Detroit’s well-earned place as one of America’s most iconic cities is a credit to its past, present and future. It is a city that has never had it easy, but its steely demeanor has also always encased and protected a powerful heart.
Industry has always been at the core of Detroit’s story, and so it remains today. But the range of businesses calling Detroit home has grown far more diverse in recent years as the region redefines itself for a new era—without shedding its traditions and its proud legacy of craftsmanship.
Adweek is celebrating Detroit’s resilience and resurgence by introducing you to 25 Detroit Brand Stars who represent the talent and tireless passion that the business and nonprofit sectors bring to bear for the city each day.
“My heritage is in Detroit,” says Tonya Allen, president and CEO of The Skillman Foundation. And it shows.
The Skillman Foundation gives resources to nonprofits to help children’s issues. “These organizations are led by people who understand the children. They have a strong sensibility of what works to break the cycle of poverty,” says Allen.
She joined the company in 2004 because she felt “there wasn’t a better institution to help kids. It also allowed me to work with my mentor and predecessor, Carol Goss,” she said.
Allen and her colleagues focus their attention on “children’s reading proficiency at the third-grade level; having a rich after-school system in Detroit; and a robust college and career ecosystem.”
Before The Skillman Foundation, Allen worked as a program officer for the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Thompson-McCully Foundation.
An average work week finds Allen “spending a great deal of time with young people to see if the activities and programs we are funding are meaningful. Talking to the community about issues relevant to young people and inspiring people to act on behalf of young people. I talk to a broad spectrum of civil society about how kids are fairing and offer solutions.”
In her spare time, Allen and her husband own an entertainment company and host comedy showcases and jazz concerts.—Amy Corr
Mark Bohen is svp and chief marketing and communications officer at Beaumont Health, the largest healthcare system in Michigan.
He handles brand management, service line marketing, external and internal communications, digital marketing, consumer insight and research for the company that employs 40,000.
Bohen began his career in the CPG industry, working at Nabisco on Oreo, Ritz and Chips Ahoy. Prior to Beaumont Health, he worked at Assurant for 15 years as svp of marketing and customer relations and svp, marketing and innovation.
For the past three years at Beaumont Health, Bohen has made it his ambition to bring healthcare marketing to the forefront.
“Marketing healthcare is deemed behind the times. It needed to ratchet up. We built new capabilities. We’re very data-driven and less on intuition, opinion,” Bohen says.
He tries to be “out in the field” as much as he can, “meeting with hospital leadership and getting input on how they’re managing the brand. Healthcare is dynamic, always changing.”
Bohen exercises every morning before work, likes to travel with his wife to Napa Valley to try new wineries, and sits on the board of directors for Detroit Public TV and Automation Alley.—Amy Corr
Erika Boyd and Kirsten Ussery
The co-owners of Detroit Vegan Soul never expected their personal journeys into healthy eating would become the city’s most well-known plant-based eatery.
“A lot of people were like: ‘Are you sure you want to do this? You know, why not do vegetarian, or maybe you want to sell some fish on the side’” says Kirsten Ussery, one of the co-founders. “‘But that’s not our vision, that’s not what we’re about.”
Ussery, a North Carolina native whose roots are in public relations, and Boyd, a Detroit native and creative polymath, opened their first location in the ‘quiet, quaint, and quirky’ West Village neighborhood minutes from the Detroit River back in 2013. They expanded further west for their second location two years ago, giving the Grandmont and Rosedale Park sections their first full-service restaurant of any kind in over a decade.
She adds, “One of the things I’m most proud of with this restaurant is that all people can come in and feel welcome.” Bill Clinton and Stevie Wonder are among its most famous visitors, and it’s been a perennial pick on PETA’s list of vegan destinations.
Most important to Ussery and Boyd is the impact they’ve had on Detroit’s majority-black community: presence has helped rewrite the very definition of soul food.
“Vegan restaurants are part of a bigger movement,” says Ussery. “It’s about helping people understand the relationship between food and our bodies. As a community, we shouldn’t be dying of preventable diseases in the way we are. We’re changing the trajectory of people through food.”—Bennett D. Bennett
Detroit’s been going through a significant resurgence over the past half-decade, and that’s thanks in part to Shinola, a luxury watch and leather goods brand, which sells products such as bicycles, journals and home pieces, often made or assembled in the United States.
