Gilbert’s comeback for Detroit


Dan Gilbert, NBA Cleveland Cavaliers owner, was interviewed the other day on CBS Morning News. He had a few words to say like, “When someone has a stroke, the whole family has the stroke.”

The whole interview can be seen at: https://www.cbs.com/shows/cbs_this_morning/video/TQeWfFnDX0v_3JIc0NkD_xoFkiFJdGGH/dan-gilbert-shares-recovery-journey-announces-500-million-investment-in-detroit/

“One thing about America, everyone loves a comeback story.”  Being a mogul leading the lending industry with his Quicken Loans and Rocket companies, Gilbert was hard pressed to let his family at home and his team at work take over during his two year and counting recovery. “Everything is hard when you have a stroke. Luckily I’m a ‘righty’ because my whole left side was gone,” he chuckles.

His wife Jennifer Gilbert has been beside him every step of the way.  When Dan and Rocket Mortgage CEO banded together to offer $500 million over ten years toward Detroit’s comeback story, his wife took to listening to the people of Detroit. They wanted to hear what mattered to the people in the neighborhoods. 

Jennifer said, “The more you listen, the more you learn and the more you know you have to listen.” The first dump of $15 million will go toward the tax arrears of 20,000 homes or 40,000 people. Over the years, the taxes accumulated for some families so much that they couldn’t pay the mortgage or the taxes and had to walk away. The result is tattered and crumbling neighborhoods.

Dan, his wife, and team want to give back to the community. He wants to see the energy in Detroit grow again and reflect the lifeforce of the talent there. “What’s important is health and loved ones,” the duo says on reflection of the last two years.  “You can’t control what happens to you, but you can choose how you respond. We are making the best of the situation and remaining mindful.”

Giving has become an important part of his daily ritual as he relearns walking and coordination. Twice a week, he rolls into the office, and otherwise continues his mission of gratitude. On Twitter @cavsdan, Gilbert tweeted, “Family man. Retired pizza delivery guy. We all have the power to positively impact the world.”

On Thursday, he tweeted, “Detroit remains at the intersection of muscles and brains, due in large part to the resilient, hard-working people that call it home. We are proud to support Detroiters in connecting to and building opportunities across our city.”

Indeed, Dan and Jennifer are “empowering” Detroiters and others throughout the country to make a creative, kinder, and more generous society.

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