Melanie Headshot 2016
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 at about 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. Melanie has always kept a “day job” to supplement her passion project. Before joining her husband’s IT and cyber-security recruiting firm in 2014, Melanie served as Vice President at a public affairs firm based in Washington, D.C., where she consulted with various clients, including many local automotive trade groups, on effective communications strategies to convey their issues-based messages successfully to various audiences through digital and social media.

From 2013 to 2015, Melanie served two terms as president of the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA), an organization that connects automotive journalists in the Baltimore-Washington area to auto industry executives, regulatory and Administration representatives. She now serves as President Emeritus under new leadership, and focuses on working with the Board of Directors to raise funds and secure speakers for both monthly and annual events.

Thanks to her distracted driving campaign (Distraction Free Fridays), launched during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April of 2011, Melanie is recognized as an influential voice in the areas of consumer advice and distracted driving. Her work has been published by Autoweek, CARFAX,, 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 35i and whatever press vehicle’s in the driveway.

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