Alex Drinker, a GE veteran who heads up marketing for Shinola, says that as the brand—which was born in 2013—has grown, they’ve tried to be aware of its connection to Detroit, and try to represent best the people who live there.
“People in Detroit have a very prideful view of their city, and because of that, they’re very sensitive to how brands interact with them here,” he said. “We have ‘in Detroit’ on our brand name.
And so it’s important for us to tell the story in the right way.” Drinker’s work at Shinola is multi-faceted, extending from projects like expanding the Shinola Foundry, a loyalty program for frequent customers to onboarding Salesforce to the company to allow for more significant growth.
But still, storytelling is at the heart of what Drinker does there, and he credits the focus on zeroing in on Shinola’s commitment to American craftsmanship in a city known for its manufacturing as a reason for its resonance.
“My mind comes from a really authentic base of knowledge of how the product is made, sourced … understanding each component, where it comes from, who touches it, who designs it, and then ultimately how it’s made. In that way, you can tell a more authentic and honest story.”—Diana Pearl
More than 200 neighborhoods make up Detroit. Veteran journalist Aaron Foley’s job is to chronicle each and every one of them.
“In the mainstream,” Detroit’s chief storyteller—the first role of its kind—says, “we’re either known as the Motor City or Motown. But on the inside, we’re a prideful city. We’re a nuanced city.” Foley and his team of five have dedicated nearly two years to covering Detroit’s spirited residents, from the 24-year-old building a “Black Amazon” for its small business community to the school dean who has flipped how her school disciplines its students.
As a city-owned publication, it could be tempting for The Neighborhoods to gloss over the rougher edges of the midwestern town, but Foley and his team have aimed to keep themselves honest.
“We’ve never shied away from telling a ‘bad’ story.”
One example: a midnight boxing program that gets young men off the city’s more dangerous streets. Training takes place when only liquor stores are open, where knotted basketball shoes hang from telephone wires and homes lay abandoned.
“We can’t hide that. It’s as much Detroit as developments downtown or new restaurants.”
Foley sees each neighborhood’s lens as crucial to keeping its lawmakers accountable. “City government can be in the conversation—and push the conversation a little bit. For us to address these issues, every part of city government, and that includes our part, has to acknowledge that they exist.”
As The Neighborhoods nears its two-year mark, its chief storyteller emphasizes patience in building its future. “When you are trying to build a local brand, it takes time. We want everybody to see our work right away and on a wide scale. I remind myself more people look at this now than they were a week ago, two months ago, last year.”
“I’ll never be satisfied,” he says with a laugh, “but I’m glad that we’re growing.”—Bennett D. Bennett
For Andrea Brimmer, joining Ally Financial was a gig too good to pass up. “I came to Ally after 20 years on the agency side [working in Detroit on the Chevrolet account]. I lead the company through a rebranding process. Ally was very disruptive in the financial service industry. It was the ultimate assignment,” she says.
Brimmer was named chief marketing and public relations officer in 2015, overseeing the company’s marketing, advertising, public relations, market research, social media and brand management.
She joined Ally in 2006, shortly before the U.S. entered a financial crisis, which made her role an uphill climb. In 2016, Brimmer launched Ally’s first unified brand campaign, “Do It Right,” which stressed the brand’s focus on doing things right for customers.
Brimmer heads a team of 120, with half based in Detroit and half in Charlotte. “There’s extensive work travel,” she says, “whether it’s going to Charlotte to see the team or New York to meet with our new agencies Anomaly, R/GA and MediaCom.”
The brand recently launched a rating campaign to change the way people think about banking. “We [as modern consumers] research everything, like where to eat a taco, but not where to put our money.”
Brimmer spends her free time working on antique cars and learning from those she respects.
“The industry is changing, and it’s important to keep current,” she says. “I learn from brands and people that I admire.”—Amy Corr
Kate Bordine and Phil Cooley
For entrepreneurs, finding—and more importantly, affording—a space to set up shop can often prove to be a challenge. That’s why Kate Bordine and Phillip Cooley invented Ponyride, a coworking nonprofit in Detroit that offers artists, entrepreneurs and makers discounted rent in exchange for volunteer hours.
Since it was founded in 2011, Ponyride has helped dozens of individuals grow their businesses, which have ranged from a coffee shop to a hair product brand. As a nonprofit whose goal is to foster connections that will, in turn, make Detroit a better place to live and work, Ponyride asks its tenants to offer free classes or services to the public each month as a way to give back to the community that supports them.
