William F. Pickard, Ph.D. is founder and executive chairman of Global Auto Alliance (GAA), GAA New Ventures, co-managing partner at MGM Grand Detroit Casino, CEO of Bearwood Management, and co-owner of five Black-owned newspapers.
Pickard’s fifty-year entrepreneurial career began as a McDonald’s franchisee. Since its founding in 1989, GAA has generated more than five billion dollars in sales with eight plants in the US and Canada, servicing corporations such as Boeing, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, Delphi, Johnson Controls, Starbucks, The Home Depot, and Merck & Co. pharmaceuticals.
He is a philanthropist, supporting education at colleges and universities including Western Michigan University, The Ohio State University, Florida A&M University, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and others.
Among his honors are the Morehouse College 34th Candle in the Dark Award for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy, the Michigan Lifetime Humanitarian Award, and the Michiganian of the Year Award for his business success, civic leadership, and philanthropy.
Dr. Pickard holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University, a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.