Cherokee Media Group joined much of the automotive industry in Las Vegas last week for the conferences hosted by the American Financial Services Association, the National Auto Auction Association and the National Automobile Dealers Association.

One of the primary tasks assigned to me and my esteemed colleague, Joe Overby, was to record episodes of the Auto Remarketing Podcast with some of the industry’s top leaders, which we did with representatives from organizations such as Cars Commerce, Cox Automotive, GM Financial, OPENLANE and Reynolds and Reynolds.

It occurred to me while on the escalator maneuvering from one end of the Las Vegas Convention Center to the other toward the end of the five-day event journey that a good portion of the podcasts I recorded were with women. As I was talking in my head — not in an overtly creepy way which sometimes can be seen in a place like Las Vegas — I asked myself, “How cool is that?”

Then a moment later, I answered my own question with, “Well, duh!”

Many of those female experts who kindly shared their time and perspectives for the podcast have been among honorees included in award programs orchestrated by Cherokee Media Group, including Women in Auto Finance, Women in Collections and Recoveries, Women in Retail and Women in Remarketing.

And part of Canada’s Used Car Week is literally called Women & Automotive.

Among those award honorees who I conversed with in Las Vegas:

—Danielle Arlowe and Celia Winslow of AFSA
—Lena Bourgeois of Equifax
—Amanda George of RouteOne
—Jessica Gonzalez of InformedIQ
—Melinda Zabritski of Experian Automotive

Other women who were podcast guests on episodes to be pushed online soon included Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds and Kanchana Sundaram of Experian Automotive.

And Cherokee Media Group is far from the only operation to highlight the value of women in the automotive industry.

One of the most robust segments of AFSA is its Women’s Leadership Council (WLC).

At NADA, what the association calls Women Driving Auto Retail is aimed to amplify the voices of women working in the automotive retail industry, as well as to increase female employment in dealerships by providing dealers tools and expertise.

And last summer, founders Shelly Frank of DAA of the Southwest and DAA of the Rockies, Kelly Bianchi of AuctionVcommerce and Sheila Tedesco of Lobel Financial unveiled Global Remarketing Opportunities for Women (GROW), which wants to expand the presence and leadership of women in the auto remarketing industry.

The cliched view of the car business might one that it’s just for obnoxious men who only want women around to fetch the coffee and make the sandwiches. Well, perhaps, dark circles of the car business are still that way.

But within the bright lights of Las Vegas last week, the industry showed women not only are greatly involved, but many times are leading the way.

Nick Zulovich is senior editor at Cherokee Media and can be reached at