DETROIT (WXYZ) - WXYZ-TV has chosen Detroit businessman and entrepreneur Dan Gilbert as the 2012 Newsmaker of the Year.
Gilbert is the founder and chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans, and has been a catalyst for change in downtown Detroit. He purchased 15 buildings in the last two years, giving him nearly 2.6 million square feet of commercial space in the heart of the city. He plans to develop the space to bring new businesses, opportunities and jobs to downtown Detroit.
The Newsmaker of the Year also heads up the team spearheading the "Opportunity Detroit" campaign to build momentum downtown.
Gilbert made news in 2010 when he moved the headquarters of Quicken Loans to the Campus Martius area in downtown Detroit. Since then, his companies have moved more than 7,500 employees to downtown locations. Gilbert says his mission is to have a positive impact on the city by creating a technology and web-based hub in downtown Detroit. Despite its challenges, he says he believes Detroit is on the verge of a great comeback and suggests, "it's always darkest before the dawn."
Gilbert will be featured in a special edition of Spotlight on the News, hosted by WXYZ Public Affairs and Editorial Director Chuck Stokes on Sunday, February 24th at 9:30 a.m. on Channel 7.
Spotlight on the News is Detroit's longest running public affairs show.
"Dan Gilbert was our clear choice for Newsmaker of the Year. He has made a tremendous impact on downtown Detroit. Through his efforts, he is providing hope for Detroit's future," said E.W. Scripps divisional general manager and VP/GM of WXYZ-TV, Ed Fernandez.
Gilbert was born and raised in Detroit. His father and grandfather owned small businesses in the city. Gilbert is also majority owner of the NBA team the Cleveland Cavaliers and the developer of the Horseshoe Casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati. He also recently purchased a majority stake in Detroit's Greektown Casino and Hotel.