DEARBORN - Each year, Ford recognizes front-line Ford and Lincoln dealership employees who score the highest in customer satisfaction, sales and training with a commemorative award. The themed award for 2010 includes a themed commissioned photograph signed by Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally.
This year, the Retailer Education & Training (RE&T) department, responsible for creating the awards, wanted to do something special.
“We wanted to show that Ford Motor Company still has the spirit of Detroit and that there are great positive stories coming out of Detroit,” said Sharita Crawford, Dealer Reward and Curriculum manager, RE&T.
“We wanted to give someone from the Detroit area an opportunity to shine so we commissioned native Detroiter and professional photographer Asia Hamilton to capture the images and design the awards,” she said.
Hamilton designed three Employee Excellence plaques – one for Ford employees, one for Lincoln employees and a third for employees who work at dual dealerships. She says her inspiration for the Ford design came from the “streets of Detroit.”
“The Ford plaque reflects where it all started,” said Hamilton. “I wanted to photograph a Ford car on a Detroit city street embracing the legacy that Ford has in Detroit.”
The Ford design features the bottom quarter of a white Ford Mustang with blue racing stripes on a brick-paved city street with a Detroit sewer cap in the foreground. A mirror image of the lower half of the car is reflected in a puddle of water in the center of the photograph.
The Lincoln plaque captures the history of the iconic luxury brand with photographs of Lincoln grilles both past and present. The dual plaque features a beautiful photograph of Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn with the international flags in front and a deep blue sky in the background.
Hamilton is an accomplished photographer who graduated from the Detroit Public School System and received a Fine Arts degree from Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. She currently teaches at the University Preparatory Science and Math High School in downtown Detroit and gives back to the community by serving as a photography mentor for Focus Hope’s Focus on The Mission Project.
“Focus Hope focuses on the hope of the city and not the negative. That’s why it is so important,” said Hamilton. “It gives high school students a sense of pride in the city by exposing them to all the unique parts that the media never cover, such as the great schools in Detroit, the beautiful homes and thriving neighborhoods.”
Hamilton also has family ties to Ford. Her uncle, Marvin Harris, Sr., worked for Ford for 30 years at the Flat Rock and Livonia plants prior to passing away last year. And Hamilton’s cousin, Marvin Harris, Jr., has worked at the Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing Plant for 17 years.
“Our family always bought Ford cars and swore by them,” said Hamilton.
Employee Excellence awards were presented to 6,438 dealership employees from across the nation who scored the highest in customer satisfaction, sales and training.