CATHY-DROZ-HERHIGHWAY

Cathy Droz Automotive Radio Show Host>

Cathy does Public Relations and marketing for the retired NFL players of Arizona, the music group of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and is Vice President of Silent Witness for the Phoenix Police.  She co- hosts a non-profit radio show unrelated to Automotive and syndicates: 60 radio reviews, on Clear Channel radio, for CarPro with Jerry Reynolds.  A diverse background in Print, Radio and TV she really just wants to write children’s books, do stand-up comedy and work on her vintage travel trailer covered in dust on the side of the house.  You can check it all out at Two For The Road.  Social Networking for Cathy is e mail and the telephone.

Who have you mentored or who helped you get started?

My brother, who is ten years older than me, got me interested by accident. He would be working on his car in the family garage in New York while I was playing with Barbie and Ken making believe they were going on dates in the cars he was fixing.  I enjoyed his friends coming over and seeing how much they enjoyed their common interest.

I credit my father for my love of the purpose of automobiles in our lives.  He took me along on the bi-annual car buying trips, (mom hated to go) eventually allowing me to select and negotiate pricing for the family car when I was just l6.  He told me women can buy cars, just like men, even better.  He showed me the business side of automotive. The combination of my brother and father empowered me to start my own marketing and PR firm focusing strictly on automotive.  My business mentor was a man named Tom Irwin who told me to start my own agency, don’t work for anyone.  His nine dealerships were my first clients and I found great satisfaction and success as Droz Marketing and Productions.

I now mentor teenage girls through the non-profit radio show I do and sit on the board of Executive Mentors Foundation.  We need more women to mentor.

As a Woman, what features are your favorites in a car?

I’ve always thought of cars like women; the curves and sexy-looking exterior design is what I find attractive.  On the inside, at my height 5’2 the design of the seat and steering column is the first thing I pay attention to.  Esthetics and quality materials are more important than having the lasts techie gadgets.

Why does the auto industry seem like a difficult environment for females?

In the past, a lot of men looked at women as someone who just occupied the passenger seat.  The typical car-shopping expedition consisted of the salesmen showing the men what was under the hood, and the women were shown the light on the vanity mirror on the visor. Sadly, some in the industry still view women as only interested in the esthetics of automobiles.  The only ones who can change the perception is us; we need to demand/earn respect for our knowledge and experience in the fascinating automotive field.  Women have the buying power and make the decisions in the end.  I have always liked knowing more than a man about a car !

Why did you want to work in the auto industry?

I’ve always loved what cars represent, and was hooked on the quintessential “road trip” from a young age.  Route 66, Burma Shave Signs, watching America roll by as we drove along.  Some of my funniest childhood memories were formed in the back seat of the family car.  (some of my teenage ones as well).

My dad didn’t stop for potty breaks, thank goodness for mason jars and Kleenex.  It could be why I can hold it from Phoenix to San Diego.

First Automotive Job?

On my 40th birthday I found myself suddenly single with three teenagers, no degree, and needing a job.  I was hired on with an ad agency ( to get coffee)  with several automotive clients.  I took the bull by the horns and wrote my first car commercial while the owner of the agency was out of town.  The fact that I had no experience writing commercials really didn’t enter my though process, as the client needed it done and I was the only one there.  This “trial by fire” experience eventually led to the client mentoring I mentioned earlier and started my own automotive ad agency.

Proudest Professional Achievement?

I’ve been proud of several things I’ve done, but if you set your mind to something, you can do it.  I guess I don’t see them as achievements, maybe luck. I would say the work I do with the nonprofits is most rewarding.

Current Challenge at Work?

The most pressing problem is constantly re-inventing and promoting myself to stay in the forefront of change in the auto industry. I love those that twitter and blog and Facebook in auto but my re-inventing will be lifestyle driven even if I have to test drive with the NFL players I represent on my lap.  Earning any kind of income in this day in age as a journalist is a challenge.

Dream Job?

My own talk show.  Taking my radio shows and bringing them to a TV live audience.  I already have the pilot and presented it to ABC locally.  Can you still hear the slam of the door shut behind me? I don’t give up that easily!  My dream job as a kid?  Rockette at Radio City Music Hall.  If I dance on this trip you will see why that also faded away.  At age 60 I can barely get my leg in the tub no less to my ear.

What sports or activities did you enjoy in school or/and current?

After knocking a kid out cold with a hockey stick, sending a girl to the hospital while driving golf balls

(her fault not mine) and accidentally piercing a fellow archer’s sleeve with an arrow, I decided sports really wasn’t my thing in school.  However I dated/stalked many athletes in school. My parents and teachers were frightened of potential lawsuits so they steered me in the direction of student government.  This move turned out to be a much safer alternative, and gave me the tools to lead, direct, mentor and gave me that first important non-profit involvement that is such a big part of my life today.

What do you do to relax?

I have to think about that.  My work, husband, children, grandchildren, parents and friends take up so much of my days and weeks.  I do love to travel and experience new things.  I am taking up fly fishing so that when the trailer is fixed and restored I can leave with a bunch of girlfriends ( no men, kids or pets) and RELAX… I’ll keep you posted on that.