Archive for September 2011 | Monthly archive page

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This post discusses our September EcoHour with Monica Murphy, Manager of the Advanced Technology Demonstration Program at General Motors.

DC EcoWomen got a peek under the hood of hybrid car technology during its September Eco Hour when General Motors executive Monica Murphy brought two new Chevrolet Volts for the group’s inspection outside of Teaism in downtown DC.

The women’s hands-on exploration of the two new electric cars followed Murphy’s talk outlining GM’s new market strategy where Murphy also touched on her personal experience in a male-dominated field during her 21-year career with GM. She worked with Chevrolet dealer groups on marketing and advertising programs in the Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia areas and distinguished herself by persuading the dealers to order new inventory.

‘It’s not surprising that a field like automotive is male dominated. For 10-15 years of my career I felt like I was the only woman in the group. I felt like I had to work harder than my male colleagues to be noticed. I’m competitive so I liked making those sales quotas,’ she said.

Murphy moved from Sales to Research and Development where she said she felt more like ‘one of the guys.’ As the Manager of the Advanced Technology Demonstration Programs for the Eastern Region, she currently manages GM’s fleet of Chevrolet Equinox Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles and the new Chevy Volt electric vehicle. ‘It’s great to be on the forefront of two new technologies.’

She was very involved in GM’s ‘Project Driveway’ the company’s 30-month long, live market test of the Chevrolet Equinox beginning in 2007. For the test, GM loaned out 100 hydrogen fuel cell –powered cars to volunteers in cities around the world and drivers blogged their experiences. ‘As a result of the learnings of Project Driveway’, Murphy said ‘GM was able to reduce the size of the system in the Equinox and use about a third of the platinum from the original.’ The company is currently testing a production-intent hydrogen fuel cell system that can be packaged in the space of a traditional four-cylinder engine and be ready for commercial production in 2015.

‘Part of GM’s current market strategy is to have a car for everybody, from gas-friendly to gas-free’ Murphy said. The company is working to improve fuel efficiency in the combustion engines of small cars and introducing hybrid technology in its larger vehicles such as the Denali and Yukon SUVs. GM is also very focused on ‘getting women into our cars,’ Murphy said.

The DC EcoWomen audience quizzed Murphy about the safety, pricing and mileage of the Volt. The car sells for about $40,000, which can be offset by government rebates of up to $7,500. The Volt also features a 10-year, 10,000 warranty. Learn more about how the Volt works and see a comparison chart of the Volt versus other electric vehicles.

The number one question she gets from women about the Volt, Murphy said is ‘how does it work?

‘One of the unique features about the Volt is the range extending generator allowing drivers to go about 300 additional miles after the battery is depleted.’ Murphy said. ‘Meaning you won’t be left at the side of the road when the battery runs out.’

DC EcoWomen also asked Murphy about the availability of charging stations, which Murphy asserted that GM is encouraging localities to provide. ‘I encourage you to ask your community leaders to consider provisions for charging electric cars.’ GM can’t regulate the cost of the energy charge from the stations as the power is provided by local utilities, Murphy said

Beyond introducing fuel-efficient cars, GM is saving energy corporate-wide, according to Murphy. ‘From 2005 to 2009 we reduced energy consumption across the company by 40 percent; we have the largest rooftop solar installation in the U.S. at our California facility. Many plants use solar energy. We have reduced non-recycled waste by 49 percent at plants and many of our automotive plants are landfill free.

—TA Clifford

Join us for EcoHour next month, where we’ll learn about urban planning from Kennedy Smith.


posted by | Comments Off on A Vegetarian Celebration in the Nation’s Capital!

When: Saturday, Sept. 24 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: George Washington University–University Yard. H Street between 20th and 21st Sts. in N.W., DC
Metro: four blocks from the Foggy Bottom/GWU Metro station

More info at:

Enjoy free food samples, cooking domes, exhibitors, dynamic speakers, including:

  • Wayne Pacelle, HSUS CEO and President
  • Isa Chandra Moskowitz, cookbook author
  • Wendy Rieger, NBC-4 anchor
  • Michael Greger, HSUS and clinical nutrition physician
  • Jonathan Balcombe, animal behavior expert
  • Aruna Miller, Maryland Delegate
  • Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, cookbook author
  • Jim Motavalli, environmental writer
  • Brennan Gerald, Dffrnt Wrld Deli and vegan chef
  • Dawn Moncrieffe, A Well Fed World
  • Cherylyn Tompkins, FabuNOLA

posted by | Comments Off on Celebrate Car Free Day & Capital Bikeshare’s Birthday

Pledge to UnCar for a Day!

Join DC EcoWomen to celebrate Car Free Day (Thursday, Sept. 22), a worldwide event that encourages all of us to rely less on cars. Take the Pledge to UnCar today!

Car Free Day is an international event celebrated every September 22nd in which people are encouraged to get around without cars and instead ride a train, bus, bicycle, carpool, subway, vanpool, walk or telework. Car Free Day is open to all commuters, students, homemakers and seniors in the Washington metropolitan area.

