This week's second annual Detroit Homecoming for returnees pursuing careers elsewhere is part pep rally, part brainstorming, part fund-raising and largely a tribute to this city's impact and importance.
Abut 170 invited guests from business, sports, entertainment, media, philanthropy and other fields are expected to attend. Events start with a dinner Wednesday at the Detroit Opera House. Guests are staying at the Aloft Hotel and also will meet through Friday at the DIA, Museum of African American History and elsewhere.
“It’s about re-imagining Detroit," says president M. Roy Wilson of Wayne State, a sponsor of the gathering convened by Crain's Detroit Business. "It’s about bringing people together, re-engaging, and welcoming people back who’ve been away for a long time,” Wilson added at a preview briefing last month, Holly Fournier writes at The Detroit News. (Video below.)
These are among speakers and presenters:
- Gov. Rick Snyder
- Mayor Mike Duggan
- Dan Gilbert, founder/chairman of Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures
- Roger Penske, founder/chairman of Penske Corp.
- Mark Reuss, a General Motors executive vice president
- Tim Westergren, Pandora Media founder (Oakland, Calif.)
- Kevin Plank, CEO/founder of Under Armour (Baltimore)
- Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkosky, Groupon founders (Chicago)
- Jennifer Broutin Farah, CEO/founder of SproutsIO (Cambrodge, Mass.)
- Michael Bolton, singer-songwriter and producer of a new documentary, "Gotta Keep Dreaming: The 21st Century Renaissance of Detroit"
- Ron Fournier, senior political columnist at the National Journal
- David Maraniss, Washington Post associate editor and author of “Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story” (published this month)
- Stephen Ross, real estate developer. and Miami Dolphins owner (via video)
- Shane Battier, co-owner of a sports training gym and ex-NBA player (Memphis)
- Bob Woodruff, ABC News reporter
- Peter Cummings, property developer
- Gwendolyn Butler, Capri Investment Group vice- chairwoman (Chicago)
- Christopher Keogh, chairman of Goldman-Sachs Midwest (Chicago)
- Deborah Chase Hopkins, chief innovation officer at Citi and CEO of Citi Ventures (New York)
- Fred Sievert, author and ex-CEO of New York Life
- Tiffany M. Moore, government relations consultant at TwinLogic Strategies (Washington, D.C.)
- Samantha Lynn Snabes, co-founder of re:3D (Austin printing startup)
- Thomas Tierney, president of VitaTech Nutritional Sciences Inc. (Tustin, Calif.)
- Josh Gracin, country musician (Westland)
In his advance article, Pinho adds:
The Detroit Homecoming project received a $100,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation earlier this year to build a digital community that can reconnect former Detroiters with their home city. The ... grant is being used to keep expats in touch with news about the city, career opportunities and each other. A twice-monthly email newsletter goes to more than 30,000 people, and the funding will help the project expand. ...
Detroit Homecoming-related receptions have taken place in New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.