Today we’d like to introduce you to Priscilla Marconi.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In 1994, our founder, Dick Marconi, purchased our building in order to house his car collection and open wheel car race team. He personally raced and in that same year was the older man to qualify for the Long Beach Grand Prix in the Formula Atlantic division. He finished in 8th place and after that decided to end his professional racing career.
The Marconi Automotive Museum was born. And in 1997, Dick donated his entire car collection and the building that houses the cars, to the Marconi Foundation for Kids, a public 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Dick’s mantra has always been “learn, earn and return”. First, you get an education, then you make a living and then you return back to the community in a philanthropic fashion. He wanted to encourage other people to give back, thus, this massive donation of cars and building.
Today, it is the Foundation’s goal to raise awareness and money for various at-risk children’s charities in our community. We do this in a few different ways. We are open to the public most days and ask for a nominal $5 donation. We also host events for corporations, weddings, fundraisers, bar/bat mitzvahs, etc. And lastly, we hold Orange County’s premier sports fundraiser, Fight Night. This is held on a Friday evening each March and we put on a professional boxing/kickboxing event complete with live/silent auctions and a delicious steak dinner.
We have been privileged to have famous boxers such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy “Hitman” Hearns, Victor Ortiz, Oscar de la Hoya and this year, Leon & Michael Spinks.
Our car collection consists of 75 street cars and race cars. We have several one-offs and/or very rare Ferrari’s. In addition, we have the first F1 car raced by Michael Schumacher for Ferrari. The cars range from high-performance automobiles to an old Fox Fire fire truck. There’s something for everybody!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The struggle for us has been visibility. As a non-profit, we cannot afford to spend lots of money on print ads, etc. Therefore, it has been slower than for-profit businesses to get our name out into the community.
With the dawning of the Internet and a really great marketing person on staff, our name has become more prominent in the last several years.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Marconi Automotive Museum & Foundation for Kids – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I get excited about questions like this because we as a staff are all so passionate about what we do. Nobody is going to get rich working here because we are driven to help the plight of homeless and at-risk kids in Orange County.
The use of the car collection as a special event venue goes a long way to being able to donate to lots of different causes.
And everybody loves our cars. Whether you are a “car guy” or not, we find that people love the shine, the color, the design and all that goes along with a modern look.
What sets us apart is that we have a very strong business model of the “it’s my pleasure mentality” when dealing with our various clients who host events here and at the same time, we are dedicated to children in need.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
No big changes here. We are always looking to house beautiful cars for owners who are looking for a safe facility in which to display their cars. We have thousands of people who come to the museum annually and they all appreciate the variety of vehicles here on display.
We would be tickled to fill our event calendar 365 days a year! Helping plan and hosting events for our clients is what we do. So, come on down!
- $5 donation for tours. This is a self-guided tour.
- Address: 1302 Industrial Drive. Tustin, CA 92780
- Website: www.marconimuseum.org
- Phone: 714-258-3001
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/marconimuseum
- Facebook: Facebook.com/marconimuseum
- Twitter: Twitter.com/marconimuseum
- Yelp: Yelp.com/marconiautomotivemuseum
- Other: marconimuseum.org/blog
Bleu Cotton Photography