who has been writing about automobiles, auto people and the industry in general for 30 years. A mechanical engineering graduate of Duke University, he is a former U.S. Navy officer, auto engineer race driver and advanced technology vehicle development manager who has authored eight automotive books.

    Gary has been a MAMA member since 2017. The MAMA Board wants to extend our kudos to him for being a good character and reminding all of us how important it is to help others!

  • 24 Jul 2019 4:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hyundai hosted MAMA’s July meeting with a special program to introduce the 2020 Palisade, the brand’s new flagship SUV, to media members. The morning kicked off at Hyundai’s regional headquarters in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, with a breakfast and presentation led by Mike O’Brien, vice president, product, corporate and digital planning, and Trevor Lai, manager, product planning for Hyundai.

    Following the presentation, 25 media members were able to test drive the Palisade via a road trip to Starved Rock State Park, a scenic wilderness area located in LaSalle County, about an hour and a half drive from Hyundai’s offices. Prior to the drive, O’Brien and Lai highlighted the features they’re confident will set the Palisade apart from its competitors in the already crowded 3-row midsize SUV segment.

  • 24 Jul 2019 4:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Greetings MAMA members,

    Welcome to the first edition of the MAMA Newsletter! We’re planning to send out these updates on a quarterly basis going forward, to keep you up to date on the latest MAMA news.

    MAMA was formed in the fall of 1991 to bring together journalists and public relations professionals involved in the automotive industry. Today, we are proud to be one of the premier media associations in the country, with 250 members.

    The MAMA Board was delighted to welcome a new Vice President to our team in mid-June. Harvey Briggs has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the automotive media business, and he is showing no signs of slowing down. MAMA will benefit greatly from his skill set and energy.

    The MAMA Spring Rally Team put on another successful Spring Rally at the Road America course in Elkhart Lake, WI, this past May, and we’re thrilled with the strong attendance and the excellent content that our members generated from the event.  Nearly 100 journalists attended and had access to 80 vehicles from 25 different brands, with driving opportunities on track, street, off-road, and autocross.  The team recently held our debrief meeting to compare notes, and look for ways to make next year’s event even better.

    Our July meeting, hosted by Hyundai, took place on July 11. Hyundai brought a small fleet of its new Palisade three-row SUVs for a driving excursion that took participants to Starved Rock State Park and back, providing a great opportunity for a detailed road-test evaluation. More information is posted below on this new vehicle entering into the midsize SUV segment.

    Our next monthly luncheon meeting is scheduled for August 14, and will be hosted by the Steel Market Development Institute. Don’t miss it—the meeting will feature a virtual-reality experience that will provide a glimpse of what a ride an autonomous vehicle may look and feel like.

    We’re also gearing up for this year’s Fall Rally, which will once again be held at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, IL. October 2 is the date for that event, so mark it on your calendar and stay tuned for more updates in the near future.

    That’s all for this time… see you next time around!

    Damon Bell

    MAMA President

  • 16 Jul 2019 10:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hyundai hosted MAMA’s July meeting with a special program to introduce the 2020 Palisade, the brand’s new flagship SUV, to media members. The morning kicked off at Hyundai’s regional headquarters in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, with a breakfast and presentation led by Mike O’Brien, vice president, product, corporate and digital planning, and Trevor Lai, manager, product planning for Hyundai. Following the presentation, 25 media members were able to test drive the Palisade via a road trip to Starved Rock State Park, a scenic wilderness area located in LaSalle County, about an hour and a half drive from Hyundai’s offices. Prior to the drive, O’Brien and Lai highlighted the features they’re confident will set the Palisade apart from its competitors in the already crowded 3-row midsize SUV segment.


    The Palisade name references a line of high cliffs, and also signifies the strength of a fortress—and the Palisade’s bold exterior and strong profile are in keeping with its moniker. The standard second-row bench seat provides eight-passenger seating, but second-row captain’s chairs are also available for seven-passenger capacity and easier access to the third row. The color palate choices are subtle and reserved, which underscores the Palisade’s upscale positioning. The long wheelbase offers good ride quality, and 20-inch wheels give the midsize SUV a planted stance.

    The Palisade’s interior has a high-end look; the top-line Limited model includes luxury features such as quilted Nappa leather seats, ambient lighting, Harmon Kardon premium audio system, and a surround-view monitor. Cargo space abounds; there’s 18 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seats, growing to 86.4 cu. ft. with the second- and third-row seats folded. The Palisade also offers loads of convenience features, including one-touch third-row access (where the second-row seat folds and slides with a press of a button when entering or exiting the vehicle) and available power-folding third-row seats.


