Detroit Homecoming: Co-director Jim Hayes says expectations are high for 2015 event

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Expectations are high for Detroit Homecoming #2!  Roughly 200 former Detroiters are expected to return to their hometown to reconnect and reinvest. 

The three-day event designed to highlight Detroit's revitalization and the ideas and achievements of "expats," will kick off Wednesday at the city's new Aloft Hotel and run through Friday. 

Founder and co-director Jim Hayes recently sat down with me inside Channel 7's new downtown Detroit studio to discuss last year's success and this year's goals. 

In the Detroit Homecoming's inaugural event, more than $230 million in direct investment can be traced to the 162 ex-Detroit residents who put their support behind 30 different initiatives at work in the Motor City. 

Hayes, the retired publisher of Fortune, says the majority of the 2015 participants will be first-time attendees to the Homecoming experience. 

They will be addressed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Quicken Loans & Rock Ventures Chairman Dan Gilbert and many other influential leaders. 

The importance of sports to Detroit's rebirth and economic future will be one of the major themes taking center stage.

Retired NBA player Shane Battier is confirmed to attend along with ABC-TV broadcaster Bob Woodruff and Capri Capital's Gwendolyn Butler.  

Watch my one-on-one wxyz.com interview with Hayes for a preview of what to expect at this year's Detroit Homecoming.  You can also see him on my Sunday's Spotlight on the News program at 10 o'clock on TV-7.

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