Meet the Team

Mark Gessler - President

A biotechnology entrepreneur and public company executive in his former life, Mark co-founded numerous venture-backed companies and served as a public company president and CEO for nearly half of his 20-year career. A lifelong lover of automobiles, Mark gave up the hamster wheel for the steering wheel in 2007 and became president of the HVA in 2012. As the co-founder and president of the HVA and a global vice-president for FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens), Mark is now a full-time car and social entrepreneur focused on preserving our national automotive heritage. He is also a frequent judge, competitor, and participant in national and international automotive events.

Mark regrets trading his first car, a Dodge Dart, for a gold watch.

Diane

Diane Parker - Operations Manager

Having spent much of her career in an operations capacity in a variety of diverse industries, Diane decided in 2013 it was time to unite her years of operations experience and love of classic cars by joining the HVA as Operations Manager. Surrounded by gear heads from a young age, Diane was introduced to car terms such as "Hemi Orange" thanks to two older brothers who rebuilt a 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger in, you guessed it, Hemi Orange. In recent years they re-created their youth by rebuilding another 1970 Dart, this one in "Plum Crazy Purple".

As for Diane, her dream is to own either a 1966 or 1969 Corvette Stingray. Everyone has a story as to why they choose the classic cars they do -- when you meet Diane you should ask her why she wants a Stingray. She would love to hear your classic story too!

Timothy Weadock - Technical Commission Manager

A graduate of Marketing and Business Administration at Davenport University, a licensed insurance agent, and a wonk of the first order when it comes to vehicle specifications and statistics, Tim joined the HVA in 2011 and now manages an extensive and ever-growing database of vehicle specifications—a database he created. As the HVA’s technical commission manager, Tim coordinates the inspection and processing of FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) Identity Cards, which document the vital specifications and historical facts of some of the world’s most significant vehicles.

In high school, Tim once helped a friend demolish the interior of his 1968 Camaro to accommodate an equalizer and monstrous pair of speakers; he has spent the remainder of his wretched existence atoning for this perverse display of adolescent nitwittedness.

John Paul - Social Media Coordinator

John graduated from Michigan State University’s School of Journalism. After working at the State News, campus radio station WDBM, and Bloodshot Records in Chicago, he spent time with Hagerty Insurance as a licensed sales agent. John now spends his days managing all online social media content, monitors legislative activity, as well as contributes to and publishes the HVA's monthly eNews.

When not pursuing that perfect mid-50s Saab story, John can be found either cataloging his vast record collection or playing in any number of bands in both Traverse City, MI and Chicago.

Casey Maxon

Casey Maxon - Heritage Specialist

With a degree in historic automotive restoration technology from McPherson College, Casey has devoted his life to these wheeled contraptions we cherish. He grew up wrenching on his dad's 1957 Chevy gasser or his 1954 Ford F100 big-block powered, solid-axle, period-correct drag racer. While a hot rodder at heart, Casey has a passion for all vintage iron, whether two-, three- or four-wheeled. Ranging from '70s Pinto Cruzin' Wagons, Voisins and Curved Dash Oldsmobiles to Vincents, Harleys, Indians and Hondas, Casey enjoys all kinds of classics. As heritage specialist for the HVA, he pores over books, journals and magazines, researching and documenting vehicles for the upcoming National Historic Vehicle Register.

Casey often buys a lottery ticket hoping that one day he will capture his dream car from childhood – a pontoon-fendered 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa.

Alex Pelzer

Alex Pelzer - Communications Assistant

Fascinated by automotive heritage and preservation, Alex eagerly joined the HVA to assist with the administrative and communication needs that go hand-in-hand with documenting our automotive heritage. He brings an eclectic set of skills to the team, lending a hand in everything from video production to event planning to communications and schedule maintenance.