On May 22, the Detroit Children’s Fund Women’s Ambassador Luncheon was held at Chartreuse Kitchen in Detroit. The event, hosted by Ashley Crain, Gretchen Davidson and Kelle Ilitch, brought together 50 influential women in the metro Detroit community, including philanthropists and community leaders, to learn about and discuss the work being done to improve Detroit education and how DCF is leading the way.
Jack Elsey, DCF’s executive director, and Tonya Allen, founding board member of DCF and president and CEO of the Skillman Foundation, set the content of the conversation, discussing DCF’s mission to make high-potential investments to expand successful schools, greatly improve lower performing schools, and discover and develop talented educators so that every child in Detroit has the opportunity to receive an excellent education.
The event encouraged attendees to become Ambassadors of DCF’s work. It was also an opportunity for guests to ask pressing questions about Detroit Children’s Fund and the status of education in Detroit. Many frequently asked questions were discussed and asked during the lunch, including:
- Why do we need to recruit/grow schools in Detroit when we already have too many?
- Detroit is in desperate need of more quality schools. The city does have more capacity than it needs, but it does not yet have nearly enough quality schools to ensure every student has access to a quality education.
- Why is educator talent so important?
- As in any industry, high-performing educators get the best results. Study after study has shown that the single most important factor in a student’s learning is a quality teacher in their classroom every day. Strong school leaders develop and retain high-performing teachers, creating schools that have few, if any, gaps in instruction, ensuring that students can have a quality teacher every year without fail.
- Will DCF support after school programs, athletics, and other programs not directly related to academic outcomes or school quality?
- There are a significant number of organizations in the city, state and nationally that support these kinds of essential programs for schools and students. DCF’s mission is to dramatically increase the number of quality schools in Detroit and, while we believe that children should be engaged in a variety of ways outside the classroom, our investments will focus on opportunities that get at the heart of improving academic opportunity and outcomes—school improvement and expansion, educator development and recruitment and system-wide enabling conditions.
For more information about DCF and ways to give, visit detroitchildrensfund.org. Upcoming Detroit Children’s Fund fundraising events include:
The Detroit Children’s Fund (DCF) has launched a new $900,000 Team Fellows Program that aims to bring advisors into Detroit schools to provide intensive coaching to principals, assistant principals, deans and other top administrators. The coaches will work with school leaders together as a team to collectively create improvement plans, then work to implement them. The program currently operates at Mumford Academy and two Detroit charter schools.
“At a foundational level, all high-performing schools have a clear vision for what they want to achieve,” said Jack Elsey, executive director of DCF. “They’re constantly assessing themselves and having others assess them. … The Team Fellows is designed to provide those reflective moments.”
DCF sees the Team Fellows Program model as one that could expand to across the city and provide a positive growth environment and support system for emerging leaders in Detroit’s education community. To learn more about the program and the impact it is making in Detroit schools, read a new article by Erin Einhorn of Chalkbeat Detroit.
Detroit Children’s Fund (DCF)—a nonprofit organization committed to ensuring that every child in Detroit has the opportunity to receive a quality education—has started the year with four additions to its roster of board members and a growing portfolio of investments.
Tony Barra, Tony Cervone, Wright Lassiter III and Matt Simoncini—have been elected to the DCF board, a group of prominent Detroit philanthropists. “We’re grateful to have these individuals join to our slate of leaders, committed to improving education for Detroit children. Each have displayed a deep commitment to Detroit and its children, and bring valuable experience from their service on other local and national boards,” DCF Board Chair KC Crain said.
Tony Barra is a retired technology consultant, whose expertise was focused on new business modeling and economic analysis. Barra also serves as co-chair of Eagles for Children at Meadowbrook Country Club. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering University, and a master’s in Business Administration from the University of Michigan.
Tony Cervone is senior vice president, global communications at General Motors and oversees GM’s corporate giving activities. He is a 33-year veteran of the automotive industry. Cervone also serves on the boards of The LaGrant Foundation and Plank Center for Communications Leadership. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Central Michigan University and was inducted into the Central Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in November of 2017.
