Board Of Trustees
As a supporting entity of America’s Automotive Trust (AAT), the RPM Foundation serves AAT’s mission of advancing car culture in America by supporting pathways to careers in vehicle restoration and preservation. The AAT Board of Trustees oversees the operations of America’s Automotive Trust, LeMay – America’s Car Museum, and the RPM Foundation.
To view the AAT Board of Trustees, click here.
Nick Ellis is the Executive Director for the RPM Foundation, and is responsible for delivering our mission of supporting pathways to careers in the collector vehicle restoration field.
From collecting vintage cameras and floor model radios to restoring cars and motorcycles from the teens to the 1970s, Nick has a great love of all eras of mechanical design. He turned that love into a restoration and sales business with his father for several years—buying, restoring, and selling all different types of collector cars and motorcycles with an emphasis on Fords and Mercurys from the 1930s and 1940s. He’s traveled to auctions and car shows all over the US, and even to Italy to bring back a very rare engine for a vintage race car.
Nick believes that collector vehicles are meant to be driven and enjoyed, and is thrilled to be a part of ensuring that the next generation of restoration specialists are there to keep those classics on the road.
Diane Fitzgerald is the Former President of RPM Foundation, and continues her service promoting America’s heritage and the interests of the collector community as an Ambassador to the Foundation.
Prior to her time as President of RPM, Diane was director of National Club Auto, expanding the reach of LeMay – America’s Car Museum beyond the museum’s campus in Tacoma, WA with programs, events and activities for Club Auto and higher members. From 2002-2012, she was a member of the Museum’s Board of Director’s Steering Committee, notably as one of the first non-Tacoma members.
She is an avid microcar and motorcycle enthusiast and has travelled the world by four- and two-wheels, often to exotic places like Bhutan and India. In between her active hobbyism, Diane used her two Visual Arts degrees and one MBA to build her world that blended the experiences of corporate, small business and not-for-profits. Fruit of the Loom, Andersen Consulting, Lotus Tours, The Habitat Company and Marwen each provided lots of experience in new business development, project management, marketing & communications, operations and fundraising.
Diane was a teacher for 17 years as well as the founding executive director in 1986 of a not-for-profit in Chicago which thrives today. Chicago is home base for Diane and her work with RPM.
Diane and her husband, Burt Richmond, are major donors of ACM and RPM, restore historic buildings, and collect microcars and vintage motorcycles & scooters. Restoration is part of their collecting. Driving them is, too!
Collector and enthusiast Pat Barnes has always been fascinated by cars and motorcycles. He could identify vehicles at the age of 4, when he and his brother played games of Name-That-Car. He has owned motorcycles for over 50 years and currently owns two collector cars and one motorcycle – a 2007 Suzuki v-Strom. It is important to Pat that he uses what he has, so he doesn’t own or collect vehicles he can’t ride!
In 2014, Pat met Diane Fitzgerald at a Seattle auto show where he was volunteering, and she introduced him to RPM Foundation. Pat started volunteering with LeMay – America’s Car Museum in 2002, but his ability to spend time at the museum was limited after moving to Portland, Oregon in 2013. Becoming an RPM Ambassador was the perfect way to stay involved while living outside the Tacoma area.
Pat believes that when it comes to vehicles and restoration, it is critical for young folks to learn from older generations. He has experience as an educator, and brings that perspective to his role at RPM: “I love the idea and practice of hands-on education. I want to see more programs and expansions – not just auto repair in schools, but restoration and preservation as well. We need to spread the word!”
FUN FACT: In 1976, Pat’s grandparents bought an AMC Pacer and it has been in the family ever since. The car was first driven by his grandmother, then his mother, followed by Pat, his daughter, and now his grandson. That’s five generations!
