"Women Shifting Gears" is a weekly podcast that puts inspiring women from all corners of the automotive world in the left seat. Fasten your seatbelt as host Amanda Busick talks with women in motor racing, collector cars, national and international motoring events, publishing, rallies, and STEM education to hear what drives them to contribute their time and talent to the world of cars. Amanda moves our guests into the fast lane to explore her guest’s career insights, their mentors and influencers, and where they see the future of cars. Most importantly, “Women Shifting Gears” celebrates and collects stories about women’s contributions to the history of cars.
Season 3, Episode 51 - Kate Cook - Owner and Artist of Asphalt Canvas Custom Art
It was at an early age that Kate Cook knew her passion in life was art. By picking up commission pieces in high school, Kate was able to purchase her first car, a 1966 Jeepster Commando that she worked on with her father and brother. It would be that Jeep that inspired her to combine her two loves into an artistic technique she calls “pinstripe illustration”. While she started her career in watercolor, ink and oil paint, she decided to meld the traditional methods of painting with versatile enamel car paint. Her latest series of illustrator paintings, entitled “She’s been everywhere, man!” are inspired by nostalgic Americana with a colorful contemporary twist focusing on classic cars, travel, and the timeless female figure. Kate’s husband and biggest cheerleader Morgan encouraged her to take the leap of faith and paint full time. It’s because of his support, Kate is able to live her dream, one illustration at a time through her studio Asphalt Canvas Custom Art.
Our biggest takeaway in this latest edition of Women Shifting Gears Driven by Hemmings is that anything is possible when you have love and support around you.
Season 3, Episode 50 - Anja Kempermann, U.S. Events Manager and Race Series Manager for Masters Historic Racing
While Anja Kempermann may be the U.S. Events Manager and Race Series Manager for Masters Historic Racing, it’s her zest for life and her mantra of choosing to be happy that will have you smiling from ear to ear while listening to her chat with host Amanda Busick about her journey to her “happy place”. Her passion for life coupled with her love for racing has made this self-proclaimed petrolhead one amazing woman.
Kempermann’s podcast marks our milestone 50th episode of Women Shifting Gears Driven by Hemmings.
Season 3, Episode 49 - Daphne Norris - Car Enthusiast - Team Shelby
Her love for Ford Mustangs started in high school when she was looking for a “cool car” with her dad. When her parents met, her mom had a 1965 Mustang Coupe while her dad drove a 1966 GT. Growing up, her dad would share stories about how much fun he had with his car, so when the time came to purchase her first ride, she knew she wanted a Mustang. Her first Mustang was a 1966 Coupe. When that car was totaled, she took her insurance money and purchased her 1965 convertible that she still treasures today.
Daphne Norris has had a lifetime of fun memories with her collection of cool cars. She currently owns several Mustangs as well as a Shelby GT 500. She stays active in Team Shelby as well as leads the North Florida chapter. Most recently, Daphne was crowned the Women Shifting Gears judging class at the 2022 Amelia in her 1965 Ford Mustang convertible.
Norris chats with host Amanda Busick about her life with Mustangs and her passion to get more women in the left seat.
Season 3, Episode 48 - Mia Walsh - Porsche Club of America - National High Performance Driver Education Chair
Her love affair with Porsche started with a “FOR SALE” sign on a Saturn Yellow ’72 914 that Mia Walsh saw while on her bicycle just prior to her 16th birthday. Somehow, she convinced the owner to let her take it for a spin. It wouldn’t be until 25 years later that she and her husband would purchase their first Porsche and join the Potomac Region of the PCA. With over 300 total track days under her belt and encouraged by other racers to make the move to Club Racing, Mia modified her ’09 Cayman S into a fully prepared GTB1 Race Car. She had her first race at Summit Point in 2015, winning two 3rd place podiums her first weekend, as well as the coveted Rookie Award from PCA National.
After being recognized nationally as a top HPDE instructor in 2013, Mia worked her way up to the Potomac Region President in 2019. Walsh now serves as Porsche Club of America - National High-Performance Driver Education Chair where she hopes to continue to encourage more women to participate.
Mia chats with host Amanda Busick about her career with PCA and how she continues to inspire females in the classroom and at the track and how her birding hobby has helped her focus on racing.
Season 3, Episode 47 - Beth Paretta and Lyn St. James
It all started with a chat just prior to the start of the 2021 Indianapolis 500. Racing legend Lyn St. James has been a longtime advocate for women in motorsports and had basically run out of gas while carrying the banner for equality. But, when she witnessed first-hand what Beth Paretta was doing with her Paretta Autosport team at the Indy 500, she was refueled. She reached out to Paretta about forming an organization to help facilitate women’s participation in the sport they both loved and Beth was on board 1000% as she told Lyn – You are not alone. Together they contacted a team of about 40 women currently working as professionals in motorsport, along with some male allies, and a working group was formed in August 2021 to advance the idea to reality.
Today, The Women in Motorsports North America (WIMNA) organization is a community of professionals supporting opportunities for women across all disciplines of motorsport. By creating an inclusive, resourceful environment, the 501 (c)(3) charity looks to foster mentorship, advocacy, education, and growth to help ensure a successful and effective future for women in professional motorsports roles.
Beth and Lyn chat with host Amanda Busick about how their dream has become a reality and the opportunities and events that have already developed because of their new venture.
Two motorsport powerhouses in one podcast. This is a good one.
Season 3, Episode 46 - Sonia Rief - Nissan U.S. and Canada
Sonia Rief is vice president, Vehicle Connected Services & Program Management Office for Nissan U.S. and Canada. She was appointed to this position in March 2019. In this role, Rief is responsible for managing vehicle line profitability and leading Nissan’s Connected Services organization. Overseeing the Connected Service organization includes planning, delivery, marketing and operations for internal and external customer content.
Previously, Rief was director, Program Management Office at the Nissan Technical Center North America (NTCNA) in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and was responsible for vehicle line profit management of mid-size sedans, and compact and mid-size SUVs. Rief joined Nissan in 2001, progressing through roles of increasing responsibility within the Research and Development function, including a one-year assignment in Japan supporting the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
Rief holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. She was also named one of the 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry by Automotive News in both 2015 and 2020.
Rief shares her life’s journey both personally and professionally with host Amanda Busick as well as her desire to help encourage women to push their boundaries and become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Love cheering other women on!
These stories about their involvement in Motorsports is incredible
Love watching our female engagement grow as it’s the best sport in the world.
Women inspiring Women
The Women Shifting Gears podcast has changed my life…I have listened to every interview and have learned so much….any man or women will learn how powerful these women are, the journey’s of both failure and success are amazing. …the automotive FUTURE looks bright. Thank you GSEvents for creating a moment and Hemmings for supporting - these women.
These stories of these amazing women are so inspirational! These women deserve to have their stories told and heard! These women ROCK!