Wright Lassiter III is president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System. He is a seasoned health care executive with more than 25 years of experience working in large, complex health systems. An avid community leader, Lassiter has held volunteer positions at the United Way, Salvation Army and YMCA; and serves on the boards of American Hospital Association, America’s Essential Hospitals, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, LeMoyne College, City Year Detroit, and YMCA-USA National Board of Directors. He has a master’s degree in health care administration from Indiana University, and a bachelor’s degree with honors in chemistry from LeMoyne College.
Matt Simoncini recently retired as president and chief executive officer of Lear Corporation. Simoncini also serves on the board of directors for the Wayne State University Foundation, Michigan Opera Theatre and The Parade Company. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Wayne State University.
“As we begin our work with the Detroit Public School Community District and the many non-profit charter schools in our city, strong leadership is critical to our success. The addition of these four individuals further bolsters our already talented and influential board,” says Jack Elsey DCF Executive Director. “We are united in our determination to ensure Detroit children have access to great schools.”
The Fund’s mission is to make high-potential investments to improve the quality of education in Detroit’s K-12 public schools. These investments expand successful schools, significantly improve lower performing schools, and discover and develop talented educators.
In 2017, DCF made its first investment in a high-performing charter school operator, New Paradigm for Education. The $5-million grant will help New Paradigm grow to accommodate more students, expanding quality school options in the city. New Paradigm high schools boast a 100 percent college acceptance rate. Its crown school, Detroit Edison Public School Academy, is the first and only Michigan charter school to be named a Michigan Exemplary Blue Ribbon School.
DCF also recently launched its first talent development program, DCF Team Fellows. The program is a partnership with the School Empowerment Network to cultivate teams of principals and school leaders. Leadership teams will be provided strategic direction and support as they focus on their school vision, build an inclusive school culture, raise academic expectations, and create positive momentum for their school community. The first cohort in the Team Fellows program includes Detroit Achievement Academy, Detroit Prep (both public charter schools) and Mumford Academy (a DPSCD school).
Detroit Children’s Fund will host its 2nd Annual Dinner on September 29th with Event Chairs Kim and Mark Reuss. Mark Reuss serves as executive vice president, global product development, purchasing and supply chain at General Motors Company.
“We’re excited about the progress that was made last year and are even more encouraged as we look ahead in 2018,” said Nick Karmanos, chief advancement officer for DCF. “There’s a broadly shared conviction that improving the city’s schools is critical to Detroit’s recovery, and a determination that together, we can ensure children have a path to a bright future. I could not be more proud to be a part of this work.”
Detroit Children’s Fund is a nonprofit organization that makes high-potential investments to expand successful schools, greatly improve lower performing schools and discover and develop talented educators so that one day every child in Detroit has the opportunity to receive an excellent education.
This is the third consumer goods Initial Product Offering (IPO) on the StockX platform and funds from the IPO will benefit the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Project ACT, The Empowerment Plan and Detroit Children’s Fund
The Shinola Lake Erie Monster celebrates the long history of discovery in the Great Lakes.
[DETROIT] – Detroit-based StockX, the world’s first online ‘stock market of things’ for high-demand consumer products, today announced a historic offering in conjunction with Shinola to IPO the brand’s first mechanical watch – the Lake Erie Monster – directly onto the StockX platform. Shinola’s first serialized dive and self-winding timepiece is limited to just 500 individually numbered pieces. The StockX IPO is for five unnumbered ‘000/500’ Lake Erie Monsters, with a five-of-a-kind Lake Erie Monster Tech Portfolio and a special authenticity card, and is not otherwise available to the public or to be purchased at retail.
“StockX has been built, in every way, to replicate the functionality of the worlds’ stock markets” said Josh Luber, CEO and Co-Founder of StockX. “That functionality, on one hand, provides a more efficient secondary market, but it also facilitates a better way to release products into the market – i.e., the ‘IPO’ of consumer goods. For our first watch IPO, the opportunity to work with Shinola, another Detroit company, on their first mechanical watch was a perfect fit.”
Shinola, the six-year old brand which has only ever produced quartz-movement watches, is taking a huge leap forward with its first-ever timepiece to utilize a fully automatic movement. The Lake Erie Monster, named after an unidentified creature first spotted in 1783, celebrates the Great Lakes as well as the explorers, sailors, pioneers and divers who have spent centuries discovering the wonders of the nation’s largest fresh water lakes. The watch is machined from 316L stainless steel and the 43mm case is inspired by the elegant lines of classic sailing ships and is rated for depths of up to 1,000ft (30ATM). It is powered by the Argomatic R-150 automatic movement, which features 25 jewels and a 40-hour power reserve.
“We are thrilled to partner with StockX on their first watch IPO,” said Jacques Panis, President of Shinola. “It is a great way to celebrate our first automatic timepiece by honoring the cities that were born on the shores of Lake Erie and raising money for three important charities in Detroit and Cleveland – The Empowerment Plan, Detroit Children’s Fund and Project ACT.”
“We are very excited to be a part of Shinola’s entry into the world of mechanical watches,” said Reg Brack, GM, Watches at StockX. “The Lake Erie Monster combines a classic dive watch aesthetic with a unique enamel dial and automatic movement resulting in something truly special.”
This is the third IPO of limited-edition consumer product for StockX. The first IPO took place in August 2016, when the company partnered with Roc-A-Fella records to launch limited-edition merchandise to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Jay-Z’s first album, Reasonable Doubt. In January 2017, StockX partnered with Nike and the Cleveland Cavaliers on its second IPO, a package including LeBron James’ first retro sneakers, a commemorative sneaker box made from the Cavalier’s championship court, and a 2016 NBA championship ring.
How the Shinola IPO Works
Benefitting Detroit charities include The Empowerment Plan and Detroit Children’s Fund, and Project ACT from Cleveland
The Shinola IPO allows buyers to place bids on the Lake Erie Monster at StockX.com. Bidding starts at $2,250.00 (the watch retail price) and runs from November 7, 2017 at 10am EST to November 12, 2017 at 10pm EST. Once the bidding period has ended, the watch will be sold to the five highest bidders who can either take possession of the watch, or choose to resell on the StockX platform where trading can continue, uninterrupted. Funds raised from the bids will benefit charities in both Detroit and Cleveland who are tirelessly working to provide educational support, workforce development and emergency shelter for local families. Benefitting Detroit charities include The Empowerment Plan and Detroit Children’s Fund, and Project ACT from Cleveland.
The StockX process helps to establish the true market value of the product, and like the New York Stock Exchange, facilitates immediate secondary market trading after its initial release.
Each Shinola IPO Package Includes
- “000” Prototype Mechanical Watch: One of just five prototype and serialized ‘000/500’ Shinola Lake Erie Monster automatic watches. With this limited-edition automatic timepiece, Shinola honors the natural beauty of the Great Lakes and confirms its commitment to quality, craftsmanship, design and innovation.
- Bespoke Tech Portfolio: A commemorative ‘five of a kind’ leather tech portfolio featuring a hand cut Lake Erie Monster design that is cut and sewn in Shinola’s Detroit leather factory. The Tech Portfolio is the perfect complement to watch as it features both functionality and timeless design.
- Metal Watch Case: A metal watch case that includes a Princeton Tech diver’s flashlight, diver’s map of the Great Lakes, a stainless steel three-link bracelet, a black rubber dive strap and black fabric strap – all easily interchangeable with included tools.
StockX, which was founded by Luber, StockX COO Greg Schwartz, and Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans and majority owner of the 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers, has many high profile investors including Eminem, Mark Wahlberg, Ted Leonsis, Tim Armstrong, Scooter Braun and Ron Conway. Coincidentally, StockX Co-Founder Dan Gilbert is the owner of the Cleveland Monsters, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, which up until its previous season was known as the Lake Eerie Monsters. The business launched in February of 2016, currently has more than 90 full time team members, and is expected to pass $200 million in GMV run rate by the end of 2017.
For more information, visit: www.stockx.com
Detroit-based StockX launched in February 2016 and is the world’s first “Stock Market of Things.” StockX enables the buying and selling of high-demand consumer products, including sneakers, watches, handbags and streetwear. StockX connects buyers and sellers using similar protocols to the world’s stock markets – allowing anonymity and providing real-time market pricing. StockX participants can buy or sell with the full knowledge and transparency of a credible stock market. In addition, all products bought and sold on the StockX platform are physically inspected and verified for authenticity by StockX. The StockX exchange also supplies in-depth market analysis, individual portfolio tracking, historical sales and volume metrics. StockX has achieved various milestones since its founding. In January of 2017, Nike released LeBron James’ first retro sneaker directly onto StockX, ahead of retail channels. StockX TV, the company’s ‘Mad Money for sneakers’ web series, began airing in April of 2017. In September of 2017 StockX teamed with Eminem to raise almost $440K for hurricane relief.
Shinola was founded on the belief that products should be well-made and built to last. Across a growing number of categories, Shinola stands for skill at scale, the preservation of craft, and the beauty of industry.
Of all the things we make, the return of manufacturing jobs might just be the thing we’re most proud of.
About The Empowerment Plan
The Empowerment Plan (TEP) is a Detroit based nonprofit organization focused on permanently elevating families from the generational cycles of homelessness and poverty through employment. TEP hires single parents from local shelters and provides them with training and full-time employment as seamstresses so that they can earn a stable income, find secure housing, and regain their independence. The individuals hired manufacture a coat designed to meet the needs of those in the homeless community. The durable EMPWR Coat can transform into a sleeping bag at night or an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use. Since 2012, the organization has provided employment to 45 homeless individuals—all of whom have now secured permanent housing for themselves and their families —and distributed over 25,000 coats to those in need across the world. For more information, visit: http://www.empowermentplan.org/about.
About the Detroit Children’s Fund
Detroit Children’s Fund (DCF) is dedicated to dramatically increasing quality school options for families across Detroit. DCF raises philanthropic funds to support the replication of successful Detroit schools, the recruitment of proven school networks not currently in Detroit, and the development of Detroit’s teachers and school leaders. DCF’s coherent, coordinated strategy will create 25,000 quality school seats – spots in life-changing schools – or more by 2025. We know this is a bold goal, but DCF believes that if we approach this work with ambition, urgency, strategy, community, and resources then we can achieve great results for our children and our city. Visit detroitchildrensfund.org for more information.
About Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Project ACT
The Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Project ACT provides direct support services to Cleveland’s children suffering from loss of housing. A comprehensive approach is taken to deliver instructional and support services necessary to facilitate the homeless child’s transition into school, and to ensure the child’s continued success within the educational system. Support services include everything necessary to accomplish the goal of meeting students’ physical, social and emotional needs. All qualifying resources from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District are used to achieve this goal. For more information, visit: http://clevelandmetroschools.org/Page/394
DETROIT – More than 240 guests were taken back to school when they attended the Detroit Children’s Fund Inaugural Dinner on Saturday, October 14 at The Factory at Corktown in Detroit, MI. The raw venue was transformed with a school theme, complete with notebook-patterned table tops, giant pencils, and a school lunch inspired dinner menu. Thanks to the generous support of sponsors and attendees, the event raised more than $1.55 million. DCF board member Adam Levinson and his wife Brittany generously contributed $775,000 of the total raised in a matching gift challenge. All funds raised will support the Detroit Children’s Fund quality seat campaign to create 25,000 seats for K-12 students in strong Detroit schools by the year 2025.
DCF Inaugural Dinner Chairs Kelle Ilitch, Ashley Crain and Gretchen Davidson
The Inaugural Dinner Event Chairs were Ashley Crain, Gretchen Davidson and Kelle Ilitch. Davidson and Ilitch also serve on DCF’s board of directors alongside Tonya Allen, Pernilla Ammann, Phil Cooley, Tiffany Douglas, Bill Emerson, Carol Goss, Adam Levinson, Ryan Maibach, Jacques Panis, Arn Tellem, Jason Tinsely, and Board Chair KC Crain.
“I think we can all agree that Detroit is coming back. Our economy is beginning to boom. But how will we ensure our city continues to rebound without ensuring that the next generation is educated and prepared to be tomorrow’s workers and leaders?,” posed KC Crain. “DCF is working to make good schools the norm in Detroit. It’s an imperative mission for our city and I’m proud to be part of it.”
In addition to the funds raised at the Inaugural Dinner, DCF’s Executive Director, Jack Elsey, announced a $2-million grant from General Motors. GM was also a presenting sponsor of the dinner, alongside Tom and Holly Gores.
