We've selected the most creative spaces in Detroit to ignite new ideas and inspire action. The main event takes place at the College for Creative Studies, A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education: a top design school and a center for creativity. You'll experience sweeping views of the skyline atop the historic Madison building and dine in intimate spaces around the city.
A prolific inventor, Martin Rawls-Meehan is credited with more than 30 patents related to electro-mechanical bed technology and mattresses. In 2003, he founded Reverie, a sleep technology company and has grown it into a leading manufacturer of adjustable bases. He hold a bachelor’s degree from Princeton, a master’s degree from London School of Economics, and a law degree/law and business certificate from Harvard University and New York University.
Dan Gilbert is Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans Inc., the nation’s second largest mortgage lender. He is also Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures LLC, the umbrella entity for his portfolio of business and real estate investments, and majority owner of the 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Rock Ventures and its more than 100 affiliated companies across the country employ more than 30,000 team members.
Between 2013 and 2016, Detroit-based Quicken Loans closed more than $300 billion in home loan volume across all 50 states, and in 2016, for the seventh consecutive year, earned J.D. Power’s highest rating for client satisfaction among all U.S. mortgage lenders. Quicken Loans is No. 1 on Computerworld magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work in IT” and has been named one of FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 14 consecutive years.
Dan is also a shareholder in several sports-related consumer and technology businesses, including a leading wall graphics company (Fathead), electronic ticketing company (Flash Seats) and innovative sports equipment helmet maker (Xenith).
Dan began moving his Family of Companies to Detroit’s central business district in 2010 in an effort to help lead the transformation of a great American city. In January 2010, Dan co-founded Bedrock Detroit, a full-service real estate firm specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing commercial space based in downtown Detroit. Since then, he has invested more than $2.2 billion to purchase and renovate more than 95 commercial properties accounting for more than 15 million square feet in the city’s urban core. Thousands of jobs have been created, and today nearly 17,000 Rock Ventures team members work in downtown Detroit.
Dan also founded JACK Entertainment, a developer and owner of unique urban casinos in downtown Cleveland, Cincinnati and Baltimore. In 2013, the company also acquired Detroit’s Greektown Casino-Hotel, which will be renamed as JACK Detroit Casino-Hotel Greektown later this year.
In March 2013, Rock Ventures, in collaboration with the Downtown Detroit Partnership and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, unveiled and implemented a visionary placemaking and retail plan centered on creating activity and vibrant, distinct destinations to draw people to the region using a multifaceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces.
Dan is a Founder and Principal of Detroit Venture Partners (DVP), a venture capital firm that funds startup and early-stage technology companies in Detroit. He is also a Founding Partner of Detroit-based private equity group Rockbridge Growth Equity LLC, which invests in growing businesses in the financial services, Internet technology, consumer-direct marketing and the sports and entertainment industries across the United States.
In September 2013, Dan was named co-chair of the Blight Removal Task Force. The group, appointed by the Obama Administration, published a detailed plan in May 2014 to remove all blighted structures and lots in the city of Detroit. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the M-1 RAIL initiative, which began construction in July 2014. The 6.6-mile modern streetcar system, known as QLINE, is designed to spur economic development and improve downtown and midtown Detroit’s transportation infrastructure.
Dan serves on the boards of the Cleveland Clinic, the Washington D.C.-based Children’s National Medical Center and the Children’s Tumor Foundation, which is focused on finding a cure for the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and his law degree from Wayne State University.
Jennifer Gilbert is the Founder and CEO of Detroit-based Amber Engine. Prior to Amber Engine, Jennifer was CEO and Founder of Doodle Home, a B2B software platform for the interior design industry, which was acquired in 2015 by Dering Hall. Jennifer has worked as an interior designer for 20 years in both residential and commercial design. Her passion for design, art and Detroit culminated in the co-founding of commercial interior design firm dPOP! in 2013. Some of her design contributions to the Detroit market include the historic Madison, the First National and the iconic One Woodward buildings. Jennifer serves as a board member for the Detroit Institute of Art, Cranbrook Academy of Art, and Dering Hall. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design at Michigan State University.
