The International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) in Watkins Glen, N.Y., has appointed Thomas Weidemann of Montour Falls, N.Y., as its new executive director. The decision was made at a meeting of the IMRRC Governing Council at Daytona Beach, Fla., on January 28 and announced via press release on February 15.
Weidemann served previously as the executive director of the Clemens Center for the Performing Arts in Elmira, N.Y.. The Clemens Center is a more than 2500-seat theater complex named after Samuel Clemens, the birth name of American author, Mark Twain, who worked and lived many summers in Elmira.
“Our search committee conducted an exhaustive nationwide search for the right person to guide us into the future,” said Larry Kessler of Rochester, N.Y., Council member and chairman of the search committee. “We are delighted that Tom, who is well-known in upstate New York for his stewardship of the Clemens Center for 30 years, has agreed to take us to the next level.”
The Racing Research Center is an archival and research library for motor sports located in the hometown of the first post-World War II road race in the United States and the site of the historic, world-class track, Watkins Glen International. Weidemann takes the wheel of leading the IMRRC after J. C. Argetsinger, who served as president for eight years, retired at the end of 2015. Argetsinger was associated with the IMRRC since before its opening in 1999.
“It is with a great deal of excitement that I join the wonderful staff, volunteers and Council members in promoting the success of the IMRRC,” Weidemann said. “I look forward to learning a great deal and contributing my energy and skills to furthering the goals of the Center in its mission to preserve and share the materials of the history of motorsports, all series and all venues worldwide.”
Weidemann’s work at the Clemens Center included seeing the organization through three major expansions into an acclaimed state-of-the-art, regional facility. Performances slated there for 2016 include nationally recognized names such as Garrison Keillor, Kathy Griffin, and Blue Man Group, along with Broadway shows like “42nd Street,” regional orchestral concerts, comedy clubs, performances for children, and more.
The new IMRRC director is recognized in many national arts organizations, including the League of Historic American Theatres, for which he served as treasurer for many years. In 2002, he was the first recipient of the North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents Award for Excellence in Presenting the Performing Arts. In 2015, he was honored with the inaugural Lifetime Service Award of The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.
Weidemann’s civic involvement includes work at the national, regional and local levels of Rotary International. He is also a member of the Montour Falls Village Planning Board and active in the First Presbyterian Church of Watkins Glen.
“My deep appreciation goes to the search committee and the Governing Council for the confidence they have placed in me in honoring me with this appointment,” Weidemann said. His work at the center is now ongoing.
For more information about the IMRRC, its mission or its programs, check out its website or call (607) 535-9044. The not-for-profit organization is open to the public and is located at 610 South Decatur Street in Watkins Glen.