Josh Baum is a working automotive conservator and former RPM grant-recipient. He has always been fascinated by what he calls “our built environment as influenced by the automobile,” which explains why he once owned and began restoration on a 1940s Sinclair filling station in his hometown of Hays, Kansas. Josh has an MA in Historical Preservation from the University of Georgia and wrote his thesis on an examination of the Historic Vehicle Association’s (HVA) steps in creating the National Historic Vehicle Register. He is also a member of the HVA. After graduation, Josh applied his education and passion on the West Coast in an effort to save old cars. Since 2015, he has worked for a private collection in southern California, where he cares for several completely original vehicles as an automotive preservationist. Before landing his dream job, however, Josh interned at LeMay–America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington. Through a grant from RPM Foundation, Josh practiced much of what he does now — maintenance on the museum’s collection — and also helped stage exhibits and update the museum’s vehicle research database. The three-month internship led to a full-time position as assistant curator. In many ways, the museum’s mission — to honor “America’s love affair with the automobile” — meshed perfectly with Josh’s own interests, specifically wanting “to tell the story not just of the cars, but how the cars have affected us as people.”
Herb Clark is an avid hobbyist who has been a car lover since the 1960s. He taught classes on the history of the automobile, which allowed him to meet a number people with car knowledge and plenty of car stories to share. He currently has a few cars in his personal collection, chosen with no rhyme nor reason.
Herb was introduced to RPM Foundation when he applied for a grant to support his car club’s community activities. He had been passionate about cars for a long time, but it wasn’t until talking with Diane Fitzgerald and learning about RPM that his desire to help others really took off. “Her mentoring has been a big help in my efforts. Now I have been asked to help several other communities start a club like ours.” Herb started a non-profit charitable car club called Automotive Restoration Club of Sun City West to promote auto restoration – it now has almost 700 members! The club, which opened in January of 2016, built a 6,000-square-foot restoration shop where they teach all aspects of restoration.
The “master networker,” Herb has boundless energy and an ease with connecting the dots – to help us all be aware of each other and the work that we do!
Sandy Cotterman is a passionate enthusiast, having entered the motorsports world quite by accident. There was nothing in her family’s past, even remotely, related to cars until she traded in her Dad’s Lincoln for a ‘convertible’, which happened to be a Jaguar. From that moment on, she embraced the hobby and set out on a path designed for her … ‘The Making of a Car Lady’.
Sandy is a nationally certified JCNA judge and Assistant Chief Judge for New England. She judges for numerous Concours and Jaguar sanctioned events along the East Coast including the Greenwich and Radnor Hunt Concours; Boca Raton and St. Michael’s Concours; Cavallino’s Classic Sports Car Sunday and Dream Ride. She is the founder of the Outstanding Judges Award, acknowledging the impact judges have on collector car preservation.
As credentialed media, Sandy captures her motorsports adventures under the byline Sandy on Assignment for Motorsports Marketing Resources. Her approach to tackling the motorsports bucket list has been, ‘just do it’ so it’s not uncommon to catch her as a spectator at the Mille Miglia or races at Le Mans and Monaco or even rambling along on the London to Brighton Veteran’s Run. Sandy has also ventured out on the track, taking high performance driving courses including the Porsche Sports Driving School.
Sandy’s professional and volunteer careers have supported her dedication to improving the lives of others. She started her career as a nutritionist at Massachusetts General Hospital, then moved on to developing nutrition learning systems with National Dairy Council as the Director of Education for the NE offices. Always striving to expand the nutrition and wellness message to a broader base, Sandy worked in public relations with Burson Marsteller in New York before forming her own consulting company and authoring the national
Y’s Way to Weight Management program for the YMCA and producing the award-winning nutrition film, No Better Gift.
Management positions also included Managing Broker for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services and Director of Marketing and Sales at the Hotel Thayer, West Point, NY.
Her volunteer endeavors for causes she is passionate about are extensive, having served on numerous Boards for the arts and as Vice Chairman of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Board and President of the Atlanta Symphony Associates.
Yet, of all her passions, being mom to Amanda, who resides with her husband in Nairobi, Kenya touches her heart the most. Sandy currently divides her time between Clearwater, Florida and Boston.
Steven Davis has had an extremely impressive career, including programming for Wang computers, Advertising/Marketing with Chiat/Day, Piaggio, Toyota, Saatchi & Saatchi, launching the first electric shuttle buses at LAX as President of Phoenix Motorcars, and most recently VP of Sales and Client Relations for Singer Vehicle Design.
Steven came into the RPM network in May of 2020 during a series of online learning sessions we performed with various Singer personnel. He was one of four people RPM interviewed during webinars aimed at informing young people of the various employment possibilities within the Automotive industry. When Ambassador Drew Feustel came into contact with a young man enrolled at Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in Los Angeles who had expressed an interest in restoration and race engines, RPM connected the young man with Steve for mentoring.
