Los Angeles, CA — The Petersen Automotive Museum announced Monday (Dec. 16) that Richard Varner will become chairman of its board of directors, effective January 2020. Having served as treasurer since 2013, Varner brings more than 40 years of experience as a respected business leader, car collector, vintage racer and professional motorsports series co-owner to his new role.
“Richard Varner brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to our board of directors,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “His financial stewardship as treasurer has helped position the Petersen as one of the leading automotive museums in the world. He has proven his business acumen over a career that spans racing and energy trading to the creation of MotoAmerica, one of the rare success stories in modern American motorcycle racing. Peter Mullin laid the groundwork for the Petersen’s success over the past seven years, solidifying the museum as an iconic Los Angeles institution dedicated to the history and preservation of the automobile. Varner will now carry the torch, as the museum seeks to inspire the next generation of automotive enthusiasts worldwide.”
A Wichita, Kansas native, Varner has been collecting and restoring automobiles and motorcycles for several years; his passion led to the formation of professional motorcycle road racing series, MotoAmerica. In addition to serving on the Petersen board of directors, Varner is the Chairman of the California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at the University of Nebraska School of Business, his alma mater.
“To be tapped as the next chairman of the Petersen is very humbling in several ways,” Varner said. “From following Peter Mullin’s capable and outstanding leadership, to having the board vote their confidence, and most of all to be associated with the Petersen, what it has become and what it will continue to evolve to be. Because of the Petersen team’s hard work plus the guidance and vision of the board of directors, the museum is poised to become a living thing — a thought leader and place where people can come together acknowledging the past while also discussing the impacts of the automobile and the global needs of mobility in the future.”
As Varner assumes the highest position on the Petersen board of directors, Mullin will assume the role of vice chairman. Varner and Mullin are joined on the board by Founding Chairman and current Vice Chairman Bruce A. Meyer, Vice Chairman David A. Sydorick, Secretary William Ahmanson, Michael A. Hammer, Vin Di Bona, Kent Kresa, Charles E. Nearburg, Gregory Penske, Bobby Rahal, Richard K. Roeder, Dr. Sabrina Kay, William E. Connor, McKeel Hagerty and two honorary board members — Dr. Wolfgang Porsche and Charles Gordon Lennox, 11th Duke of Richmond.