“We started Ponyride because there is a need in Detroit for a space where people can share networks, knowledge and resources,” says Bordine.
Ponyride has also made a concerted effort to ensure its entrepreneurs are diverse. According to Cooley, 60% of its businesses are owned by women, while more than 60% are owned by people of color. Each entrepreneur has a unique background and perspective, which Cooley says helps create an environment that’s both innovative and collaborative.
“Because Detroit has fewer resources than most places, Detroiters do more with less,” he says. “They also collaborate and share in meaningful ways, because often each other is all we have.”—Minda Smiley
Ed Gleich, the chief innovation officer for Little Caesar’s, has headed up marketing at the Detroit-based pizza chain for eight years. But his career began in product development, with a gradual expansion toward marketing as the years went on, including stints at Arby’s and Applebee’s, among others.
“I really started seeing what the marketing side of the business was doing, and started putting things together,” says Gleich. “Not just coming up with ideas for the product, but coming up for ideas on how to market it. I was unofficially expanding my role, and it was really just a matter of time before I was titled that way.”
He may now be elbow-deep in marketing, but his new title of chief innovation officer helps to marry that with his initial work in product development.
A recent success he points to is the introduction of the Pizza Portal, a heated in-store locker that stores orders ready for pick up that had been placed online. Gleich says the secret sauce of innovations like these is finding the perfect balance between something that works for customers as well as behind-the-scenes.
“As a team, we figured out that if we can make it easy to order, put the customer in charge to do that, but also make picking up the pizza as easy as possible,” he says. “We looked at from an operational perspective and a consumer perspective and really arrived at something that’s operationally as well as consumer friendly.”—Diana Pearl
At GM, Rachel Kuhn is perhaps doing some of the most exciting and forward-thinking work within the 110-year-old company. As director of global innovation, a newly created role at GM, she’s responsible for defining and incubating internal startups that will drive future growth for the automaker.
Earlier in her career, she was part of the founding team at Maven, GM’s mobility startup. During her time there, she launched and operated Maven Gig, a car rental program that gives rideshare and delivery drivers access to a variety of vehicles that they can rent on a weekly basis.
From autonomous driving to electric cars, it’s no secret that the auto industry is in the midst of rapid change—which is precisely why Kuhn finds it so exciting. The way she sees it, there’s “more of an opportunity to make a mark” now than If she’d come into the industry at a time when it was relatively stable.
“Automotive is incredible right now. The entire industry is being reinvented essentially,” Maven says.
As for living and working in Detroit, she’s quickly come to appreciate the city’s entrepreneurial spirit.
“There’s a very strong sense of renewal and invention happening all the time,” she says of the city. “I absolutely love it.”—Minda Smiley
When Olayami Dabls first started collecting African beads in 1980s Detroit, he learned that the bright jewelry his ancestors traded and wore weren’t meant for decoration, but for communication.
The curator opened up the Dabls Mbad African Bead Museum in 2002, using those beads and their core elements—iron, rock, wood, and mirrors—to create outdoor installations that depict the 500-year relationship between Africans and Europeans, one still on rocky ground.
“I had to figure out how to tell that story and not offend or make the people who come here uncomfortable,” he says.
An African language wall, an iron house, and a field filled with bedazzled artifacts outside the museum serve as metaphors for race relations. This was done in a way that doesn’t detract from history or throw blame at anyone, but to educate and help both communities move forward through storytelling.
“All great things that stick with us have a story behind them,” Dabls says.
Those stories have spread past the confines of Detroit through word of mouth and Instagram posts, and Dabls said more patrons visit from overseas than from the U.S. Of the legacy left on Detroit and black culture, Dabls says the museum’s “most optimistic” goals have already been met, but there’s still room to grow.
“If I’m able to maintain this place and set it up to last at least two generations ahead of me, then I would feel like I’ve done my part.”—Bennett D. Bennett
Anika Goss-Foster serves as executive director of Detroit Future City, a think tank focused on land use and economic development in Detroit. “Joining DFC was one of the most important decisions in my career,” she says. “It became important to Detroiters to have a thought leader and community advocate during rebuilding.”
Goss-Foster joined the organization in 2016, following a 16-year stint at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, where she most recently worked as vp of the Midwest Region. She also worked with the City of Detroit as director of philanthropic affairs and executive director of the Next Detroit Neighborhood Initiative.
