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Under the HOOD

The Newsletter of RPM Foundation • Making InROADS

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT Who we are, What we do, and How we do It. You’ve heard us beam about our post-secondary educational partners — McPherson College (Kansas), Pennsylvania College of Technology (Pennsylvania), and Central Carolina College (North Carolina). While we, and they, are rightly proud of the curriculums they offer in automotive restoration and preservation, we realize it’s not the path for everyone. When a company or entity experiences growth or change, it’s often useful to revisit the core principles that founded that entity. To get back to basics, and reaffirm the mission statement; to check the compass and make sure the course has not wavered. Since RPM Foundation’s inception in 2005, our nationwide network of mentors, ambassadors, teachers, shop instructors, shop owners, corporate partners and private donors have grown exponentially. With that growth comes all types of increased opportunities for collaboration and integration, both vertically and laterally. It’s hard to say no to opportunity when it presents itself, but all too easy to become distracted from the primary goal. One integration opportunity that we are very excited about is the new alliance with TechForce Foundation and a common vision under joint-CEO Jennifer Maher. But the reciprocal value of that partnership relies on RPM continuing to do what it does best: finding, inspiring, educating and placing the automotive, motorcycle and marine restoration craftsmen of tomorrow. It’s a strategy worth doubling-down upon.

The TechForce partnership frees up RPM from doing some of the early messaging around reducing what we have come to call “Trade Stigma”— the negative connotation associated with blue-collar careers. Our hope is that TechForce also becomes an effective pipeline of promising technicians willing to push their talents further into the collector vehicle restoration industry. Which is where RPM’s proven programs then kick in. “Off to the Races” exposes students to the exciting career paths within vintage auto racing. “Behind the Scenes” highlights the job opportunities in the collector car auction industry. “Shop Hop” puts students on the shop floor of some of the country’s finest restoration facilities and face-to-face with their future employers. Once a field of interest is identified, RPM works closely with that student to acquire the needed skills through our partner schools and funding programs. Once completed, we tap our network of shop owners, facilitating interviews, internships and even gap-funding to place that technician into an environment of continual learning. The urgent need for educating tomorrow’s craftsmen is not going away. And now – with a little help from our friends at TechForce – we can focus more than ever on who we are, what we do, and how we do it. See you along the way, Diane Fitzgerald, President

While the two entities’ missions may seem redundant at first glance, they are actually quite complementary. While TechForce operates in the macro-picture of trades education targeting the dealership workforce, RPM continues to seek out the crème de la crème of tech school students with “heritage in their hearts,” and craft individualized paths to placement within the multi-milliondollar restoration industry. The two arenas are very different. While the initial skills training is shared, the career paths diverge radically from there. Dealershipbased education emphasizes modern techniques applied to a “book time” economic shop model. Restoration-based education emphasizes lost-art techniques applied in an artisanal setting. The mindsets are completely unique: one model works to a cost, the other works to a standard.

Surrounded by RPM staff, students and volunteers, RPM President Diane Fitzgerald is joined by donors and Continental Auto Group founder John & Lisa Weinberger and Ferrari Club of America - Central States Region president Phil Wantoch at Ferraris on Fulton, hosted by Continental and FCA. The Weinbergers presented their annual donation of $10,000 and FCA participants contributed almost $4,000 for RPM grants and programs.


Under the HOOD COLLECTOR SPOTLIGHT California Collector Rallies for the Cause of Restoration Education by BILL HALL Automotive Journalist and Collector, Elkhart Lake, WI

RPM advocate and car collector Charlie Goodman knows all too well the dwindling resources in automotive restoration trades education. From his vantage point as a Board Member of the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Automobile Museum and Manager of his own Checkers Classics Collection in San Rafael, California, Goodman sees firsthand the lack of high school auto shop classes like his generation grew up with. “Of the eight high schools in my area, only two offer a shop class,” said Goodman. “Trades education here is just about dead.” Utilizing his past experience as Founder and Chairman of the Marin-Sonoma Concours d’Elegance, Goodman started the Shifting Gears CarRally to provide targeted funding for classic automotive curriculum in the local high schools. With the help of RPM Foundation, Charlie navigated through the process of finding above-and-beyond educators who would embrace the concept of expanding curriculum to meet a market need. CAPP, or Car Restoration and Preservation Program, gives students historical appreciation of the world of classic cars as well as technical skills involving manual transmissions, hydraulic brakes and carburetors. Participants even disassemble a small-block Chevy motor to gain a general understanding of mechanical concepts. All of which is solely funded by Shifting Gears, a three-day rally through the Sierra Nevada open to pre-1972 sports and exotic cars. Slots have sold-out every year of its seven-year run. Proceeds are directed to a restricted-fund account within the school district specifically designated for the CAPP program. Gaining the partnership and support of the School District Supervisor and Principal was crucial to implementing Goodman’s philanthropic vision. Charlie Goodman (center, blue shirt), Tom O'Neill and Marin county Mentors with Al Unser at Off To The Races with RPM - SVRA Sonoma Raceway

