The 2024 Vespa Club of Chicago Annual Meeting was held Sunday, February 4 at Chapter Leader Bryan Bedell’s house.
The agenda/talking points are in black, notes from the meeting (and later) are in blue.

Welcome/Introductions, pizza courtesy of Second City Scooter Society

about 15 members and a few guests were present, and ate a truly impressive amount of pizza and kringle.

Brief background: Vespa was introduced in 1946. Europeans embraced it immediately and formed clubs and social networks, built network of scooterists around the world, social, sport, touring, events. Scooter clubs have existed in the US since 1950s, Vespa abandoned the US in 1985, mostly b/c of emissions, but also very cyclical market. VCOA was founded 1992.  Piaggio/Vespa returned to US in 1999 and around the same time established the Vespa World Club, which took oversight of the world Vespa Club network from the F.I.V. VCOA is official US club of the Vespa World Club.

Chicago is the home of the Sears Allstate (first Vespas imported to US) and Riverside (Lambrettas imported by Montgomery Ward), had clubs since 50s/60s. When VCOA started local chapters in 2019, we were the second chapter to organize. As part of VCOA, our chapter is officially a part of the World Vespa Club infrastructure.


We raise a toast to our fifth anniversary, with the delicious cocktail Patti created for the occasion, “The Bitterest Pill”

VCOA-Chicago current status

We have about 80 current paid VCOA members (+10, biggest chapter in USA), 380 followers on facebook (+170), 168 on newsletter (+48). These social media followers aren’t members, and many are not local, it’s our goal to convert local scooterists from followers to paid members.

Our Charter

Our Charter was approved shortly after last year’s annual meeting.


We have only one elected position, Chapter Leader (who also sits on VCOA Board of Directors)

Chapter Leader Bryan apologizes for not following the precise charter timeline, but points out that he did open nominations for a new Chapter Leader at the beginning of the year and had none, so there will be no election this year.


After the swap, we’ve got $47.38 in PayPal and about $60 in cash, about $108 total, thankfully the room ended up being free and Bryan donated soda, or we would have just broke even.

Bryan explains that current club merch and most other expensese are paid out of his pocket. Without a club store or treasurer, he’s been fast and loose with funds because he hasn’t recouped his expenses yet, though most incoming funds have been reinvested in merch or activities (event stickers, small expenses, web hosting, etc). Bryan

Call for help/growth:

Roles we could use help with… Most of these are long-term commitments, I know it’s asking a lot and people tend to come and go.

Merch coordinator (Sean has been de-facto merch coordinator and will continue in this role)

Someone to set up online store (and fulfill orders and handle merch at events? maybe 2 people?) Sean offered to help, since then Bryan has mostly set up store and he and Sean are discussing fulfillment options

Someone to organize transportation, study logistics of group trailer (cost, who will tow, storage/meetup, insurance, etc) (Before CanadaI) Reminder to talk to Michelle (not present) later about her employer’s offer

Liaisons to moped, minimoto, other regional clubs, Motoworks (motoblot)?) (and Piaggio) ideas? better recruiting at Scooterworks/Motoworks… membership program

Someone to take over/help with website/event publicity/social media/communications

mailchimp newsletter (vs Member 365, which is limited to VCOA members, more on that later) FEEDBACK on content/frequency?

Those present seem to agree newsletter is maybe most imporant, but Facebook is also essential

Member365 reminder, if you’re a member you already have an account, check that your listing is up to date, the info you want public is correct, and be sure “Vespa Club of Chicago” is chosen as your chapter.

Texting app/Phone Tree ($20-30/month?) Google limited to 8 numbers, SMS/imessage limited 20 or 32, sadly not very practical.

Someone to look into “Social Club” status 501(c)(7)? and handle paperwork/accounting? Bank account? Sean and Hugh have agreed to work together on this!

Bryan promises to hand off design work to Kara and Alex (event social media and stickers), and would love to allow everyone to show off their skills and resources.