“I have worked all over the country and felt I could contribute as Detroit climbed out of bankruptcy,” Goss-Foster says.
At DFC, Goss-Foster recently led the development of numerous research studies, including the 2019 “Growing Detroit’s African-American Middle Class” data report.
“The Neighborhood Reinvestment Index comes out in the fall,” adds Goss-Foster. “It’s a consumer survey on doing business in Detroit from the perspective of local businesses, national businesses and residents.”
In her downtime, Goss-Foster is a runner training for half marathons and a wine aficionado.—Amy Corr
Marissa Hunter has already had a successful run at FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), and she’s only just getting started.
She first joined FCA 10 years ago as head of advertising for Ram and has since climbed the ranks to become head of marketing in North America for the automaker, a position she recently took on.
Hunter previously served as director of brand advertising, a title she still retains. She’s responsible for overseeing the creation and implementation of national marketing campaigns across the company’s portfolio, which includes Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep and Ram.
During her tenure at the company, she’s spearheaded several successful campaigns, including the popular 2013 “Farmer” Super Bowl spot for Ram. Earlier this year, she helped lead creative efforts for FCA’s “Big Game Blitz” campaign, which debuted throughout the week leading up to the Super Bowl.
“With seven pieces of creative that encompassed nearly nine minutes, placing all of the spots on broadcast during the game was not feasible,” she explains. “So we went in a different direction, and developed a first-ever ‘Big Game Blitz,’ allowing us to take all that content and leverage each piece across targeted digital and social platforms. We released the pieces over five days with a very specific cadence for Dodge, Jeep, and Ram.”
According to Hunter, the campaign was a success: just one piece alone, Jeep brand’s “More Than Just Words” featuring a rendition of The Star Spangled Banner performed by One Republic, achieved more than 106 million views.—Minda Smiley
How did a Chicago native with no real ties to Detroit become a champion of the Motor City? For six-year LinkedIn veteran LaRon Johnson, who relocated to the Detroit 18 months ago, the professional network’s “conscious decision to invest in Detroit because we wanted to manifest our mission” played a significant role.
LinkedIn was one of the first big tech companies to put down roots in downtown Detroit, cutting the ribbon on its new space on Woodward Avenue in April.
Johnson noted that nearly 10 new buildings are under construction on Woodward Avenue, and he said of Detroit in general: “There is a lot of positive momentum. The city has continued to transform, and it is becoming more of a destination city for businesses.”
LinkedIn started out with 15 Detroit employees in 2017, and the company has just under 60 now, with its new office providing the capacity to boost that total as high as 300.
But the company’s push into Detroit was motivated by more than engaging with the auto industry and with Midwest businesses across all sectors.
“Community is extremely important to our teams globally, and Detroit is no exception,” Johnson says. “We want to bring economic opportunity to everyone in the global workforce and make sure we partner with local organizations to try to make a difference.”
On that note, LinkedIn has already worked with nonprofits including the Midnight Golf Program and the Boys & Girls Club, in addition to providing career coaching sessions to some 600 local youths.
“Our employees, from a service standpoint,” Johnson says, “have truly blown us away.”—David Cohen
The Detroit Red Wings arguably already have the strongest brand in the sport: Hockeytown. But after a 25-season streak of playoff appearances ended in 2017, Hockeytown has lost a little bit of its luster. Add in leaving beloved Joe Louis Arena for Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit, and fans are pining for the good old days of the 1990s and 2000s.
Despite the empty seats that plague the team’s new home, the Red Wings have maintained their status locally because of Detroit’s other struggling professional franchises, according to Craig Custance, NHL editor-in-chief, The Athletic, “but nationally, they’ve taken a hit. They don’t have the status they used to have in the league.“
Enter legend Steve Yzerman, who led the team to three Stanley Cups from 1997 to 2002. After spending his entire playing career with the Red Wings, he took over as Tampa Bay Lightning general manager in 2011, leading them to the most-successful six-year stretch in team history. Last month, Detroit’s prodigal son came home.
“There’s complete faith in Yzerman in this market,” says Custance. “There’s no GM in Detroit who has that universal love because of his success as a player.”
