Melanie Batenchuk, Founder & Editor-in-Chief | @CarChickMWB
Melanie Batenchuk is the founder and editor of Be Car Chic. In 2009, she combined her unbridled passion for cars and writing to launch the blog dedicated to sharing industry news and automotive advice through the lens of her experience. Melanie’s passion for cars began around age 10, when her father and older brother had a 1972 Porsche 911 S restored. She sponged up the household car talk and her love for the industry grew from there.
A leader in her field, Melanie has worked at the dealership, trade association, and manufacturer levels, providing her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry. She most recently served as Vice President at Beekeeper Group, a public affairs firm based in Washington, D.C., where Melanie applied her knowledge and experience in effective strategic communications, public relations, writing, blogger relations and social media to help clients achieve their goals.
Melanie recently wrapped a second term as president of the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA), an organization that aims to connect automotive journalists in the Baltimore-Washington area to auto industry executives, regulators and Administration representatives.
Thanks to her distracted driving campaign (Distraction Free Fridays), launched during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April of 2011, Melanie is recognized as a top voice on the areas of consumer advice and distracted driving. Her work has been published by Autoweek, Mashable.com, She Buys Cars, MSN Autos, Jalopnik and various other websites.
Melanie resides in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area with her husband. Following the sale of her beloved 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee (“Jeepster”) and 2007 Civic Si sedan (“Spike”), she now shares the wheel of a 2013 BMW X3 and whatever press vehicle’s in the driveway.
Bob Gritzinger, Contributing Editor | @bobgritzinger
Bob Gritzinger got his first taste of grease and oil as a kid tearing down small engines and repairing go-karts, mini-bikes, motorcycles and cars in the backyard. That eventually led to his first real job as an auto mechanic while still in high school, but Bob’s career took a sharp turn into journalism when he joined the high school newspaper staff. He subsequently earned a journalism degree at Michigan State University and embarked on a 17-year career as a newspaper reporter in Michigan, covering everything from corrupt cops to Dr. Jack Kevorkian.
Bob joined the Autoweek staff in 2000 as the magazine’s senior news editor and later served as Autoweek’s managing editor and executive editor, test driving hundreds of new cars each year and attending many of the major global automotive events and shows. Since 2013, Bob has been a freelance automotive journalist, contributing to various outlets including Forbes.com, The Drive with Alan Taylor, GearPatrol.com and Edmunds.com.
Whitney (Gonzalez) Ramirez, Contributor and Social Media Manager | @whitneygonzalez
Whitney Gonzalez has admired high-performing cars from a young age since her father is an automotive mechanic and racecar driver. She is intrigued by new developments in the automotive industry and is particularly interested in European cars and racing.
Working full-time in social media by day, in her spare time, Whitney scours the Internet of things for automotive enthusiast sites to keep up with industry trends.
Whitney is a Florida girl, who enjoys frequenting beaches, race tracks, dog parks (with her pup, Cocoa) and running trails all while soaking up the sun.
Ron Sessions, Contributor | @RonSessions
In a career that’s spanned 40+ years, Ron’s written about cars, their customers, the business of selling them and the industry that makes them. He’s been a staff editor at Road & Track, Motor Trend and Car and Driver, worked behind the scenes as a vehicle analyst at General Motors, created two auto enthusiast magazine titles (including the award-winning Open Road), written five automotive books, created Mercedes-Benz sales brochures, researched and wrote new product sales and service training videos and printed material for Chevrolet and Chrysler, organized competitive comparison evaluation events, and was responsible for writing and editing daily online content for a major auto enthusiast website.
His appreciation of the high-performance premium car segment led him to create the award-winning magazine Exotic Cars Quarterly and pen a coffee-table book on the Nissan 350Z that was subsequently distributed by Nissan of North America to dealers, media and customers. Ron understands the high-performance car buyer mindset and the important role these individuals play among their circle of friends and associates as opinion leaders. He has also created press kit release material for Acura, Honda, Mitsubishi and Volvo for use on their media websites.
In addition to his work in BeCarChic.com Ron is currently a freelance contributing writer and editor for Car and Driver, caranddriver.com, autotrader.com, kbb.com, autoweb.com, forbes.com, newcartestdrive.com and pickuptrucks.com.