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HOUSTON, TX — The Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce (HCCC) announced that William F. Pickard, CEO Global Automotive Alliance will keynote the 18th African American Business Achievement Pinnacle Awards Gala, Friday, October 12, 2012 at 7 PM. The event will be held at The Power Center, 12401 S. Post Oak Rd., Houston, TX 77045.

William F. Pickard, PhD is Chairman and CEO, Global Automotive Alliance, a group of six manufacturing entities with eight facilities in the United States and Canada. He is recognized by the automotive industry for masterminding the first minority-owned group of tier-one and tier-two plastic parts suppliers to service the top three U.S. automakers. Pickard established Alliance in 1999 and by 2004 employed more than 1,200 people and generated more than $200 million in sales by leveraging joint ventures with larger companies.

Dr. Pickard’s quest to establish the automotive group began after a conversation with Henry Ford II. Pickard, then a McDonald’s franchise owner and auto dealership investor, was told that Ford Motor Company needed black suppliers. Turning his investments towards minority-owned automotive parts manufacturers, he gained majority ownership of six firms, which now comprise Global Automotive Alliance. The group of companies, which produces car interior, exterior and under-the-hood parts such as automotive fuel systems, seat covers, and injection molded interior headliners, has appeared on the Black Enterprise list of the top 100 industrial/service companies. Under Pickard’s leadership Global Automotive Alliance continues to exceed industry norms for minority hiring and minorities in management positions.

Vernita Harris, President Impact Strategies Consultants and Co-Chair of the Gala said that Mr. Pickard was invited to speak because “there is nothing different about him as a person, but in business, he has figured out a formula to survive and thrive particularly in these challenging economic times. He has defined his own niche well and we are excited to have him share ideas on what has contributed to his success!”

HCCC Board Chair, William Traylor, Regional Director, AT&T Business Solutions and Public Sector Markets is excited to host Mr. Pickard. “This is an exciting time in the evolution the Chamber. Entrepreneurship matters and serves as the fundamental catalyst in our country’s economic engine”, Traylor said. HCCC is forging ahead with our transformation amidst a backdrop of rapid change, accelerated innovation, intense globalization, hyper competition and profound demographic shifts – politically, economically, and otherwise.”

Dr. Pickard’s success and contributions have been recognized on numerous fronts. In 2010 Hour Detroit Magazine honored him as a Detroiter of the Year for leadership and philanthropy, particularly in the area of arts, education, and entrepreneurship. Detroit News identified him as a 2001 Michiganian of the Year, a title bestowed on outstanding citizens whose good works have enhanced the quality of life in Michigan.

Numerous entities have benefited from Dr. Pickard’s participation on their board of directors and he is also a Trustee at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit and a lifetime member of the NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Dr. Pickard has taught entrepreneurship at University of Michigan School of Business since 1994 and was named eminent scholar and guest lecturer on entrepreneurship in Alabama State University’s College of Business Administration in 2009. He holds a doctorate from Ohio State University, a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University, and an associate’s degree from Mott Community College. Pickard was also awarded honorary doctorates from Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Central State University of Ohio and Cleary College.

About the 18th Pinnacle Awards Gala

The Pinnacle Awards are a staple in the Houston African American Business Community because they recognize those who are making positive contributions to the local and global community. In addition, the Pinnacle Awards expose the community at large to minority-owned businesses and increase awareness of these businesses and entrepreneurs.

The Mack H. Hannah, Jr. Upstart Business Award, for businesses that have been in operation less than 2 years is named after Houston’s first African American Millionaire. This award recognizes a burgeoning business on the path to entrepreneurial greatness.

The award package includes, but is not limited to:

The Mack H. Hannah, Jr. Upstart Business Award Title
$2,500 Cash Equity Injection
Corporate Branding Package
Business Advisory Consultation
Business Profile in Chamber Newsletter

About the Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce

Since 1935, the Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce has served as an advocate for African American business owners and professionals in the greater Houston metropolitan area. The organization’s mission and vision has flourished, reflecting the needs and growth of its members. HCCC has provided value to members, area businesses and the community and has remained committed to assisting African-American businesses succeed within the local community.

More information about the Pinnacle Awards or The Houston Citizen’s Chamber of Commerce can be found at or by calling 832-350-4222.

For Pinnacle Gala event credentials, event day photos or interviews of Mr. William F. Pickard, Upstart or Pinnacle finalists or recipients post-event, please contact Dorita by email at If published, we appreciate an emailed link to the article.


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Jaa St. Julien

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