Spirit of Leadership Award
The Spirit of Leadership was established in 1999 to honor women in the automotive industry who have achieved noteworthy accomplishments in their profession, community and family, and who have served as role models and mentors. The award was created by WAAI Founder and CEO Lorraine Schultz and Women in Automotive is honored to carry on the tradition in her name.
About 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.