Origin of the Ford Retired Engineering Executives (FREE)*: Shortly after retirement, on November 16, 1966, three former Ford Executives met for lunch at the Oakland Hills Country Club. Jack Faulkner was an Attorney in the Office of the General Counsel; Joe Felts was Executive Engineer for Mercury Advanced; and Connie Bouchard was an Executive Engineer in Research.
This was the original meeting of theFord Retired Executive Engineers, later modified to Ford Retired Engineering Executives (FREE) Luncheon Group. Subsequent lunches included Bill Burnett, Chassis Executive Engineer, as member number four, Chuck Dybvig, an Executive with Dana Corporation, as number five, Burt Erickson, Chief Transmission Engineer, as number six, and Al Esper, Ford Chief Test Engineer, as number seven. The first meeting and subsequent lunches were held on the third Wednesday of the month, as is the custom of FREE today.
*Reported by Jesse Richards and Ray Logue and confirmed by Jack Faulkner in 1995.