‘Flint Homecoming 2017’ held Thursday

Published: Aug. 17, 2017 at 11:50 AM EDT
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(08/17/17) - Dozens of business people who grew up in the Flint area but moved away and became successful came to back to Flint Thursday. It's called Flint Homecoming 2017.

It's appropriate that this business conference was at Factory One; it is where Flint first got its economic legs all those years ago.

A lot has changed since many of these business people left the area. The Chamber of Commerce and others want them to see the change for the better and join in.

"And we want to ask them to get involved, to invite them to invest and increase their confidence in the community and understand the vision for the community," said Janice Karcher, of the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

GM executive vice president Mark Reuss was one of the speakers. He worked in Flint for 10 years when he was at Buick City. He thinks the Flint Homecoming 2017 is a great idea.

"There's not doubt it will help Flint because if you look at the honor roll of people around the world who have been incredibly successful in whatever they do, whatever business they're in, a lot of them have great Flint roots," Reuss said.

The idea for a reunion of business people has been working well in Detroit for the past few years, so Flint borrowed the concept. Many of these people grew up in the area and have established successful business elsewhere, like Chris Rizik of Renaissance Venture Capital Fund in Ann Arbor.

"I think it's terrific. There are a lot of people who I think would like to get more involved in Flint but really didn't know how and this is giving them the opportunity to learn how," Rizik said.

"They're seeing the great work being done, but also being invited personally to get involved and support new projects," Karcher said.

These ex-pats are being encouraged to go downtown and enjoy whatever the city has to offer.