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2019 EXCELLENCE IN CRAFT COMPETITION WINNERS

The mission of the Texas Auto Writers Association is to promote quality and accuracy in automotive journalism and to disseminate information about the automotive industry through news-related print, online and broadcast media. Each fall we acknowledge the outstanding work of our members with an annual competition designed to recognize TAWA members excellence in automobile journalism. We seek out and ask top newspaper editors, honored writers, and highly-experienced radio/video producers in North America to judge members’ work and then honor and celebrate them at our annual fall meeting.


Top Awards

TEXAS TRUCK INVITATIONAL

NEWSPAPER WRITING 1st Place: Sue Mead – Trucks.com

Rod Hall Reflects on Career, Shares Tips”


MAGAZINE WRITING 1st Place: Jason Fogelson -- Forbes.com

“My Brother, Two Dogs, Two Cats, And 2,800 Miles in A $5,000 Pickup

Truck” 


OVERALL WINNER - Katzkin Automotive Leather Recipient:  

Sue Mead – Trucks.com - Rod Hall Reflects on Career, Shares Tips”


Derek Price, VP Communications | Thursday September 26, 2019

DALLAS — Automotive journalists Sue Mead and Kristin Shaw were among the top winners in the Texas Auto Writers Association’s 2019 journalism contests, sponsored by Katzkin.

The award winners, who were announced Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 at the State Fair of Texas, included writers, photographers, designers and online content creators from across the United States who entered TAWA’s two contests: the Excellence in Craft Competition, which is only open to TAWA members, and the Texas Truck Invitational, which is open to any journalist who covers the truck industry.

“This year’s TAWA Excellence in Craft Competition scoring resulted in event firsts,” said Tim Spell, former automotive editor for the Houston Chronicle who chaired the award programs. “Kristin Shaw’s outstanding writing skills earned her first place, with articles from `Cars Her Way’ and ‘The Unimaginable,’ in both the EICC Newspaper and Magazine Writing categories. Sue Mead became a two-time winner of the Texas Truck Invitational Writing competition with her interview of off-road-racing legend Rod Hall. Roman Mica’s ‘The Fast Lane Car’ and Andre Smirnov’s ‘The Fast Lane Truck’ entries tied for first place in the highly competitive Video category.” 

“As we enter our third year of involvement with the Texas Auto Writers Association, we’re proud to honor those that are the absolute best in their craft,” said Doug Johnson, director of OEM development for Katzkin.  “The State of Texas, and its ever-growing truck and SUV market, has always been a significant regional focus for our brand, and we appreciate the opportunity to support and recognize those who are significant within our Texan automotive community.  Both the Excellence in Craft Competition and the Texas Truck Invitational Competition have opened the doors to foster stronger relationships and share our common goals of quality and distinction.”

“The Texas Auto Writers Association thanks Katzkin Automotive Leather for its third year of supporting the Texas Truck Invitational Writing category, and this year’s sponsorship of the Excellence in Craft Competition,” Spell said. “Katzkin’s involvement in EICC has resulted in a reduced entry cost, which has greatly contributed to the competition’s growth.”

Spell said the panel of judges for the TAWA Excellence in Craft Competition are at the top of their fields.

Judges in the contest included the following feedback

   “Kristin Shaw is a gifted writer. Her `Unicorn’ is an engaging tale of a         successful businesswoman and mother who is equally geeked on             enterprise and lateral acceleration.”

   “Sue Mead was the right person to recount some late-life advice,               experiences and even optimism from off-road legend Rod Hall, who           passed away from a rare, incurable brain disorder shortly after this           piece was published. Mead's interview reminds us of what a loss that       was.”

   “Roman Mica’s `The Fast Lane Car’ video is watchable, entertaining           and super-informational. Andre Smirnov’s `The Fast Lane Truck’                 video was entertaining, suspenseful, humorous. This review checks        all the boxes of an epic vehicle video review. Great job, Team Fast              Lane.”

   “David Elshoff and the Ram PR Team produced an outstanding press         kit with a bold, dedicated microsite combined with dramatic                       takeaway-brochure packaging.  Kudos to the team for great use of             photography and video, plus a thoroughly reported list featuring a             truckload of detail.  Nicely done.”

