Creative Business Professionals Gather to Continue Progress in Rebirth

Detroit is finally getting its chance to share with the rest of the country, what the people of the city have known for years: Detroit IS the next big thing. And this year, they’ll prove it as a part of IDEA: Detroit Conference.

Hosted by Crain’s Detroit Business, the conference brings together business leaders from around the country to share success stories and lessons learned about creative business strategies.  As the name suggests, the conference will be strongly focused on Detroit and Michigan natives who have built successful businesses in other corners of the world and are passionate about bringing creativity and business back to their hometown.

IDEA: Detroit, now in its second year, is an opportunity to continue the cultivation of budding ideas and blooming business in the city of Detroit. This year’s conference will take place at The Fox Theatre in iconic Downtown Detroit on Wednesday, March 7, and will run from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., followed by a networking and cocktail reception from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

To register for this event, visit or call 313-446-0300.

This year’s keynote speakers will include:

Erik QualmanauthorSocialnomics
Called a Digital Dale Carnegie, Erik Qualman is the author of Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business. Socialnomics made Amazon’s #1 Best Selling List for the U.S., Japan, UK, Canada, Portugal, Italy, China, Korea and Germany. He is the founder and owner of which PCMagazine ranked as a Top 10 Social Media Blog.

Rob Weisbergchief marketing officer, Zipcar
From pizzas when you want them to wheels when you want them, Rob has mastered the art of serving up buzz-worthy brand communication. Prior to joining Zipcar, Rob was VP, Multimedia Marketing at Domino’s Pizza and helped Domino’s reach #1 in online market share. At Zipcar, he’s the fearless leader of the marketing team, inventing new ways to connect with current and future Zipsters.

Mike Jbarapresident & CEO, Warner Elektra Atlantic Corp.
Based in New York, Jbara is responsible for setting the company’s overall strategic direction and oversees WEA’s day-to-day operations, including retail sales, direct-to-consumer sales and operations, merchandise sales, retail marketing, production and distribution. Jbara holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman, Quicken Loans Inc.
Dan Gilbert,  is also majority owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, the NBA Development League’s Canton (Ohio) Charge, the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Lake Erie Monsters, and the Arena Football League’s (AFL) Cleveland Gladiators, as well as the operator of the Quicken Loans Arena (“The Q”) in Cleveland, Ohio.  Quicken Loans moved its headquarters and 3,700 of its team members to downtown Detroit, where Dan and the company are helping lead a revitalization of the city’s urban core.  The company plans to move another 1,000 team members from the suburbs to the city by mid 2012.

Additionally, the conference will feature sessions with several other cutting-edge Detroit professionals:

  • Allison Ardenvice president/publisherAdvertising Age and author of The Book of Doing
  • Joe Farisfashion designer, co-founder, Fashion in Detroit
  • Angel Gambinofounder, Rosa Parks LLC
  • Scott Griffinfounder, Rosa Parks LLC
  • Howard Hertzshareholder, Hertz Schram, PC
  • Rishi Jaitlyprogram director, Detroit Knight Foundation, co-founder, Kiva Detroit
  • Eric Mossfellow, Detroit 4 Detroit
  • Brian Pastoriapartner, Harmonie Park Media Group, UDetroit Network
  • Barry Randolphpastor, Church of the Messiah
  • Luke Songchief designer, Mr. Song Millinery
  • Marlowe Stoudamireproject director strategic business development. Henry Ford Health System
  • Health Jordan Wolfepartner, Evidence-Based Literacy Instruction (EBLI)
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