Ford Employee Pulls Off One-of-a-Kind Marriage Proposal With Help From Bill Ford


In 2017, when Ford employee Wesley Burkman’s first wife, Aleea, passed away at age 29, mere weeks after being diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer, his co-workers offered an outpouring of emotional support. Often, he was asked whether his place of employment was being flexible during his time of tragedy.


“In many thank you cards I wrote to people, I found myself saying that my work community had gone so much further than just being ‘flexible’,” Wesley said. “Not only were my boss and manager incredibly understanding, but when they heard about my wife needing a wig made with her own hair during chemotherapy, they got enough people together to cover the cost.”


Unfortunately, Allea passed away before they had the chance to make it happen, but Burkman was still able to put the $990 his co-workers raised towards a college fund for the couple’s 2-year-old son. 


Additionally, Wesley’s co-workers offered to help him with daily tasks, such as walking his dog early in the morning so he could stay home with his son. Touched by the support, Burkman submitted a Ford employee story detailing how grateful he was to have co-workers who helped him cope with his grief. 


Upon hearing about this story, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford reached out to Wesley himself to offer his condolences and express how awesome he thought Burkman’s Ford colleagues had been in his time of need. Before hanging up, Ford told Burkman to contact him if he ever needed anything.


Fast-forward two and a half years, and Burkman had once again found love, this time with a woman named Tiffany. When he decided it was time to propose, he insisted on making it spectacular. 


“I’ve always believed that asking someone to marry you is too important to waste over dinner and a movie,” Burkman said. To that effect, he decided top reach out to Bill Ford for a favor. 


Burkman had been searching for a unique and grandiose location to pop the question, and he wanted it to have a distinct Michigan feel. After briefly considering the Michigan Theater, Burkman decided that the iconic Michigan Central Station was the ideal spot. 


Remembering Ford’s offer, Burkman sent Bill an email asking for help without expecting a reply. To his surprise however, Bill’s team reached out soon after and granted his wish by helping him execute his meticulously planned proposal which he developed with help from seven of his friends, six of whom were co-workers at Ford.


One grand piano-serenaded dinner in the station’s beautiful grand lobby backdrop later, and Burkman proposed to his girlfriend on October 5. Of course, she said “yes.”


“Bill gave me a call a few hours before I popped the question to wish me luck,” Burkman said. “I feel like I’ve been the beneficiary of so much of his care and support.”


These days, Burkman is often asked how he was able to secure such a lavish location for the couple’s special moment. His reply?


“Sometimes you have to imagine what hasn’t happened yet. I asked and it happened and it was awesome. I’ve had multiple experiences working within Ford where if you ask for something, big things can happen.”

Categories: People
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