Willian F. Pickard, Ph.D., began his career 48 years ago as McDonald's franchisee. Today GAA boasts more than $5 billion in sales since its founding in 1989, with eight plants in the U.S. and Canada, and service corporations that include Boeing, Mercedes Benz, Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Delphi, Johnson Controls, Starbucks, Home Depot and Merck Pharmaceutical. He is also a co-managing partner of MGM Grand Detroit Casino and co-owner of five black-owned newspapers.
In 2001, Dr. Piickard was awarded Michiganian of the Year for his business success, civic leadership, and philanthropy. He has donated over $1 million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.; $1 million to the Motown Historical Museum; and more than $3 million to his alma mater, Western Michigan University.
Dr. Pickard is creating a new generation of entrepreneurs with his motivational series, Millionaire Moves – Seven Proven Principles of Entrepreneurship: vision/attitude, opportunity, relationships, talent/skillset, financial, failure, and faith.
Dr. Pickard has served on numerous business and non-profit boards including Asset Acceptance Capital Corporation, Michigan National Bank, LaSalle Bank, and National Urban League, and is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.