June 14, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - For the fifth consecutive year, Michigan State Athletics Director Mark Hollis and the entire Spartan coaching staff toured sites around the state of Michigan for the annual "Coaches on the Road" event.
This past Monday, the group received a training session at the General Motors Delta Township Assembly Plant, visited Quantum Ventures of Michigan, LLC and the staff of Chairman & Chief Executive Office Bob Skandalaris in Auburn Hills, and attended an Opportunity Detroit panel discussion in downtown Detroit at the Madison Building with Dan Gilbert, Chairman of Rock Ventures LLC and founder and chairman of Quicken Loans Inc.
On Tuesday, the "Coaches on the Road" stop included a tour at GM Proving Ground in Milford and a GM roundtable discussion with Brian Sweeney, Vice President of Buick and GMC Sales and Service, and Tony DiSalle, Vice President of Buick and GMC Marketing.
"I thought the great thing about (this trip) was the dynamic of seeing the best of the state of Michigan," said Hollis. "Starting in the assembly lines or what's kind of known as a traditional industrial site in Michigan, then coming down here to southeast Michigan and seeing the high-tech, seeing what's being done in the city that, quite honestly I knew about, but still blew me away to see what's being done here, what Dan Gilbert and Quicken (Loans) is doing. They're doing it in a way where they're reaching way beyond the borders of their companies. It's really having an impact on revitalizing downtown and bringing the streets back to life, the way they used to be in downtown Detroit.
"You walk away and you have such appreciation for the men and women that are working in our automotive industry all over the state, but also the ambition and the excitement that's being generated downtown."
"We're just really excited to have Michigan State and all the coaches come here," said Gilbert. "There's so many things in the philosophy of the business world that apply to the sporting world. It was good to share them with everybody and show everybody what's going on in Detroit here, painting a vision for the coaches and hearing their visions for their teams.
"It's especially great when you talk to guys like (Mark) Dantonio and Tom Izzo. You get to talk to them about what you're doing and they always have great input. I've just found that coaches at that kind of level, they're curious people and they also have ideas. So it was great to be able to tell them what we're doing here and it's very important that Detroit does well for the whole state, because if you don't have a great heartbeat in the biggest city in the state, if it's not doing well, the state's not doing well."
Previous stops on the "Coaches on the Road" have included Grand Rapids, Novi, Bay Harbor and Chicago.