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Women in Auto Care Announces 2017 Award Honorees

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Oct. 31, 2017—Not too long ago, Jill Trotta nearly left the automotive industry.

On Tuesday evening in Las Vegas, those tough times seemed like a distant memory.

Trotta, now the director of the automotive group for RepairPal, was one of the honorees at the Women in Auto Care Awards, held on the first day of AAPEX 2017. 

“Five years ago I was pretty much done with this industry,” said Trotta, who earned Woman of Excellence accolades in Las Vegas. “I had a failed business venture. … And I just went back in and worked at a car dealership and it wasn’t serving me right. I was kind of looking to get out of the industry when I found the ad for RepairPal and it got me reinvigorated. Between RepairPal and the women’s board, it totally got me reinvigorated. And now I’m going strong.”

Other award honorees on Tuesday included Laura Soave (Woman of the Year), and Carolyn Coquillette (Female Shop Owner of the Year). Soave is the chief marketing and communications officer for Federal-Mogul Motorparts; Coquillette owns and serves as a master technician at Luscious Garage in San Francisco.

While Soave said she felt truly humbled by her honor, Coquillette used her brief acceptance speech on Tuesday to inspire the Women in Auto Care organization to continue its support of industry education.

“Women in Auto Care understands the critical importance of shop ownership,” said  Coquillette, whose facility is renowned for its green initiatives. “It is an honor to be a member of this organization―one with such insight [on] the future of our industry on so many levels.”

Also on Tuesday, Women in Auto Care offered the $10,000 Kathleen Schmatz Scholarship to Antoinette Jackson, a native New Yorker who plans to study the automotive industry in college.

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