Steven has been a car enthusiast all his life, tinkering with various vehicles during his adolescence, and moving into collecting later. He drives a 1963 Porsche 356 daily to work, with no air-conditioning and no radio which he describes as his thinking time.
Jim Denneny has been involved with RPM for several years, having met Diane Fitzgerald through RPM Ambassador Herb Clark at the Arizona Concours d’Elegance in 2017. Shortly after, Jim’s nephew Kevin Kyle was accepted into the Automotive program at Ohio Technical Institute, but was wary about leaving his home state of Pennsylvania. Jim introduced Kevin to Pennsylvania College of Technology, which he had discovered through RPM. Kevin attended PCT, and received RPM Gap Funding to support his internship at K&T Vintage Sportscars in Allentown. Kevin was featured in an issue of RPM’s Under the Hood newsletter.
Jim is the owner of Auto Tech Systems and Lift Superstore in St Louis and very active in the Archway Restoration Club’s local chapter. He has hosted youth events at his shop and donated prizes for ARC’s Time and Distance Road Rally, described as a “one-day Great Race.” As an ASE certified Master Technician and former Automotive Instructor, Jim is passionate about the need to build the vehicle restoration workforce of tomorrow, mentoring several young people through his businesses.
Jim is a member of the Porsche Club of America, Automotive Restoration Club of St Louis, and the Gateway Pontiac Trans Am Club.
Drew Feustel grew up near the Motor City (Lake Orion, MI) and has been surrounded by cars, motorcycles, and boats his entire life. Before riding his custom 1974 Honda CB750F to Purdue University, Drew spent his childhood years racing motorcross and BMX bicycles. He later began racing Karts after high-school while attending Oakland Community College and working at a Jaguar restoration facility near Detroit. His first car was a 1967 Mustang Convertible that he received when he was 15. He spent the next five years restoring it, and has had an automotive project in his garage ever since. Growing up near Lake Michigan meant lots of time spent on the water with boats – his father owns a 1948 Crosby 10’ b-utility runabout that Drew restored when he was a teen. He has owned and restored several automobiles over the years and currently houses three classic BMW’s (3.0CS, Bavaria, E28) and an Austin Healy Sprite (spridget) that he purchased for his wife as a wedding present 26 years ago. “Looking back now, I suppose there was no way for me NOT to fall in love with cars, motorcycles, and boats!”
Drew got involved with RPM to help promote not only automotive restoration, but also the development of mechanical aptitude in younger generations. He is strongly committed to encouraging the youth of today to get their hands dirty – either under the hood of a car, in a wood shop on a boat, working around the home, or by formally pursuing engineering and technical degrees that will allow them to be employed in industries where those talents are needed. “After 16 years in my current profession as an Astronaut, I can truly say that my success can be attributed to the technical and mechanical skills that I picked up in the garage, nearly as much as my formal training as a scientist.”
“I do believe that our world needs people with strong mechanical, manufacturing, and trade skills. We always will. RPM can strive to promote and nurture those skills and help to ensure globally that we are well equipped to enable the mechanics, restoration professionals, and trade skill workers of our future.”
UPDATE: Drew is heading to the International Space Station in 2018 and RPM Foundation will be “joining him there” via video transmissions! Click here to learn more.
Travis LaVine grew up in a restoration family, starting young as a classic car enthusiast. Always the academic, he enjoyed learning about the history of cars, their designers, their specifications, and what the world was like around them. This academic interest took him on a unique path back to his roots in classic car restoration, attending law school at Michigan State University and working in tax law at Ernst & Young in Chicago. However, the opportunity arose to return to his family business at LaVine Restorations, then in its 40th year, and he could not pass on the chance to continue his parent’s legacy.
With the eventual inclusion of his best friend and also-attorney Jason Stoller back at LaVine Restorations, Travis dove in to the restoration process alongside his parents and fellow restorers, focusing on research, design, and fabrication. Travis eventually met Diane Fitzgerald at LaVine Restorations during a visit to discuss the education process of young restorers. With a clear penchant for education, Travis engaged in many conversations with Diane over the coming year, and eventually realized that becoming a part of RPM would be a perfect way to grow his passion for educating people on classic cars. His ultimate goal is to help grow the next generation of restorers, collectors, and enthusiasts!
