Melanie Henry – Mel’s Car Shows
This week I spoke to Melanie Henry, Marketing Graphics Designer at UMI Performance and founder of Mel’s Car Shows. The car shows came before her career with UMI and may have just been the introduction that led her there. She has perfected the art of specific charity fund raiser car shows, now hosting six different car events each year!
Melanie grew up around classic cars and going to car shows with her dad and his 1959 ElCamino. She feels most at home when surrounded by classic cars and trucks. She has a 1949 Chevrolet pickup and people are quickly corrected when they assume it is not all hers.
Mel went to a lot of shows growing up and many people knew her from the events that she and her dad attended. She was approached in 2011 about starting a new fundraiser for an organization, and of course she suggested a car show. In 2012 she started the first one and it was a great success so they signed up for another the following year. A neighboring community had a car show that was needing new leadership and they asked Melanie to take that one over also. This started a trend of pooling her resources to put on some great automotive events and grow the attendance to larger than ever levels.
Mel’s car shows started as a charity event and she has continued that tradition to the six different shows she now heads up. Melanie also helps other fundraising car shows with advice and some mentorship, showing them how to best make money for their efforts. Some of the tips are how much to raise through sponsorships, how to raise money during the event, and even how to follow up with your audience after the show is done.
She is always happy to help with car shows, and people reach out quite often to gain a little of her knowledge. One day Ryan Kirkwood, the president of UMI, called up asking how they should run a new event. That in turn led to a better relationship with the company and the people inside it. Some time later on she saw an ad about a job at UMI so she called Ryan back and asked about the position, he knew exactly where she should be, and she was quickly hired!
She loves learning more about automotive parts and autocross racing and likes to know that she knows what she is talking about. UMI recently purchased a race track and dubbed it UMI Motosports park. She has attended and worked the events there and has put her own touch on it with the “Swear Jar”, which of course donates the money to charities.
P.S. The MOPARTY is happening September 18th thru the 20th and the whole gang from Kibbe and Friends and The MuscleCar Place will be there – Kibbe Lee included! You can find out more about it at Moparty.com.
This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot – your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!