The complete list of award winners is below:

Texas Truck Invitational

Overall Winner – Sue Mead – Trucks.com – “Rod Hall Reflects on Career, Shares Tips”

Magazine Writing

1st – Jason Fogelson -- Forbes.com – “My Brother, Two Dogs, Two Cats, And 2,800 Miles in A $5,000 Pickup Truck”

2nd – Natan Tazelaar -- Land Rover Monthly – “Royal Drag Queen”

3rd – Frank Ledwell – OutdoorX4 Magazine – “Exploring New Paths”

Special Recognition — Derek Shiekhi — Ford-Trucks.com -- “Diesel 2018 F-150 Platinum Is Certifiably ‘Built Ford Tough'"

Newspaper Writing

1st – Sue Mead -- Trucks.com -- “Rod Hall Reflects on Career, Shares Tips”

Judge’s comments: “Sue Mead was the right person to recount some late-life advice, experiences and even optimism from off-road legend Rod Hall, who passed away from a rare, incurable brain disorder shortly after this piece was published. Mead's interview reminds us of what a loss that was.”

2nd – David Boldt – txGarage.com – “Ford’s F-150 Raptor: Raptorsaurus Rex”

Judge’s comments: “David Boldt explores the second-generation Ford Raptor pickup from the outside, underneath and from behind the wheel of the muscular truck, in Moab and on main street in this insightful review”.

3rd – Natan Tazelaar – Houston Chronicle -- “Chevy road trip highlights cowboy culture, American know-how

Judge’s comments:“Netherlands native Natan Tazelaar takes an organized -- and for him, eye-opening -- tour from the driver's seat of an appropriately Texas-sized Chevrolet SUV of some North Texas.”

Texas Auto Writers Excellence in Craft Competition

Writing -- Magazine

1st -- Kristin Vanderhey Shaw – The Unimaginable – “Part Race Car Driver, Part Banker: Sarah Stasney is a Unicorn”

Judge’s comments: “Kristin Shaw is a gifted writer. Her `Unicorn’ is an engaging tale of a successful businesswoman and mother who is equally geeked on enterprise and lateral acceleration”.

2nd -- Natan Tazelaar – Cavallino – “Ferrari SF90 Stradale”

Judge’s comments: “Natan Tazelaar's Stradale feature presents a detailed deep dive into the nuts and bolts (and electrons) of Ferrari's revolutionary electrified supercar.”

3rd -- Frank Ledwell -- OutdoorX4 Magazine – “Exploring New Paths”

Judge’s comments: “Frank Ledwell's `Exploring New Paths’ gets to the nitty gritty of the compact pickup truck resurgence on and off the road.”

Special Recognition-- Jill Ciminillo -- Sinclair Broadcast Group – “Protect yourself from getting carjacked”

Special Recognition-- Aaron Vick Starnes -- The Dirt on Cars – “2019 Toyota Avalon Touring – A Comfortable, Capable Cruiser”

Special Recognition -- Derek Shiekhi -- Ford-Trucks.com -- Diesel 2018 "F-150 Platinum Is Certifiably ‘Built Ford Tough’”

Writing – Newspaper

1st – Kristin Vanderhey Shaw -- Cars Her Way

“'We made some great memories together': How a minivan made our family vacation magical”

Judge’s comments: “Normally a kid-oriented trip to Disney World is a far more pleasant journey for the kid, who knows what's coming at the end, but Kristen suggests that the proper vehicle, in this case a minivan with rear-seat video, can make the drive more pleasant for everyone involved. Breezy, fun read.”

2nd – Aaron Vick Starnes -- The Dirt on Cars – “You Bought the Wrong Project Car, Now What?”

Judge’s comments: “Aaron Vick Starnes addresses one of the universal problems for dedicated -- or overly dedicated automotive enthusiasts: That moment, and beyond, when you get your project car home and feel like the dog that has finally caught the 18-wheeler: What now? Stories like this that come from the author's personal experience are the most valid.”   

3rd – Frank Aukofer -- Review Garage and various other publications – “Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition”

Judge’s comments: “Frank Aukofer's memories of his old 40-horsepower Volkswagen Beetle intertwine with his look at the final 2019 Beetle in an authoritative but conversational retrospective.”

Special Recognition-- Jill Ciminillo – Sinclair Broadcast Group --Dogs in Cars: Why your dog should be restrained”

Judge’s comments: “Jill Ciminillo's report on the importance of restraining your dog inside the car is a must-read for pet owners, addressing not only the safety of the animal, but the human occupants, who are definitely in danger if their beloved unrestrained pet becomes a projectile in a crash.”

