The RPM Foundation is a member entity of America’s Automotive Trust (AAT), a not-for-profit cooperative that seeks to secure America’s automotive heritage and transfer the skills and knowledge necessary for the collector car pastime to continue to grow.
The RPM Foundation was initially established as the Collectors Foundation in 2005 through the vision and support of Hagerty and transitioned in 2014 to the Hagerty Education Program at America’s Car Museum (HEP).
Fitzgerald, who helped rebrand HEP as the RPM Foundation, has grown the organization’s presence in regions across the United States by building a community between vocational schools and restoration shops.
“Diane has been a driving force behind the growth of the RPM Foundation’s program over the past few years,” said AAT CEO David Madeira. “Her tenacity and passion for restoration speak volumes for her drive to help these young adults become master craftsmen.”
To date, the RPM Foundation has impacted more than 25,000 people and has awarded nearly $3 million in funding for grants, apprenticeships and hands-on training for careers in automotive restoration and preservation. According to SEMA, the automotive restoration market was worth $1.53 billion in 2015, rebounding past its all-time high prior to the recession in 2007.
“Whether it’s microcars or motorcycles, I’ve always had an interest in unique vehicles,” said Fitzgerald. “I am thrilled to be part of a movement that raises awareness about the urgent need to cultivate the next generation of skilled craftsmen. We’re doing something about it!”
To learn more about the RPM Foundation, visit rpm.foundation.