Ryan Levesque is the next generation – a collector and restorer with a passion for historical transportation designs and engineering. He currently owns a 1972 Volkswagen campmobile – a restoration project, a 1966 MG 1100, and a 1956 Massey Harris 50 tractor. Ryan discovered his love for cars at Pennsylvania College of Technology (PCT) when he took a chance and enrolled in a restoration elective course and helped bring a 1978 Pontiac Firebird back to life. While attending school, he worked at a restoration shop called Higgins Restoration, specializing in Brass Era vehicles. After graduation, he was chosen by RPM Foundation to be the first Apprentice to train under Keith Flickinger – owner of Precision Motor Cars and curator/restorer of the Nicola Bulgari Collection. Originally from Unionville, PA, Ryan now lives in Grapevine, TX and works at KIP Motor Company where he is responsible for wielding, fabrication and restoration assembly.
“I believe the future is bright for RPM and the restoration industry. The ‘talk’ about old cars is getting louder and more people are becoming enthusiasts, collectors, and restorers. More and more young people want to work on vintage cars and as they become more collectible it will only drive the industry to grow!”
Bennett Logan can trace his love of Ferraris to the time he first sat in an ’87 Flying Mirror Testarossa at Foreign Cars Italia in Greensboro, NC when he was ten years old. From then on he was hooked, dragging his father on monthly trips to the dealership.
While in high school, this love of cars naturally progressed when he became an intern. While attending college and performing his duties as a Sergeant in the North Carolina Army National Guard, he began working full time at Foreign Cars Italia specializing in the ordering and speccing of Ferraris.
The son of a “muscle-car guy,” Bennett considers himself a post-war European-car guy with a particular affection for Ferraris. He recently started his own company, Tailored Motor Company, in Dallas, TX. While he specializes in collector car sales, his passion is in creating and guiding automotive experiences around the world for his clients.
His thirst for automobile knowledge and experiences has taken him all over the world. “I’m fortunate to be able to build my career around my love of cars,” Bennett says. Each job and location has helped him craft his business model. Bennett is pleased to join forces again with former employer and Collector’s Car Garage owner, Burt Richmond – another RPM Ambassador.
Bud McIntire has been a car guy since the age of seven when he went on a road trip with his father to retrieve a 1952 MGTD. Years later, he developed a life-long love for Alfa sportscars after attending a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) racing event at Virginia International Raceway. But it wasn’t until the end of college that he bought his own red Alfa GTV. Numerous vintage Alfa’s have come into his life since the GTV and he has even restored a few – including a rare 1960 Giulietta Spring Special. Mixed in with the cars were a variety of motorcycles. Today, Bud’s go-to bike is a 1983 BMW R80ST, but there is also a 1983 Suzuki Katana GS1000 and a 2005 Honda Superhawk in the garage for more vigorous riding.
After nearly 40 years of school and professional practice in architecture, Bud retired to pursue a passion for wooden boat-building and restoration. He completed a nine-month program at the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Michigan and an apprenticeship at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. He was later recruited by the school to return as their Director of Student Service and to teach summer classes. During his time at the school, he became acquainted with Bob Knechel, former CEO of The Collectors Foundation, and Diane Fitzgerald, who at the time was Executive Director of the Hagerty Education Program (HEP). Grants to the school were used to fund scholarships and gave Bud a personal view of the value of this funding for highly-qualified students.
“Given the goals of RPM and my background, volunteering as an Ambassador seemed like a perfect fit. I look forward to helping this worthwhile program in any way I can here in the Southeastern United States.”
Cars have been a lifelong passion of Jason’s – something that was deeply instilled in him before he was old enough to walk. However, committing to a career path in automotive restoration happened later. Jason spent nearly fifteen years working in supervisory and leadership roles and transitioned into Human Resources before realizing his dreams of working on classic cars full time in a restoration shop.
While Jason is most knowledgeable about post-WWII American cars, he also appreciates the “oddball” or orphan vehicles. “When it comes to classic cars, I believe they’re all special and unique in their own way.”
