WASHINGTON, March 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A respected journalist and one of America's foremost industrialists were celebrated at the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) annual awards gala for their contributions to the auto industry.
Frank Aukofer received the WAPA Golden Quill Lifetime Achievement award for his consistent decades of quality journalism, both as a general reporter and automotive journalist. Henry Ford was honored with the Golden Gear Award for his vision to transform the automobile more than any other single individual in history.
"We feel that there is no greater affirmation of Frank's career than this lifetime achievement award, presented by his peers," said WAPA President Les Jackson.
Frank has written a motor vehicle review column since 1975. Now called DriveWays, it is distributed to newspapers and websites around the country. Aukofer spent the bulk of his career as a mainstream newspaper reporter and bureau chief for the Milwaukee Journal and its successor, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As a reporter in Milwaukee, he wrote about motor vehicles on an occasional basis starting in 1961. He gave that up in 1964 to cover the civil rights beat, including the Selma March in 1965, the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, and the Detroit riots in 1967. Transferred to Washington in 1970, he spent 30 years covering Congress, the Supreme Court, the White House and politics. He covered the impeachment proceedings against Presidents Nixon and Clinton, as well as many other big stories, including the first Gulf War in 1990 and 1991.
In 2000, after retirement as the Washington bureau chief for the Journal Sentinel, Aukofer joined Scripps Howard and concentrated on motor vehicles. He is the author of two books: "City with a Chance" (1968), a history of civil rights in Milwaukee, and "Never a Slow Day" (2009), an autobiography/memoir. He is one of the judges for the "North American Car of the Year" industry awards.
Jim Holland, Ford Motor Company's vice president, Vehicle Components and Systems Engineering, accepted the Golden Gear Award.
"On behalf of all the men and women of Ford Motor Company, I'd like to thank the WAPA for the Golden Gear Award," said Holland. "Henry Ford left us with quite a legacy, and the Ford team continues driving innovation through every part of our business to improve people's lives. This is what has always defined us as a company. Through innovation, we are changing the way the world moves."
In 1903, Henry Ford established the Ford Motor Company. Ford became renowned for his revolutionary vision: the manufacture of an inexpensive automobile made by skilled workers who earn steady wages. In 1914, he sponsored the development of the moving assembly line technique of mass production. Simultaneously, he introduced the $5-per-day wage ($110 in 2011) as a method of keeping the best workers loyal to his company. Industries around the country soon followed, eventually leading to the establishment of the middle class and the mobile society of today.
Since 1984, WAPA has proudly honored exemplary contributions to the automotive industry. Honorees have included journalists, inventors, corporations and safety/engineering associations.
The goals of the Washington Automotive Press Association are to improve communication between automotive journalists in the Baltimore-Washington area and the automotive industry, regulators, and other related groups and further the accuracy and quality of automotive journalism. To learn more about WAPA and its networking and information-sharing opportunities for our members – go to www.washautopress.org.