Custance added that Yzerman is easily on a Mount Rushmore of Red Wings. Between Yzerman’s special place in fans’ hearts and his reputation as a GM, there’s no better person to lead the franchise.—Jameson Fleming
How does a brand stay consistent when the product can drastically change every year? That’s a problem most sports franchises face as one year a team could be fighting for a championship and the next could be in the cellar. For Charlie Metzger, evp, CMO and CRO of the Detroit Pistons, the answer is to build a brand that “unites people, using basketball as a vehicle for positive change.”
The Pistons have moved downtown from Auburn Hills, reenergizing the franchise and giving it a stronger connection with the Detroit community. The team is handing out 125,000 basketballs to local kids and renovating 60 courts as part of a Basketball for All initiative.
“We believe in consistency and having a brand that connects with fans and the city that can transcend the changes on the court,” Metzger says.
Metzger adds that his biggest accomplishment “is building a team innovative and collaborative that drives both profit and brand equity.” The Pistons’ marketing team measures success through several metrics, like ticket sales, social footprint and more, and Metzger says the entire dashboard is “moving in the right direction.”—Jameson Fleming
It doesn’t get much more Detroit than working at Ford. And Matt VanDyke, the company’s director of U.S. marketing, plays an integral role in crafting the marketing efforts at this icon of the city (and, for that matter, the country).
A 10-year-plus veteran of the company, VanDyke has helped transform the Lincoln brand, launch it in China, and work at Ford in Europe. Now, he’s back in the company’s home city to usher in new innovation at Ford, bringing in more work and expertise in-house. “It’s really so exciting to be able to increase our own marketing acumen and take a lot of control of things that we use to kind of solely just rely on others for,” he says.
Additionally, VanDyke, who joined Ford in 2008, says it’s been incredible to be a part of the automakers resurgence from the financial crisis.
“Ford came through the crisis and reinvented itself at that time and was the one automaker to avoid bankruptcy,” he says. “It’s really been a 10-year resurgence of the city and the brands, and Ford’s role within that is really inspiring.”—Diana Pearl
While the largest brands with the biggest budgets can often afford expensive TV commercials and broader social video campaigns, that’s not always easy for small- and medium-sized businesses. But that’s where Waymark comes in.
The company, founded several years ago, creates video templates for brands that can then be turned into content for commercials or social video. And instead of costing thousands of dollars and weeks of work, Waymark videos are done often in about 10 minutes and priced at less than $100
According to founder and CEO Nathan Labenz, people often describe the company as the “Squarespace for video.”
“The long arc of Waymark has been primarily about building a product for small and local businesses to use,” Labenz says. “That’s what our DNA is as a company. And we identified that video is a huge challenge for all kinds of businesses, but particularly for small businesses.”
Over the past few years, the company has partnered with some of the largest advertising platforms. In 2017, Waymark won Google’s Game Changer award for a feature that can make a customized video based on just a business’s phone number to generate video assets based on social media, reviews and website content. Last year, it became a creative partner for Facebook and Instagram to help businesses capitalize on the rapid growth of video.
“How do we bridge the gap,” he says, “from the desire to be on TV to ‘I actually have a commercial that can be put on TV,’?”—Marty Swant
If you’re someone outside of the realm of sneakerhead culture, you might not know about StockX, a company recently reported by Recode to have reached a $1 billion valuation.
For sneakerheads, StockX’s a reselling platform where they can pay either the lowest price on a rare sneaker or bid an even lower price on it, in the hopes it matches up to what the seller’s hoping to get for it.
And while most people tend to pair up the success of StockX with the rise of reselling and thrifting culture, co-founder and CEO, Josh Luber, says StockX is more than that—it’s about the business model.
“It’s about this idea of being a stock market for commerce where we basically created a new marketplace,” Luber said. “This didn’t exist. We started with sneakers and have added new categories and will continue adding new categories.”
Luber ended up in Detroit after a meeting in the Cleveland Cavaliers locker room on Easter Sunday in 2015, with his soon-to-be co-founder, Daniel Gilbert (the founder of Quicken Loans). At the time, Luber was living in Atlanta, working as a consultant for IBM, while running Campless, a price guide for figuring out the value of sneakers. After that meeting, where the two realized they both had the same idea of creating a stock market model for reselling sneakers, Luber soon moved up to Detroit.
StockX now employs more than 700 and works closely with the Detroit community, whether it’s putting on activations at Detroit Piston games to working with local artists like Detroit Wick. Luber says Detroit’s a massive part of StockX’s DNA, by working with so many local companies, both in and out of the startup space.
