For 12 years, until June 2010, Dick Messer was Executive Director at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Located in Los Angeles, California, the museum is one of the world's largest and most prestigious automotive museums. Messer, a life-long car collector who is well connected in the collector car community, was the first to hold the Museum Director post.
As a native of LA, Messer grew up surrounded by the LA car culture. He and his knowledge and enthusiasm for cars and the auto industry has never diminished. He began collecting and restoring cars more than 50 years ago and today owns an eclectic assortment that includes everything from antique and vintage vehicles to show and race cars.
Messer's business career began more than 35 years ago when he served as the Westin Bonaventure Hotel's food and beverage operations manager. For the next 13 years he worked as general manager at the Huntley Hotel, Santa Monica, the Beverly Hillcrest Hotel in West Los Angeles and the Burbank Hilton Hotel and Convention Center in Burbank, CA. From 1992-1994, Messer was the Dean of the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the American College of Business in North Hollywood before accepting his inaugural appointment as Director at the Peterson Automotive Museum.