George Adams

Founder and President, 360 Detroit Inc.

George Adams is founder and president of 360 Detroit Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering individuals through education, economic opportunities, employment, and community development to be self-supporting and productive participants of society. Adams is an entrepreneur and motivational speakers offering multifaceted services and unique products through conferences, workshops, keynotes, and training.

Adams also serves as board member of Michigan Community Resources as well as Life Remolded Community Advisory Counsel. He is a licensed realtor and volunteer chaplain for the Wayne County Sheriff Department. He attended Henry Ford Community College, Ashland Theological Seminary, and Middleton Real Estate Training.

PlanetM Landing Zone Celebrates Two Years Of Member Successes At Mobility Meetup

PlanetM Landing Zone is celebrating its two-year anniversary of bringing global mobility startups to Detroit this week. With acquisitions, companies expanding operations in Detroit, and major public-private partnerships, the Landing Zone has proven to be vital to growing Detroit’s automotive and mobility ecosystem.

A group of 64 attendees attended this week’s Mobility Meetup, highlighting the recent successes of the Landing Zone members with a panel of automotive and mobility leaders from member companies. The evening’s panelists included Kevin Mull, connected mobility services at Bosch, Jessica Robinson, executive director at Michigan Mobility Institute, and Ashok Sivanand, CEO of Integral. The Chamber and MICHauto’s Devon O’Reilly, director of entrepreneurship and PlanetM Landing Zone moderated the panel.

Discussions included the future of the Landing Zone, the value of being a participating member, and the significance of investing in Detroit.

“I’ve been able to build relationships here with people I never would’ve met otherwise,” said Mull about remaining in Detroit. “People are really waking up to what’s happening in the city.”

In the two years since the launch of the Landing Zone, members including startups, leading automotive and technology companies, and venture capital firms have achieved significant milestones here in Detroit.

Integral, a startup member that has graduated out of the Landing Zone, grew to more than 30 employees and secured a permanent office space in Detroit, remaining in the city. Sivanand emphasized that it was important for the company to establish itself in this market, with their customers in the suburbs, and automotive and mobility peers downtown.

“We got to know PlanetM and that was the missing piece of the puzzle for us,” said Sivanand.

Other member successes include Bosch’s acquisition of fellow Landing Zone member SPLT in 2018 and  Derq’s partnership with MDOT to successfully pilot predictive artificial intelligence technology at one of the most dangerous Detroit intersections that includes the international tunnel to Canada, Jefferson and Randolph. Derq accomplished this with the help of a PlanetM Grant, the City of Detroit, DTE Energy.

The next Mobility Meetup will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 11. For more information, contact Devon O’Reilly at doreilly@detroitchamber.com.

David Alade

Founding Partner, Century Partners

David Alade co-founded Century Partners in 2014 in Detroit to develop high quality, accessible housing options within the city’s neighborhoods. Century Partners is leading the largest neighborhood revitalization program in America, impacting more than 100 homes and more than 200 vacant lots within a quarter square mile neighborhood.

Alade has seen firsthand the power of education to alter individual life trajectories and is passionate about supporting education efforts for young students as a path to greater wealth-building opportunities within underserved communities.

Before co-founding Century Partners, Alade spent eight years working on Wall Street, where he structured and delivered more than $100 billion in asset-based financing solutions for midsize to Fortune 500 companies.

Dennis W. Archer Jr.

Dennis W. Archer Jr. is the CEO of Ignition Media Group and founding partner of Archer Corporate Services (ACS). Archer is the majority owner of Central Kitchen + Bar, named as one of Detroit’s “2016 top new restaurants of the year” by the Detroit Free Press.

Leveraging his background in marketing and advertising, Archer has created a portfolio of companies, each creating niches for themselves. Ignition Media Group, a leading integrated marketing agency, has significantly grown its leadership team in the last decade, carrying a large network of local contacts in the media, business, political and philanthropic communities. Under his leadership, ACS has also grown into one of the nation’s leading marketing fulfillment services firms, under his leadership, serving clients such as General Motors Co., Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Michelin.

Archer serves on a number of civic and philanthropic boards and foundations, including the Detroit Regional Chamber Board of Directors. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Randall Buchman

Founder and CEO, Emerald Growth Partners

Randall Buchman is currently CEO and founder of Emerald Growth Partners, a vertically integrated cannabis company with the retail brand, “Pleasantrees”. Under Mr. Buchman’s leadership, Emerald Growth Partners is committed to creating an exceptional cannabis brand with a focus on trust and transparency in order to erase the negative stigma surrounding this burgeoning industry.

Throughout 2020, Emerald Growth Partners plans to open upwards of 20 retail locations under the Pleasantrees brand across Michigan and other states. During this short-term expansion, Emerald Growth Partners plans on creating over 200 new jobs in the cannabis industry.

Dustin Walsh

Senior Reporter, Crain’s Detroit Business

Dustin Walsh is an award-winning senior reporter for Crain’s Detroit Business, covering economics. During his tenure, Walsh has covered the automotive industry collapse and resurgence—from several global supplier conglomerate bankruptcies to multibillion-dollar merger and acquisition deals.

His focus is now on prosperity, business policy and economic consequences. He’s served as an expert source on national and local television and radio programs. He attended Grand Valley State University and studied journalism.

Kim James

 

Attorney, City of Detroit

Kim James is an attorney for the city of Detroit who focuses on land use policy and code enforcement issues. She drafted the city of Detroit’s zoning and licensing laws pertaining to medical marijuana, facilitated the implementation of the city’s program under the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) and is currently working with the Detroit City Council to develop regulations for adult use marijuana establishments.

Sandy Baruah

The Honorable Sandy K. Baruah is president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, the third largest chamber of commerce in the nation. The Chamber represents the business interests of a region comprising 5.4 million residents and 11 Fortune 500 companies. The Chamber also serves as the regional economic development entity, Destination Detroit, the statewide automotive and mobility industry cluster association, MICHauto, and hosts the nationally recognized Mackinac Policy Conference.

Baruah joined the Chamber in 2010 after a distinguished career in Washington, D.C. He served President George W. Bush as administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In this role, he was the chief executive responsible for the SBA’s 4,000 national employees and $18 billion small business loan portfolio. Baruah was one of the senior officials shaping the federal government’s response to the 2008 credit crisis and assistance to the U.S. automotive industry.

In 2016, Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Baruah as chair of Michigan’s 21st Century Economy Commission. He is a frequent commentator on local and national media regarding political developments, automotive industry matters, and Detroit and Michigan issues.

Clifford Brown

Managing Partner, Woodborn Partners

Clifford Brown is managing partner for Woodborn Partners, a full-service development company. He is responsible for new business development, project management, private financing, broker relations, negotiations, and planning and sourcing private equity for Woodborn and its affiliate companies.

Brown also currently serves on the board of directors for the Brush Park Community Development Corporation. He is an alumnus of Ohio State University and a graduate of the Urban Land Insitute’s Robert C. Larson Center for Leadership program.

Mario Bueno

As a returning citizen, Mario Bueno is committed to helping others. He co-founded LUCK Inc. (Leaders Under Correct Knowledge), a nonprofit that helps returning citizens reenter society. Bueno also works with schools to mentor at-risk students and is the author of “Reformed: Memoir of a Juvenile Killer.”  

Bueno is currently working as an administrative assistant to Director Don Shelton of the criminology and criminal justice department at the University of Michigan as he completes his master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice with a concentration in public administration.  

Bueno was formerly the deputy district manager for District 6, and also previously served as the financial aid director for the Detroit School for Digital Technology, as well as a legislative aide for former Michigan Rep. Harvey Santana. Bueno earned his bachelor’s in accounting from Wayne State University.