Radio

1st – In Wheel Time – Don Armstrong, Michael Marrs, Konrad DeLong -- In Wheel Time – “2019 Antron Brown interview”

Judge’s comments: “Hosts showcase their remarkable skills as interviewers and a notable ability to share information with their listeners, in a very enjoyable way.”

2nd – Jerry Reynolds -- The Car Pro USA Radio Show – “WBAP-Distracted Driving”

Judge’s comments: In a short and very moving note, the host of the show stresses the importance of preventing distractions of any kind while at the wheel of a vehicle. A valuable public service contribution aimed at saving lives.

3rd -- Harold Gunn and Wayne Cronin – “The Automotive Reporter” – “Interviews with Mary Wroten, Ford’s Associate Director of Global Sustainability and Manuel Sanchez, Gulf States Toyota”

Judge’s comments: “Two interesting, entertaining and well conducted interviews contribute to have people understand the commitment of our automotive industry with the future of our environment, and how complex it is sometimes to be able to offer customers the quality of service they expect and deserve.”

Special Recognition– Michael Garfield -- KPRC-AM/iHEARTRADIO – “Michael Gets Inside the All-New 2020 Jeep Gladiator”

Judge’s comments: “In a very professional manner, the host shows his enthusiasm describing a product that was anxiously expected, and conducting an interview filled with tons of useful information.”

Special Recognition – Greg Riley, Natan Tazelaar, Jesus Garcia -- GarageDlx.FM – “Tales from the Garage”

Judge’s comments: “Fun to listen to, informative and appealing for nostalgic audiences.”

Video

1st – The Fast Lane Car – Roman Mica – “This Is the Best Off-Roader You Can Buy! G-Wagon vs 4Runner vs Wrangler”

Judge’s comments: “This engaging threesome puts three new SUVs through the off-road wringer in the snowy mountains of Colorado.  The result is watchable, entertaining and super-informational. Great job, Team Fast Lane.”

1st – The Fast Lane Truck – Andre Smirnov – “Three New Trucks -- One Epic Off-Road Comparison: 2019 Ford Raptor vs Chevy Trailboss vs. Ram Rebel!”

Judge’s comments: “Entertaining, suspenseful, humorous, and, yes, “butt-clenching” at times as this team pits one truck against the other in a slew of grueling tests in the wilds of Utah. This review checks all the boxes of an epic vehicle video review.”

2nd – Jerry Reynolds -- The Car Pro USA Radio Show – “2019 Challenger Redeye review and burnout”

Judge’s comments: “Great video and editing, great pacing, lots of info. Thorough tour.”

3rd – Jesus Garcia – Jesus Behind the Wheel -- “2019 Camaro SS Road Test”

Judge’s comments: “Great video/editing, creative.”

Special Recognition – Nolan Merrill -- Prime Autotainment Channel -- “2019 Ford F-150 Ford Raptor”

Judge’s comments: “We ride shotgun with Nolan as he puts a Ford Raptor through its paces in a well-researched, thorough review. Professional videography and editing with a quick pace and a truckload of interesting details. Nicely done, Nolan!”

Special Recognition -- Amy Plemons -- CarPro USA

“2020 Kia Telluride SX Prestige Review”

Judge’s comments: “With an energetic onscreen presence and a well-researched knowledge of the vehicle, Amy takes us on a thorough tour of the new Kia Telluride. Professional videography and editing. Great pacing. Lots of info. Great review.”

PR Press Kit

1st -- David Elshoff and Ram PR Team – “2019 Ram Heavy Duty Press Unveiling”

Judge’s comments: “An outstanding press kit with a bold, dedicated microsite combined with dramatic takeaway-brochure packaging.  Kudos to the team for great use of photography and video, plus a thoroughly reported list featuring a truckload of detail.  Nicely done.”

Judge’s comments:

• Dramatic microsite dedicated to the new Ram

• Thoroughly reported, truckloads of details

• Professional photography, well done.

• Great use of added video

• Slick press kit packaging, design, presentation

2nd – Todd Goyer – “Jeep Gladiator”

Judge’s comments: “Thorough news article, good info.”

3rd – Mazda North American Operations – “2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature SKYACTIV-D”

Judge’s comments: “Professional photography, thorough news article”.

Photography

1st -- Elias Garcia -- Rev Match Media “Colton Herta at Circuit of the Americas”

Judge’s comments: “Nice Shot. I like the heat waves in the back and depth of field gives a clear indication who’s in first.”

2nd -- Kristin Vanderhey Shaw -- Cars Her Way – “Nissan and Yosemite”

Judge’s comments: “Dramatic shot.”

