Press release


Woodcliff Lake, NJ,  July 19, 2016. Chris and Lisa Chappell were preparing for their wedding followed by a dream honeymoon cruise in Alaska when they heard some news that led to them cancelling their cruise and joining MINI TAKES THE STATES 2016 for what they described as their ‘MINImoon’ instead.

Chris, of Littleton, CO, had earlier been nominated as one of 64 candidates in the MINI USA ‘Defy Labels’ contest. Then, shortly before his wedding, he was told that he had been selected as one of the four finalists in the competition which entitled him to an ‘all the way’ place on the 2016 MTTS rally from Atlanta, GA, to Palm Springs, CA.

As one of the four finalists, he also faced the possibility of winning the first prize, a two year lease of a new MINI Clubman. Not wanting to miss out on these two opportunities, he and Lisa cancelled their cruise and made arrangements to join MTTS 2016 – but not until after their wedding in Laguna Beach, California, which took place on July 9 on the day that the rally began in Atlanta.

The winner of the competition was announced at the start of the rally, and Chris was delighted to hear by telephone from Atlanta that he had been selected as the winner and soon after, he and Lisa were able to join the rally to celebrate the win and start their drive to California.

“It was absolutely wonderful when I heard the news,” said Chris, who already owns a 2007 Hardtop, “I had no idea at all that I might be a winner so it came as a total surprise to me.”

Chris, who was nominated originally by Lisa Schomp of the Ralph Schomp MINI dealership, is the President of and has been defying labels in so many areas of his life, in particular his community work for able bodied and disabled people. “I have been a MINI owner for nine years and this is my fourth MTTS. I have been defying expectations of a quadriplegic, in particular showing that I can drive like a bat out of hell when I want to!”

The new Clubman will join a third MINI in Chris and Lisa’s household – Lisa owns a 2013 Clubman. “MINI USA have really been amazing throughout the Defy Labels experience – they have really defied my expectations! We’re planning to do some road trips in the Clubman and I can say that I’m going to drive the wheels off it!” he added.