> AskPatty Automotive Expert Women

The Ask Patty panel of 50 automotive expert women hold leadership roles in the automotive industry as woman owners of new and used car dealerships, hold various roles at car dealerships as technicians, mechanics, finance managers car sales and service managers. There are also car DYI experts , NASCAR and car racing experts, tire experts, car after-market accessories experts, custom car experts, car safety and car care experts and much much more. They cover the entire gamut for you on car tips and advice and are here to help you 24/7 with your automotive related questions.

Dana Schaeffer Director of Business Development - Chop Shop Customs

Dana Schaeffer Director of Business Development - Chop Shop Customs

Dana Schaeffer actually married into the car industry back in 1993. Her husband owned a 1956 Chevrolet Belair mild custom and together they would travel up and down the East Coast to car shows, enjoying the hot rods and cool people they met. It’s during this time that Dana found out she actually enjoyed the hobby on her own terms.

In early 2004, Dana & her husband opened up Chop-Shop Customs in Woburn, MA ( ) where they specialize in classic restoration and upscale metal fabrication. She is currently the Director of Business Development for the ‘shop’ and handles all the advertising, communications and website management.

Dana is the Director of Social Media as well as an Assistant U.S. Director of Representatives for New England for the Right Coast Association (

At the SEMA show in 2006, Dana was honored with an achievement award recognizing her continued support for the SEMA Action Network’s legislative efforts in the State of Massachusetts. Dana is also a member of the SBN (SEMA Businesswomen's Network).

Dana resides in Massachusetts, with her son, Nathan and her husband Lenny. She also works full time as the Senior Automotive Account Manager for IMN.

Deborah Renshaw-Parker - Professional NASCAR Driver

Deborah Renshaw-Parker - Professional NASCAR Driver

Meet Deborah Renshaw-Parker:

“Dare To Dream” – that is exactly what Deborah Renshaw-Parker does everyday. As women increase their efforts and opportunities in auto racing, the 30 year-old native of Bowling Green, Kentucky continues to set new marks in the sport.

The dream began as a youngster at local race tracks around Kentucky and Tennessee where her father, Dan, was a team owner. Eager to learn the sport, Deborah attended races with her father and helped with anything she could – such as lap times, tire pressures, etc... With racing in her blood, she went off to college at Northwood (MI) University where in 1997 she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business along with an Associate’s Degree in Automotive Marketing. With this education in tow, Deborah chased that racing dream with the support of her family by competing at local tracks near Nashville, Tennessee.

The 1999 and 2000 race season saw Deborah compete in the Late Model stock car division at Highland Rim (TN) Speedway where she finished fifth in the points while earning a runner-up finish for the Rookie of the Year award. The dream became even bigger in the 2000 – 2001 seasons with participation in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series at the famed Nashville Speedway USA and Riverview (TN) Speedway. She made 27 starts throughout the season accumulating three top-ten finishes, six top-15 finishes and one pole position which also set a new track record at Riverview.

At the Nashville Speedway USA, Deborah earned her way to the top of the championship point standings and made history in the process by becoming the first female to lead the point’s race in a NASCAR – sanctioned series.

Deborah took her dream and emerging talent to the ARCA RE/MAX Series for the 2002 and 2003 campaigns where she impressed many with six top-ten starts and three top-ten finishes.

Determined to continue down this path, the 2004 season saw Deborah make another big step into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In 14 starts, she earned two top-20 finishes with a career best finish of 15th at Martinsville Speedway in late October. She also became the first female to lead a lap in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race after doing so in the race at Darlington Raceway.

As the dream progresses, so does this determined female racer. The 2005 campaign will see Deborah climb behind the wheel of the #8 DODGE from the stable of Bobby Hamilton Racing. She will compete in the full schedule of the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and will continue to wake up everyday and “Dare To Dream”.

Deborah married Shawn Parker, a NASCAR crew chief, in 2006.