    In terms of tech, the Palisade features an all-new digital instrument cluster, a 10.25-inch widescreen navigation system, available “driver talk” in-car intercom (to broadcast the driver’s voice through the rear speakers) and a “quiet mode” feature (which mutes the speakers in the back so parents can listen to music/podcasts while kids sleep, for example).

    Hyundai’s SmartSense safety technology also comes standard on every Palisade, including adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, lane keeping assist, high beam assist, driver attention warning, safe exit assist, highway drive assist, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, ultrasonic rear occupant alert and lane following assist.


    The Palisade comes in three trim levels, with the SE starting at $31,550, the SEL at $33,500, and the Limited at $44,700.

    Please save the date for MAMA’s August meeting with the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI): Wednesday, August 14. SMDI will give attendees a first-hand glimpse of what a ride in an autonomous vehicle may look and feel like through a virtual reality experience. Members may register here.

  • 29 May 2019 4:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin – May 29 – The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) hosted its annual Spring Rally last week at Road America, one of the world’s premier road racing tracks. Over the course of two days, nearly 100 media members from across the country had the opportunity to put nearly 80 vehicles through their paces in a variety of driving opportunities, including on-track, street, off-road and autocross.

    Automakers from 25 different brands selected the 2019 MAMA Spring Rally to showcase their latest cars, trucks, SUVs and CUVs to top-tier automotive journalists. A handful of the attending manufacturers also provided detailed overviews of their latest products.


    Photo Credit: Cars.com

    Lexus officially opened the MAMA Spring Rally with a breakfast presentation featuring the 2020 Lexus RC lineup—particularly the high-performance RC F model. Bob Gleich, senior product trainer for Lexus, said the 2020 RC F is lighter and more capable than before. He also reiterated that the F is highly capable on the track as the vehicle relies on a variety of technologies to help make its performance accessible to drivers of varying skill levels.

    Refreshed and redefined for 2020, the RC F receives enhanced performance (with weight reduction) and an updated, aggressive design. Taking advantage of the reduced weight, RC F engineers also retuned the chassis to give the car a more responsive feel. Under the hood is a 5.0-liter V8 engine that puts out 472 horsepower and 395 lb.-ft. of torque.


    Photo Credit: Cars.com

    The RC F also comes in a Track Edition, a limited production model intended for hardcore enthusiasts. Both the 2020 Lexus RC F and the RC F Track Edition are in production and will be available at dealerships shortly. Pricing for the 2020 RC F starts at $64,750, and the Track Edition starts at $96,650.  


    Photo Credit: Cars.com

    Following a morning of track touring laps and street drive evaluations, Nissan’s Karen Long discussed the brand’s commitment to sedans, the overall state of the sedan market and the company’s latest reveal, the 2020 Nissan Versa.

    Despite the growing SUV and crossover market, a recent survey – conducted by third-party research firm Edelman Intelligence – found that 78 percent of respondents would consider purchasing a sedan. Moreover, U.S. sedan owners are just as satisfied with their cars as non-sedan owners.

    Long discussed the continued importance of the sedan market, highlighting the 2020 Nissan Versa, the brand’s smallest and most affordable sedan. The 2020 Versa embodies the Nissan Intelligent Mobility philosophy; it’s fully equipped with safety and connectivity features such as standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, and available intelligent cruise control, which can bring the vehicle to a complete stop if needed.

    Inside, drivers can stay fully connected with seamless smartphone integration and a tablet-like 7-inch touchscreen infotainment display. Heated front seats and customizable gauges (such as music playlists to fuel economy history) are also a bonus.

    “The MAMA Spring Rally was a great event for Nissan to showcase the all-new 2020 Versa and speak about our commitment to the sedan market,” said Karen Long, senior manager sedans, CMM, Nissan North America. “We’re thankful to have had the opportunity to engage with such a great and influential crowd and to have them drive some of our latest vehicles.”

    The 2020 Versa will arrive at dealerships later this summer. Pricing has yet to be announced but Nissan said it will be priced competitive in the segment. 


