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On the Cover

The Detroiter highlights change-makers driving city’s growthPage 7


DET_Sept-13-Cover__002(Click image to enlarge)

We are trying something different with the cover of this issue of the Detroiter – a stylized illustration representing the dramatic transformation under way in Detroit as it navigates bankruptcy. As the illustration suggests, Detroit’s assets and opportunities far outweigh the negatives. Ultimately, Detroit is going to emerge as a stronger city through the hard work of resilient leaders and innovators who are driving progress every day.

While Detroit is blessed with many persons and institutions that are making meaningful change happen, it is impossible to visually represent every change-maker that is pushing Detroit in the right direction. This special cover art, designed by our friends at Detroit-based Skidmore Studio, is meant to be only a sampling of the tremendous effort under way. We regret omitting any person or organization that is helping to build a new Detroit.

Mayor Dave Bing: Mayor Bing represents the new public leader we are now seeing in Detroit. The days of public servants using their offices for private gain are over, and this is wonderfully represented by the integrity and dignity of basketball hall of famer turned business leader turned city leader, Dave Bing. We thank Mayor Bing, and all those willing to serve the public good as Detroit charts a new course.

Dan Gilbert: Gilbert represents several new important trends occurring in Detroit. Certainly, he personifies the growing confidence of the business community in Detroit. He also represents the numerous IT businesses that are now calling Detroit home – resulting in Detroit being one of the fastest growing IT clusters in the nation. That’s a lot of symbolism in one figure – but we think we got it right. We celebrate the investors and innovators creating a new culture in Detroit.

Kevyn Orr: Orr represents that business in Detroit today is not “business as usual.” As emergency manager, he has the powers to make the difficult decisions that have alluded the city in the past. Orr represents the fresh start that Detroit needs and a new found willingness to boldly and honestly confront our challenges. We honor all those who are willing to make the tough call to position Detroit for the future.

Mike Duggan: Duggan, a government leader turned business leader turned mayoral candidate, represents the cooperation now found in Detroit between the business and government sectors. Detroit’s history has been too much “us vs. them.” Today, we all realize that in order to succeed, government, business, labor and civic sectors must cooperate and compromise in order to ensure a bright future for everyone. We applaud all those who are willing to check their egos at the door and work together.

Phil Cooley: Cooley represents the new entrepreneurial spirit in Detroit as well as the city’s new food-based economy. Cooley’s nationally famed Slows restaurant and grass-roots Ponyride business accelerator are symbols that greatness can come from any neighborhood and sector – and new entrepreneurs are everywhere. We are excited about how Detroit is getting its entrepreneurial mojo back – this is the spirit that changed the world by putting it on wheels.

Sue Mosey: Mosey represents the value of perseverance and hard work – and that much of Detroit’s renaissance has been under way for many years despite going largely unsung. Mosey’s long-term efforts in Midtown show what it takes to jump start a neighborhood. It’s not easy, but the results are worth it. We admire all those who work in Detroit’s neighborhoods and are making a real difference.

Other Figures: If you look closely, you might find people like Faye Nelson of the RiverFront Conservancy, representing the amazing work of the area’s civic and philanthropic community; Chris Ilitch of Ilitch Holdings, representing the influential families that have never given up on Detroit and continue to invest; Josh Linkner of Detroit Venture Partners, representing the optimism and confidence of Detroit’s next generation of leaders; James Craig, Detroit’s new police chief, represents the city’s commitment to address the very real issue of public safety. Others? Trust your imagination.

Organizations Represented: This illustration celebrates just some of the organizations and institutions that are working to drive Detroit into a new era, like the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and Downtown Detroit Partnership, as well as companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, DTE Energy and our great automotive companies led by GM, Ford and Chrysler. Look closer and you will find symbols of entities that mean much to Detroit’s past and future.

Below Chapter 9: The images at the bottom of the page are meant to depict the challenges that Detroit is working to overcome, such as blight, corruption and the legacy of ineffective spending. You can see that the images above the Chapter 9 “floor” are using their leverage to smash down Detroit’s last remaining negatives.

We hope you enjoy this illustration as much as we enjoyed creating it.