“Yes, this really is my car.”
It’s a sentence Kaye Wagner finds herself repeating at various car shows and events when she rolls up in her 2015 Laguna Blue Convertible Z06. And a sentence that people she encounters are not only surprised by, but very supportive of. When Kaye jumped into the Corvette hobby, she jumped in with both feet.
Kaye grew up in a small town in Northern Minnesota on a farm with her parents and brother – the same farm her dad grew up on and where her parents still reside. Her mom is a nurse, and being a Pediatric Hematologist and Oncologist herself, the medical field was something that Kaye had in common with her mom. But when it came to her dad, it was cars and motorcycles that they would connect on. “I fell in love with cars because of him,” said Kaye. “He was always interested in and talked about cars well before he owned a Corvette. It took a while to find what he was looking for, but for almost 20 years he’s owned a red 1981 T-Top,” said Kaye. “I’d drive his car and get a feel for it, and then said it was something I had to get. It was a bucket list present for myself.”
Shortly after purchasing her C7, Kaye visited the National Corvette Museum, doing a V.I.P. Plant and Museum tour. Since then, she travels to car shows on her own, including the Corvette and Camaro show her club, the Sioux Falls Corvette Club, holds each June. Kaye has held several offices in the club, including Vice President and most recently President.
It was Kaye’s involvement with her club that caught the eye of National Corvette Museum Board Chair Lon Helton. “Our club plans an opening event to kickoff Hot Summer Nights and then drives in a caravan to the Black Hills Corvette Classic where 800-900 participants from all over the country gather. Lon introduced himself, so I invited him to be a dignitary and lead the 400+ mile drive to Spearfish,” said Kaye. “We chatted off and on all weekend. He asked me to consider applying for the board position, and here we are!”
Kaye is looking forward to serving on the Museum’s board, and already has ideas to keep Corvette owners engaged with the Museum, and to encourage women becoming more involved with the hobby. “I like the activities the Museum has in the Education section of the website, so I’ve printed some off to use at a club meeting,” said Kaye. “I’d love to see more interactive modules on the website, like a virtual tour and the option to click and see some exhibits.”
Kaye also shared ideas like offering track days for women. “A lot of people don’t know the role women have played with Corvette and the Museum. It would be nice to showcase that in the Museum, but to also have track days with a few female instructors. That can take the intimidation factor down a little.”
We’re looking forward to working with Kaye on growing online engagement with enthusiasts and growing our relationship and offerings for female enthusiasts. With more female Corvette enthusiasts, the question won’t be “is that your Corvette?” but rather a comment of “Nice Corvette!” Welcome, Kaye, and thanks for donating your time to serve on the NCM Board.