(Executive Chairman (GAA) Bill Pickard, President, CEO and Partner (GAA) Kevin Williams, Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist | Photo by: Brian Sevald – email@example.com)
Detroit business elite and elected officials gathered at the Charles H. Wright museum this past Tuesday for a reception and fireside chat to celebrate the appointment of Kevin Williams as President, CEO, and Partner of Global Automotive Alliance (GAA).
Among the elected officials, Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, whose opening remarks applauded Executive Chairman, Bill Pickard for his dedication to making an impact on the community through entrepreneurship.
“In an infinite number of ways Dr. Pickard has touched many lives with his leadership and mentorship by creating space for people to be leaders not only in this community but also in every community he’s personal and professionally touched.” He continued, “It’s great to be here and have [Williams] at the helm of a company of such international importance and we’re proud that these kinds of businesses can thrive in Michigan. I see it as my responsibility as Lieutenant Governor of this great state that we can create the condition for as many people and as many enterprising people can feel that their enterprising businesses can thrive here in this state, following this model.”
Lit. Gov. Gilchrist continued with expressing the commitment of the state to ensure the inclusion of governmental contracting for African-Americans. “We have a lot of work to do to ensure that this is true for as many people and particularly that this is true for black people in the state of Michigan. The commitment that our administration has made since our second day in office is to remove the barriers to one potential growth avenue for businesses that started small but got very large, that is in the area of government contracting.”
During negotiations, Kevin advised Pickard that if he was to take on this task that it would be with a vision of carrying out what we all started many years ago, but the caveat was that his wife had to agree to it.
In a special thank you, Pickcard spoke of the vision of Williams and the company moving forward. “Without vision, the people perish. I want to tell you he [Williams] is a major shareholder in our great company. Someone asked me why would I do this, and I was reminded of someone saying, perhaps, to Rosa Parks, “Why did you refuse to give up your seat?” Because you had a vision that things could change and things could get even better.”
Pickard concluded with a thank you addressed to Williams’ wife and daughters. “You epitomize the American dream and on behalf of the 3,000 families that Kevin will lead, thank you, because you give hope and vision to black entrepreneurship”
For any business to survive in the 21st century, it requires global leadership that understands how to scale for small businesses and Williams comes with years of experience in technology, quality, engineering, and most importantly, global leadership to move GAA forward.