Suzanne Grego - Technician City of Philadelphia Fleet Management

Suzanne Grego - Technician City of Philadelphia Fleet Management

Meet Suzanne Grego:
Suzanne’s curiosity in cars began as early as eight years old, when her father brought her to a classic car show. It wasn’t just the shine of the paint that caught her eye. When she heard the rumble of the engines, she was automatically curious about the machines and how the engine produced such a magnificent noise.

Years later, Suzanne began college at the University at Buffalo, just a short trip from her parents’ home outside of Rochester, New York. When the time came for her to purchase her first car, she became even more excited about the ins and outs of automobiles. She started doing her own oil changes and replacing brake pads with a little assistance from her father. In 1999, she graduated from college with a Bachelors degree in Film and English and she headed to California to become a filmmaker. However, not enjoying the West coast, she once again packed up her bags and headed to Philadelphia. Knowing it was time to get serious about life, she asked herself, “what is the one thing that I could do to wake up everyday and want to go to work?” The answer: fixing cars.

With only a basic understanding and limited maintenance experience, she realized she needed to go to school. She enrolled herself into the Automotive Technology Department at Community College of Philadelphia graduated in 2003 with her Associates degree. While enrolled in school, she also took advantage of a Ford Training Program which placed her into her first mechanics job in a Ford dealership.

Suzanne currently works as a technician for the City of Philadelphia, Fleet Management. She fixes and maintains the performance of the Water Department cars and trucks. She thoroughly enjoys her job, and the excitement that new challenges everyday bring to her.

Suzanne Grego
City of Philadelphia Fleet Management

Amy Mattinat - Auto Repair Shop Owner & Author

Amy Mattinat - Auto Repair Shop Owner & Author

Meet Amy Mattinat:

Amy’s career in the automotive industry began at Auto Craftsmen Ltd., an independent Import Dealership located in Montpelier Vermont. Over the years Amy has done almost every job in the place. From cleaning lady to mechanic’s helper, bookkeeping and marketing, to salesperson and service advisor. From part-time to full time, she took on more and more responsibility until she became so integrated in the life of the business and the customers that she was asked to become a business partner.

She has become passionate about creating Automotive Excellence within her business. Amy feels that good communication is the essence of being able to explain, suggest and fix any problem her clients may have. She has created a business that is both pleasing to the eye as well as comfortable and fun. She spoils her client base and they love it!

Encouraged to “spread the word,” Amy writes a monthly newsletter, and has written both newspaper and magazine columns on automotive repairs, maintenance, car care and safety. After selling used cars for 6 years, she has also written an easy to use manual, “How To Buy A Great Used Car,” available at She believes that everyone deserves to purchase a quality car no matter what their budget is. They just need to do their “homework!”

Wanting to spread automotive excellence throughout the country, Amy is teaching other shops how to improve communication with their customers and how to create lasting, top-notch customer service.

She is a board member on the education committee for the Women’s Car Care Council, belongs to WAAI (Women’s Automotive Association International,) and AWARE (Advancing Women in Automotive Retail Enterprises). She is delighted to be on the advising board of

You can purchase " How to buy a great Used Car" by Amy Mattinat by going to this site:

Amy Mattinat
Owner and Author
Auto Craftsmen Ltd

Wendy Engelberg - Director of Operations and Founder AutoVisuals

Wendy Engelberg - Director of Operations and Founder AutoVisuals

Meet Wendy Engelberg:

Wendy Engelberg is the Director of Operations and Founder of AutoVisuals, maker of the Auto Sharp Paint Pen™. A marker used to touch up the chips & scratches on your car. Wendy started in the automotive paint industry by having her own touch up company that went to the dealerships and touched up the cars and painted the bumpers. After multiple injuries from a previous horseback riding accident, she needed to find something new to do that was less physical. Since already having contacts at some of the dealerships and being aware of the need for a good touch up product, AutoVisuals was formed.