In 2017, Jason graduated from McPherson College with a degree in Automotive Restoration Technology and Business. He is an RPM scholar and grant recipient who earned a 10-week summer internship at LeMay – America’s Car Museum (Tacoma, WA) as the Collections Management Technician. He has also interned at Shade’s Classic Corner (Hastings, NE), Goldfield Trim and Upholstery (Des Moines, IA) and SEVEN LLC (Columbus, OH).
Today, Jason works at SMS Auto Fabrics in Canby, OR and has taken on variety of different roles from customer service to inventory, project management, etc. to some door panel fabrication and everything in between.
Jody is a self-described Motor Gal, Vehicular Pioneer and the Spokeswoman for Driving Conversations Across the U.S. She is passionate about bringing visibility to the classic car hobby – in particular to young men and women – in part by driving her cars to local shows, honking and waving to others along the way and inviting people into her cars to have their pictures taken. She is fond of saying, “my cars have introduced me to some of the nicest people.”
On 2014, she decided on a whim to purchase a 1939 Ford Fordor Deluxe, and now owns what she calls an “eclection” of ten vintage cars. She gravitates toward stock survivors, orphan cars, speedsters and trucks. In 2015 Jody was featured in the Wall Street Journal with her 1950 Studebaker Starlight Coupe – painted to highlight the car’s aeronautical design influences. In the summer of 2018, Jody spent over a month driving 2,200 miles on an adventure from Oregon to Illinois behind the windshield of a 1924 Dodge Bothers Roadster, spreading the word about RPM.
Jody enjoys engaging with people, connecting them with resources and helping them succeed. As a woman, classic car enthusiast and someone committed to the growth and perpetuation of the hobby, becoming an ambassador for RPM was a natural fit.
Stacy Puckett Taylor grew up attending car shows with her parents. In fact, she went to her first car auction while her mother was pregnant with her! In 2004, Stacy received an Associate’s Degree in Automotive Restoration Technology at McPherson College in Kansas, and before that, a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The School of the Art Institute in Chicago. She believes that automobiles are the ultimate combination of technology, mechanics and art. After graduating from McPherson, Mercedes-Benz Classic Center offered her a scholarship in Fellbach, Germany to become a Mechanic’s Apprentice. Next stop? LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, WA where Stacy was employed as the Collection Manager and Curator. Stacy currently lives in Michigan with her husband, Haydn, who also loves cars. Together, they own seven Audi vehicles and a few motorcycles. She works for Seven Vehicle Management Group as Operations Manager, overseeing all aspects of the classic car service provider, based in Columbus, OH – a job that requires a great deal of technical knowledge.
Stacy has just ended a 16-month position with RPM, as Interim Grants Administrator.
“I want RPM Foundation to become a clearing house of information for and about the restoration industry – a place where students, instructors and shops can all find what they need and what they’re looking for.”
Burt Richmond is a partner at Collectors Car Garage in Chicago and enjoys driving anything with two, three, or four wheels. He has been captivated by vehicles, especially old ones, since the age of 13 when he was introduced to a 1939 Crosley convertible at the family home on Long Island. By age 14 he had built his first car with help from his brother and father. Burt was living in Chicago in 1966 when he bought his first motorcycle – a Honda Super 90 – and has not been without a motorcycle since. Today, he and his wife, Diane Fitzgerald, have a collection of microcars and vintage motorcycles and scooters, some of which are on display inside their historic Chicago home.
Burt studied Industrial Design in college to become an automobile stylist. His first design job in New York was designing furniture and products, which over time evolved into Interior Architecture. In 1988, at age 50, he resigned from his 180-person architectural firm, with offices in 7 cities, to start a motorcycle touring company. By 2007, he had guided over 8,800 riders across 150 countries. His list of racing and driving accomplishments is long and includes a 16,000 kilometer long drive that took seven weeks to complete from Beijing to Paris in a 1953 Citroen 2CV. He has restored dozens of vintage motorcycles and a handful of microcars. Burt loves the challenges that come with repairing vehicles to keep them running, and the end result is all about pride of accomplishment.
“RPM holds the reins for creating awareness and the need for craftsmanship and development of hands-on problem solving of mechanical devices.”
