Ford Fund President Jim Vella to retire after 31 years

Mary Culler to take over role

Jim Vella (Photo: Ford)

DETROIT – Ford Motor Company Fund president Jim Vella will retire at the end of this year after a 31-year career.

The Ford Fund is the automaker's philanthropic foundation.

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Vella's work with Ford started in 1988 as a news producer. He has held multiple executive leadership positions, including vice president of corporate public affairs and chief of staff for Executive Chairman Bill Ford.

Vella, 63, has been in his current position since 2006. He has overseen the growth of signature programs, such as Ford Driving Skills for Life and a global expansion of charitable activities across more than 60 countries.

"Whether it was a plant crisis or internal issue, Jim has been a trusted partner and advisor through an extraordinary era at Ford," Bill Ford said. "His devotion to helping others and commitment to expanding Ford's role in the community have made us a leader in corporate philanthropy around the world."

Mary Culler, who has duties with the Office of the Executive Chairman and Michigan Central Station, will take over Culler's role when he retires Dec. 31. She will maintain her current duties, as well.