News & Press: General News

VP National Activities Message

Tuesday, May 1, 2018   (0 Comments)

How I became the Caddy Queen

I have no idea how Marsha does this—she starts planning the GN events years in advance. If she would leave this position, we would just turn off the lights. Now, it’s a party!

—Dave Ritchie

In 2004, my husband, Doug, said he wanted an old car, possibly a 1970 Chevelle L-6. He searched to find just the right car. At the time, I was a sales rep at Hallmark Cards. He called me at work and said he had found the perfect car. He came home with a 1958 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe and had also found a local Cadillac car club to join.

The next thing I knew, we were on our way to the Grand National in Des Moines, Iowa. I was at an event with a bunch of cars and people I did not know. I found myself in the back row of a seminar, and Toni Rothman was the speaker. It was all about “Hosting a CLC GN,” and she planted a seed. It sounded pretty easy; after all, I had planned meetings for Hallmark, and my family had a catering business, how hard could it be? It was all I could think about, “We could so do this in (Kansas City), it will be fun!” Before I knew it, I was on the phone with the Convention & Visitors Bureau, and they were helping me put a proposal together. We went to Vegas to present to the board and came home with a GN scheduled for 2010.

Now, I believe everything happens for a reason. Mecum Auctions came to KC, so the Missouri Valley Region pushed cars across the block twice a year to raise money for our GN. Long story short, they hired me. Paul Ulasien and I co-chaired the 2010 GN, and it was a lot of work, but it was fun. The journey continued, I became the next VP of National Activities. Toni was so gracious and helpful.

Fast forward, I retired from Hallmark in 2011 after 38 years and have been with Mecum for nine years. I work in Gold Bidder registration and sometimes get to drive old Cadillacs across the block, a nice perk of the job. My parents taught me to do something good for someone else every day and working for Mecum and the CLC gives me that opportunity.

I remember how uncomfortable my first GN was, so I started an event for all of the CLC ladies called, “The Gathering of the Cadillac Queens.” It is held before the Welcome Reception, so we can get acquainted or reacquainted and have “girl time.” I really look forward to this time with my ladies, and I hope they do as well.

Planning for the GNs has been streamlined and the National has taken over some major pieces. Plus, we have a great team of experts on the National Meets and Tours Committee to help the host Region. I would challenge you to go back to your Region and consider hosting a National event. It is an unforgettable time of learning and growing together.

So…be passionate in everything you do. For me, this passion is what wakes me up in the morning and sometimes keeps me awake at night. Believe in doing what you love and be around people that make you happy. Friends who feel like family are the best friends to have. Doug and I have found something we enjoy doing together, and we cherish the lifelong friendships we have made.

I encourage you to join us for all of our CLC events (we are hosting again in Kansas City in 2020). Cherish the time we have together, sharing our love of all things Cadillac. Remember to celebrate everything that you are blessed with each day and savor the ride.

So, what if Doug had bought that Chevelle? We’ll never know….


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