Upcoming events:

Calendar is on the site, there’s a lot already on there, we’ll just hit some highlights…

  • Spring Prep Garage Day march 16-order from Ken ASAP (since meeting, this event has been moved to Scooterworks Chicago!
  • Vespa World Days Pontedera April 18-21 Bryan, Chris Jecha, Sam Cochran, 41 US attendees!
  • WKRP (during Italy but other members encouraged to go!)
  • Midwest Classic (vintage only)
  • Canada June 21-23 update – 120 total attendees, be ready to register!, VCOA members with Vespas only.
  • Motoblot Decided not to participate (conflicts with other events, expense/manpower), Sean will follow up to see if they want to do a smaller event together
  • Parade Day- Ben leading, plans coming soon
  • Slaughterhouse 30 VCOA plans next VCOA-Chi meeting will also be SH meeting
  • Midwest Vespa Days (mini-Amerivespa/Missouri Loves Company) all are welcome
  • Chicago Vespisti/SCSS plans (gave floor to CVG and Jason who discussed their events)

Ride/event ideas Cut for lack of time, so here’s the list we wanted to talk about, will repost on FB and discuss:

  • Garage Sale “Nice Rack” (April or May?)
  • Greg Clarke Food Tour
  • Hello Tokyo/Mitsua/Hmart?/Chinatown? (shopping/eating)
  • Other restaurants/bars (several members don’t drink) dances/parties/events
  • Marz/Bridgeport/Lumpen/CoPro
  • Portrait shoot/group photo shoot (SW?)
  • Downers’ Grove/Galloping Ghost?
  • Flea Market / portage park farmers market /logan square
  • more GARAGE NIGHTS-tech assistance, shared resources (Dream of public space we could use)
  • SH noob group ride practice (phil?) maybe look at MSF courses and working towards licenses?
  • Good to do a bit before Slaughterhouse
  • also, what other resources can we offer to new riders (RIDE/MW/SW/etc?)
  • Great America (meet Milwaukee?)
  • Comedy show (Lincoln Lodge) (or class?)
  • Hala Kahiki Cocktail Class (or Patti)
  • Cooking Class (new rose)
  • Camping trip?
  • Pot Luck?
  • More record store/bookstore rides?
Vespa Club of Chicago metal cog

Merch update (with Sean McN)

  • Cog update: shared photo of sample, arriving soon, will be $25
  • VC✶ badges
  • VC✶ pins just arrived, sold this night only for $5, now in shop for $8.
  • T-shirts (on demand) now sold throug our shop
  • Other ideas (legshield bags? scarves? plates?) Sean shows photos of fender plates, has ordered some samples to see if there’s interest, is researching other products.

Cog expenses were split between Ken, Sean and I, Ken and Sean will be reimbursed from sales before we take any club money. (UK Vendor has already sold some)

Question: How to handle merch we trade w/other clubs? Is the club OK if I pay slightly over cost for it and keep trade merch? Should other members have that option? How can we do that and still make money? After some discussion at the meeting and later, we’ve decided to set one price for anyone buying on the site or in person, but a discounted rate for club members ONLY who wish to buy in bulk to trade at events.

Amerivespa 2025 or 2026?

very briefly discussed, much interest, will discuss at a later meeting.


Bryan’s dream is to organize the club as a legal “Social Club” for tax free status, possibly doing some charity work, getting families and friends involved… a club that will be around for generations, maybe someday own our own clubhouse (coffeeshop/bar/banquet hall/events space/garage/museum/trophy room, etc) We can offer transportation,technical resources, scholarships, vacations, insurance and retirement plans…… In a hundred years our great-grandkids might meet up at the Vespa Club of Chicago and maybe aren’t even sure what a Vespa is. We should be part of the community, part of Chicago history

Big role model: What Ed Marszewski’s done with Marz/Lumpen/CoPro/Bridgeport but also churches, fraternal organizations, sports clubs, ethnic clubs, college frats/sororities, black panthers, political orgs, etc.

But how? Chapter dues? Estate planning, insurance, investments? Partnerships with other organizations? Taking over an Elks Lodge? Corporate sponsors? It can be done, but how?

The meeting was followed by a Second City Scooter Society presentation of “The Pebble and the Boy,” a 2020 British film, an ersatz sequel to Quadrophenia (not to be confused with the more legitimate but poorly-reviewed Quadrophenia sequel “To Be Someone” (also 2020). If I may be so bold to sum up the general opinion of those present, it was better than expected, nicely filmed, with charming lead characters and some truly funny/surprising moments, but a plot that depended on some incredible coincidences, tired tropes, and unlikely scenarios. That said, it was very enjoyable, overall, especially with Phil and Hugh’s interjections.

Thanks again to Jason (SCSC) for the pizza, kringle, movie, and photos!

Minutes of our 2024 Annual Meeting