“The whole city itself was a startup incubator for us,” he says, “and we try to help on the other side of that where we can.”—Ann-Marie Alcántara
Khali Sweeney and Jessica Hauser
If you were asked to imagine the ideal educational resource for a child, you might picture one-on-one tutoring, empowering exercise, healthy meals, convenient transportation and mentorship with a successful career in mind—all for free, of course.
What you’d be picturing is exactly what you’ll find at Detroit’s Downtown Boxing Gym, an after-school resource founded by Khali Sweeney in 2007 as a safe haven for youths ages 8 to 18.
Today the program offers educational and athletic services to more than 170 students from across Detroit, all at no cost to their families. The current wait list has more than 850 names, showing that despite the gym’s decade-plus of growth, the need is always greater.
Jessica Hauser came to the gym in 2010 looking for some personal training—and instead found a cause worth championing. Soon after, she became the gym’s executive director, a role she holds to this day.
The gym boasts a 100% high school graduation rate (Detroit’s average is below 80%), and it has become one of the most celebrated youth-service nonprofits in the state.
Among his many honors for the program’s success, Sweeney has received the 2018 Governor’s Service Award for Mentor of the Year and the 2019 Arthur L. Johnson Community Leadership Award at Wayne State University.
Casey Hurbis was born and raised in Detroit, but always worked in the suburbs. As Chief Marketing Officer of Quicken Loans, Hurbis relishes finally working in Detroit. “Working in the city makes me feel like a 25-year-old kid again,” he says.
Hurbis leads both online and traditional marketing initiatives, with a team of 250 employees that make up the Quicken Loans Family of Companies’ in-house marketing agency.
“We do everything from Super Bowl ads to t-shirts for local events. We are the in-house agency for the Rocket family company of brands as well. Roughly 80-90% of a typical workday is spent working on Quicken Loans and Rocket Mortgage,” Hurbis says.
“It’s very interpersonal at company,” he says. “I spend lots of time on the floor, talking to team members, working through problems, and conducting 3-4 creative reviews a week. I also review the media planning and buying—what’s working and what’s not working.”
Hurbis and his team spearheaded efforts to bring the first PGA Tour event to Detroit this year: the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Prior to Quicken Loans, Hurbis spent 17 years working for Chrysler’s ad agency then moved to the client side, working for Fiat.
In addition to his day job, Hurbis serves on the Board of Directors for Adcraft Detroit, and the Detroit Sports Organizing Corporation.
At PwC, Mary Otis leads a team of account managers who oversee business development efforts for priority account relationships in the Midwest. Her team is responsible for driving revenue and promoting the PwC brand through account-based marketing, coupled with a focus on relationship development.
According to Otis, technology and data analytics have had a substantial impact on the work she does at PwC. Specifically, marketing technology helps her team deliver targeted, relevant messaging that focuses on content the customer wants to receive, depending on where they are in their buying journey.
“This customer-centric focus is critical for our business and helps define our strategy in an industry that’s traditionally had very long and complicated sales cycle,” she says.
She finds Detroit to be an “exciting and unique place to work,” particularly because she believes it is going through a major transformation right now.
“Investments in the region are attracting businesses and talent from outside the area, and traditional industries such as automotive and manufacturing are now being joined by entrepreneurial startups and technology companies,” she says. “This is bringing in new talent and skill sets while at the same time, helping to retain talent locally.”—Minda Smiley
Tom Wennerberg joined Chemical Bank as svp and CMO last November. In a few short months, Wennerberg assisted in Chemical Bank’s merger planning with TCF and helped secure naming rights to Detroit’s Cobo Center.
He also handles marketing, branding of the bank, customer experience, analytics and internal and external communications.
“I work on every aspect, every corner of the bank for there’s always an opportunity to build the brand,” says Wennerberg.
A Michigan native, Wennerberg is now on his third return to Detroit. He joined Chemical Bank from KeyBank in Cleveland, where, as executive vice president of data, client insights and marketing, he led branding, marketing and analytics. Before that, he worked at PNC Financial Services Group, Ford Motor Company and Advanta Corp.
Wennerberg noteds that the Chemical Bank/TCF merger approval will take place on Oct.1. This will include a name change to TCF and extensive rebranding to follow in 2020. The newly merged company will move to a downtown location in 2021 or 2022.
When he’s not at work, Wennerberg can be found traveling to watch his daughter competing on the U.S. National team in baton twirling.—Amy Corr