    Quite literally shifting gears, Hyundai put its Veloster N in the spotlight by bringing five models for journalists to drive on track, on street and in the autocross. Mike O’Brien wrapped up the first full Rally day with a dinner presentation on the Veloster N, highlighting the three key pillars of the vehicle’s “fun-to-drive” theme: Corner Rascal (with precise control through corners); Race Track Capability; and Everyday Sports Car (easy to control from urban commutes to track driving).

    The “N” in its name both represents Namyang, Korea (where Hyundai’s engineering center is based and where the vehicle was born), as well as Germany’s Nürburgring, one of the longest, most tradition-steeped, challenging and busiest race tracks in the world (where the vehicle was honed). Also of note, the letter “N” represents a chicane. Built for the track, the Veloster N features a 275-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, N corner-carving differential, electronically controlled suspension, N “grin control” drive modes for precision and control, and a variable exhaust system.


    Photo Credit: Cars.com

    Racing attributes aside, the Veloster N offers the following as standard equipment: 8-inch audio display, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, premium audio, LED headlights and taillights, Hyundai’s Blue Link Connected Car Service, proximity key with push button start, and automatic temperature control.

    “The Veloster N is another example of Hyundai’s capabilities, offering a comprehensive degree of exterior and interior features and thrilling dynamics in an exciting sports car,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president, product, corporate and digital planning, Hyundai. “The Veloster N represents Hyundai’s highest performance vehicle ever for the U.S. market. We were thrilled to share our fun-to-drive Veloster N at the Midwest Automotive Media Association's Spring Rally.”

    The Veloster N begins at $26,900; the available Performance Package bumps the starting price to $29,000.


    Volkswagen kicked off the second day of the 2019 MAMA Spring Rally with a presentation and overview of the Jetta GLI, which was also available for evaluations on the street, the track, and the autocross.

    New for the 2019 model year, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a sedan with the heart and soul of the Golf GTI. Now featuring a 228-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a sophisticated limited-slip differential, and front brakes from the Golf R, the GLI is all new and presents a great value in the sport-sedan segment, according to VW.

    “I’m really pleased that we had the chance to present the all-new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI to our friends at MAMA,” said Mark Gillies, senior manager, product and technology communications, Volkswagen of America. “The Spring Rally is a highlight of the media association year and I’m delighted that MAMA members were able to experience the vehicle at Road America, one of my favorite tracks on the planet.”

    The 2019 Jetta GLI begins at $25,995 – $1,000 more for the 35th anniversary edition – and is currently on sale.


    Following an action-packed morning of off-road, autocross, and street driving, Mopar, the service, parts, and customer-care brand of FCA, hosted the final event and presentation of the MAMA Spring Rally. Kim Mathers, head of accessories and performance parts, Mopar, walked attendees through the brand’s evolution over 80-plus years in serving customers throughout the ownership experience.


    Photo Credit: Cars.com

    Mathers highlighted the brand’s emphasis on offering a large menu of accessories right at launch for new vehicles, such as the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator and 2019 Ram 1500.

    “The MAMA event is a great opportunity to share the Mopar brand’s mission with a large group of key journalists and media outlets,” said Mathers. “We were able to put journalists behind the wheel and let them experience a Ram 1500 Big Horn loaded with Mopar accessories and also share with them a behind-the-scenes video of a Mopar Custom Shop to demonstrate how we can accessorize vehicles even before they reach the dealership. The event was a great opportunity to interact with media and build relationships.”

    Finalists for MAMA’s annual Family Vehicle of the Year (FVOTY) and Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year (LFVOTY) Awards were also announced. During the event, journalists had the opportunity to evaluate 13 MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year contenders and six MAMA Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year contenders. Out of these vehicles, 70 MAMA journalists cast their votes and selected the following finalists.

    FVOTY Finalists:

    • 2020 Jeep Gladiator
    • 2020 Kia Telluride
    • 2019 Honda Passport
    • 2019 Mazda3

    LFVOTY Finalists:

    • 2019 BMW X7
    • 2019 Lincoln Nautilus
    • 2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLS 53 Coupe

    To qualify for the awards, the vehicle must have four doors and be new or significantly updated within a year of the Spring Rally. These vehicles will join another round of finalists that will be selected during the 2019 MAMA Fall Rally this October. A final round of online voting will then take place to determine the overall winner in each category, both of which will be announced during the MAMA breakfast that opens the 2020 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview in February. 

    “MAMA developed the Family Vehicle and Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year Awards to help car-shopping families make a wise decision when they’re ready for a new vehicle, and who better to evaluate these vehicles than the high-caliber group of automotive journalists who attend our rallies?” said Damon Bell, MAMA president. “We look forward to sharing the final results during the 2020 Chicago Auto Show.”


