DEARBORN - At Ford Motor Company, exceptional contributions from employees help the company stay on ahead of competitors with cutting-edge technologies. Day to day, engineers are hard at work, raising the bar with new innovations and global strategies that make new features and technologies accessible to millions of customers.
Recently, Ford President of The Americas Mark Fields spoke to a former group of employees who helped make technology leadership part of Ford’s DNA – the Ford Retired Engineering Executives (FREE) club.
“I just want to start off by thanking you,” Fields said as he opened the FREE monthly luncheon. “We couldn’t be where we are as a company today without standing on your shoulders. At the same time, we’re reminded that Ford Motor Company is about our people. It’s all about the cars and trucks, of course. But when you consider what really makes Ford really stand out, it all comes down to having great people.”
More than 450 Ford alumni are members of FREE – making it one of the largest and most prestigious retiree organizations in 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 Fields the opportunity to update the former executives on the status of the One Ford plan, as well as the company’s progress and growth.
“The good news is that I have a better chart to show you than I had back in 2007,” said Fields, referring to the last time he spoke at a FREE event. “There is a lot going on around the world. It’s a strong business now, on a great firm foundation. The key going further is how we continue to build on that.”
Fields also took the time to address any questions or concerns that members had – including an inquiry from one retiree who asked about the current age distribution of the engineering staff and what will happen when it’s time for these employees to retire.
Fields said that the company is hiring more new engineers and Ford College Graduates than it has in recent years.
When another member asked about the status of Lincoln, Fields said the company is investing in the brand, its vehicle lineup and a dedicated team of employees to further strengthen the brand and to provide today’s Lincoln customers a warm, personal luxury experience.
“We know that in order for us to be a successful global Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), having a vibrant premium brand is crucial,” he said.
The group received Fields message well and said they were highly engaged in the discussion.
“I think Mark did an incredible job getting the group up to date on what has been going on, what is going on today and what we’ve been doing for years,” said Howard Freers, Ford retiree and FREE group president.
Each month a new guest speaker attends this event. Next month Nancy Gioia, director, Global Electrification, will be speaking to the group. Click here for more information on FREE and their initiatives.