Christopher Ilitch: Teamwork, Collaboration Will Guide Detroit’s Bright FutureMarch 7, 2017
When it comes to the impact of teamwork and collaboration on a community’s revitalization, Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings Inc., doesn’t have to look further than his own family.
In a keynote address focused on his father, Mike Ilitch’s legacy on the city of Detroit, Ilitch pointed to numerous examples where collaboration was key to the success of signature projects like Comerica Park, The District Detroit, the Fox Theatre, and the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University.
“I would venture to say that nearly all of the great things happening in our region in recent years have come from working together,” Ilitch said at the 2017 Detroit Policy Conference. “My father’s team-oriented, collaborative approach over the course of his career was a big part of his success. In fact, it wasn’t just foundational to his success, but to who he was.”
Ilitch said he strives to carry on that mantra, offering The District Detroit as a prime example. The project has nine active construction sites and employs thousands of skilled trades workers, architects and consultants from Detroit and Michigan.
“Our goal is to employ as many Detroiters as possible,” Ilitch said.
Ilitch also pointed to the work of developers like Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert and others who are injecting new life into the city with projects and jobs.
“Big dreams done right take a team. We can do so much more when we work together,” Ilitch said.
That renewed spirit of innovation is also a driving force in how the world sees the Motor City.
“Detroit went from the glory years to the depths of the Great Recession and now we’re slowly climbing our way back to the top. Detroiters had to decide, ‘are we going to give up or are we going to dig in and innovate and create a new future for the city?” Ilitch said.
Proceeding his remarks, Ilitch participated on a panel discussion with Douglass Diggs, president and CEO of The Diggs Group LLC; Elmer Dixon, president and CEO of Dixon Inc.; and Thomas McGrail, executive vice president of Motor City Electric Co. Panelists discussed the impact of jobs tied to The District Detroit. The session was sponsored by MotorCity Casino Hotel and moderated by Rhonda Walker, morning news anchor for WDIV TV 4.
More from the 2017 Detroit Policy Conference here: