Detroit Homecoming I – 2014

Jalen Rose

NCAA/NBA Star, Founder of the Jalen Rose Academy

Warren Buffet

Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Quinton Primo

Chairman and CEO of Capri Capital Partners, LLC

Pete Hawkins

Rhodes Scholar & Heisman Trophy Winner, US ARMY & Citigroup

Mitch Albom

Award Winning Author & Detroit Free Press

Berry Gordy

Founder, Motown Records

Jim Hayes had no idea when he kicked off the inaugural Homecoming that the idea would launch more than $230 million in investment efforts; he just wanted to remind former Detroiters that their home was still a vibrant, exciting place. But by gathering 150 Detroit “expats” for a three-day series of conferences, tours and deep dives into the city’s emerging industries, Hayes, along with Crain’s Detroit Business, changed the way many of Motown’s most famous alumni think about the city.

The first Homecoming began with a dinner at the newly refurbished David Whitney Building downtown, a fitting symbol of the resurgence of Detroit’s once-neglected state. Governor Rick Snyder and Roger Penske joined guests, and after dinner, Bloomberg President and CEO Dan Doctoroff talked about what Detroit could learn from New York City. Over the course of the next two days, Homecoming attendees toured Detroit neighborhoods and talked to the city’s residents, and listened in on panels by industry powerhouses including Dan Gilbert, Warren Buffett and Mary Barra.

The first Homecoming focused on the power of education, diversity and technology to revitalize the city. As a result of the event, 30 separate initiatives were founded, including Thomas Tierney’s $2 million gift to Wayne State University, Adam Levinson’s $10 million pledge to the Detroit Children’s Fund, and Olympic gymnast Wendy Hilliard’s announcement that she planned to open a Detroit branch of her New York-based Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation.