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Michigan Matters: Lisa Ford on Detroit, family and a train station making history again

Michigan Matters: Lisa Ford on Detroit, family and a train station making history again
Michigan Matters: Lisa Ford on Detroit, family and a train station making history again 24:23

(CBS DETROIT) - Lisa Ford appears on CBS Detroit's Michigan Matters and talks about Michigan Central Station, which her husband, Bill Ford, Executive Chair of Ford Motor Co., decided to bring back to life in 2018 along with an army of champions, how the couple is helping young people in Metro Detroit and thoughts about their offspring joining the automaker.

Lisa Ford, who doesn't do many interviews, appears with Andrew Stein, President/CEO of The Children's Foundation, to talk about the Michigan Central Station and the related Michigan Central Station Children's Endowment, which she and her husband are co-chairs of. The $10 million endowment campaign was launched a few months ago and will provide funding and other support for 10 organizations that help children.

Stein is working with them. That endowment also includes support from a who's who of business leaders and non-profits. Stein explains that endowments are the lifeline of many larger institutions, universities and hospitals, but rarely do smaller community organizations have any endowments.

Lisa Ford also talked about the six-year effort that went into bringing the shuttered train station back to life as a mobility and innovation hub that will include retail, housing, a hotel and more. The first phase is being unveiled this Thursday, with concerts and other festivities planned.

She also talked about their four children — whom are now involved in the family business (William Clay "Will" Ford III is the general manager of Ford Performance, and Alexandra Ford English is on the company's board). Their eldest daughter, Ellie Ford, is a therapist, and their youngest son, Nick Ford, just graduated with an MBA from Harvard and is deciding what's next.

Carolina Pluszczynski, COO of Michigan Central Station, also appears on the show and talks about the massive undertaking that went into revamping the shuttered train station, which opened in 1914 and welcomed millions to Detroit before closing in 1988.

Bill Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford, who started the company, told me recently that he hopes Michigan Central Station will be a catalyst for businesses, young people looking for a cool place to live, and the "D" for years to come.

Watch Michigan Matters at its new time: 5:30 a.m. Sundays on CBS Detroit, noon Sundays on Detroit 50 WKBD)

(Carol Cain is the 13-time Emmy-winning senior producer and host of Michigan Matters)

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