Charlie Goodman (third from left, blue shirt) and Terra Linda High School students with Louie Shefchik of J&L Fabricating, Puyallup, WA, at Off To The Races with RPM - SVRA Sonoma Raceway; Photo Credit: Elliot Karlan

Goodman’s mission does not end there. The collector has created paid internships at Checkers Classics for the best and the brightest students from the CAPP program. “To select interns, we walk into the classroom with our eyes open, looking to see which kids are paying attention and trying to learn,” said Goodman. Dane Whitmire is one such intern. Whitmire has worked at Checkers Classics for the last year, learning firsthand under the collection’s lead mechanic. “My first day on the job I replaced an oil pressure sending unit on a 1948 Tucker. I certainly think that there is a level of progress that goes on. There is definitely a sort of curriculum laid out,” said Whitmire about his internship. Whitmire is off to community college now, and another CAPP student will take his place. “We’ve found that we’ve got to start their interest in classic cars early…about junior high,” said Goodman about the program he founded. “By the time they get to college, they’re almost set in their ways.”

Car Stories with Lou Costabile! RPM Supporter and You Tube "My Car Story" host, Lou Costabile, interviews 5-time Daytona winner Hurley Haywood about the renowned 1923 Miller 8 Cylinder Indy Race Car #2.

2702 East D Street, Tacoma, WA 98421 Toll Free: 855.537.4579 Email: Website:


Under the HOOD PIT STOP Each of us have dreams and goals, but the hard part is figuring out how to make them happen. They might appear too lofty or difficult to achieve (I know that feeling all too well). One thing I do is make two lists; one is titled “What I Have” listing all the resources I have; the other is titled “What’s Missing”, and I try to be as specific as possible in describing each resource. I then focus on the “What’s Missing” list and think about the how, who, or what is possible to move it to the “I Have” list. When you break it down like this, your goals become easier to achieve. Here’s an example: RPM has strong relationships with some existing educational institutions, like McPherson College and the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Both offer automotive curriculum in restoration and preservation, but RPM needs more educational institutions in more geographic markets. On the “What’s Missing” list we identified what markets – we call them “hot spots” – we want to focus our efforts. One of those markets was the Phoenix, AZ area. Through a mutual friend I had at Arizona State University, I was introduced to the then-Superintendent of East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) in Mesa, AZ. After a few meetings and a tour of their campus, I was so impressed with what I saw, especially their automotive facilities, that we continued to work with them and they agreed to host an RPM Summit Meeting in May of 2016. That began what has developed into a relationship where we’re working closely with them to expand their automotive curriculum to include restoration and preservation…and working directly with several EVIT students as they navigate internship and careers in automotive restoration.

Lyn St. James helps spread the wordabout RPM Foundation on The Oasis radio show during the Concours in the Hills in Fountain Hills, AZ.

RPM Foundation funds the automotive restoration program at East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa, AZ.

Since the Summit Meeting, RPM has helped EVIT shape their Automotive Restoration Advisory Committee – including participating on the committee – as well as cultivating the school’s car culture with a car club and car show. Funding was provided by RPM for curriculum expansion – which has evolved into a 250-hour, secondsemester senior elective program working on 5 donated project cars and two customer projects! EVIT does a great job of recruiting students from its 10 feeder highschools including exhibiting with RPM at the Concours in the Hills in Fountain Hills, AZ each February. It’s a building process, understanding that things usually don’t happen overnight. It takes a focus on the goal, having a strategy, and “Making InROADS”.

