Meet the People Who Are Reflecting A New Detroit

Welcome to the GMRENCEN the new face of the GM Renaissance Center. If you haven’t noticed, big things are happening in Detroit and we want to celebrate the companies and  individuals who’ve made them possible.

These are the people who are Reflecting a New Detroit. From chocolatiers to CEO’s – they are going out of their way to make this city shine.

 

ALEX CLARK

Chocolatier, Bon Bon Bon

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After several years of studying abroad, she opened Bon Bon Bon, a confectionery store devoted to familiar, exotic, and even unexpected flavors of chocolate.  If you’re craving Peaches & Cream, Bacon & Eggs, or Pork & Beans, she has just the chocolate for you! After searching the world for the perfect chocolate, Alex returned to her hometown to open shop. Selling as many as 32 flavors at any time, it’s all about creating good chocolate for the good people of Detroit. Sweet!

 

DR. ANDREW KOTSIS

Doctor, Riverfront Family Medicine

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Dr. Andrew Kotsis of Riverfront Family Medicine practices with Beaumont Health in the GMRENCEN. Choosing to become a primary care physician after seeing family members battle with chronic diseases, he’s on a mission to bring a new type of medical practice to Detroit. With a focus on exercise, diet and good habits, his goal is to make our city a healthier place – starting right here in the building. The doctor will see you now!

 

CHRIS LAMBERT

CEO, Life Remodeled

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Chris is the found of Life Remodeled, the non-profit volunteer organization that’s dedicated to revitalizing schools and their surrounding communities in Detroit.

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE TEAM

GMRENCEN

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Our customer service team and tour guides know more about GMRENCEN than anybody. Find out for yourself by taking one of our free tours. They’ll be happy to share their knowledge with you. And with 5.5 million square feet, 14 acres and nearly 40 years of history to cover, that’s a lot of knowledge.

 

DIERDRE HOLT

Valet, GMRENCEN

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Dierdre knows her way around the block. And the GMRENCEN, for that matter. Starting as a receptionist in the building in 1996, she took a valet position in 2010. Dierdre’s seen the revitalization first-hand, and she credits the RiverWalk’s fantastic views for helping bring more people downtown. The best part of her job, she says, is meeting new people and helping them with directions. Whether you’re visiting the GMRENCEN, dining at our restaurants, or attending events and concerts, Dierdre knows the way!

 

GEORGE BAKER

Global Emergency Services Outreach Manager, OnStar

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George has the 411 on Detroit (and the 911, too). If there’s one thing George knows, it’s that Detroit is transforming into a safe, vibrant city. As Global Emergency Services Outreach Manager for OnStar, George and his team work with Detroit police, firefighters and EMS to help make our city safer. And as a U.S. Army retiree, service to others comes naturally to George. In fact, he sees it as his mission.

 

JOE VICARI

Owner, Andiamo Restaurant Group

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After 11 successful years in the GMRENCEN, Andiamo Restaurant Group Owner Joe Vicari knew he was onto something big when he decided to re-open Detroit’s much-beloved Joe Muer Seafood. A cherished institution of Detroit since 1929, it was a place where people were greeted by name, courteous service was a hallmark, and great food was always the reason to come. With the character of Joe Muer himself, and the foresight of Joe Vicari, the restaurant is back and better than ever.

 

JOHN HARTIG

Refugee Manager, Detroit River International Wildlife Refugee

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As Refuge Manager of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, his passion is helping Detroiters discover the amazing wildlife in our own backyard. The cleanup and recovery of the Detroit River returned bald eagles, osprey, lake sturgeon, and even beaver to the downtown area. Once known as the “rust belt” city, we’ve become a national leader in urban sustainability, reconnecting people to nature and making them proud to live in Detroit. Go wild!

 

KAREN BUSCEMI

President, Detroit Garment Group

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Karen’s taking the fashion scene by storm. President of the Detroit Garment Group (DGG), Karen is combining her passion for the local fashion industry and the city of Detroit to make a positive contribution. She’s creating the first-ever Detroit garment district, developing industrial sewing certificate programs, and launching the DGG Fashion Incubator in Midtown in November. Our garment scene is electric and making it big on the runway. We’ve got that “je ne sais quoi.”

 

MARK WALLACE

President & CEO, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

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Deep roots, and incredible potential to grow. He’s dedicated to the amazing work the Detroit Riverfront Conversancy is doing to transform the city’s riverfront. So far, the Conservancy has rebuild 3.5 miles of the Detroit RiverWalk with everything from bike paths to carousels, and helped create $1 billion in development.

 

PASHION MURRAY

CEO, Detroit Dirt

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As CEO of Detroit Dirt, a compost company that turns forgotten parcels of land in Detroit into urban farms, Pashon has rolled up her sleeves and is digging deep to grow our city. Literally. To help cultivate the GMRENCEN’s maximum sustainability movement, Pashon collects over 50,000 pounds of food scraps every year, composts it, and returns the nutrient-rich soil to our gardens. Can you dig it?

 

PETER KELLETT

Chairman & CEO, Dykema Gossett

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Sitting in his office on the 38th floor of the GMRENCEN, he sees that Detroit’s future looks bright. Chairman and CEO of Dykema Gossett, a leading national law firm serving clients worldwide, Peter is regularly listed in the Best Lawyers in America and as a Michigan Super Lawyer. He’s also a committed member of the Detroit Economic Club, and is working hard to pave the way for businesses in downtown Detroit. And it’s helping. Business is booming!

 

SAM BUCHANAN

Caption, J.W. Westcott II

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As a captain on the J.W. Westcott II mailboat since 1985, Sam sets a course for the middle of the Detroit River as many as 15 times a day. Once there, he pulls alongside freighters from all over the world, delivering mail, packages, and the occasional pizza. There’s something special about dropping off a personal delivery from home. When Sam heads for shore, he sees a transformed RiverWalk in a city that’s making waves. Ship ahoy, Detroiters!

 

TIFANI SADEK

Attorney, Sadek Bonahoom

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She started her own law practice to help up-and-coming Detroit-based entrepreneurs get a head start in the business world. Her approach keeps her fees low, and community involvement high. And that’s meant a world of change for her clients.

 

VIVIAN PICKARD

President, GM Foundation

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Instilled with the value of community and helping others, she never dreamed of having a job that allowed her to give back. As president of the GM Foundation, Vivian is helping communities across the country, investing in the next generation of leaders and innovators, and supporting nonprofit organizations. Over the past decade, the Foundation has given more than $270 million in grants in the areas of education, health and human services, environment, safety, and community development. Vivian is a true reflection of the giving spirit of Detroit. And we’re lucky to have her!

 

 

Show us how you’re helping to Reflect a New Detroit by submitting your GMRENCEN selfie and story here, or use #ReflectingDetroit on social.

 

 

 

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