CARS Talk!

Top photo, from left:
Bianca Barlas, Business Development Executive, CARS
Bruce Bauer, Director of Partner Support, CARS

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August 27, 2019

Usually from the messy desk of Amanda Eichstaedt…
Today from the slightly less messy desk of Mia Johnson.

A note from Mia…

I like putting faces to names. When someone comes in the door at KWMR and I’m like – hey – wait – we’ve emailed a bunch of times. And I’ve seen you at The Palace a bunch of times. But I didn’t know that face and that name were attached! I like that moment.

The National Federation of Community Broadcasters Conference, which much of the KWMR staff has been to a few times now, most recently in Denver and San Diego, is full of those “finally making the connection” moments…including getting to meet the team at Charitable Adult Rides and Services (CARS), the organization that handles KWMR’s vehicle donation program. CARS hosted a dinner at the conference for KWMR and other radio station clients of theirs, and our staff pretty quickly became fans of Bianca Barlas and Bruce Bauer.

In talking with them, it turns out what they do, and what CARS values, as a fellow non-profit, is very similar to the mindset we have here at KWMR. They are serving the community, making the most of resources…and making connections. It feels good to collaborate with CARS. Even more so; having now put a face to a name.

Check out my interview with Bianca, below.

And please consider supporting KWMR in this way:
Vehicle donations by phone:  1 866 KWMR CAR (1 866 596 7227)
Vehicle donations online:  Donate your vehicle online.

Thanks for all the ways you keep community radio rolling!

Mia Johnson
Underwriting & Development (415) 663-8068 x106







Bianca and Mia, unintentionally matching at the 2019 NFCB Conference

Interview with Bianca Barlas, Business Development Executive, CARS:

Mia: What led you to this work?
Bianca: I’ve always had a passion for public radio. Some of my earliest memories are driving with my mom in the car listening to WBEZ. At first glance, I thought CARS was a car sales gig which I had no intentions of pursuing, but after I learned about the mission and how the organization impacted so many nonprofits and public media stations, I knew it would be a great fit.

Mia: Where is CARS based?
Bianca: CARS is based out of San Diego, California. We have an additional call center located in Medford, Oregon as well.

Mia: Who is your team?
Bianca: Our team is a group of ordinary individuals striving to do extraordinary things to help our partners reach their missions. Our core team value for both donor and partner solely revolves around gratitude.

Mia: Who do you work with?
Bianca: We work with over 3,500 nonprofits and public media station across the nation. Donations can be made in any state in the U.S. and in some areas in Canada.

Mia: What’s a task that you always look forward to?
Bianca: I love check-in calls where I can share ideas and hear about the new and exciting things that are happening at the station.

Mia: What type of prep and documents do donors need?
Bianca: The donor will want to have their title on hand to make the donation.

Mia: Can CARS pick up vehicles anywhere?
Bianca: Yes! CARS can pick up vehicle donations in all areas if the vehicle is accessible for a tow.

Mia: What are some unusual vehicles that have been donated?
Bianca: We’ve seen it all! One of the weirdest/coolest donations was an older Chevy we liked to call the “Artist Car”, which was autographed by multiple musicians including Tom Petty. John Lennon’s station wagon was almost donated to WFUV, but the donor’s brother wouldn’t let him part with it.

Mia: Any memorable donation stories?
Bianca: Every donor has a story. I love hearing about the fun places their car has taken them, the memories of dropping their children off to school for the first day, or the silly names people give their car. It’s neat that the vehicle that has given them so much is now able to give back to the station they love.

Mia: What’s the deal with metal prices these days? They were down for a while.
Bianca: Metal prices are going up which is obviously a good thing for car donations, especially vehicles that are non-running.

Mia: What’s your dream car?
Bianca: I’d LOVE a vintage Volkswagen Van, preferably teal or yellow.

Mia: If you had a radio show, what would it be?
Bianca: That’s tough, but probably be a talk show based on parenting tools and advice through experiences.

Mia: And finally, what do you find most fulfilling about your job?
Bianca: I’m grateful to be a small piece of what goes into making public media possible each day.

Thanks for your partnership, Bianca, and the CARS team!

Click here to kickstart a vehicle donation!