Lisa Roberts, ’06, is driving force behind events at Kemp Auto Museum
As the Director of Events at the Kemp Auto Museum in Chesterfield, there’s one question that Lisa (Roselle) Roberts, ’06, is used to fielding: what kind of a car does she drive?
“My clients ask me that all the time,” she says with a laugh. “It’s a 2012 (Jeep) Grand Cherokee.” And her dream car? Well, she’s rather partial to the 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing that’s part of the museum’s impressive collection.
The Kemp Auto Museum, which was founded in 2005 and opened in 2006, focuses on early Mercedes-Benz vehicles, though there are many other well-known cars like a 1973 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow in the collection. The museum explores the lasting influence of European design and technology on subsequent generations of cars.
Roberts, a St. Louis resident who earned her bachelor’s of marketing at Maryville, is responsible for the museum’s publicity and coordinating more than 100 special events a year.
“I really, really love the people I work with, but also my clients—the people I get to meet, and I get to be part of their lives, their galas, their wedding receptions, their bar and bat mitzvahs.” She enjoys helping them plan and hold events they’ll always remember.
She also loves that her job allows her to work with many nonprofits and charitable organizations, which hold events at the museum to help fund their work. And her experiences certainly are varied. She coordinated a question-and-answer event with Bill O’Reilly, host of The Factor television show. She worked to plan a fundraiser for the Wild Canid Center in Eureka, Mo., featuring actress Betty White and Jack Hanna, now director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and host of the Into the Wild television show. The fundraiser included appearances by several animals, including a cheetah, penguins and a python.
One event that means a lot to her is the Pujols Family Foundation Prom, an event held annually for those with Down Syndrome. She said people ages 15 and up attend, including about 500 adults with Down Syndrome. “Everybody has the best time ever,” she said.
While many of the largest special events the museum holds are in the warmer months, when additional vehicles can be displayed outside, Roberts encouraged people to visit around the holidays. (The museum at 16955 Chesterfield Airport Road is closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and closes early on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.)
Roberts, who has several family members in the region, is married to Gareth Roberts and especially enjoys spending time with her eight nieces and nephews. She said those who know her appreciate that she’s working at the Kemp Auto Museum. “I was a tomboy growing up, so it’s funny to my friends that I’m working around cars now.”