3rd -- Michael Satterfield – The Gentleman Racer – “Z at the Mitty”

Special Recognition – Jim Nelson -- In Wheel Time – “It is a Happy Kia Holiday”

Web Article Design

1st -- Greg Riley – GarageDlx.com – “Disco Inferno”

Judge’s comments: “Clever writing and creative use of video and music media, all with a sleek, updated, user-friendly design. And thoroughly reported in an entertaining way. Great job, Greg.”

2nd -- Michael Satterfield -- The Gentleman Racer – “What You Need to Know About the Datsun 240Z”

Judge’s comments: “Such a stylish site with intriguing topics! Writing is crisp and the design is contemporary but with a nostalgic flair.  Nicely done.”

3rd -- Don Armstrong, Michael Marrs, Konrad DeLong, James Nelson – In Wheel Time -- “2019 Kia Forte EX”

Judge’s comments: “This site sports a great conversational writing style and a wide variety of radio, video and written commentary from a team of pros with years of valuable experience.”  

ABOUT THE JUDGES

Stan Hulen: Web Design, PR Press Kits and Video

Stan is an award-winning Dallas designer with more than 35 years of experience. Starting his career with a journalism degree from University of Missouri, he worked as Art Director for both the Dallas Morning News and Dallas Times Herald until he started his own design firm 25 years ago. Since then, he has served a variety of clients including the State Fair of Texas, Baylor Scott & White Healthcare, Texas Instruments, SMU, Southwest Airlines, and the cities of Frisco and Plano, Texas.   

An avid automotive-design buff, Stan said he’s devoured every car magazine he could get his hands on for the past 50 years.

Christian Alan Waits - M.Photog. Cr (Master Craftsman Degree): Video and Photography

Christian has been a photographer for 45+ Years.

Degrees: Commercial Photography Degree from East Texas State University, with High Honors, Master of Photography, Professional Photographers of America 1992, Craftsman Photographer, Professional Photographers of America 1993, Past President Dallas Professional Photographers Association 1993, Christian holds the degree of Master Craftsman Photographer in Professional Photographers of America. Awards, professional organizations:

Christian is a videographer for Dallas summers musicals and has a website where he does video interviews of musical cast. He also does special-effects videos and B-roll for musicals to go with appearances on WFAA TV. 

He has been awarded the Kodak Gallery Award for Photographic Excellence, SWPA Best Commercial, SWPA Special Award Best Commercial Product, TPPA Best Overall Commercial, TPPA Best Product, Dallas PPA Best Commercial, Loan Collection Photograph and numerous first-place Distinguished Print Awards and Merits. Christian has lectured at many photography guilds and conventions throughout New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. He is Past President Dallas Professional Photographers Association and Charter Fellowship Dallas PPA. Christian is currently the Dallas Summer Musicals photographer.

Ivan Galvan: Video

Ivan is CEO/Founder and Creative Director of DINOR Professional Corp.

www.dinorprofessional.com. He’s responsible for the company’s growth, and is hands-on in the design of company’s website, graphic design and video production to promote the company’s products.

Ivan is past graphics design director for the Houston Chronicle’s regular and special automotive sections, as well as Mixed Metal tuner magazine.

His awards include 2006 International Automotive Media Association “Best of Graphics” honor, 2008 46th Houston Advertising Federation Gold ADDY Award and 2009 47th Houston Advertising Federation Gold ADDY Award.

Jaime Florez: Radio

Jaime is in charge of organizing all events attended by Governor Rick Scott in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe, Florida counties, and responsible for all logistics details. He also serves as a translator for Gov. Scott during interviews with Spanish media outlets.

Jaime is director and host of Ruedas ESPN, a two-hour national radio show aired every Sunday on ESPN Deportes Radio (38+ station affiliates throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico) and XM/Sirius satellite radio, Channel 157.

He is former Manager of Public Relations, Communications and Marketing for the North-American office of Apex-Brasil, the Brazilian government’s Trade and Investment Promotion Agency. His duties included spearheading the IZOD IndyCar Series trade and energy partnership. Jaime also was Publisher, Editorial Director and founder of a network of magazines in Spanish that circulated 650K copies, inserted within the eight largest newspapers

Steven Cole Smith: Newspaper and Magazine Writing/Texas Truck Invitational

Steven holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and was a TAWA founding member. He’s formerly the executive editor of Car and Driver and AMI Auto World magazines, and he wrote a weekly column for the New York Times Syndicate for seven years.

