Business & Real Estate

California Automobile Museum names new executive director

Delta Pick Mello, who has served as membership and community relations director for the California State Railroad Museum Foundation for the past eight years, has been named the new executive director of the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento.

She will formally begin her new job at 2200 Front St., on Monday. Her appointment was confirmed by the CAM board of directors.

Mello, 55, is replacing Karen McClaflin, who recently became chief development officer of Goodwill Industries of Sacramento Valley/Northern Nevada. McClaflin was named executive director of the auto museum in November 2006.

In a phone interview on Thursday, Mello said she hopes to give the museum “a higher level of recognition” in the community.

“I am fascinated with the history of the Sacramento area and how Sacramento contributes to the whole demographic of this state…” she said. “With the automobiles, it’s not just the history but a way of life, so reflective of our culture and how we live and do things in California.”

Mello, a native of Albany in Alameda County, earned a degree in communications from California State University, Sacramento, and has an extensive marketing/communications background in the capital region.

From 1991 to 2008, she was director of marketing and community relations for the Sacramento Zoo. Prior to that, Mello was a marketing associate for CableData for nearly 10 years.

For nearly 20 years, she also has worked as a professional storyteller artist and living history interpreter, affiliated with From the Heart Storytellers. the group’s in-costume performances at regional venues have depicted a wide range of California and U.S. history.

Over the past few years, the California Automobile Museum has raised its profile with various events, including on-site craft beer gatherings that have drawn thousands and the annual CAM Car Cruise, which typically draws big crowds to Fulton Avenue each summer.

The museum has been frustrated over the past couple of years with a series of setbacks to upgrade its current building, construct an entirely new building or find a new local home. CAM’s efforts, which were periodically delayed or derailed upon reaching the Sacramento City Council for consideration, are ongoing.

“I know what some of the challenges are with the building … but I’m excited about getting started,” Mello said.

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover