I had the chance to meet David Bing today and hear him speak about Detroit’s Next Chapter: A Team of Change. Mayor Bing is a Syracuse University graduate, a former star basketball player for the Orange and for the Detroit Pistons in the NBA, and a successful entrepreneur. Once his playing days were over, building off what he learned in nine off-seasons working in banking and the auto industry, he started a business from scratch with just 4 employees. That entrepreneurial venture eventually became the Bing Group, which was a premier supplier of quality products and services to the automotive industry employing over 900 people. Then about a year ago, at a point in time when many might have thought it was a time to retire, Bing decided to start a new career and ran for mayor of Detroit; a city that was clearly in need of a transformation.
In his address today in the business school, he spoke at length about entrepreneurship, about the need for building a strong team around you, and about the never-give-up attitude it takes to be a winner…both on the basketball court as well as in the board room. He spoke candidly about the challenges ahead of him in the revitalization of a city that has lost a population and job base that is staggering. His goal...operate the cityof Detroit just as he did his business. And for those of us business folk who sit on the sidelines, we wish Mayor Bing the best of luck and hope that if he has success, more cities will try and take the same route. Cities and counties that behave like business…now that’s an idea!