After more than 35 years of dedicated service to our industry, Linda Silverstein will retire from Ford Motor Company at the end of this month.

I first met Linda over 20 years ago when she was running the auto remarketing services division for Ford. We immediately hit it off. She grew up in the town next to where I grew up. We are about the same age, followed the same bands, had the same favorite restaurants in the area. A friendship quickly developed beyond our business interactions.

This connection has grown even more during the past six years, as I’ve had the honor to work closely with Linda to raise money for JDRF. We’ve attended a lot of sales together, and Linda truly is one of the most genuine people I know. She cares about others and wants to meet everyone at the auction—she’s a real people person.

The industry will miss her substantial knowledge and significant contributions, and I will miss the integrity, dedication and kindness she instills into every encounter—she truly is a great business partner and friend.

Happy retirement, Linda. Your phone will still ring from me. See you for dinner at the Golden Temple the next time you’re in town.

Best wishes to you and your family and thank you for all that you’ve done for our industry. You will be missed.

Linda, Alan Taylor and myself

Linda Silverstein and the rest of the JDRF team with Edsel Ford