Archive | October, 2010

Watch Out For Wet Cement!

20 Oct

A few weeks ago at TEDxDetroit, I noticed an interesting trend that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind.

People coming to Detroit. People staying in Michigan.

In Michigan, people often congratulate you when they hear you’re moving to Chicago, New York, Houston, etc. Just a week ago, a friend’s professor advised him: “Don’t stand in wet cement”, if you stay in this city too long, you will be stuck here against your will. At TED, it was refreshing listening to notable people affirm that staying here was okay– in fact, it was a good idea.

Jerry Paffendorf speaking at TEDxDetroit (Photo: B. Slayter)

Jerry Paffendorf, a vibrant 25-year-old creative director, talked of his decision to move here from San Francisco. He saw expansive entrepreneurial opportunities in Detroit and decided to rent a studio in the Russell Industrial Center. Here, he met his business partner Mary Lorene Carter and they started Loveland, an innovative success story. CEO Dan Gilbert shared the experience of relocating Quicken Loans. The new downtown location is energizing Quicken’s employees and affiliated companies are inquiring about how Dan likes his new Detroit office.

I have found myself sticking with Detroit as well. After graduating from college in May, I had thoughts of going to grad school in Washington, D.C. or Chicago. However, through a serendipitous turn of events I ended up working here, at Alpha, minutes from where I grew up. While some may think I’m crazy for staying in Michigan, I love it. I get to do all sorts of cool things, like posting to this blog and sharing the cool things Alpha’s doing. After work, I can even hop downtown to grab dinner and see a concert.

Perhaps it is a little childish, but I’ve always liked to grab a stick and write my name in wet cement.  I think I’ll stick around this great city and see how I can make my mark.

Thanks again to Slayter Creative for the photo!


Senator Highlights Alpha During Campaign Stop

13 Oct

Yesterday, Senator Glenn Anderson visited Alpha for a campaign stop. The Senator spoke about Alpha’s community involvement and commitment to the region. He stressed the importance of businesses like ours and our role in the success of the local and Michigan economies. He reminisced about Alpha’s recent 50-year anniversary and wished us well for the next 150.


Senator Anderson speaking in front of Alpha



Some of Alpha’s dedicated employees, Glenn was surprised that many have been here for more than 30 years


Photos: Rob Kennedy

TEDxDetroit: Positive Ideas for the World from Detroit.

4 Oct

Last week I had the opportunity with some colleagues to represent Alpha at TEDxDetroit, a local offshoot of the national and established TED organization. TED started as an annual forum for ideas about Technology, Entertainment, and Design. It has now grown to TEDx, taking place all over the world. So,  we headed to the Detroit Institute of Arts to get inspired. We heard talks from entrepreneurs, scientists, professors, artists, designers, CEOs, musicians and all sorts of thinkers. All had one common theme, to spread positive ideas and innovations.  Here’s a teaser pic, but there will be much more to share soon.

TEDxDetroit 2010 attendees form an X in the Diego Rivera Court of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Photo: Ben Slayter

Thanks to Slayter Creative for the photo!

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