    The MAMA Spring Rally also served as a venue for the presentation of the 2019 Chicago Auto Show’s Best of Show Awards. In voting conducted over the 10-day public run of the Chicago Auto Show, consumer voters selected their favorites in five categories. Mark Bilek, senior director of communications and technology for the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, which produces the Chicago Auto Show, was on hand to distribute the awards to attending automakers. Jordan Wasylyk of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles accepted Jeep’s awards for Best Exhibit and for the 2020 Gladiator, which was voted Best All-New Production Vehicle. Bob Gleich of Lexus accepted the Best Concept Vehicle award for the Lexus LC Convertible. The 2019 Audi e-tron was also voted Best Green Vehicle and the 2019 Bugatti Chiron was selected the “Vehicle I’d mist like to have in my driveway.”

    For more information on the Midwest Automotive Media Association, please visit www.mamaonline.org.

    ###

    About the Midwest Automotive Media Association

    Founded in 1991 and now in its 28th year, the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) comprises more than 250 automotive journalists and industry professionals from approximately 23 states and the District of Columbia. Though based in the Chicago area, MAMA welcomes members from all parts of the country. The organization’s primary purpose is to provide a forum for newsworthy people, current issues and new products in the auto industry.

  • 16 May 2019 3:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Honda’s objective was two-fold during the last MAMA monthly meeting: to present the all-new Passport to journalists and share an industry perspective on the future of sedans, with the help and research backed by industry analyst Michelle Krebs.


    Krebs predicts that sedans will see a 6 percent dip of market share in a few years (current sedan market share is 31 percent). That said, however, Krebs noted the importance of sedans because the majority of first-time new vehicle buyers purchase a car due to the affordability factor. In fact, sedan purchases jump to 70 percent with Gen Z buyers (compared to 55 percent of total buyers). Bottom line, according to Cox Automotive data, midsize and compact car segments remain in the top five spots for shopping and sales.

    While sedans aren’t going anywhere any time soon, SUVs and crossovers continue to gain traction. Honda brought in the Passport’s Chief Designer Lara Harrington to discuss the brand’s newest crossover. Honda saw the opportunity to add to its crossover portfolio, as the Passport was designed to close the gap between Honda’s larger, three-row Pilot and its compact-size CR-V.


    Appropriately named, the Passport aims to attract the adventure-seeker who may be looking for both a family vehicle yet one that offers off-road driving performance and towing capability. Harrington described the Passport’s exterior as “rugged yet modern,” noting its standard 20-inch wheels, an “aggressive” black grille and a more athletic appearance compared to the Pilot.

    On the inside, the Passport continues to cater to its adventure-seeker audience by offering a large “basement” cargo area designed for storing dirty athletic gear or keeping purses and other valuables hidden. Its engine is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque.


    The Passport comes fully-equipped with Honda’s latest technology and safety features including its suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. All trim levels come with a multi-angle rearview camera system, while EX-L, Touring and Elite models come with Honda's blind spot information system. Also available, for an upgrade, is Apply CarPlay and Android Auto integration, an 8-inch infotainment display and wireless phone charging.

    Pricing begins at $31,900 for the Sport trim and rises to $43,600 for the Elite model.


    Honda plans to bring both the 2019 Passport and 2019 Civic to the MAMA Spring Rally at Road America next week for more than 100 journalists to test drive. 

  • 08 Mar 2019 11:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Brandon Girmus, Jeep Gladiator brand manager, presented the all-new open-air Jeep Gladiator to MAMA members earlier this week. Building on the success of its iconic Wrangler, Jeep recently introduced the all-new 2020 Gladiator – what Jeep refers to as the “most capable midsize truck ever.”


    The Gladiator has been in the works for years and is a concept Jeep fans and enthusiasts have been persistently requesting over the past two decades. While the Gladiator certainly builds upon the Wrangler’s success, the Gladiator is “100 percent truck and 100 percent Jeep,” according Girmus. In other words, Jeep took the best attributes of the Jeep products – open-air freedom, off-road capability and iconic design – and added real truck capabilities including towing (up to 7,650 lbs.) and payload (up to 1,600 lbs.). 

