Corporate Spotlight: Sesi Lincoln
From the stagehands who load in scenery and equipment, to the UMS artist services team members who secure elusive hotel rooms during a Michigan home football weekend, a complex web of logistics is critical to make each performance happen. And one of the most important components is making sure our guest artists arrive at the appropriate venue on time…in comfort and style!
When President Emeritus Ken Fischer arrived on the scene in 1987, the soloists and small ensembles UMS presented were picked up at the airport by the head of the organization in his personal vehicle. This worked just fine for an operation that presented roughly 20 performances a year. But as UMS’s programming grew to roughly 60 stage presentations of classical music, dance, jazz, theater, music from communities of shared heritage, and more, not to mention 100+ different learning and engagement activities that took artists all over southeast Michigan to school classrooms and nonprofit partners, a more flexible (and elegant!) solution was needed.
Enter Joseph Sesi. The Sesi Lincoln dealership now on Jackson Road in Ann Arbor was founded by Joe’s uncle and namesake in 1946. Joe and former UMS Director of Finance and Administration, John Kennard, were classmates at Eastern Michigan University’s College of Business. A few years after he began working at UMS, John took Ken Fischer out to meet Joe and explain UMS’s situation.
Joe jumped right in to help, providing UMS with a beautiful new Lincoln vehicle every two years. Not only did UMS now have a vehicle fully dedicated to artist transportation at no cost to the organization, but the use of a beautiful new Lincoln always driven by a staff member or trusted volunteer also helped establish UMS’s reputation for hospitality among artists as “first class.”
Joe went on to serve on the UMS Board for six years. Together with his wife, Yvonne, and daughter, Katie, they have also hosted fundraising events, contributed to UMS’s endowment, and introduced UMS to countless friends and family through the years.
This season, UMS’s visiting artists are ferried to their engagements in a beautiful new 2022 Lincoln Aviator, complete with the UMS logo decal on the side. Keep your eye out around town, and you may just catch a glimpse of a world-famous artist inside!