Automotive Passions Drive Career Paths

The auto industry supports 9.6 million jobs in the U.S.A for people pursuing automotive passions

Only 10% of women have pursued a career path in the automotive industry–until now! And we feature two women leaders in the automotive industry on the new podcast hosted by Beverly Smirnis–COMING SOON! They share their automotive passions.

Meet Kimberly Shults, South Regions Communications Director for Stellantis U.S.A.

Journalists with automotive passions know Kimberly as the media intelligence expert and company spokesperson for Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Dodge, Chrysler, Ram, Fiat, Maserati.

Kimberly talks about off-road driving with her dad at at early age which later inspired her to pursue her career path in the automotive industry. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Colorado Christian University in Political Science and History and her Master’s Degree in Communications from Baylor and started as the Main Street Manager for the City of Decatur. Then, her next job in corporate communications for Quaker State Motor Oil opened the door for advancement in automotive communications. But the busy wife and mom also talks about the work-life balance that is key to life success.

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Stellantis Careers for People with Automotive Passions:
Stellantis’ employs over 272,000 employees driven by this branding statement: Powered by our diversity, we lead the way the world moves.  It underscores that they are about more than transportation; they are about moving people and making connections.

Automotive Passions
Kimberly Shults & Beverly Smirnis talk in the podcast studio about public relations. PR is a career path they share.

“The late Jerre Todd of Arlington, Texas, was my PR mentor,” says Beverly. “His obit compares his agency to the one on the series Mad Men!”

Brand Positioning at its Best

John Dutton, played by Kevin Costner, drives a Ram 3500 Laramie Crew Cab truck. The Yellowstone series shows John driving all over Montana and across his ranch. Rip and the other ranch hands in the series also drive Ram Heavy Duty trucks. It’s been said by some that the “bad guys” in the show drive Ford trucks.

Who’s behind the product positioning for movies? The New York Film Academy decribes the career path of a prop master.

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Automotive Passions inspire Auto Journalists

There is a double-entrendre in the Stellantis brand statement about moving people and making connections.  Indeed we are moved by the passion that automotive industry personnel exhibit. In fact, the most rewarding aspect of our automotive journalism is making connections with the fascinating people in the industry. 

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career paths

As auto journalists, The Savvy List’s Steve and Beverly Smirnis drive the latest vehicles. A perk of their journalism career is having a new car delivered almost every week of the year. Even more interesting than the amazing vehicles they test drive are the people behind them. The various individuals working on the teams in the design, development, manufacture and sale the vehicles exemplify a diverse range of opportunities that exist for people with automotive passions. Listening to an automotive design team introduce a new vehicle is all about allegiance and patriotism to the brand.  EVERYONE loves their job. 

Kinzie Wilson: Career Paths for Women in Motorsports

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Kinzie Wilson, Beverly Smirnis, Alan Wilson in the Wicked Apple podcast studio.
career paths
Her first car to the drag strip happened when Kinzie was 13 years old.
Listen to the full episode featuring Kinzie on Apple or Spotify
Alan Wilson follows our Savvy Trucks & Toys column in Building Savvy magazine.

Podcast guest Kinzie Wilson was introduced to The Savvy List’s Beverly and Steve Smirnis by a fan of one of their columns. Alan Wilson of Brass Key Custom Homes has a passion for homebuilding. But it’s his automotive passions that inpired his daughter Kinzie. To be specific, it was his love for fast cars!

Kenzie talks on the podcast about her experience on the all-female team in The Great Race of 2022. An article in the New York Times chronicles this experience.  It was written by Mercedes Lilienthal, one of the adult mentor drivers.   

Kenzie graduated from Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina with a major in Motorsports Management and a minor in Digital Sport Media. 

The other student on The Great Race 2022 team, Olivia Gadjo, is pursuing a career path in Motorsports Technology. Olivia earned a her Motorsports Technology degree from Alfred State College of Technology in New York. 

Kinzie continues exploring her automotive passions this fall. She leaves for Italy, where she will begin her studies to earn a Global MBA in Supercars, Superbikes and Motorsports from the University of Bologna Business School.

RPM Foundation, sponsor of The Great Race is a nonprofit that provides grants and other resources for young people interested in vehicle restoration and preservation as well as mentorship opportunities.

Related: GM’s Arlington Assembly plant produces the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and the Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, and Escalade V.

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