Take the Pledge today for your chance to win an Apple iPad, a bicycle or SmarTrip cards!

Celebrate the Capital Bikeshare Birthday!

Join Capital Bikeshare to celebrate their birthday and Car Free Day with live music, food, games, moonbounces, giveaways and more! The festivities take place at Yards Park on Thursday, September 22 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

posted by | Comments Off on About Monica Murphy … this month’s EcoHour speaker!

RSVP for this month’s EcoHour on Facebook or by e-mailing [email protected].

Monica Murphy was appointed Manager, Advanced Technology Demonstration Programs for the Eastern Region located in Washington D.C. in August of 2007.  In this role she manages GM’s fleet of Chevrolet Equinox Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles and the new electric vehicle the Chevrolet Volt. Activities that fall under her responsibility in the metro-Washington, D.C. area, include test drives, loan deployments, and educational outreach with government officials, national and local media, school groups and other community organizations and leaders.  Murphy was the primary GM representative supporting the D.C. area public drivers participating in the world’s largest hydrogen fuel cell market test fleet- GM’s Project Driveway.  In the fall of 2010, Murphy’s team also supported drivers in the DC area as GM launched the Chevrolet Volt Advisory Board to gain feedback on the Volt prior to production

Prior to her current assignment, Murphy was the Chevrolet Marketing Manager in the Washington, Baltimore, Harrisburg and Philadelphia markets beginning in June of 2006, where she worked with retail Chevrolet dealer groups on marketing initiatives along with advertising creative and placement.  In her 21-year career with General Motors, Murphy has worked extensively in marketing regions for General Motors as a District Sales Manager, wholesale selling of cars and trucks to dealerships and as a District Service Manager improving dealership service departments and creating customer satisfaction programs.

Murphy also spent a number of years of her career focused on customer assistance activities including representing GM at Better Business Bureau hearings and working at Chevrolet’s Customer Assistance Center.

Murphy earned a bachelor degree in Management with a minor in Business Administration from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, in 1989.  Murphy resides in Laurel, Maryland.

posted by | Comments Off on Lunch on the Lawn … a Membership Party!

You’re invited to join DC EcoWomen for an al fresco potluck!

Our community is growing bigger every day and we would like to invite you to come out and get to know us better as well as each other. Please feel free to bring friends and family as this event is co-ed! The more the merrier … you can even bring your four-legged friends!

There will be fun and family friendly game events such as a balloon toss, bocce ball, frisbee and other outdoor activities. Who’s up for a game of freeze tag? The fall weather will be beautiful and we look forward to seeing you all there!

DC EcoWomen will provide:

  • Non-alcoholic drinks (note: there is no alcohol permitted in Rock Creek Park.)
  • A small supply of charcoal for those who wish to use the grill (plan to do your own grilling!)
  • Extra napkins, silverware and plates for those who can’t bring their own (we encourage you to bring your own resusable silverware and plates to cut down on waste and keep this an ecofriendly event.)
  • Games!

You should bring:

  • A friend!
  • A dish of your choice to share (and a serving utensil if necessary).
  • Reusable silverware and plates.
  • Your favorite outdoor game!


Sunday, October 16th at 12:00 p.m.


Rock Creek Park, Shelter 6


  • The shelter area is located North of Military Rd. at the intersection of Beach Dr.
  • Directions to Rock Creek Park
  • map of the grounds (look for the dot labeled 6)
  • Public Transportation: Van Ness (red line) is the closest metro stop, but our shelter is not immediately accessible from there (approx 1 mile walk). Get directions.

Interested in riding your bike to the park? We encourage you to take public transportation, ride your bike or rollerblade to Lunch on the Lawn. Try and find other people interested in biking together by posting on the wall of the Facebook event page.

If you are interested in leading a bike ride to the lunch, please e-mail Mary Ellen at [email protected].


On Facebook; or send an e-mail to [email protected].

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Join DC EcoWomen for the September EcoHour, featuring:

Monica Murphy

Manager of Advanced Technology Demonstration Programs for General Motors

What if driving could be a more sustainable transportation option? What if increased fuel efficiency were not only more sustainable for the planet, but more sustainable for your wallet? Wait, you were thinking the same thing?

Then join us for our September EcoHour as DC EcoWomen presents Monica Murphy, Manager of Advanced Technology Demonstration Programs for General Motors (GM). She will speak about her career, GM’s work on fuel efficient vehicles, and will show off a Chevy Volt right outside of Teaism!

Learn more about our speaker, Monica Murphy.



Tuesday, September 20
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.


Teaism Penn Quarter* (Map)
400 8th Street NW; Washington, DC
Metro: Archives/Metro Center/Chinatown


On Facebook; or send an e-mail to [email protected]

*Teaism is a generous sponsor of DC EcoWomen and provides their space free of charge. Please help us say Thank You by purchasing a drink, dinner or a yummy salty oat cookie!

Note: Please remember that our EcoHour event is for women only.