L-R; Jerry Klein, Dave Barran, asbe Foundation; Roger Luksik, Packard Motor Car Foundation; Shawn Pomaville, MotorCities Executive Director; Larry Baber, Volunteer of the Year; and Lionel Kernerman, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island.
LANSING – On Wednesday, Nov. 30, three outstanding projects in the field of automotive heritage were honored as part of the Michigan Auto Heritage Day ceremony.
Through a proclamation signed by Gov. Rick Snyder and Senate Resolution 217, the date of Nov. 30 was declared as Michigan Auto Heritage Day to honor the rich and eclectic industrial heritage that has so greatly impacted southeast Michigan.
L-R: Shawn Pomaville, MotorCities Executive Director; Robert Kreipke, MotorCities Board Chairman; Sen. Steve Bieda and Rep. Gretchen Driskell.
More than 20 nominations were fielded for the 2016 Awards of Excellence in the contest categories of auto heritage preservation, education and tourism. Winners were selected out of three finalists for each category, and were announced as follows:
• Preservation – Packard Proving Grounds and Packard Motor Car Foundation (Shelby Township).
• Tourism – Henry Ford 150 Driving Tours from Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island (Windsor, Ont.)
• Education/interpretation – Tours and Design Challenge from the asbe Foundation (Rochester).
Roger Luksik, president of the Packard Motor Car Foundation, said he was surprised and honored with the award.
“This award validates all the time, sweat and money we’ve spent in resurrecting our 14-acre site and a campus of Albert Kahn buildings (at the Packard Proving Grounds),” said Luksik. “I want to thank the MotorCities National Heritage Area for this recognition on behalf of the volunteers and trustees of the Foundation. Without the continued help and support from MCNHA, I don’t know if we would be as far along in our preservation process as we are now.”
Gordon Orr, CEO of Tourism Windsor, had this to say about their award in heritage tourism: “We are thrilled to know the MotorCities National Heritage Area…recognized the Henry Ford 150 Driving Tours, focusing on the automotive pioneer’s profound legacy left on the Windsor - Detroit region. The tours created have illustrated the great story told to visitors on both sides of the border, while educating the local community at the same time.”
And David Barran, president of the asbe Foundation, said they were “truly honored,” for the recognition.
“Our High School Design Challenge contest, provides students with a real world automotive design problem using actual automotive math data and our Industrial and historic student tour program has, once again, opened doors to allow students to see how things and are made and what career opportunities are available,” Barran said.
MotorCities, a non-profit affiliate of the National Park Service dedicated to the historic preservation of the automotive industry and labor movement, also presented its 2016 Milestone Award to The Hon. Sen. Carl Levin who is a co-founder of the organization.
MotorCities Executive Director Shawn Pomaville presents the 2016 Milestone Award to Sen. Carl Levin.
A longtime champion for the automotive industry and for the preservation of its history and culture, Levin said automotive heritage is a source of great pride for many Michigan residents.
“This award relates to a subject that is dear to my heart, dear to the hearts of every person who lives in Michigan,” said Levin upon accepting the award. “It’s a matter of great pride to everybody who lives here, works here, or who has benefited from (the automotive industry). The middle class was almost born here; it surely was promoted by the automobile industry.”
MotorCities also honored its 2016 Volunteer of the Year, Larry Baber from Waterford. Larry has used his vast knowledge of automotive history to engage the public and create interest in the MotorCities National Heritage Area.
The MotorCities National Heritage Area is one of 49 National Heritage Areas in the U.S., and the only one in Michigan. Through programming and outreach, the MotorCities preserves, interprets and promotes the region’s rich automotive and labor story.
For more on the Awards of Excellence and Michigan Auto Heritage Day, visit www.motorcities.org.