Detroit Homecoming Returns To Engage Expats

Aug 05, 2015, 09:30 ET from Detroit Homecoming

DETROIT, Aug. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- With more than $230 million in direct investment pending from 30 different initiatives tied to last year's 162 Detroit Homecoming "expats," expectations are high for the second annual Detroit Homecoming, Sept. 30-Oct.2. 

Detroit Homecoming is a three-day event designed to bring 200 former Detroiters back to their hometown to reconnect and reinvest.  This year's conference will focus on the power of professional sports on the local economy and the changing narrative of Detroit.

The agenda is filled with unique experiences such as tours throughout the city, meetings at The Detroit Institute of Arts and Charles H. Wright Museum and dinner at the legendary Roostertail.  All the activities have one goal in mind:  to show off possibilities in Detroit.

At a kickoff news conference today at Aloft Hotel, Deputy Mayor Isiah McKinnon said, "Detroit Homecoming provides exactly the right motivation our city needs to bring native Detroiters back home to be a part of the city's revitalization.  The results from last year are truly impressive."

New to the agenda this year: a pitch competition among expats to select the best Detroit business idea to fund; a partnership with Crowdrise to raise money for Detroit-area charities and causes; and a digital platform to generate solutions for Mayor Duggan's top issues facing the city, in partnership with Mindjet CEO and 2014 Homecoming attendee Scott Raskin.

"Last year's attendees truly amazed me," said Jim Hayes, retired publisher of FORTUNE and co-director of the Homecoming.  "They have engaged in ways we never imagined.  They have bought buildings, invested in businesses, started non-profits and moved back home.  We are excited to see how this year's class finds a way to reconnect with their hometown." 

Confirmed to attend this year with 200 other expats are Shane Battier, retired NBA player; Bob Woodruff, ABC-TV; Peter Cummings, real estate developer; Capri Capital's Gwendolyn Butler; Christopher Keogh, chairman, Goldman Sachs-Midwest; Fred Sievert, retired New York Life CEO and author; and country music artist Josh Gracin.  The guest list includes billionaires, sports stars, company presidents, venture capitalists, journalists and entertainers.

Homecoming Host Committee members range from university presidents to business leaders like General Motors' Mary Barra, entrepreneurs Roger Penske and Dan Gilbert and Ilitch Holding's Christopher Ilitch to community leaders like Rip Rapson of the Kresge Foundation and Tonya Allen of the Skillman Foundation.  Eric Larson and the Downtown Detroit Partnership are non-profit partners of Detroit Homecoming.

"This is not a typical business conference," said Mary Kramer, publisher of Crain's Detroit Business and co-director of the event.  "It's not open to the general public because we are creating an intimate event for a small number of people. But Homecoming is more than an event—it's a movement.  We have stayed in touch with last year's attendees and 30,000 ex-Detroiters through an extended expat outreach via e-newsletters and social media. We also recently hosted expat receptions in San Francisco, New York and Washington D.C."

During the event, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Quicken Loans Chairman and Founder Dan Gilbert, Author David Maraniss, General Motors Executive VP of Global Product Development, Purchasing & Supply Chain Mark Reuss and others will address the influential group.  Wayne State Law School Alum Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins and CEO, The Related Companies will speak to the group via video.

For more information on Detroit Homecoming, visit  The event is not open to the public.

SOURCE Detroit Homecoming