“I’m grateful for the generosity and commitment of our board and supporters,” said Nick Karmanos, DCF’s chief advancement officer. “People understand the critical need for good schools. Belief that, together, we can make it happen is growing. Parents, educators, community members, stakeholders, and businesses are rallying together like never before.”
“DCF is dedicated to ensuring all Detroit children have access to a quality education,” said Elsey. “We’ll accomplish this by investing in great schools to serve more students and by bringing nationally celebrated schools here to serve children in Detroit. We are also investing in developing teams of current and future school leaders, all of whom will raise the bar for achievement in our city.”
“Detroit Children’s Fund has people at the helm that are as passionate about this cause as they are talented at the work they do,” said Tonya Allen, DCF board member and president & CEO of the Skillman Foundation. “They have the right ideas to create a tipping point, helping strong schools thrive and expand, and signaling to others that, without improvement, they will no longer be able to do business in Detroit.”
Inaugural Dinner Presenting Sponsors were General Motors, and Tom and Holly Gores. Hometown Match Sponsors were Brittany and Adam Levinson. Executive Sponsors were Linda and Ed Levy, Jr. Dinner sponsors included AVL Americas, Barton Malow Company, Crain Communications Inc, Gretchen and Ethan Davidson, The Detroit Pistons, Marlene and Bill Emerson, Gallagher-Kaiser Corporation, Ilitch Holdings, Kojaian, Lear Corporation, Quicken Loans, and Arn and Nancy Tellem. The event’s Media Sponsor was Crain’s Detroit Business.
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Event photos are available on DCF’s Facebook page.
DETROIT – Detroit Children’s Fund (DCF) announced today the appointment of Jack Elsey as executive director. Elsey brings 13 years of experience in public education to his new role.
“DCF has attracted a strong team to drive its mission of ensuring Detroit children have exceptional learning and development opportunities. We could not be more pleased to have Elsey at the helm,” said KC Crain, DCF board chair and president & COO of Crain Communications Inc. “His conviction that every child deserves a first-rate education and the achievements he’s led toward this vision make him an outstanding fit for the team.”
“Jack has led classrooms, schools and districts to stronger academic results. His proven experience in improving education for children is complemented by a strong intellect, great relationships, an energetic spirit, and an uncompromising commitment to excellence,” said Tonya Allen, Detroit Children’s Fund board member and Skillman Foundation president & CEO.
Elsey began his career as a middle school teacher in the South Bronx as a Teach for America corps member. He went on to hold a leadership positions with several urban schools districts where he focused on school turnaround efforts.
Most recently, Elsey served as the chief schools officer for the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan (EAA), a district charged with turning around some of Detroit’s historically lowest performing schools. Under his leadership, EAA schools showed improvements in several areas: student growth results outperformed state averages, suspensions were reduced by 30 percent, and school culture was strengthened through the creation of small learning communities. Elsey has also served as an assistant superintendent for Detroit Public Schools, and chief schools officer of Detroit Rising College Prep Schools where he introduced governing councils and site-based management controls to empower nine low-performing neighborhood high schools.
Elsey has also served as chief of innovation and incubation at Chicago Public Schools where he helped establish a common evaluation system across schools of all governance types, equalized funding for charter and alternative schools, and more than doubled the number of seats serving opportunity youth. While in Chicago, Elsey also led a broad coalition of school leaders, funders, and policymakers to create the Commitment to Quality, a city-wide agreement to improve charter school performance. In the span of two years, the number of Chicago charter schools on the “warning list” was reduced from 10 to three.
Elsey holds an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and master’s degrees in teaching and education leadership from Pace University and The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, respectively. In 2016, he was named as a Future Chief with Chiefs For Change.
“I am excited and honored to have been selected to lead the Detroit Children’s Fund. Detroit’s comeback will be complete only when every school in the city is high quality,” Elsey said. “We at DCF intend to help make that happen by growing the best schools in Detroit, recruiting national high-performing schools to join us, and investing in our most promising future leaders to ensure our schools continue to improve for many years to come.”
“In our work, we have the privilege to meet talented and passionate people who dedicate themselves to supporting children. Jack is a prime example,” said Nick Karmanos, chief advancement officer of the Detroit Children’s Fund. “He works from the heart, has strong vision, and is a thoughtful collaborator. We’re delighted to have him lead the team.”