For Bill MacAdam, teamwork key to success
Bringing people together was his trademark skill. Enjoying people and their company, their unique traits and hearts, was a joy Bill MacAdam celebrated during a remarkable life that ceased Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, when he died suddenly at age 74 at his Bloomfield Hills home.
“My enduring thought is, he always made people feel welcome,” said Bob Potokar, an executive with Resilience Capital Partners of Cleveland, who knew Mr. MacAdam as a friend and businessman. “His focus always was on teamwork, even if it didn’t personally benefit him.”
A native of Galion, Ohio, Mr. MacAdam came to Detroit in 1967 and became a loan executive for Manufacturers Bank, where he was a participant in Chrysler Corp.’s late 1970s restructuring. He later worked for Kuhlman Corp. before helping found Trans2 Corp., which went on to sell 40,000 neighborhood electrical vehicles.
Forged by degrees from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and the University of Kentucky, he went into business, where his early experience spurred him 30 years ago to form the consulting group friendlystreet, a name inspired by the cordiality he believed should always govern business relationships.
“It was so appropriate — that name, friendlystreet,” said Patricia Featherstone, a retired General Motors manager who knew Mr. MacAdam as a professional who leaned toward the personal. “I don’t see how anyone could have pictured him in a hardcore business world.”
Mr. MacAdam was an athlete and lifelong sports devotee who played football in Ohio and almost anything, including soccer, during his later years, which included membership at Orchard Lake Country Club.
His love for helping people and merging talents, especially those with a joy for life, inspired him on dual fronts
Mr. MacAdam worked closely with Focus: HOPE and with the Community Housing Project in bringing opportunity to the underprivileged. Meanwhile, his passion for baseball and for the Detroit Tigers led to his founding of a fans organization, the Detroit Baseball Society, which regularly meets for events and social functions.
Mr. MacAdam was co-chairman of the Detroit Baseball Dinner. At the annual January dinner, a prominent Tigers reserve is presented with the Tenth Man Award, which Mr. MacAdam conceived.
Suzy Fucini, an executive with Fucini Productions of Farmington Hills, remembered attending the 2005 Detroit Baseball Dinner and alerting Mr. MacAdam, whom she was just meeting, that her father, Buddy Franklin, would be celebrating his 80th birthday that night.
“Bill made everything so special, and he then didn’t know us from Adam,” Fucini said. “It was going to be a surprise for my dad, and he just made us all feel so welcome, and the night so special.”
Mr. MacAdam is survived by his wife, Francis; son Alec MacAdam of Denver and grandson Porter, as well as a sister, Carolyn, and brother, Tom.
The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Christ Church Cranbrook, in Bloomfield Hills. Memorial contributions may be made to Focus: HOPE, 1355 Oakman Blvd., Detroit, 48238.