    The exterior design is authentic to the Jeep brand, including the iconic seven-slot grille, round headlamps and square taillights. The design team widened the grille openings to provide additional air intake to help with the truck’s increased towing capacity. When it comes to the removable tops, like the Wrangler, there are two options: a removable soft top or a three-piece hardtop.


    The interior design combines authentic styling, versatility and comfort. Exclusive to Gladiator, the rear seats and can be locked in place to provide secure storage. Additionally, the rear seat cushions can fold into “stadium” position to expose an open storage bin – utilizing the space under the seat. For the adventure-seeking owner, an optional lockable bin offers convenient secure storage space when the top or doors are removed.

    Advanced technology and safety features are also packed into the Gladiator. A 7.0- or an available 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system allows the driver to configure information in more than 100 ways including media (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration), tire pressure gauge, tire-fill alert or digital speed readout. removable Bluetooth wireless speaker is available so drivers and their friends can listen to their favorite music even while outside of the vehicle. Also, exclusive to Rubicon models, is a forward-facing off-road camera that allows the driver to better see and navigate trail obstructions.


    Available safety features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, forward-facing off-road camera, standard ParkView rear backup camera, adaptive cruise control and electronic stability control.

    Under the hood is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with engine stop-start. A 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 option will be available in 2020. Both engines will be available with either a 6-speed manual transmission or 8-speed automatic transmission. Jeep’s 2-speed 4WD transfer case is also standard. Front and rear axles are Dana 44s and the Rubicon model is available with the Wrangler’s trick electronic unlocking sway bar. 

    “Gladiator is the only open-air pickup on the market,” said Girmus. “There’s no other truck out there where you can take off the top and take off the doors.”

    The 2020 Jeep Gladiator comes in the following trim configurations: Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon. The all-new pickup will arrive at dealerships this spring.

  • 07 Feb 2019 7:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Chicago, Illinois (Feb. 7, 2019) – The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) announced today at the Chicago Auto Show that the 2019 Subaru Ascent has been named the winner of its ninth annual Family Vehicle of the Year award, and the 2019 Volvo XC40 has been named the inaugural winner of the Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year award.


    MAMA is a nonprofit group of automotive journalists and public relations professionals, and it developed the awards to help car-shopping families make a wise decision when they’re ready for a new vehicle.

    “Choosing a family vehicle is an important decision. Whether it’s a premium-brand or mainstream model, it should be versatile, reliable, efficient, and reasonably priced. MAMA members pooled their expertise and experience to select the best family vehicles from an outstanding group of new and significantly refreshed models, and the Subaru Ascent and Volvo XC40 came out on top,” said MAMA award coordinator Tim Healey.


    To qualify for the award, vehicles had to have four doors, appear at one of MAMA’s two annual rallies, and be new or significantly updated within a year of the 2018 Spring Rally, which took place in May 2018. The MAMA Spring and Fall Rallies feature roughly 100 manufacturer vehicles for journalists to drive and evaluate.

    Voting took place at both rallies, and the field of contenders was narrowed down to 11 finalists in the mainstream category: the Buick Regal TourX, Ford Expedition, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Kona, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda6, Nissan Altima, Ram 1500, Subaru Ascent, Subaru Forester, and Volkswagen Jetta. There were six finalists in the luxury category: the Acura RDX, Kia Stinger, Land Rover Range Rover Velar, Lexus ES, Maserati Levante, and Volvo XC40.


    In each round of voting, three points were awarded for a first-place vote, two points were given for a second-place vote and third-place votes were valued at one point each.

    MAMA members then voted in one final round, and 91 automotive journalists participated. The 2019 Subaru Ascent was selected as Family Vehicle of the Year with 100 points, ahead of the 2018 Ford Expedition, which garnered 74 points. The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe placed third with 61 points.

    The 2019 Volvo XC40 was crowned Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year with 151 points, edging out the 2019 Acura RDX, which netted 133 points. The 2019 Kia Stinger rounded out the top three with 82 points.

    Voting for the 2020 Family Vehicle of the Year awards will begin at the 2019 MAMA Spring Rally, which is scheduled for May 22-23 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The 2019 MAMA Fall Rally is tentatively scheduled for October 2.

    For more information about the Midwest Automotive Media Association, please visit www.mamaonline.org

    About the Midwest Automotive Media Association

    Founded in 1991, and now in its 28th year, the Midwest Automotive Media Association comprises 261 automotive journalists and public relations professionals from 23 states and the District of Columbia. Though based in the Chicago area, MAMA welcomes members from all parts of the country. The organization’s primary purpose is to provide a forum for newsworthy people, current issues, and new products in the auto industry.

