DEARBORN – Twenty-five years ago a group of dedicated LGBTQ employees of the Ford Motor Company came together to form Ford GLOBE, the automaker’s LGBTQ employee resource group, to unite and network LGBTQ employees, to advocate within the company for LGBTQ equality and to help the company reach out to potential LGBTQ customers.
Now, a quarter century later, Ford GLOBE will celebrate its 25th anniversary at a gala dinner June 6 at The Dearborn Inn, in partnership with the Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Senior Ford executives, Ford GLOBE current and former members and hundreds of ERG members from dozens of other Detroit area companies will join in the celebration.
The night will feature former NFL player and openly gay diversity consultant Wade Davis and former Ford Vice Chairman Allan Gilmour, who will accept the Inaugural Allan D. Gilmour Award for Outstanding Leadership in Inclusion.
Gilmour was the highest ranking out gay executive in the mid-’90s and supported the formation of LGBT employee resource groups at the big three automakers. He was president of Wayne State University from 2010 to 2013 and has served on numerous corporate boards including Dow Chemical, Whirlpool, DTE and the Henry Ford Health System. The Affirmations building in Ferndale is named after Gilmour and his husband, Eric Jirgens, in recognition of their key role in the capital campaign that funded the center’s creation. Gilmour has also been a driving force behind the HOPE Fund at the Community Foundation, one of the largest funders of LGBT projects in southeast Michigan.
“I am excited to celebrate 25 years of Ford GLOBE with the current and former Ford GLOBE members, allies, and executives along with the rest of the LGBT community,” said Bill Peters, president of Ford GLOBE. “The partnership with the Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber of Commerce highlights to me the importance of working together to achieve the inclusion we desired 25 years ago.”
“Allan Gilmour’s support at Ford, at the HOPE Fund, with Affirmations and countless other projects has altered the very landscape for LGBTQ people for the better,” said Jan Stevenson, co-publisher of Between The Lines and vice president of the Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber of Commerce. “He has inspired me and led many others to follow him in supporting LGBTQ people and the projects and organizations that serve them. It’s a real thrill to be able to honor him at the Ford GLOBE 25th Anniversary dinner.”
This is the first of what will be an annual dinner hosted by the Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber of Commerce to celebrate and acknowledge LGBT inclusiveness in Detroit’s workplaces.
This inaugural dinner is supported by Ford Motor Company as a gold sponsor, silver sponsors include Henry Ford Health System and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, bronze sponsors are The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, EY Accounting, the United Auto Workers, Wayne State University and Herman Miller. Table sponsors include Pride Source Media Group, Flagstar Bank and BASF among others.
Tickets are open to the public, start at $50 and are available online at detroitlgbtchamber.com/Ford25.