Wendy lives in Los Angeles, CA. and in her spare time is an avid mountain biker.

Susan Givens - Vice President AutoSuccess

Susan Givens - Vice President AutoSuccess

Meet Susan Givens:

Susan Givens is the Vice President of Systems Marketing Inc., dba AutoSuccess Magazine. Susan started with Systems Marketing, Inc. in her final semester at the University of Louisville where she received her degree with a major in Business Management and a minor in International Business. She soon became a part owner with the company. The focus of the magazines is to create a positive avenue for the readers to learn and grow. Susan has made this way of thinking part of her everyday life.

"By staying positive, you can learn and grow so much faster!"

Since starting with AutoSuccess Magazine, she has seen the industry changing. "More women are influencing the automotive industry than ever before, it’s an exciting time for both consumer and automotive industry women!"

Susan Givens
Vice President
Systems Marketing, Inc.
dba AutoSuccess Magazine
3411 Pinnacle Gardens Dr.
Louisville, KY 40245
877.818.6620 x 226
502.588.3170 (f)

Lorraine Schultz - Founder/CEO WAAI

Lorraine Schultz - Founder/CEO WAAI

Meet Lorraine Schultz:

Lorraine Schultz began making history during a time in the automotive industry when there were probably 400 men to ever one woman employed. In 1999, the Automotive Hall of Fame awarded its Distinguished Service awards to women for the first time since 1945. Lorraine Schultz, a member of its Board of Directors and Founder of the Women's Automotive Association International, had a lot to do with that decision.

Lorraine began her career in the automotive industry when she acquired an interest in the Detroit Model Bureau, a company that supplied talent for the various auto shows. When the company dissolved, Lorraine became the Executive Director for the AutoLeather Guild of America where she worked for 19 years managing the marketing for three major tanners who supplied leather for the automotive industry. This tenure provided her with the opportunity for extensive traveling to auto shows all over the world including France, Switzerland, and Japan.

In 1995, following the dissolution of the Leather Guild, Lorraine introduced the Women's Automotive Association (WAAI) to the automotive industry. She has received many leadership and humanitarian awards from organizations such as the American Lung Association, the National Association of Women Business Owners, and Women in Communications. She has served as a Board member and volunteer to many companies and organizations such as Society of Automotive Analyst, Women's Economic Club of Detroit, March of Dimes, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Michigan Opera Theatre, Salvation Army, Kendall School of Art and Design, and The Detroit Metropolitan Woman Magazine. Lorraine is presently the Executive Director for the WAAI, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Automotive Hall of Fame and Ferris State University.

Debbie Lee - President Professionals Car Care

Debbie Lee - President Professionals Car Care

Meet Debbie Lee:

Debbie Lee’s career in the automotive industry started in 1981. She was 18 years old and caught in a dilemma on which basketball scholarship to accept. So with a hurt knee and no clear picture in front of her she answered an ad in the newspaper that read “lot boy wanted.”

She took the job and started her introduction into the industry. She has since spent 25 years in automotive. Debbie started out washing vehicles, learning inventory control, detailing vehicles, making deliveries and doing all the so-called “lot boy” jobs they could find. She LOVED it! So, as the wheel turns, Debbie moved through various jobs at that dealership learning all she could.

Three months later she was in management. Two years later, Debbie started her own detailing company, now known as Professionals Car Care, that provides detailing services to automotive and recreational vehicle dealerships throughout Orange County, Los Angeles County, and Riverside County. They clean an average of 5,000 vehicles per day in one form or another. Many of those vehicles are from clients they have served since 1983. They also provide cleaning services for many automotive and RV shows and events.

Debbie is very active in her community, environmental organizations and classes, continuing education and the daily hands-on running of her three companies. Along with Professionals Car Care Debbie also owns Compliance 1st Cleaning and Total Satisfaction, a line of private labeled detailing products that will be available summer 2006.

