The Valkyrie Project Leads
A fearless leader, Susan has successfully served the automotive and recreational vehicle related industries for over 20 years. Leading JR Products into their 15th consecutive record sales year, she credits the company’s industry leading retail packaging design, aggressive marketing and specialized merchandising programs along with award winning customer service as contributing factors to their continued success.
Susan has been the recipient of the RVAA Presidents Award, ECIDA Business of the Year Award and Inc. Magazine’s 5,000 fastest growing companies recognition.
A commitment to make a difference, Susan has contributed her time to the SEMA Cares Committee, SEMA Show Committee, SEMA PAC (member), SEMA Businesswomen’s Network Select Committee, SEMA Businesswomen’s Network Projects Task Force Chair, SEMA Mustang Build Product Procurement Coordinator Chair, RVAA Board Member, RVAA Executive Committee Board Member, RVAA Membership Benefits Committee Chair, RVAA Statistical Analysis Trend Program Chair and Relay for Life Board Member.
Likes: Thunderstorms that shake the house, pedicures, and SHOES!!
Dislikes: People who can’t just do their job. Rude people…to whom she would like to say, “I hope you reap what you sow.” SNAKES!!!
Likes: Anything that goes fast, honest people, and a great glass of wine with friends.
Dislikes: Whiners, anyone that treats children badly, and people that refuse to accept that we live in a civil society.
Nan is an advertising and PR pro and knows the performance automotive aftermarket industry. Since she has worked directly with many of the industry’s mover and shakers, from manufacturers to the media, she will be working with manufacturers to get parts for the AMX and the media to bring the project to enthusiasts. Nan also currently serves on the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network Select Committee.
Likes: Driving her S2000 on its summer tires, especially the week the winter tires come off. Making stuff, especially working out the mechanics. Form that follows function – like a short throw shifter where my arm is about six inches in front of the side bolster when the car is in fourth.
Dislikes: Ad-speak – she doesn’t really care that you are Passionate, Dedicated, Committed to Quality, and Driven Toward Excellence if she can’t tell what you do. Awkward design. Yammerers.
Since founding her company in 2007, Christina has dedicated her efforts to primarily representing clients in the capacities of marketing and public relations in the automotive and motorsports industry. Having represented an NHRA Nitro Funny car to building her own drag boat from bare block, Christina equally enjoys writing press content as much as she enjoys working on engines and racing.
A former United States and World Amateur Boxing Champion, Christina has dedicated her efforts to promoting education to the youth and inspiring them to embrace a work ethic that will help them achieve their aspirations. She serves on the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network Select Committee and has lead both its Communications and Projects Subcommittees.
Likes: Being a workaholic, (loves) her 100 lb. Alaskan Malamute, driving her lifted truck with Super Swampers so she can see for miles ahead, and Pinkberry yogurt with fruit toppings and Nutella.
Dislikes: Unorganized tools in the garage, forgetting to grab her store loyalty cards, salads with dressing on them, and seeing two checkout stands open when there are 15 available.
JoAnn Bortles is an award winning custom automotive painter, airbrush artist, certified welder/fabricator, author, and photo journalist with over 30 years of experience in the automotive industry. She has appeared on The Today Show, NBC News, Musclecar TV, and TruTv’s Motor City Masters.
JoAnn is a member of SEMA and serves on the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network Select Committee where her projects have included SEMA’s GearUp Girl event, The Mustang Build, and its efforts to offer support and encouragement to women in the automotive industry.
Julia Johnson – Instructor of Automotive Technology, Skyline College
Julia Johnson began her automotive career as an auto tech student at Skyline College. During her student years she built a 12-second drag car, won 9 scholarships, worked in independent repair shops, earned 6 ASE certificates and an EA Smog License, and started teaching automotive classes just for women.
Julia is a founding member and advisor to the “Heart Wrenchers Car Club” – the club for female automotive students and has helped increase female enrollment to 14 students (up from zero in past years!). She is currently working with some of the students to create a non-profit organization, “Women’s Automotive Education Alliance” to help bring women to automotive programs nationwide.
Amy Fitzgerald – Owner, Cool Hand Customs
Amy Fitzgerald is co-owner, along with her husband EJ, of Cool Hand Customs, an old school Hot Rod Shop and a high-end painting, airbrushing and fabrication business in Middleton, Wisconsin. Amy’s lifelong passion for cars has helped the business expand, moving from working on motorcycles in their garage to managing a broad range of projects on new and vintage automobiles, motorcycles and trucks. In the world of custom vehicles, Amy is used to being one of the only women in the room, but that doesn’t bother her at all. Her favorite part of the industry is working with the younger generation.
Her daily driver when it’s not snowing is a 1957 Bel Air that she and EJ framed up and restored together. Next to her family and being the proud mom to Jade, her 11-year-old daughter , the Bel Air is her favorite thing in the whole world.
Participating Build Team Members