He has worked for newspapers in Louisiana, Texas and Florida, and has had bylined stories in hundreds of publications ranging from The Times of London to Forbes magazine to the Financial Times.

He has held NHRA Pro Comp, IMSA, NARRA and SCCA Pro racing licenses. Steven also was the executive producer of Car and Driver Television, and hosted a nationally syndicated motorsports radio program, as well as two weekly local automotive radio shows in Florida.



Full Results

TEXAS TRUCK INVITATIONAL


NEWSPAPER WRITING

Winner: Sue Mead — Trucks.com

             “Rod Hall Reflects on Career, Shares Tips”.

2nd Place: David Boldt – txGarage.com

              “Ford’s F-150 Raptor: Raptorsaurus Rex”

3rd Place: Natan Tazelaar – Houston Chronicle

              "Chevy road trip highlights cowboy culture, American know-how”


MAGAZINE WRITING

Winner: Jason Fogelson -- Forbes.com

            “My Brother, Two Dogs, Two Cats, And 2,800 Miles in A $5,000

             Pickup Truck”

2nd Place: Natan Tazelaar -- Land Rover Monthly

             “Royal Drag Queen”

3rd Place: Frank Ledwell – OutdoorX4 Magazine

             “Exploring New Paths”

Special Recognition: Derek Shiekhi — Ford-Trucks.com

             “Diesel 2018 F-150 Platinum Is Certifiably ‘Built Ford Tough'"


TAWA EXCELLENCE IN CRAFT COMPETITION


NEWSPAPER WRITING

Winner: Kristin Vanderhey Shaw -- Cars Her Way

            "We made some great memories together': How a minivan made

             our family vacation magical”

2nd Place: Aaron Vick Starnes  The Dirt on Cars 

            “You Bought the Wrong Project Car, Now What?”

3rd Place: Frank Aukofer -- Review Garage and various other publications 

              “Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition”


MAGAZINE WRITING

Winner: Kristin Vanderhey Shaw – The Unimaginable

            “Part Race Car Driver, Part Banker: Sarah Stasney is a

                Unicorn”

2nd Place: Natan Tazelaar – Cavallino 

             “Ferrari SF90 Stradale”

3rd Place: TFrank Ledwell -- OutdoorX4 Magazine 

              “Exploring New Paths”


RADIO

Winner: Don Armstrong, Michael Marrs, Konrad DeLong -- In Wheel

           Time - “2019 Antron Brown interview”

 2nd Place: Jerry Reynolds -- The Car Pro USA Radio Show –“WBAP

           "Distracted Driving”

3rd Place: Harold Gunn and Wayne Cronin— The Automotive Reporter

             “Interviews with Mary Wroten, Ford’s Associate Director of

              Global Sustainability and Manuel Sanchez, Gulf States Toyota”


WEB DESIGN

Winner: Greg Riley – GarageDlx.com

             “Disco Inferno”

2nd Place: Michael Satterfield — Gentleman Racer

              “What You Need to Know About the Datsun 240Z”

3rd Place: Don Armstrong, Michael Marrs, Konrad DeLong, James Nelson – In

                Wheel Time “2019 Kia Forte EX”


VIDEO - Tie for First

Winner: Roman Mica -The Fast Lane Car 

             “This Is the Best Off-Roader You Can Buy! G-Wagon vs 4Runner

           vs Wrangler”

Winner: Andre Smirnov - The Fast Lane Truck 

             “Three New Trucks -- One Epic Off-Road Comparison: 2019 Ford Raptor

              vs Chevy Trailboss vs. Ram Rebel!”

2nd Place: Jerry Reynolds - The Car Pro USA Radio Show 

              “2019 Challenger Redeye review and burnout”

3rd Place: Jesus Garcia  - Jesus Behind the Wheel 

              “2019 Camaro SS Road Test”


PHOTOGRAPHY

Winner: Elias Garcia -- Rev Match Media

            "Colton Herta at Circuit of the Americas”

2nd Place: Kristin Vanderhey Shaw Cars Her Way 

            “Nissan and Yosemite” 

3rd Place: Michael Satterfield The Gentleman Racer

            “Z at the Mitty”


PR/MARKETING PRESS KITS

Winner: David Elshoff/Ram Truck

            “2019 Ram Heavy Duty Press Unveiling”

2nd Place: Todd Goyer 

            “Jeep Gladiator”

3rd Place: Mazda North American Operations 

            “2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature SKYACTIV-D”




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