Posts Tagged ‘National Journal’


That’s short for The Washington Auto Show® was amazing.

I know it’s been ages since we’ve blogged, but, duh, we were kinda busy. With the President. Yeah, that one.

The White House called Barbara during our Public Policy Preview Days to say that the President would like to visit the show. Arrangements were made. And on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 31, President Obama toured The Washington Auto Show’s “Advanced Technology SuperHighway,” our 65,000-square-foot exhibit of innovations in safety and sustainability. The display was enhanced a bit as we included some additional vehicles in the area for the President’s visit.

Barbara Pomerance, Washington Auto Show Director of Communications and Media Relations, and Gerard Murphy, WANADA President, review the "Advanced Technology SuperHighway" ahead of President Obama's visit.

Here is Mr. President, checking out a Chevy wrapped in Americana artwork. He’s talking with Ed Welburn, GM’s Vice President of Global Design, with WANADA President Gerard Murphy looking on.

It was the first time a current U.S. President ever visited our show. For some perspective, the 2012 show marked The Washington Auto Show’s 70th edition.

The President appeared to have a blast, climbing into car after car, revealing that megawatt grin.

Here he is in the Ford C-MAX Energi, which was named Green Car Journal’s 2012 Green Car Vision Award™ winner on Thursday, Jan. 27, the Washington Auto Show’s Public Policy Preview Day at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The President checks out the Ford C-MAX Energi, named Green Car Journal's 2012 Green Car Vision Award™ winner at the Washington Auto Show.

Of course, there were many other highlights, especially a “Welcome Home Troops!” tribute that took place that evening. Held in partnership with the USO of Metropolitan Washington, the program offered active-duty and retired military personnel free admission to the show and a private reception celebrating them and their families. Headlining the evening event was an appearance by J.R. Martinez, the wounded Iraq war veteran who won the last season of Dancing with the Stars. Martinez, who has become an inspirational speaker, told a rapt audience that veterans can continue to fulfill the call to serve America beyond the battlefield. For his part, his words are his weapons, Martinez said, and his scars are his uniform.

Adding to the star power was an appearance by former U.S. Marine and WWE® Legend Sgt. Slaughter™. Both men signed autographs at the show after the private reception.

And what’s a party without music? Nearly everyone was thumping a boot or shaking a hip to the tunes belted out by the world-class Downrange pop ensemble from the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.”

Servicemen and women and their families were also treated to hundreds of mini-cupcakes, generously donated by the cult-favorite Georgetown Cupcake, which has supported our troops with shipments of deliciousness overseas.

Of course, these are just glimpses into the show’s bevy of special programming to strengthen and recognize the industry. A hallmark of that effort is our Public Policy Preview Days, which include our Capitol Hill Policy Summit, produced in partnership with National Journal, and many press conferences featuring luminaries from industry and government. This year’s speakers included U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, keynoter Dave Zuchowski, Executive Vice President of Sales for Hyundai Motor America and GM President Mark Reuss. High-profile guests including Georgia’s own Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) continued to visit the show throughout its 10-day public run, where we launched new promotions like “Cram the (Nissan) Cube” among area universities and a “Battle of the Bands” contest along with our crowd favorite — “The Price is Right” giveaway of a Hyundai Sonata and a trip to attend the show’s live taping in Los Angeles.

For a fuller perspective, click below on links to the newsletters published during the show by its producer and our longtime client, the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association (WANADA).

And now that we’ve caught our breath, we’ll start planning for 2013.

Next month, Barbara and the senior leadership will head to Geneva to meet with industry executives and take in the 82nd International Motor Show as we continue to build a more creative, innovative and meaningful Washington Auto Show.