Debbie Lee
Professionals Car Care
Compliance 1st Cleaning

Maura Schreier-Fleming - Owner Best@Selling

Maura Schreier-Fleming - Owner Best@Selling

Meet Maura Schreier-Fleming:

Maura Schreier-Fleming discovered her fascination with auto mechanics while studying textile engineering in graduate school at Georgia Tech. She needed a car in Atlanta and purchased her first car (a fabulous, used Toyota Corolla). That’s when she realized that she couldn’t be a helpless female with a vehicle. Her solution? She enrolled in Dekalb Tech at night and took courses in engine tune-up and hydraulic brakes. She loved it! She chose to enter the oil business because working with mechanical components would be part of her job.

Her first job at Mobil Oil was sales engineer. She sold industrial lubricants, passenger car motor oils and heavy duty motor oils to a variety of industries. Next she became Mobil Oil’s first female lubrication engineer in the United States. Working in the oil industry allowed Maura to combine her love of mechanical equipment and sales.

She left the oil industry, after working in it over 20 years, so she could work for herself. She established Best@Selling in 1997. Best@Selling is a sales training and consulting company. She now writes several columns on selling and works with technical and business professionals on their skills and strategies to sell more and close business faster.

Her background in technical sales helps her to understand the products of the clients she works with. She wants to work with other women so they can get the confidence to work in technical areas like the automotive industry. The automotive industry offers many opportunities for women to be successful. Maura is based in Dallas, Texas and is an active member of IEEE (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.)

Maura Schreier-Fleming
Author - Real-World Selling for Out-of-this-World Results

Karen Payton - Vice President On Wheels, Inc.

Karen Payton - Vice President On Wheels, Inc.

Meet Karen Payton:

Karen Payton is Vice President of, on Wheels Incorporated is a multicultural multimedia company that publishes African Americans On Wheels, Asians On Wheels and Latinos On Wheels magazines.

Karen also produces The Urban Wheel Awards, The Urban Wheel Dealer Awards and maintains On Wheels, Incorporated is also the parent organization of the Edward Davis Education Foundation.

Karen Payton
Vice President
On Wheels, Inc.
African Americans On Wheels Magazine
Asians On Wheels Magazine
Latinos On Wheels Magazine

Lori Johnson - Owner Ladies Start Your Engines

Lori Johnson - Owner Ladies Start Your Engines

Meet Lori Johnson:

Lori Johnson is an instructional aid and adjunct faculty member in the Automotive Technology program at the Community College of Philadelphia. She has 7 years experience as an automotive technician and a new car service manager for a Honda dealership. She has been an automotive information specialist and automotive editor for Chilton Publications/SPX Information Services. She has also prepared test preparation guides for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

Ms. Johnson holds professional licenses and certifications in a number of areas including Air Conditioning Refrigerant, Pennsylvania Emissions Inspection and Pennsylvania Safety Inspection and is ASE certified. She is a qualified Motorcycle Safety Instructor and is a Pennsylvania State Inspection instructor. Ms. Johnson has a strong record of service to the College and the community. Among other activities, she has served on two Hiring Committees at the college and currently serves on the Teaching Center and the Scholarship Advisory Boards.

Ms. Johnson earned a certification in Automotive Technology from Pennco Tech and in Client Server Technology from Penn State University. She has an A.A.S. degree in Automotive Technology and is currently pursuing a B.A. in Women's Studies at Temple University.

Lori’s business, Ladies, Start Your Engines! is a light maintenance class for women. Lori teaches her class using venues such as automotive dealerships, colleges, local adult education centers and women’s organizations. She enjoys empowering women with automotive knowledge so that they can feel confident when servicing or purchasing parts for their vehicles and she helps them become a more informed consumer. When she’s not teaching you can find her riding her Harley Davidson Heritage Softail.

Lori Johnson
Owner and Instructor
Ladies Start Your Engines