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Homecoming V to Attract 220 Expats to Their Hometown


Homecoming V to Attract 220 Expats to Their Hometown

September 12-14 event will celebrate all things Detroit Made

PR Newswire

DETROIT, Aug. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford and Mayor Mike Duggan will kick off Detroit Homecoming V on Wednesday, Sept. 12, with an on-stage conversation about Ford's plans for its Corktown investment and opportunities for Detroit to play a role in growing the mobility industry.

The special dinner, on the covered ice of Little Caesars Arena, will follow a reception at Wayne State University's newly minted Mike Ilitch School of Business across the street from the arena.

"Last year, Homecoming IV was the first event in Michigan Central Station in 30 years," said Detroit Homecoming Founder Jim Hayes. "Fast forward one year and the building is now owned by Ford Motor Company as part of its plans to help shape the future of transportation by creating a mobility innovation hub in Corktown.  We look forward to having Bill share his vision for this exciting initiative."

The theme for this year's Detroit Homecoming is "Detroit Made." Highlights include a day focused on home-grown entrepreneurs and startups and a Sept. 13 evening program during which Detroit "expat" guests will fan out for dinners in private homes throughout the city.

The event brings some of the region's most successful "expats" – from CEOs to entertainers – back to Detroit so they can reconnect and reinvest in their hometown. Expatriates also share ideas and perspectives on how to continue Detroit's rebirth. 

"This is the fifth anniversary of Detroit Homecoming," said Director Mary Kramer.  "What was originally envisioned as a three-year initiative to help a battered Detroit emerge from bankruptcy by re-engaging Detroit-area expats in its revitalization, Homecoming has become a movement that has produced well over $300 million in new investment and nonprofit contributions in the city. Our goal continues to be to have the expats fall in love with their hometown all over again and find ways to re-engage and reinvest."

"Through our theme, "Detroit Made," Detroit Homecoming will highlight the city's makers and entrepreneurial spirit, from downtown into Detroit's neighborhoods," added Kramer.  "We have a special focus, too, on the need for Detroit's revitalization to be equitable – for children attending schools in the city as well as the support for the city's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The "faculty" for this year's event features 75 local and expat speakers including expat Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP; expat Larry Bacow, the newly minted president of Harvard University; Darren Walker, president of the New York-based Ford Foundation; expat fashion designer Tracey ReeseDetroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Nikolai Vitti;  expat Ryan Kadro, executive producer, CBS This Morning and expats journalists and veterans of ESPN, Jemele Hill and Kelley Carter

"Homecoming continues to attract some of Detroit's most accomplished alumni who haven't forgotten their roots, and we've seen incredible results," said Mayor Mike Duggan. "The impact of this event on our city is clear, from the launch of Wendy Hilliard's youth gymnastics program in Northwest Detroit, to Ford's revitalization of Michigan Central Station and many other investments over the last four years. I look forward to seeing what exciting projects this year's event will bring to our city."

Two additions have been made to the 2018 program:  a Motor City MashUp which introduces 32 Detroit small businesses to the expats at the brand new Lexus Velodrome and a Thursday night "House Party" that opens up 15 homes across the city to the group to give more opportunities to meet Detroiters and experience more neighborhoods.

A post-dinner afterglow will feature a performance by former Detroiter and three-time Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette

More than 500 people with ties to metro Detroit – growing up in the region, attending school here or working in the area – have attended the invitation-only event since 2014. In order to earn a repeat invitation, an "expat" has to document an action he or she has taken to benefit Detroit. About 40 percent of the anticipated 200 attendees this year are "alumni."

"We thank the engagement of universities and area secondary schools in helping to identify the universe of successful expats," Kramer said. Those partners include: University of Detroit Mercy, University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University. 

Detroit Homecoming and its nonprofit fiduciary partner, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, are grateful for the sponsors and partners who have committed to support the event: Major sponsors include The Cotton Family, The William Davidson Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation, Ford Foundation, General Motors Foundation, Kaufman Financial, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Kresge Foundation; Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation; The Platform; Quicken Loans Community Fund; Skillman Foundation; Urban Science and the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation.

Additional support comes from Barton Malow; Henry Ford Health System/REDICO; Ilitch Holdings; Invest Detroit; JP Morgan Chase, Lear Corp., and Metro Detroit Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"We could not create the success that we've had without the remarkable investment of time and talent from vendors who also support us," Kramer said. Those include:  Atlas Industries, Display Group, Octane Design, One Magnify, Premier A/V, Robar PR, JR Turnbull Communications and media partner WXYZ-TV.

For more information on Detroit Homecoming, visit The event is invitation-only.  It is open to working media.

MEDIA CONTACT:   Colleen Robar, 313-207-5960,

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