  • 04 Feb 2019 9:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On January 30, 2017, longtime Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) member Jim Mateja lost his battle with cancer. An industry heavyweight, Jim’s powerful media reach and accessible reviews made him one of the most influential auto writers of his era.

    Jim was also a dedicated MAMA member, playing an active role in the organization he helped create. As MAMA’s first president, Jim charted the course for a group that now boasts more than 260 members and hosts two of the finest annual automotive media events in the country.

    Jim’s dedication to journalistic integrity; his potent, plain-language reviews; and his friendly, unguarded nature contributed to his legend and made him a welcome and respected fixture at MAMA events. Likewise, his counsel and support were always sought after and appreciated by subsequent MAMA leaders.

    Honoring Jim

    To honor Jim’s legacy, and to fully acknowledge his contributions to our industry, MAMA is partnering with the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism to establish a scholarship in his name.

    The James L. Mateja Memorial Scholarship

    Once fully funded, the James L. Mateja Memorial Scholarship will provide an annual sum of at least $4,000 to a promising journalism student as selected by Medill faculty. A new recipient will be selected every year.

    Funding the Legacy

    To fund the scholarship, MAMA must raise at least $100,000, contributed directly to Northwestern University’s 501 (c)(3) scholarship charity. This is the smallest amount of money the university will manage as part of a legacy program. While MAMA intends to make a significant contribution to the scholarship, we wanted to reach out to automotive manufacturers, as well as partner organizations and individual members, to be a part of this tribute to Jim.

    Our goal is to have the scholarship fully funded by June 30, 2018, so that we can award the first scholarship in September 2018.

    About the Scholarship

    Once funded, the James L. Mateja Memorial Scholarship will be managed by Northwestern University with no further input from MAMA—though additional contributions to the fund are always accepted. Most importantly, the name of the scholarship will never change.

    How to Contribute

    Whether you are representing an automaker, an organization or simply yourself, we welcome any contributions that will be made to honor our founding president. All contributions are tax-deductible and go directly to Northwestern University.

    1)  To donate via Northwestern's secure online portal, please click here

    2)  If you'd like to send a check, please make the check payable to Northwestern University and mail it to the following address (VERY IMPORTANT: indicate in the memo field or an enclosure that the gift is for the James L. Mateja Memorial Scholarship): 

    Julie Frahar

    Alumni Relations and Development

    Northwestern University 

    1201 Davis St. 

    Evanston, IL 60201 

    If you have additional questions, please contact the current MAMA President, Jill Ciminillo, at president@mamaonline.org.

  • 25 Jan 2019 8:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), an organization comprised of automotive journalists and related industry professionals, elected its 2019 board of directors during its annual business meeting.

    Damon Bell, formerly senior vice president, transitions to the role of MAMA president. Matt Avery, formerly vice president, membership, was elected to senior vice president and Jennifer Newman is newly elected to the MAMA board to carry out the role of vice president, membership, for a two-year term.

    Continuing to carry out second-year terms are Larry Nutson as the association’s treasurer and Kelley Enright as secretary. Jennifer Morand is also carrying out a second-year term under the title of communications director, formerly web director, to more accurately align with her association responsibilities. 

    Jill Ciminillo, who served a two-year term as MAMA president from 2017-2018, will transition into the role of president emeritus.

    During the annual business meeting it was reported that the association currently maintains a membership of 261 automotive journalists and industry professionals serving in the automotive industry or related fields.

    It was also announced that the very first recipient of the James L. Mateja Memorial Scholarship, Benjamin Winck, will be recognized during the MAMA opening breakfast to the 2019 Chicago Auto Show on Thursday, Feb. 7. In 2017, longtime automotive journalist and MAMA founding president Jim Mateja lost his battle with cancer. To honor Mateja’s legacy, MAMA partnered with the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism to establish a scholarship in his name.

    Also, during the Chicago Auto Show breakfast, MAMA will announce its 2019 Family Vehicle of the Year Award and Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year Award recipients. The Ford Expedition, Hyundai Santa Fe and Subaru Ascent are the finalists for the Family Vehicle of the Year Award, and the Acura RDX, Kia Stinger and Volvo XC40 are the finalists for the luxury category. Following the award presentations, Kia Motors America will present a program.

    For more information on the Midwest Automotive Media Association and upcoming events, visit www.mamaonline.org.


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