2011 marks the five-year anniversary for Inside Detroit, Jeanette Pierce’s start-up venture that promotes Detroit as a preferred destination to live, work and play by educating the public about Detroit’s history, culture, community and livability.
Growing up in the city’s Morningside neighborhood, Jeanette began defending the city at an early age. When friends couldn’t come over for play dates because their parents feared venturing into the city limits, Jeanette began developing a fierce pride for the city. After heading to Grand Rapids for college, she returned to Detroit and began exploring the city. She soon realized how much she didn’t know, and quickly became enamored with and excited about Detroit’s past, present, and future. Working for the United Way, Jeanette sought an opportunity to educate more people about the beautiful city she was discovering. And, Inside Detroit was born.
Jeanette is accustomed to beginning her presentation with an overview of Detroit’s flag – yes, Detroit has a flag – including the center seal which reads, “We hope for better things, we will rise from the ashes.” Following the 1805 fire of Detroit, Judge Augustus Woodward vowed to rebuild the great city and devised an elaborate spoke-and-wheel plan with a point-of-origin at what is today the center of Campus Martius Park. He kept his promise and the city was reborn.
Over 200-years later, Jeanette believes that we will yet again “rise from the ashes.” A lifelong Detroiter, she finds that the most commonly asked question about her residency in the city is, “Why Detroit?” She rattles off excitedly why Detroit is the ideal place for those who are young, entrepreneurial, seeking unique opportunities, and want to make a difference: Walking distance to over 130-restaurants and bars (click here to download Jeanette’s list of top establishments). Wow. The country’s second largest theater district. Wow. Rich culture and relevant museums. Wow. Parks and public spaces that have received international awards. Wow. Unparalleled historic and contemporary architecture. Wow. Festivals beyond compare. Wow. And, Jeanette’s favorite, and what she believes to be Detroit’s greatest asset, the people. Today, these qualities come together in a Detroit that is unique with its big city atmosphere and small town feel.
Through tours and presentations, Inside Detroit reaches its goal of educating people to make informed decisions about Detroit and to see the opportunities that exist. Jeanette’s greatest personal goal is to attract and retain talent in the city she loves. Recognized by Crain’s as one of Detroit’s 20-in-their-20’s and the 2010 recipient of the Dave Bing Future Leader Award, Jeanette is well on her way to making a difference and accomplishing her goal.