Mary (Kitty) Van Bortel on Thursday was honored by Ford Motor Co. with its Salute to Dealers Award.
The Van Bortel Ford owner was honored with five other dealers from around the world in San Francisco Thursday night at the 2019 National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo. Van Bortel has previously received the Ford President’s Award and the Time Dealer of the Year Award.
The Salute to Dealers Award recognizes Ford dealers’ contributions to their communities. Nationwide, Ford and Lincoln dealers gave nearly $100 million and more than 500,000 hours to local causes and nonprofits in 2018, according to an annual survey on dealer giving.
“Our dealers are valued partners in growing the business, but today we honor their dedication to enriching the communities they operate within,” said Edsel Ford II, who chairs the Salute to Dealers awards program and is a Ford director. “They are the face of Ford and Lincoln in communities around the world and I applaud their commitment and dedication to building stronger, healthier and more connected communities.”
Van Bortel has long shown her passion for leadership in business and community and has been an outspoken advocate of funding and advancing research, treatment and care for causes focused on women and children. As a breast cancer survivor and member of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, Van Bortel speaks about her experiences in promoting women’s health, awareness and working toward a cure.
Van Bortel is a supporter of About Caring for Kids, which provides housing, transportation and medical cost assistance to families experiencing financial hardships due to their child’s severe illness. She supports the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House and Tour de Cure, an annual cycling event to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association.
“It’s an honor to support my community,” Van Bortel said. “Thank you, Ford Motor Co., for helping to make that possible.”
Van Bortel was chosen for the award from a global pool of 65 nominees. As part of the award, Ford Motor Co. Fund and Community Services will donate $10,000 to a charity of each dealer’s choice. A painted portrait of each honoree features a montage of the philanthropic and volunteer activities that led to the award. Duplicates will be on display in the lobby of Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.