Gary Ginnard Retires after 40 Years at Ford!

     Our first retiree this year is Gary Ginnard!  He hired in at Ford in March of 1978. He is our third most senior designer.  He has been a union member since he hired in. Gary was born in Redford, Michigan.  He attended military school in Kalamazoo for four years, where he was an altar boy as well.  He then went on to Livonia Bently High School and graduated from there in 1973. After high school, Gary went straight to the boards - - drafting boards, that is.  He was employed by Holowell Engineering and working at AM General. He was also taking Metallurgical Engineering classes at Schoolcraft College. He enjoyed the drafting course required for the curriculum.  After about a year, he hired directly into AM General as an engineer. After a few years there, he heard that Ford was hiring. His brother-in-law worked at Ford and turned in an application for Gary. Alas, he was hired in March 1978 at Ford Motor Company, working for Rudy Wanton in Truck and Underbody!  

     In 1981, Gary was laid off from Ford.  In the meantime, he worked on an early electric car for Buick at the GM Tech Center.  Six months later, he was back at Ford! Gary has worked for a variety of supervisors and managers over the last 40 years including Manager Ted Lapinski, Manager Maury Westerdale, Supervisor Dick Kunz, and his current supervisor Jim Battaglia (Side Closures).  

     Gary remembers years ago when draftsmen were drawing on aluminum plates.  These plates were lifted and transported by suction cups referred to “Woffield Follies”, after the guy who “invented” the suction cup transportation system.  After being drawn on with gold, the plates didn’t stick to the suction cups like they needed to and so the Ford teams ended up drilling holes in the plates and changing the suction cups to hooks.  

     Gary actually left the union for a brief six month volunteer assignment working in the data collector room.  When CAD first started, the design information was stored daily in “data packs”. At the end of the week, this data was transferred to and stored on a reel.  They needed help managing all of that physical data which stored the electronic data. So, Gary volunteered to work in that Data Collector Room to help out. The room was rigged with a CO2 dump instead of a sprinkler system.  Ford couldn’t afford to lose the data to a fire or water damage from putting out a fire, so they had a CO2 dump system. Gary also remembers the Wood Shop Pattern Makers and Fabric Shop Sewers, all in the old Body Engineering Building, now referred to as PDC.  

     Gary has two children, Melissa who works at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, and Ben who is a Metallurgical Engineer residing in Northville.  Melissa and her husband have a son, Connor. Ben and his wife just married. Gary and his wife Linda, who also worked at Ford, have a home in Green Valley, AZ.  Their location is surrounded by pecan orchards and wineries. It is also in the foothills, so it is not so hot. There, Gary intends to golf and get his body back into shape after 40 years of sitting at work.  Gary and Linda have many friends out in Arizona. In fact, through a mutual friend, Gary met Bill Ford at World Headquarters on Monday, March 26, 2018, to recognize and celebrate his 40 years at Ford!

     Gary is also a hunter in addition to being a golfer.  He was the President of a Hunt Club up in the upper peninsula.  His son is now the Secretary of that hunt club. The Club was started in 1954 and owns about 930 acres with 15 members.  Another Ford retiree, Bud Ozick, was one of the original founding members of this east side club.

     Gary’s parting words for us are, “Good luck!  Speed up progress - - always faster with less people.”  

GOOD LUCK to you Gary and have a WONDERFUL RETIREMENT from all of us here at Body CAD!!