DEARBORN - At Ford Motor Company, engineers are hard at work raising the bar with new innovations and global strategies on a daily basis. But before the company got to where it is today, there was a team of now-retired Ford employees who helped pave the road for years to come.
Recently, President and CEO Alan Mulally spoke to nearly 250 former employees who helped make technology leadership part of Ford’s DNA – the Ford Retired Engineering Executives (F.R.E.E.) club.
Starting off the meeting with a warm reception, the group presented Mulally with a plaque to honor his exceptional leadership with the company – starting with his arrival in 2006, on to this year‘s recovery of the blue oval.
“It is an honor and a pleasure to present this memento to you from all your greatest supporters, the F.R.E.E. club,” said Howard Freers, president, F.R.E.E. retiree group. “This is to a remarkable man with a remarkable feat that returned Ford back to its proper place. Our organization really appreciates your relationship with us.”
More than 450 Ford alumni are members of F.R.E.E. – making it one of the largest retiree organizations for the company. With more than 40 years as an active retiree group, FREE membership is limited to those with supervisory experience at an LL5 (SG11) or above.
This month’s meeting gave the F.R.E.E. group an opportunity to connect with Mulally first hand and receive updates on the company’s progress and growth.
“I’m really glad to be here and I’ve never received such good advice or been so warmly received as I have from the F.R.E.E. group,” said Mulally, as he began his Q&A session with the retirees. “And rest assured that your Ford Motor Company is in really good shape.”
During the meeting Mulally addressed the group’s questions – including an inquiry from one retiree about the recent introduction of The Lincoln Motor Company.
“I think it is going to be a great luxury brand,” Mulally said. “It is going to take consistency and purpose. The response we are getting is incredible. Lincoln has been with Ford for 90 years, so we are really excited to bring back [The Lincoln Motor Company branding].”
With many congratulatory remarks, the members were overall pleased with Ford’s CEO and the work that he has put in to get the company where it stands today.
“We are happy to have Alan speaking for the sixth year in a row,” Freers said. “He brings such a great presence and speech, with no notes.”
Each month a new guest speaker attends this event. This month was the annual holiday meeting. Click here for more information on F.R.E.E. and its initiatives.