Introducing the Audi Club North America 2019 Member of the Year!
The 2020 Audi Club North America Board of Directors gathered in Dallas to cast their votes for the 2019 Audi Club Member of the Year from a list of very dedicated Club members. And the winner is…Leanne Kopras of Audi Club Arizona!
The Member of the Year is the most prestigious acknowledgement that Audi Club North America can bestow on one of its members. It is an honor given in memory of Darlene Lyndsley, Frank Beddor’s assistant when Quattro Club USA was first formed in 1984. Darlene was a tireless organizer, who ensured everyone was welcomed as an Audi enthusiast and club member.
Leanne follows in the footsteps of Darlene through her hard work and dedication to Audi Club Arizona. Read her nomination and the other nominees’ below.
Leanne was nominated by Paul Targosz, James Nelson, and Kelly Batton:
Two years ago our chapter had essentially burned out our volunteers and we had almost ground to a halt. Leanne became the bus driver in our remarkable resurgence, recruiting new members onto Board positions and other necessary volunteers. She then assembled a team of a planner and a writer that supplied her with a 28-event calendar year that she interpreted into eye-catching, can’t help reading, Social Media posts across all platforms that landed us on Quattro’s “5 Instagrammers Audi Enthusiasts Need to Follow” list, increasing our followers exponentially.
Visibility and excitement equal curiosity and new members while continuity and connection equals member retention. It’s a plan that has resulted in a 49% YOY membership number in 2019 and she has plans to broaden our appeal in 2020 by instituting new apps such as Meetup.com.
Although not her assigned area with the Club, Leanne again drove the bus and wrote our new for 2020 Sponsorship Pack. By communicating with other clubs, she edited multiple programs into one ideally suited for our customer base and is our first formalized sponsorship offering. Her connection to the automobile community has even allowed for highly targeted offerings to specific businesses.
The most remarkable part of Leanne’s story of hours of hard work, devotion, and commitment to ACAZ: she and husband Jarrid were between Audi’s for almost all of 2019 and had to Silvercar it to our drives! That problem was solved when we were gathered in Audi North Scottsdale’s parking lot for an October Drive ‘n Dine when up drove the Kopras family unannounced in their new beautiful white 2011 Audi R8 Spyder STāSIS Challenge Extreme, 1 of 10 STāSIS Spyders produced. Theirs is #4 of less than 50 STāSIS cars ever manufactured. And that’s how you make up for lost Audi time in the Arizona Chapter of the Audi Club North America!
The other nominees were:
Chad Johnfroe, Audi Club Georgia:
Although Chad is one of our newer members, since joining the Club he has been a very active participant. He has attended every chapter event during the year and participated as a volunteer for most of our events. He has stepped up to be a great leader and ambassador not just for the club but also for the Audi brand. He is serving on the planning committee for our largest event, “Quattro de Mayo”.
His passion for the brand is remarkable. He owns an Audi RS 5 cabriolet and a Q7. Every time someone has asked him why he is so passionate for the brand, he replies, “Audi simply makes the best cars out there.” He also has said, “Audi Club Georgia is a great way to share the passion for the brand and to make great friends of all backgrounds”.
Melisa Wilcox, Audi Club Florida:
Melisa has been active through social media and attendance at Cars and Coffee events from Destin, FL, to Pensacola, FL and Mobile, AL, recruiting members since chapter reactivated. Also she had some “spotted” cards like my region uses made to put on parked cars to promote the club and let them know we exist.
She said she wanted to start something as I was doing Jacksonville with the dealership meetings and Audi Club luncheons. Well, my mind was blown. I already had someone (Bobby Hopp) trying to get something started there that had a few setbacks. I got her in touch with him and two weeks later, they had their first meet.
The next month, I made the six – hour drive to attend the second club luncheon and meet the club. They have been going strong ever since with meets, multiple cars and coffees from Mobile, Alabama to Destin, Florida, luncheons, car care clinics, and supported a local toy drive this past Christmas. She recruited Audi Pensacola to be a Prestige Partner or sponsor for the club. She along with Bobby, are now serving on our board of directors. She also provides photos and provides her regions content for our monthly newsletter.
Trevor Lewis, Audi Club Eastern Canada:
Trevor is the seventh longest member in the Club in Canada: he joined in 2001 when Canada was a single chapter and is the only remaining founding Director of the club in Canada.
Trevor joined (rejoined) the Chapter leadership team mid 2018, was elected Chapter President in 2019 and again in 2020.
One of Trevor’s novel contributions is his *extensive* collection of historical Club documents. It is always fun when people believe they are doing something for the first time and Trevor quietly and respectfully a few days later sends an event sheet from 15 (or more) years ago.
When Trevor travels West to Calgary to visit family, he makes time to visit with other leaders, members, and dealers there.
Chris Miller, Audi Club North Atlantic:
Chris’ efforts in “training and education” have been significant in bringing new members into the ACNA organization.
Chris organized the Audi Club Car Corral at the Mount Washington Hill Climb for 5 years starting from 1996 – 2001. This sort event brings in many car enthusiasts and provided a great venue for recruitment.
Chris Miller was born with a 4 rings tattoo. In his 20s, writing sections of the Bentley Manual for Audi models, holding Tech Sessions at the Audi Tech garage in Marlborough, MA as well many DYI repair /upgrade projects incl: brakes, struts, fuel injection timing & the more complex/risky timing belt & water pump replacements from 1995 until 2000. He has taught at our HPDE / Winter Driving Events for more than 25 yrs.
Bottom line, Chris is not a shot in the pan, one time contributor for ACNA & the Audi Brand. He has been living the Audi culture for more than 25 years & continues to support our club at all levels of the club and brand.
In our mind, he clearly deserves to be considered for the ACNA member of the year.
Congratulations again to Leanne and all the nominees!