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Aimee Shackleford: Piston Ambassador

The Piston Foundation is uniting the car community to power some rather ambitious goals. Aimee Shackleford is a perfect Piston Ambassador because of her own mission to attract women to our beloved car culture.

By jeff mason

May 14, 2021

What are you doing to help women see cars as more than mere transportation?

I started a private Facebook group called Miss Gearheads, with about 500 women participating from various parts of the automotive industry. My impact wasn’t necessarily intentional. I always liked cars and, early on, didn’t pay attention to the fact that I was one of only a few women at any event. I started Miss Gearheads to talk about cars and see how we, as a group, could impact the car world for women.

Aimee Shackleford creator of Miss Gearheads

In addition to your online forum, how are you making an impact?

There are non-profit organizations that are important to me, including the L.A. Shriners. When we reach out in that way, we have another opportunity to help spread the word, which is that mechanics are important and much needed. It’s sad to see service-oriented jobs disappearing. We have to get kids interested in working with their hands.

Why do you appreciate that kind of work?

It’s definitely a skill. I’ve only been working on my car intensely for a year now and I’m disappointed that no one taught me. There are lots of kids whose parents don’t teach them how to change a tire but it’s awesome to learn that.

Who are you to the car community?

I own a marketing agency that specializes in social media management, event planning and management. My clients are all related to the automotive industry. I deal with so many different people and companies that I can see what we’re doing in the industry and the importance of that activity. We definitely should be talking more about that.

What do you like about cars?

I grew up in a car family. My great uncle and grandfather build Midgets in San Pedro for race drivers like Keith Jones, the first African American to race in those cars. My grandmother made my grandfather teach her how to be a full-blown mechanic. Back then, women weren’t allowed in the pits so she’d dress in mechanics overalls so no one could tell she was female.

I’ve been involved with the car community since 2007 and getting into it more every day. My niche is exotic and luxury cars but, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a taste for just about everything and my own cars are an eclectic mix.

Aimee Shackleford and Fuel Run

What do you see as a trend in car culture?

In California, the big discussion is around electric vehicles. But, we also recognize that the whole trade industry needs to be talked about more. There is some discussion but not as much as could be. We need more people pursuing hands-on careers and, personally, I’d like to see more women headed there. The people with skills are so rare that they are making better and better money.

What do you think you’re doing, personally, to promote women in the industry?

My own business, GearOne Agency is, of course, female-owned and I’m involved in several small-business owner associations. Maybe my own story is an inspiration. I left a cushy human resources job when I was 26 and found my passion. I was widowed at 24 and my son is handicapped. Finding a passion has got me through a lot of life’s craziness. And I’m enjoying the work and volunteering.

Aimee Shackleford is a perfect Piston Ambassador because of her own mission to attract women to our beloved car culture.

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