Biography: James G. Vella
James G. (Jim) Vella is president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. In this role, he leads all philanthropic and community service-related activities, including coordination of volunteer efforts by Ford employees and all activities of Ford Motor Company Fund, a separate philanthropic organization funded by Ford Motor Company.
Ford Fund's primary focus is education, and it also supports organizations and innovative programs that promote automotive safety education and assist communities with a variety of needs.
Vella was named to his current position Dec. 1, 2006. Prior to this assignment, he served as Visiting University Professor at the University of Michigan Dearborn, a position he assumed in December 2005. In June 2004, Vella became Ford Motor Company's chief of staff, after serving as vice president, Public Affairs and chief of staff since April 2003.
Vella was appointed vice president, Public Affairs in August 2002 after having been elected a vice president of Ford Motor Company and named vice president, Corporate Public Affairs in November 2001. Prior to that, he had been executive director, Corporate Communications, since June 2000.
Vella joined Ford in 1988 as a producer for the Ford Communications Network coordinating internal television programs. He held a series of Public Affairs positions, including broadcast news manager, regional news manager for the Northeast region, director of Public Affairs for Ford's global manufacturing operations and director of Public Affairs global operations.
Before joining Ford, Vella worked in television news at local affiliate stations for 14 years. His television career included news management assignments at WJBK-TV in Detroit, KNSD-TV (formerly KCST-TV) in San Diego, and WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio.
He is a native of Detroit, Mich., and holds a bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Detroit-Mercy.
Vella serves on a number of Boards, including:
Chair, Ford Motor Company Fund Board of Trustees
Chair, Board of Directors, United Way of Southeastern Michigan
Board of Trustees, America's Promise
Board of Trustees, Michigan Opera Theater
Board member, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES)
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian
Board of Directors, New Detroit
Board of Advisors, the Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute
Board of Directors, Cass Community Social Services
Board of Directors, Usher’s New Look Foundation
Board of Directors, Health Alliance Plan
Advisory Council, Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry
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