Commentary: 2013 – One Heck of A Year!

Social Media' Superstars at the 2013 North American International Auto Show - Photo by Mike Dreihorst/Chrysler Group LLC
Social Media's Superstars at the 2013 North American International Auto Show – Photo by Mike Driehorst/Chrysler Group LLC

Before we say good-bye to this year, I figured I would do a "2013 Year in Review" here:

V&R experienced steady growth as a site, whilst producing some of its highest traffic numbers ever. Some of that growth came from making further inroads with the local carmmunity. Through events, such as the 10,000 Lakes Concours d'Elegance, connectivity with the MN Garage Geeks and dealerships such as White Bear Mitsubishi, V&R has created a balance by both acting locally and globally.

Part of V&R's goals is to solidify its base in the Twin Cities, while entertaining a global audience. This is perhaps why this site is still a joy to work with.

In addition to V&R, I added another outlet for my material in 2013. I am glad I made the connection with's Chief Technology Officer Brian Bowman in May, which provided an entry onto the locally-based car buying site. My material is now available on's Buyer's Guide – including vehicle reviews. My continued submissions to Lavender Magazine added more context to the work on this site. With that, I thank Managing Editor Andy Lien and Sales & Advertising Director Barry Leavitt for their continued support of the work published in print, online and via their app.

Being able to do this work also fed the soul on greater levels. 2013 marked my first attendance at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. I am grateful for the invitation by the Detroit office of Weber Shandwick and social media and communication teams at General Motors. As part of my first foray into NAIAS, I was able to witness the introduction of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray at a private event prior to the show's official media days. That became a barometer for the rest of the year.

As with every year, the Chicago Auto Show was another great moment. I am also grateful to the folks at Chrysler Group LLC for making the awarding of the 2012 Vehicle of The Year a memorable one. I also attended my first Midwest Automotive Media Association Spring Rally at Road America – the largest media drive event by a regional association. This will be an experience I want to do again!

In other places outside of V&R and the automotive world, I was glad to see my current home state of Minnesota gained marriage equality through legislation. It was amazing to have history take place right in my backyard. The United States Supreme Court also paved way for more opportunities for my people to gain legal marriage status across the country. There had been so much history that it was a bit tricky to concentrate on the job at hand – gleefully so.

With all of that said, I want to thank you all for being a part of this year! To my family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, industry contacts and everyone who have been connected here – thank you for following along a fantastic year in this work!

May you have a wonderful, safe and sane New Year's!

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