Lyn St. James stands by her ride at the RPM Apprentice Judging site at the Sonoma Speed Festival. Photo by Malcolm Slight

2702 East D Street, Tacoma, WA 98421 Toll Free: 855.537.4579 Email: Website:



Patrick Barnes, Community College Instructor, Retired; ACM Volunteer (Portland, OR and Indio, CA) Josh Baum, Conservator, Private Collection (Goleta, CA) Herb Clark, Automotive Restoration Club of Sun City West, Founder (St. Louis, MO) Sandy Cotterman, Real Estate Broker, Motorsports Enthusiast (Clearwater, FL) Drew Feustel, NASA Astronaut (Houston, TX) Travis LaVine, Manager, In-House Counsel, LaVine Restorations, Inc. (Nappanee, IN) Ryan Levesque, Lead Painter, Andritz, Inc. & RPM’s 1st Apprentice (Montoursville, PA) Bennett Logan, President, Tailored Motor Company (Dallas, TX) Adam Martin, Owner, Martin International LLC (Covington, LA) Anne Martin, Owner, Martin International LLC (Covington, LA) Bud McIntire, Director - Student Services, Great Lakes Boat Building School, Retired (Winston Salem, NC) Stephen Murphy, Collection Manager & Curator, Private Collection (Chicago, IL) Jason Peters, Owner, Mid-Century Motors & Restoration (Portland, OR) Stacy Puckett Taylor, Collection, Preservation & Restoration Consultant (Detroit, MI) Burt Richmond, Collectors’ Car Garage (Chicago, IL) Jody Reeme, Founder, Driving Conversations Across the U.S. (Wilmette, IL) David Rising, Automotive Engineer, Olympia, WA Ronn Sieber, School District Administrator, Retired (Hillsborough, NC) Clint Sly, President, Collectors Financial Services (Belleair, FL) Lyn St. James, Indy Racer (Phoenix, AZ) Jason Stoller, Manager, In-House Counsel, LaVine Restorations (Nappanee, IN) Haydn Taylor, HT Motorworks (Detroit, MI) Josh Voss, Cross Action Classics (White Lake, MI)

McPherson College students along with Diane Fitzgerald and RPM scholar, intern and McPherson's Coordinator of Automotive Restoration Events Abi Morgan at The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance


Diane Fitzgerald, President, (Chicago, IL) Nick Ellis, Mentorship & Grants Administrator (Chicago, IL) Linda Daro, Administrative Coordinator, (Chicago, IL)

RPM ADMINISTRATIVE VOLUNTEERS Dorothy Fitzgerald, (Chicago, IL) Joan Olds, (Tacoma, WA) Colleen Christian, (Chicago, IL) Michael Sagols, (La Grange, IL) Rome Thorstenson, (Chicago, IL)

(l to r) RPM Ambassador Bennett Logan, President Diane Fitzgerald, RPM students Vasilina Khanavina (The Academy of Art University), Jake Bower (graduate of Alhambra HS and student at UTI) and Hayden Witt (Alhambra HS) at Casa Ferrari at Pebble Beach. Jake and Hayden were paid interns working with Bennett in managing the more than $350 million displayed Ferraris!

PRESERVE THE PAST. BUILD THE FUTURE. Who We Are + What We Do The RPM Foundation supports Restoration and Preservation training programs and Mentoring for the next generation of

automotive, motorcycle and marine craftsmen. As the educational arm of America’s Automotive Trust, the services, programs, resources and grants provided by RPM safeguard the future of the collector vehicle industry by sustaining hands-on training for young adults. RPM is based in Chicago, IL with offices in Tacoma, WA and Detroit, MI.

Supporting RPM Foundation – Thank You!

Help us achieve our goal of raising $1,000,000 this year! Today, with funding requests more than triple what we are able to giveaway, we need your support. Donations of any size are deeply appreciated.

For more information, contact Diane Fitzgerald, President (, C: 312-543-5732 Toll Free: 855.537.4579 www.RPM.Foundation). Yes! I would like to make a donation of: Other Please accept my donation of $



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Please send your donation to: RPM Foundation, 2702 East D Street, Tacoma, WA 98421 Or MAKE A DONATION ONLINE at: Or GIVE BY PHONE: 855-537-4579 Donations of $50 or more receive a complimentary membership to LeMay – America’s Car Museum, an entity of America’s Automotive Trust. As a U.S. Treasury approved 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the RPM Foundation is qualified to accept tax deductible gifts and enables a donor to arrange charitable contributions in ways that maximize personal objectives in a tax effective manner.

RPM Foundation is the educational arm of America's Automotive Trust. RPMuthmir19


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Under the Hood - Making InROADS  

Under the Hood - Making InROADS  

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