SAMA announces judges for 2012 Miami auto show awards
By Paul Borden

The Southern Automotive Media Association will award trophies again in 2012 to auto manufacturers who enter vehicles in the Miami International Auto Show that are judged Star of the Show, Best Green Technology Vehicle in the Show and Best Sport Utility Vehicle in the Show.

This will be the sixth consecutive year that SAMA has given the awards at the MIAS, which marks its 42nd anniversary this year. A prestigious panel of nine SAMA members has been selected to walk the floor of the show and review the vehicles just prior to the opening and determine which vehicles will receive the coveted SAMA awards.

Those judges are SAMA founding president and automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers Ron Beasley, auto writer and former SAMA president/founding member Paul Borden, SAMA webmaster and publisher/editor of Pepe Delfino, auto writer/photographer and SAMA founding member Angelica Willard, nationally known automotive radio personality Joe Castello, veteran automotive writer and track announcer Ric Green, bilingual automotive journalist Juan Robbin, and auto writer and sports car racer Dr. Ray Mummery and FAMA Magazine publisher/editor Al Vazquez.

The awards will be announced and presented at an annual MIAS Press Day luncheon hosted by SAMA and sponsored by Hyundai Motor America for members of the auto industry on the opening day of the Miami International Auto Show.  The MIAS gets underway at the Miami Beach Convention Center on Nov. 9 and continues through Nov. 18. For more information, address email to or call 786-429-5031.


Ron Beasley is a veteran television and newspaper journalist. He is the founding president of the Southern Automotive Media Association. Ron is the editor of the Pinecrest Tribune and is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. For the last 10 years, he has written a popular new car review column entitled Let’s Talk Cars that is published weekly.    


Paul Borden is a veteran newspaper journalist and automotive writer, formerly with several newspapers, including the Miami Herald, the Arkansas Gazette, Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger and Louisville Courier-Journal. He was a senior editor with AMI AutoWorld and has written on a freelance basis since then, and is a regular contributor to Borden also is a two-year past president of SAMA and the founding vice president.  


José “Pepe” Delfino is a founding member of SAMA and the Media & Internet Director for the organization. Delfino is the owner of Dolphin Intertrade Corp. and publisher/editor of A native of Peru, he was the founder and first president of the San Isidro Automovil Club in Lima and raced several Peruvian rallies championships from 1969 to 1973, winning the Clausura Rallye in 1972 and the First Rally de la Selva in 1972. He was also the 2011 recipient of SAMA’s prestigious Terry Jackson Memorial Award given to the SAMA member who has contributed the most in the previous year to the betterment of SAMA and the auto industry.


From 1969 to 1983, Angelica Willard was the public relations representative for the Fiat Motor Co. auto and truck assembly plant in Chile, representing the company at expo events. After moving to the United States in 1991, Angelica became a writer and later editor of the San Jose, California Spanish-language newspaper El Observador and began covering auto races at Laguna Seca in Monterrey in 1999. She has had a love for auto racing ever since and has covered races at Long Beach, Infineon, Las Vegas, Miami and many others. Angelica began photo coverage of new cars in 2003 and has tested and written about hundreds of different cars since then. Angelica currently writes for several lifestyle magazines, including Gente of Miami, Eventos, and Cancunissimo in Cancun, Mexico and Miami.


Joe Castello is a nationally-known radio personality whose WFO network focuses on the motorsports and the automotive industry. His background behind the microphone extends over 20 years. Joe's passion for the automobile has driven his career from the start. In addition to his radio shows, Joe co-authors the Automotive Insiders column that appears in South Florida-based newspapers and online magazines, including the Deerfield Beach Observer.  


Ric Green has been covering the automotive scene for 12 years for the publications New Times, The Pelican, Eastside Magazine and The Observer, where he was also the editor.  Ric has been the public address announcer at numerous automotive events, including Homestead/Miami Speedway for the past 10 years, calling the auto racing action of NASCAR, Rolex Grand-AM, Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, Indy Car, Historic Sportscar Racing and the Ferrari Challenge. He has also been the announcer at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama and Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, Utah, covering Grand Am racing events at those venues as well. He is also the President/CEO of the Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce.


Juan Robbin was born in Colombia and came to the United States when he was just seven years old. He grew up in South Florida. A lifelong car enthusiast and aficionado, Juan has raced, bought, sold and collected cars since he was 16 years old.  For the last seven years, Juan has been active as a bilingual automotive journalist, writing for several web sites, magazines and community newspapers. Juan’s writing focus is a lifestyle angle, incorporating a style that he calls: “How does the car make me feel?”


Dr. Ray Mummery is an aviation medical examiner, but his passion is cars, with an emphasis on sports cars. He is an automotive writer for SCCA, IMSA and Motoring Style. Ray is a competitive racer and has been a member of the Sports Car Club of America since 1963. He has had 17 starts in the Sebring 12 Hour endurance race, with a first place finish in the FIA 2 liter class. He has started 12 times in the Daytona 24 Hour race and notched a Camel Light GT win. He raced IMSA from 1972 to 1996 and he has raced in SCCA events since 1965. Ray is the owner of Miami Auto Racing, Inc., a motorsports consulting, car building and race track support operation. He especially enjoys racing vintage sports cars and currently owns a 1996 Porsche 993, a 1990 Mazda Miata, a 1957 Lotus 17, a 1950 Jaguar XK 120 and a 2000 Ford Expedition. 


Al Vazquez is the co-publisher and editor of FAMA, the popular Spanish-language lifestyle magazine. For the past 20 years, he has been writing vehicle reviews for the automotive section of FAMA Magazine. Al, in his quest for information about the auto industry, travels throughout the country and the world to cover hundreds of auto shows and media events. For the last five years, he has been videotaping his work and posting it on the FAMA website where there are now hundreds of car videos available for consumer viewing and downloading. Al says the changes in the industry and in the automobile itself over the last two decades have been nothing short of amazing. “I believe the car is no longer just a machine to take people to a particular destination,” he says. “Today, it is an integral part of our daily life; and sometimes we spend more time in our car than we do in our own home.”