National Corvette Museum to Honor Wendell Strode with Retirement Dinner on November 7th


National Corvette Museum to Honor Wendell Strode with Retirement Dinner on November 7th

Photo Credit: National Corvette Museum

Here’s your opportunity to honor a man who has played a big role in the success of the National Corvette Museum over the past nearly quarter of a century.

A retirement dinner for outgoing Executive Director Wendell Strode is planned in the NCM Conference Center on Nov. 7 from 5:15 p.m. to 8 p.m., and you’re invited! Dinner is $75 per person, with registration required.

Several speakers are on the program, including:

  • Jackie Strode
    Brother of Wendell Strode and former Warren County Jailer
  • Donna Harmon
    CFO of Trace Die Cast and former co-worker of Wendell as Regional Chairman / EVP of Transfinancial Bank
  • Connie Russell
    NCM Development Coordinator and Executive Administrative Assistant
  • Larry Martin Former Chairman of the Board, National Corvette Museum & Owner of Martin Flooring
  • Buzz Marston Former Chairman of the Board, National Corvette Museum & President of Western States Corvette Council
  • Wil Cooksey
    Former Chairman of the Board, National Corvette Museum & Former GM Bowling Green Assembly Plant Manager
  • Christy Thomas
    Former National Corvette Museum CFO

Whether you can attend the dinner or are celebrating from afar, the NCM offers three opportunities to contribute to the evening. All of the below listed greeting opportunities are recognized as a tax-deductible donation to the Museum. These opportunities can be purchased online with credit card using our online registration.

  • Scrolling message on the presentation screens -$100 donation – Includes up to 20 words of copy, name and city/state
  • Message printed in program – $250 donation – Includes up to 25 words of copy, name and city/state. Copy of the program will be mailed to you.
  • Video Greeting – $500 – Up to 15 second greeting played during the dinner, and included in the video recap of the celebration, posted on YouTube and social media.
  • All Inclusive Package – $750 – Receive all three items for a donation of $750.

All donations are going toward a naming opportunity at the Museum to honor Strode’s contributions and legacy. The formal naming rights will be revealed at the dinner, an NCM spokesman said, but we are excited to welcome early donations to this most important project. You can find more details at

When he became executive director of the Museum in late 1996, Strode had never even driven a Corvette and had only ridden in one once. But over the past 23 years, Strode has led the Museum back to firm financial ground, even if the literal ground under part of the facility did literally cave in back in 2014!

“Wendell, your 23 years of service to the NCM could never be [overstated],” NCM Board Chairman Lon Helton said during the Corvette Hall of Fame Banquet during the Museum’s 25th anniversary celebration in August. “A few years after it opened, the NCM fell on some pretty tough times, to the point where I think that its very existence was threatened. Not only did you rescue the NCM—you led it to the prosperity that we enjoy today.”

For his decades of service to the NCM, Helton then announced that Strode would be a member of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020, drawing a thunderous standing ovation from the 1,050 guests attending the banquet on Aug. 30.

For more information about the retirement dinner, contact Bryce Burklow at 270-777-4506. Note that if you are also attending Vets ‘n Vettes, please register as part of that event.

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