There are a lot of reasons why people leave the communities they love. And, now it’s time to get them back, according to the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce and its partners, who are hoping to lure Flint’s many expatriates home with a big, bold Flint Homecoming event.
The invitation-only event, scheduled on August 16 – 17, will represent a reunion of sorts, providing participants an opportunity to reconnect, rediscover and invest in the future of Flint.
The forward-looking effort will focus attention on the city’s progress, its challenges and what’s needed to continue to change the narrative about Flint, according to organizers who hope that participants will be inspired to share new ideas about Flint’s recovery and revitalization efforts.
The bigger, the better, according to event organizers.
“We hope that Flint’s Homecoming event will spark interest and renewed energy around Flint’s revitalization efforts,” says Phil Hagerman, CEO and Chairman of Diplomat. “We are thrilled to open our doors to returning expatriates, as well as those who have been here all along, to celebrate the next chapter of Flint and the surrounding region.”
The guest list is impressive. Among those already committed to attend are Dan White, Pulitzer Prize-winning Photographer; Jon Scieszka, Award-Winning Author of The Stinky Cheese Man and the Time Warp Trio series; Dale Gillmore, Partner, Viking Mergers & Acquisitions; Herb Stephens, President, Democracy Earth; George E. Ross, Ph.D., President, Central Michigan University; Herb Washington, former Major League Baseball Player and Owner/Operator, McDonald’s restaurants; Dr. William F. Pickard, PhD, Chairman of Global Automotive Alliance, Co-Managing Partner, MGM Grand Detroit Casino; and Chris Rizik, CEO, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund.
Distinguished keynote speakers, panel discussions, networking opportunities, site tours and more are planned.
“Flint is on the cusp of a renaissance with growing business investment and tourism, but there’s still more to do,” said Tim Herman, CEO, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce and Flint Homecoming Co-Chair. “In hosting Flint Homecoming, we seek to inspire our expats to get engaged in the city’s resurgence, and play a role in continuing to make Flint a great place to conduct business, live, work and play for years to come.”
“The water emergency is and will forever be a part of our city’s story, but it’s not the only story to tell,” said Herman. “We are asking Flint expats to join us in re-imagining and creating the brighter tomorrow that is already on its way in Flint.”
Flint Homecoming is made possible through the work and support of the following partners: Diplomat, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, United Way of Genesee County, General Motors, Ruth Mott Foundation, Deloitte, Kettering, University of Michigan-Flint and Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.
Themes of panel discussions and keynote speeches will include:
- Flint As I Knew It;
- Flint Water Crisis – Current State;
- Detroit Homecoming – A Vision of Success;
- Flint Works For Me. It Can Work For You.;
- Philanthropy’s Changing Role in Flint’s Revitalization;
- Educations’ Role in Moving Flint Forward;
- Economic Development Strategic Initiatives;
- Entrepreneurism in Flint; and
- Flint’s Top 10 Project Wish List.
Homecoming Host Committee members range from college/university presidents to business leaders such as Bob Waun, CEO, C3 Ventures Flint to Mark Davidoff, Michigan Managing Partner, Deloitte, LLC to entrepreneur Phil Shaltz, CEO, Shaltz Automation to community leaders such as Ridgway White, President, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and Handy Lindsey, CEO, Ruth Mott Foundation.
For more information about Flint Homecoming 2017 visit FlintHomecoming.com.
Photos by Alvin Brown