2021 Board Directors and Officers
President | Brewster Thackeray – I became a car nut during my ride home as a newborn in a 1967 Volvo 122S. Since Volvo did not build convertible sports cars, I was eventually drawn to a 1988 Alfa Romeo Graduate which I purchased at eighteen years old. I currently own that Spider and a new Giulia TI. There have been many Alfa adventures in between, including a 1961 Giulietta Spider, several 164s, and many 1980-1992 Spiders. I was editor of the Capital Chapter’s newsletter, Alfantics, for four years before being elected to AROC’s national Board of Directors in 2005 and continue to serve on the chapter Board as well. Although the CapitalAlfa Club and its people are where I put most of his energy, I also enjoy an eclectic collection of other vehicles and is a member of the Fiat, Volvo, and Cadillac-LaSalle clubs.
Vice President | Phil Schleider – I think I was a car guy practically from birth, some of my most indelible childhood memories being those of the excitement when those amazing new car models were introduced every year. And then those little British sports cars and just a handful of Alfa Romeos (with roll-up windows!) started showing up everywhere. And on and on. I’ve owned lots of terrific American iron and British, German, Swedish and Japanese cars. Finally, after admiring them for years, in 1992 I purchased my first Alfa, a new Veloce Spider, which I still own and enjoy today. A concourse winner at AROC national conventions in ‘93 and 2010, the car is shear Italian art; beautiful, light, quick and great fun to drive. Completely smitten by the marque and its history, I’m now the enthusiastic owner of a new 2019 Stelvio TI Lusso, too.
Treasurer | Randy Grant has had a passion for sports cars ever since seeing the Dustin Hoffman movie, The Graduate, in 1968. My first sports car was a Triumph TR 7. Great fun, but just not as well engineered as an Alfa! After some intervening cars, I purchased a 1991 Alfa Romeo Spider which I have driven and enjoyed ever since. I joined the Capital Chapter shortly thereafter for the support and camaraderie. I served one year as Chapter President and have been the Chapter Treasurer for 10 years now. We also host the annual Spring Fling, one of the Chapters annual social events at our home.
Secretary and website administrator | Annabel Bendz
It began with “I’ll split it with you”. He responded, what the dinner bill? No, the car you’re telling me that’s for sale… the 1988 Alfa Romeo Spider. Back in 2011, my trusty guy friend and Alfa Romeo fanatic Brewster Thackeray, and I were having dinner when he said “Let’s co-own”. A two way road of sorts – another car nut who has an penchant for iconic European car design partnering with Alfa aficionado who knows the ins and outs of owning an older Italian sports car. So, I wrote a check on the spot while calculating the needed paint job would practically cost as much as my half ownership title.
With a make-shift dinner napkin contract in hand, and a stick shift in the other, I thought Ha! I’m back in the game. (I hadn’t owned an Italian car before, mostly because growing up, my parents owned German and British marques in Australia and California, and we siblings followed suit.) It worked well – co-owning (read maintaining) a couple of Alfa Romeos with a friend. So here I am, ten years later, still involved with the Capital Chapter club events (a good group of affable Alfati), and still enjoying the attention an older Italian car garners while pulling up to an intersection with the top down and friendly pedestrians conjure up their younger days of Alfa ownership stories before the red light flips to green. Alfas are made for memorable drives.
Past President | Trish Broud – I’ve always like driving a car and have driven many different kinds from a 1960 Chevrolet Corvair to an International Harvester Travelall 4×4. My first Alfa Romeo was a red 1989 Milano Verde that my husband found on eBay for me because he wanted me to have my own Alfa Romeo and I wanted a car with four doors and a trunk. I’ve always like driving a car and have driven many different kinds; I enjoy driving my Alfa with its maneuverability and its pep and was glad to be back driving a manual transmission.
One neat thing about driving an Alfa is having people tell me at a show or a gas station, “I used to have an Alfa” to “I regret selling my Alfa I had <when>” or “My uncle (or neighbor, or friend) had an Alfa when I was young. Adding to that, is experiencing the comradery of Chapter meetings and events spending time with other Alfisti going on rambles together over “Alfa roads” and discussing experiences and admiring other’s Alfas while enjoying good food and drinks. My current Alfa is a dark blue 1991 automatic 164L. It still has the versatility, power, and maneuverability of an Alfa, and is enjoyable to drive on long trips (the size of the trunk is amazing).
At-Large Board Member | Bob Lubran
At-Large Board Member | Brad Mellor (pictured above) has been an AROC member since joining Scuderia Alfa Romeo Houston in 1980 with his ’69 1750 spider. In those days the club would rocket out of Houston toward the Texas hill country whenever we had a chance. I remember driving 100 mph on I-10 west; one of our cars would break down, we’d stop and fix it, then jump in and drive 100 mph again until the next breakdown. We’d camp at the Pedernales River where one member owned a piece of land (but never quite got around to building his house). Maggie and I made some great friends in the Houston chapter.
My son Austin and I have attended most of the Alfa National Conventions since the late 90s. A favorite picture of mine is my GTV6 at the Chicago convention time trials in 2008. The ‘6’ is just about keeping all 4 wheels on the ground as she negotiates a fast left-hander. Austin was 16 then and had his first turn behind an Alfa steering wheel. I’ve been a member of the Capital Chapter since 1990; it’s been a wonderful 30 years.
In Commemoration: On January 9th, 2009 the Capital Chapter AROC celebrated the 50th anniversary of its initial meeting. While the evidence is not really overwhelming, (a yellow Post-It with the date Jan 9, 1959 and a few names on it) it does have the names of 6 initial members along with this statement “30 years in ’89!”.
Those names listed as initial members are Eleanor Johnson of Alexandria, VA (Rec Director at Fort Myers), Lt. Cmdr. H.C. Garren, Jr of Ft. Myers, Lorretta Page, Margo Ford, John Merz and Arthur Tweedale. Another list Capital Chapter Members for 1962 was in the same folder. It lists an additional 26 members along with these 6 originals.