A Detroit entrepreneur is utilizing his platform to support the city’s influential cultural institutions. William Pickard—who founded GAA Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management—will donate over $2 million to a few of Detroit’s museums and colleges to further education initiatives, Crain’s Detroit reported.
The money is being distributed as part of Pickard’s “Thank You, Detroit” campaign, the news outlet writes. Amongst the institutions that will receive donations are the Motown Museum, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and the Wayne County Community College District. The museums will each receive $1 million in donations and the college district will be awarded $100,000.
Pickard’s entrepreneurial journey has been nothing short of remarkable. Early on in his career he and his friends became the first Black people to own a McDonald’s franchise. Aside from launching GAA Manufacturing, he holds the title of CEO at both Vitec LLC and Bearwood Management Co. He’s also the co-owner of Real Times Media and managing partner of the MGM Grand Detroit. Throughout his entire career, he’s used his resources to pay it forward. In the past, he’s donated millions to Western Michigan University and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
There have been several efforts surrounding the preservation and growth of cultural institutions in Detroit. Earlier this year the Motown Museum received a $500,000 donation from the Hudson-Webber Foundation for expansion. “Every time we get another one of these significant lead gifts in the campaign, not only does it encourage us as a team, but also sends a message to the rest of the funding community about this project, the importance of this development and also makes clear that this is real,” said Robin Terry, chairwoman and CEO of the museum, about the donation.