David Rising was born and raised in Tacoma, WA and his fascination with cars started when he was young, thanks to the many family vacations spent traveling to all corners of the US and parts of Canada. He currently lives in Esslingen, Germany and works for HWA AG, which runs the Mercedes Benz AMG DTM Team, supports all Mercedes powered Formula 3 teams, and manufacturers all Mercedes GT3 race cars. He is a vehicle dynamicist working mainly with full vehicle simulation, but is also involved with performance analysis, tire testing and mathematical modeling. In college, David participated in a student project called Formula SAE. The goal was to design, build and compete with their own small, open-wheeled race car. The many years of experience on that project led to his first job as a race engineer for a NASCAR truck team. He has been involved with racing ever since! David was looking for a way to get involved with LeMay – America’s Car Museum and use his enthusiasm for all things automotive when he found RPM Foundation. We’re lucky to have him along for the ride!
FUN FACT: “I have only once purchased a car that was younger than ten years old. It was a great car, but sadly didn’t have any character. That is, it never broke down!”
Clinton W. Sly, Jr. is the President of Collectors Financial Services, which provides lenders with the regulatory documentation necessary to authenticate and value collector car assets for lending purposes. In his role as President, Clint is responsible for all operational aspects of Collectors Financial including strategic growth initiatives, identifying lending solutions, developing go-to-market and sales strategies, product positioning, and business acquisitions.
Clint has more than 25 years of business growth experience specializing in global marketing, brand strategy, public relations, event marketing, digital commerce, broadcast media, print and digital publishing, data and analytics. Prior to Collectors Financial, Clint served in several senior management positions including Senior Vice President of Financial Services at Hagerty and President of duPont Publishing, Inc. His in-depth non-profit involvement has ranged from the development of a 25-year growth plan for the City of Portland to being a charter member of the St. Peter Foundation, serving single mothers, the homeless and providing emergency relief.
“As far back as I can remember, it seems that I have been working on something with wheels. My earliest memory was with my tricycle, back in 1952, when I tied some cans on the back axle to make noise,” Ronn remembers. These days Ronn is putting an engine together for his 1957 Porsche 356, but he also likes Detroit iron, such as the ‘65 K-Code Mustang he recently restored. Restoration is in his blood.
While pursuing a degree in teaching, he restored and raced motorcycles and a few old sailing craft. During his summer breaks from teaching, Ronn applied his home-building skills to old house restoration, but there was always a car to rebuild in the driveway.
As Ronn worked through a career in public education, first as a teacher and then as an administrator, it struck him again and again how public education under-serves children who want to do something other than pursue a four-year degree in college. By the time that he became a high school principal, he had a clearer picture of the problems involved with motivating youth to explore the world of trades, but also, the administrative hurdles embedded in current educational practice.
The solution always begins with an inspired teacher who will go that extra mile to motivate and mentor students. With this teacher, alliances can be made with programs both within and outside schools to help such students who want to pursue a trade in restoration and preservation.
As Ronn sees it, RPM activities help students begin their careers in restoration and preservation. Graduating and moving on to a meaningful post-secondary career – that’s a win-win for everybody involved!
Lyn St. James is a retired professional IndyCar Driver with 11 Champ Car and 5 Indy Racing League starts to her name. She is just one of seven women who have qualified for the Indianapolis 500 and perhaps best known for her 1992 Indianapolis 500 “Rookie of the Year” award. In addition, Lyn has achieved racing notoriety at a number of other international and national racing events. Beyond her illustrious racing career, Lyn St. James is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing her accomplishments – such as, Sports Illustrated for Women’s “Top-100 Women Athletes of the Century”, one of “The 350 Women Who Changed the World Between 1976-1996” in Working Woman Magazine, 2008 Automotive Hall of Fame Distinguished Service Award, and Member of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame. Lyn is the author of three books, the founder of the Lyn St. James Foundation and its “Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation”. She previously formed a racing team plus owning and operating several other businesses. Now mostly retired, Lyn is active on numerous Boards and enjoys Vintage Racing, when she finds the time.
“This is an industry that needs new craftsmen as the old craftsmen are retiring. If the students have the desire and passion to learn, then the community needs to help support a program that can teach them and guide them into a career doing what they love! RPM Foundation is at the center of this and I am proud to be part of the movement they started.”
