Bill Chapin is president of the Automotive Hall of Fame and will contribute regularly. Email him at

Bill Chapin is president of the Automotive Hall of Fame and will contribute regularly. Email him at

Letter from Frank Venegas, recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Service Citation


Posted: May 1, 2014



Mr. William R. Chapin
Automotive Hall of Fame
21400 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn, MI 48124

Dear Bill,
Thank you and the Board of Directors of the Automotive Hall of Fame for the honor.   Wow!  I looked at the roster of past Distinguished Service Citation members! I am so humbled by the contributions of the honorees and what they have done not only for the automotive industry but the region as well.  .
After reading your email, my thoughts flashed to my family’s first automotive workers, my grandfather and my father.  In 1917, my grandparents came to Detroit from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico via Kansas City.  My grandfather, Jesus, was looking for one of the $5 a day jobs advertised by Henry Ford. 
My grandfather was one of the Rouge Plant gate keepers.  They were the men lined up early in the morning hoping to be called in as plant day laborers.  After three years, my grandfather earned a position as a Ford Motor Company full-time employee.  It was a very proud day for my grandfather and the Venegas family. 
Forty-one years later, my grandfather retired from Ford Motor Company. My father worked at the same plant and retired from Ford after 39 years.  Their mutual dream was that someday, I would be a Ford engineer.  I did not live up to that dream and became an entrepreneur instead.
Today the Ideal Group companies supply construction services and industrial material management to Ford, General Motors and Chrysler and others.  I am sure that both my parents and grandparents are smiling.  It is another proud moment for the Venegas family and I thank you.  
Ideal Contracting just received General Motors 2013 Supplier of the Year Award, the 10th such award for Ideal Group companies.  We strive every day to Stay Ahead and Be the Best.  In many ways, we are still like my grandfather, always the gatekeepers working hard to get called in and to be hired.  Thank you so much for the honor.
The event is on my calendar and I have copied my assistant, Sylvia Gucken (313) 551-2290; she will keep me on track and provide any information that you may need.
Best Regards,
Frank Venegas
Frank Venegas, Jr.
Chairman and CEO
Ideal Group
2525 Clark Street
Detroit, MI  48209


« Return to Newsroom

Click to visit Ken Gross article from Hemmings

Click to visit Crain

E-News Sign-up:

Verification Code