The Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Corners, MI, is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to its foundation’s Board of Trustees; Keith Crain, Robert Grooters, and William D. Johnston. Each oversee successful businesses, have strong ties to the local community, and are actively involved with the antique car hobby.
The Gilmore Car Museum began in 1963 as the hobby Donald S. Gilmore when his wife Genevieve gave him an antique car as a gift—a 1920 Pierce-Arrow “project car.” Within three years, his collection numbered over 30 automobiles. It was Mr. Gilmore’s wife who suggested the idea of turning the collection into a museum where future generations could enjoy the restored cars for years to come. Donald Gilmore purchased 90 acres of farm property, had several historic barns dismantled piece by piece, and moved to the site to create the Gilmore Car Museum. The Gilmores established a non-profit foundation and opened the Museum to the public for the first time on Sunday, July 31, 1966. Donald Gilmore passed away in 1979, and Mrs. Gilmore in 1990, but the legacy that they began continues to grow.
The Gilmore Car Museum is a founding member of the National Association of Automotive Museums and today displays nearly 200 cars as well as several historic structures. It is operated by the Genevieve and Donald S. Gilmore Foundation, and up until this recent appointment, has always been governed by a Board of Trustees made up of direct descendants of the Gilmores.
Michael Spezia, Executive Director of the Museum, sees the new appointments to the board as, “very significant” and adds, “as stakeholders, they will provide a national, rather than simply local, point of view.”
Keith Crain is the chairman of Crain Communications Inc., a privately held company that publishes nearly 30 business, trade, and consumer publications, including AUTOWEEK and AUTOMIOTIVE NEWS. Crain serves at the Chairman of the Board for the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, and serves on the boards of the Detroit Medical Center, the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, the United Way of Southeastern Michigan, the Automotive Hall of Fame, the Boy Scouts of America, and Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance.
Robert Grooters is founder and President of Robert Grooters Development Company in Grand Rapids, MI. The firm is the largest privately held developer of industrial and manufacturing buildings in the region and is ranked among the top ten in the U.S. Grooters is an avid car collector who serves on the Board of Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business, Northpointe Bank, and is President of the Bay Harbor Homeowners Association.
William D. Johnston is President of Greenleaf Companies, which includes four distinct firms dedicated to wealth management, estate administration, and employee benefits; real estate holdings and commercial development; venture capital; and the hospitality industry. Johnston serves on the boards of Western Michigan University, the Western Michigan University Foundation, and Southwest Michigan First Economic Development Corporation. He also is a passionate collector of fine antique automobiles.
As the ever-expanding Gilmore Car Museum looks toward the future, it welcomes these men to the foundation’s Board of Trustees. While each brings added talents and business experience to the board, it’s their “viewpoint of someone involved in the antique car hobby” that Director Michael Spezia sees as most valuable.
Located in the heart of west Michigan, the Gilmore Car Museum is open seasonally from May 1 through out October 31. To learn more about the Gilmore Car Museum visit: www.GilmoreCarMuseum.org or call the museum at 269-671-5089.