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Julie Bruggner

“To elevate the Mercedes-Benz experience through knowledge, camaraderie, and exceptional events.”

“To elevate the Mercedes-Benz experience through knowledge, camaraderie, and exceptional events.”

That is our new MBCA Mission Statement, developed during the Strategic Planning process, and that is exactly what we did during Mercedes Freude. I would say we even took it one step further. Our Vision Statement is “An inclusive, engaged community with a shared passion for all things Mercedes.” As I watched various events unfold, I could definitely see not only how involved everyone was in the proceedings, but also the passion that brought them there.

I had the privilege of sitting at the registration table the first day and getting to see the excitement on member’s faces as they arrived for the first National event held in far too long. My own anticipation on the long drive from Indiana to Hilton Head, South Carolina, was initially more about getting to see so many of the friends I knew would be there. But each day provided unique opportunities to learn something new, meet new friends, see part of the country I hadn’t seen before, see cars I hadn’t seen before, and share all of that with members doing the same thing.

On Thursday I was part of the lucky group that got a private tour of Bob Jepson’s incredible car collection. As we watched and listened to him tell the story of each individual automobile, we could all see the fun he was having sharing that with us. But I saw the fun that everyone was having sharing the experience with each other.  

But that was true at each event and even as people gathered on their own in between events. I saw the happy faces as people greeted each other and thought “Finally! We’re really back.” Some circumstances may require some people to be more cautious, but it was never more obvious to me than it was this week, our Mercedes community is ready to be together again.

Ending the event was our final Banquet, with multiple awards being presented, starting with appreciation and much gratitude to Rick Siefert, National Events Chair, and his committee for a successful event and a job well done. Ginny Pitzen, Awards Committee Chair, then presented the Section of the Year Award to the Peachtree section. But the highlight of the evening for me was having the honor of presenting the Mercedes-Benz Silver Star Award to Jim O’Sullivan. It is a just reward for Jim’s history with the Club, his dedication to the organization, and the many ways he has served the members and supported the brand.

It was an exceptional ending to an “exceptional event.”