Jason Stoller was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and grew up attending the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race with his family. From those early childhood trips a love for all things mechanical was born.
While he was growing up, Jason spent many evenings in the garage with his father repairing the family vehicles. Shortly after turning sixteen, he purchased and partially restored a 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo which became the first in a long succession of beautifully-underpowered GM products that he would own in his teens and early twenties, culminating in a particularly classy 1986 GMC Caballero.
An electrical engineer and attorney by training, Jason spent several years living and practicing patent law in Munich, Germany. Living in Germany, and Munich in particular, afforded him the opportunity to deepen and refine his love of the automobile by taking regular trips on the speed-unrestricted German Autobahn in the company 3 Series Sports Wagon.
Jason was thrilled to have the opportunity to rejoin the crew at LaVine Restorations with his best friend, Travis LaVine, and work with classic cars back in his home state. He currently lives with his family in Mishawaka, Indiana.
Haydn is the owner of HT Motorworks & D Speedshop and a lover of all vehicles – which he sees as fascinating and enthralling mechanical marvels. He grew up around the world – but was born in Yorkshire, England – the son of an Engineer, and became one himself after realizing he loved mechanical things. He also grew up watching rallying in the UK in the 80’s and fell in love with the new-to-the-world-at-that-time Audi Quattro – Today, he collects Audis!
Haydn has been racing and building race cars and bikes his whole life and loves both the hands-on work and the driving experience. About 15 years ago, he became an HPDE (High Performance Driver Education) driving instructor and race instructor. He has also been an ADSS (Advanced Driver Skills School) instructor for about 12 years, teaching mostly new drivers car control skills on skid pads. “It is a great feeling to see the joy in a student’s face as they improve.”
“The future of RPM will be an uphill battle to convince not only the kids but the industry that skilled workers require a lot of training and investment on both sides. I am excited to see RPM tackling this issue as there is a huge skills gap in the auto industry right now.”
The RPM Foundation’s first grant recipient, 30-year-old Josh Voss of White Lake, Michigan, is now one of its latest ambassadors.
Voss, who grew up on a farm in Washington and received his driver’s license at age 14, has a long history of mechanical curiosity. As a youth, he and his father would sit together rebuilding carburetors and alternators or working on his 1973 Plymouth Valiant.
Voss entered The Great Race with a 1928 Ford Model A that he and some friends had rebuilt, and caught the attention of Buck Kamphausen of RM Auctions. It was Kamphausen who took note of Josh’s skills and encouraged him to apply to the RPM Foundation (then called The Collectors’ Foundation) for a scholarship.
Voss used the scholarship proceeds to attend Wyo-Tech in Laramie, Wyoming where he graduated under an accelerated one-year Associates Degree program in Business with a certificate in Street Rod and Custom Fabrication. From there he went on to work with Brian Joseph’s Classic and Exotic Service in Troy, Michigan before setting out with his own shop, Cross Action Classics.
Josh is excited to start his new role as a walking success story and ambassador for the RPM Foundation.
Alan Wilson came into the RPM network in early 2019 through Stacy Puckett-Taylor and Alan’s daughter Kinzie, who has a remarkable story.
At age 8, Kinzie was thrown from a horse and shattered her skull on a fencepost. She was not expected to survive her injuries, but soon after began to improve in health. Once it was clear she would survive, she was expected to lose her eye. Although her eye healed to 20/20 vision again, she was expected to suffer permanent brain damage. Years later, Kinzie graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA. Upon entering high school, Kinzie told her doctor she wanted to join the cheerleading squad. Her doctor strongly advised her against this, proclaiming that any sport she chooses to pursue needs to involve a helmet.
And that is how Kinzie Wilson became a drag racer.
Alan supports his daughter’s passion for speed, bringing her and her modified C4 Corvette to the drag strip, where she competes against racers twice her size and age and regularly defeats them. Kinzie is currently enrolled at Belmont Abbey College, where she is pursuing a Motorsports Management Degree with the goal of racing professionally.
Alan is the owner of Brass Key Construction and an outspoken advocate of the skilled trades, serving on the Automotive Advisory Committee for Mansfield ISD.