Jeremy Gutsche, MBA, CFA, is a New York Times bestselling author, an award-winning innovation management consultant, "one of the most sought-after keynote speakers on the planet" (The Sun Newspaper) and the CEO of Trend Hunter. Prior to Trend Hunter, Jeremy grew a $1 billion portfolio for a bank, and today, over 500 brands, billionaires and CEOs rely on his innovation keynotes and consulting firm to accelerate innovation and make change happen.
Nate Costa and his fitness team were enlisted by Under Armour to design and manage the performance apparel company's first onsite company gym. With Costa's background in personal training and facility management, he was the obvious choice to initiate the endeavor. The project resulted in the creation of Under Armour's on-campus fitness facility, the Under Amour Performance Center (UAPC) powered by FX Fitness, a state-of-the-art 35,000 square foot fitness mecca. Costa also serves as the personal trainer to Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank.
Ryan Shaltry is the Senior Technical Architect at Shinola Detroit, joining the team in May of 2013, where he oversees eCommerce technical initiatives, including development, cloud-based systems infrastructures, security, and end-user performance. Ryan has 20 years of IT and web experience, with 12 years focused on eCommerce-related endeavors. His specialty is integrating Open Source solutions, with the goal of constantly improving the customer experience and overall conversion rate, while maintaining a consistent online brand image for Shinola Detroit. Ryan's past professional experience includes work with American Express, adidas/Reebok, Jive/RCA Records, Iridium Satellite, Klein Tools, and the University of Michigan, Dearborn.
Scott graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design from the historic College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI in 1992. During his career in the Detroit area, he has worked on various brands including: Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Scotts Miracle Gro, Warrior Sports, Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, The Coleman Company, Warner Brothers Pictures, Comedy Central Brands, and Chevrolet, among others. Two years ago Scott left his role as Executive Creative Director at Team Detroit (now GTB) leading Ford Motor Company’s digital and content efforts in the US for Google.
In his current role as a Group Creative Director in the Google ZOO creative team, he leads a multi-disciplined group of creative thinkers helping to catalyze unexpected thinking for brands and their agencies in the digital space.
Kalin joined Microsoft in 2011 after receiving her MBA from the University of Texas, McCombs School of Business. After working on Windows Phone for two years, Kalin joined the Microsoft Surface team where she has led the marketing and business strategy for the U.S. Commercial Surface Business. Microsoft is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Sam Sesti is the Founder and President of ONU. He has been working in the software industry for more than 20 years, most recently as Senior Vice President of Technology at Cinedigm, where he was integral in operations and strategy. Before Cinedigm, Sam was a principal with Hollywood Software, launching the first successful SaaS offering in the entertainment space. Sam holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Beck Besecker is the co-founder & CEO of Marxent (marxent.com), the leader in mixed commerce, virtual reality and augmented reality solutions for home furnishings retailers, home builders and building product manufacturers. Prior to founding Marxent, Beck spent 13 years building interactive marketing solutions for Fortune 500 retailers and brands, including Target Stores and Tesco. In 1999, he founded Copient Technologies which enabled large retailers to easily manage personalized promotions in-store and online. Copient (now NCR AMS) was acquired by NCR in 2003. Beck then served as EVP of New Business at Catalina Marketing, the nation’s largest in-store promotional network.
Leura Fine is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Laurel & Wolf, the online interior design service that allows clients to connect and collaborate with a professional interior designer to create their perfect space. She is responsible for the company’s strategic direction, brand, product vision, and operations.
Leura is a professional interior designer turned entrepreneur. After working as the senior designer for a leading interior design firm, she launched her own business, Leura Fine Interiors, in 2013. Frustrated by the archaic business model of the interior design industry, Leura set out to democratize it by establishing a better way for clients and designers to work together. Driven by this desire, Laurel & Wolf was born in 2014 and is quickly changing the way interior design is made accessible and affordable to all.
