is conducted under the guidance of Edsel B. Ford
II, a member of Ford’s Board of Directors. The program was launched in
2001 to demonstrate the company's commitment to its thousands of dealer
principals who step beyond their showroom doors to make a difference
where they live and work.
Edsel B. Ford II and three other judges selected winners from nominees
around the world based on community service activities, length of
participation and personal motivation. Regional representatives for all
Ford Motor Company brands submitted nominations.
A painted portrait of each honoree will have a montage of philanthropic
and volunteer activities that led to the award. Duplicates of the
portraits will join a
display in the lobby of Ford’s World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan for year-round viewing.
Wausau, WI, January 31, 2011 – – In recognition of his outstanding corporate citizenship and contributions to the community, Keith Kocourek has earned a Salute To Dealers award from Ford Motor Company. He is one of four North American dealers who will receive the eleventh annual tribute at a ceremony held February 4 preceding the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention in San Francisco. Honorees were selected from among nearly 4,000 dealers across the United States and Canada for exhibiting unparalleled dedication to their communities.
Kocourek has dedicated his life to supporting organizations that serve people in need. He puts his heart into his community work—his contributions to the community include hundreds of hours and significant financial donations that have benefitted Wausau for sustained periods of time. Kocourek's work is centered around a handful of organizations throughout Wisconsin.
"Keith's substantial contributions, financial and personal, could not be further removed from traditional 'check book charity,'" said Michael O'Brien, Ford Motor Company regional sales manager. "He has chosen to become a part of the lives of people who need help and has inspired members of his dealership team to give of themselves as well."
Big Brothers/Big Sisters
Keith and his wife, Linda, have been mentors for Big Brothers/Big Sisters for nearly 20 years. His commitment to this organization led him to Charlie Sann, a little boy that Keith says changed his life forever. Charlie entered Kocourek's life when the boy was six years old. Over the years, Kocourek has watched him grow up, go to college and now work at his dealership.
"It's funny how we started with Big Brothers/Big Sisters to help a boy that had never met his father and ended up meeting a child who would change my life forever," Kocourek said. "Charlie is truly part of our family and has been an excellent example and brother to my daughter, Paige."
Kocourek and his daughter Paige, age 14, volunteer for Angel Flight, an organization that provides free transportation to people in crisis. He uses his training as a pilot and personal plane to fly those in need. A recent mission involved flying a critically ill child to see his parents, who were separated due to their military service duties. He and Paige also make flights for the Mother's Milk Bank, delivering breast milk to hospitals for premature babies.
Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin
Kocourek has served on the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin for six years and is the current president. The charitable organization seeks to enhance the lives of people living in the Wausau area including arts, education, health and human services and preservation of historical, cultural and natural resources. He recently started a Family Fund and personally contributes to it regularly, with the hopes that his foundation will be part of his legacy long after he is gone.
Kocourek has been involved in the Neighbor’s Place food drives for the last five years, and last year delivered nearly 600 bags of groceries at Christmas time. Neighbor’s Place provides help to people in need through a food pantry, emergency relief, youth services, cultural and language programs and other services.
An Important Ford Motor Company Tradition
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 163,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.