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Friday, January 28, 2011

Operation Hope in Detroit?

My company recently had a volunteer event with Operation Hope ( in Chicago, teaching underprivileged kids some basic economic and financial lessons. Frankly, I don't think they teach enough budget and money lessons to children of any background (not even in the best schools), so I am favorably disposed to the objectives of this group. That being said, I'm not sure some of the lessons fit to the ages my colleagues actually interacted with...probably high school is the most appropriate age for many of these lessons. Anyways, I hope this initiative makes some headway in Detroit...from what I hear, they are interested in launching some local operations, so I hope that works out.

On a related note, it looks like the Detroit Public Schools are starting a new program ( to engage more support from volunteers and businesses ( I imagine some of the focus is on fundraising, but each partnership between businesses and schools will be unique, so there is a lot of room for supporting DPS students.

Relevant details for interested volunteers:
  • The first training session for volunteers from the companies will be held 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. next Friday at the Michigan State University-Detroit Center, 3408 Woodward.
  • Seating is limited and RSVPs are requested via e-mail to or by calling (313) 870-3799.
  • Training sessions also will take place 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10 and 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 11.
  • Volunteers must be fingerprinted, a service that will be offered at all training sessions at a cost of $60, payable in money order, cashier’s check or business check.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Revitalization and Business Conference about Detroit at UM

There will be a very interesting conference tomorrow in Ann Arbor about Detroit-related issues (tonight's event is fully booked), and I encourage everyone to attend. Registration is USD 15, including breakfast and lunch. See below for more details:

Take a few hours to learn more about Detroit, entrepreneurship, and how a city goes through a rebranding and image adjustment. We will be talking to people involved in real estate and development, retail management, major corporations who deal with attracting top talent, and a number of other folks.

Register Now!


SPONSORS: General Motors, New Economy Initiative of Southeast Michigan, DTE Energy, Zell Lurie Institute, Deloitte, Ross Net Impact, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Lear Corporation


Thursday, January 20: A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design - Detroit
6:00pm- 9:00pm (buses leave Ross at 5:00pm)
Review of amazing Detroit Impact projects
Dinner by Slows Bar BQ

Keynote Speaker: Phil Cooley of Slows Bar BQ and NY Times-deemed de facto spokesperson for the revitalization of Detroit, Chairman of the Detroit Works Project

Friday, January 21: Ross School of Business
9:00AM- 2:30PM
Discussion Panels:
If You Rebuild It, They Will Come
Rebranding Detroit
Entrepreneurship in the D

Keynote Speaker: William Clay Ford Jr., Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ford Motor Company, Vice Chairman of the Detroit Lions, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Henry Ford Museum, Chairman of the Detroit Economic Club, and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Detroit Renaissance

IdeaLab: Bold and innovative idea jam session with current Detroit revitalizers
Includes lunch and continental breakfast

Gov. Snyder's First State of the State - A Good Start

Last night, Governor Snyder gave his first "State of the State" address, and I must say, I liked much of what I heard. To be sure, I only listened for 15 minutes or so on the way home from work, but he made some good points that fuel my suspicions that he is a pragmatist who will govern from the center.

I'm not sure what to make of his stance against ergonomic standards (I had no idea they were an issue), but his support for the Pure Michigan campaign and his backing of a second international bridge in Detroit are very positive in my view for the state. Also, I like his commitment to cities and his idea to expand his Office of Urban Initiatives to cities like Flint, Saginaw, and Grand Rapids - all of our cities need help.

It is a good he just needs to get the Legislature on board, which is no easy task, unfortunately...