A firm believer in the power of great design and how it can transform the way people’s daily life experiences, Leura is a frequent speaker at industry events. She has been featured in numerous publications and was named on Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Retail & eCommerce in 2016.
Piotr is the CEO of Immersion: a virtual-reality company whose goal is to integrate the power of VR into businesses worldwide. His list of clients includes BAYER, HBO, T-Mobile, Orange, Phillip Morris, Danfoss, Ghelamco, Byouguess Immobillier, CBRE and many others.
Musa Tariq is Vice President and Chief Brand Officer of Ford Motor Company. In this role, Tariq is responsible for further building and differentiating the Ford Motor Company’s brand, one of the most valued in the world. He works with marketing, communications and company leaders across the world to define, build and communicate the company’s brand. Prior to joining Ford Motor Company, Tariq was Apple’s Global Marketing and Communication Director for Retail, where he focused initially on the company’s strategy for in-store digital experiences, launching several initiatives that enhanced the retail experience in more than 490 stores around the world. Tariq was also the first Senior Director of Social Media and Community at Nike and helped to create the first social-led Nike Football World Cup campaign. Before Nike, Tariq served as Global Head of Digital Marketing and as the first-ever Director of Social Media at Burberry, helping turn the iconic 150-year-old brand into a digital pioneer. Tariq holds Bachelor’s degree from the London School of Economics in Political Science.
Vikram’s journey with Pinterest started seven years ago when he worked on the first version of Pinterest (Tote). Since then, he has gone on to be a founding member of the Pinterest partnerships team, helped launch Pinterest’s New York office and has managed strategic partnerships between Pinterest and brands spanning sectors including CPG, retail, travel and FS. Prior to Pinterest, he was a Director of Strategy and Innovation at American Express and has also worked in strategy and business development roles at the Walt Disney Company, L2, HBO, The Corporate Executive Board and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. He holds an MBA from NYU Stern and undergraduate degrees in Philosophy, Mathematics and Economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Kira Wampler joined Art.com Inc. as Chief Executive Officer in November 2016. Kira brings more than 20 years of marketing and product leadership, building delightful and high-impact consumer experiences and accelerating business growth across a wide variety of industries. Most recently as CMO at Lyft, Kira drove a 7X increase in rides and a 6X increase in passengers while building Lyft as a household name in a highly competitive and complex environment. Prior to Lyft, Kira was the CMO and head of the consumer business at Trulia where she launched the company’s first-ever national marketing campaign and led all consumer product and marketing efforts. Prior to Trulia, she served as VP of Product and Marketing at Lytro, where she led marketing, product, sales and international growth, while building a new category from the ground up. She also spent six years at Intuit in a variety of brand, performance marketing and leadership positions. Kira received her MBA from the Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and her Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.
Jason is the Co-Founder and CEO of August Home, maker of the August Smart Lock. He is also a managing partner of the startup incubator Founders Den and founder of the Internet of Things Consortium. With 24 years of marketing technology products, Jason previously co-founded mobile security software company AirCover and ebook software startup BookShout!. Prior to that he was a vice president of Dolby Laboratories.
Dilip Goswami is the Co-Founder and CEO of Molekule. He previously served as Vice President of Technology at Advanced Technologies & Testing Laboratories where he led research and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, where he worked with the Technology Venture Formation program. Dilip has also worked on National Science Foundation and Department of Defense funded research into optoelectronics and photocatalytic technologies at Bell Labs, the University of Florida and the University of South Florida.
Dré Clemons is Consumer Goods, Fashion and Retail Industry Solutions Technical Senior Manager at Dassault Systèmes, the 3DExperience Company. He is focused on design experience thinking as a critical component in business transformation and innovation. Dré is a Detroit native, DPS, Cass Tech and University of Michigan graduate. He holds multiple design patents and is recognized globally as an early pioneer of virtual design in styling, Class-A surfacing, visualization, reverse engineering and rapid prototyping. His innovative design methods and processes have become standards in automotive, aero and defense, consumer goods, entertainment and fashion industries.
To Be Determined
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