Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Tales Of The New Crown: Marlowe Stoudamire, Mentor To Ian Conyers, The Jet Setting Co-Conspirator, Dies

I wonder if Ian Conyers is going to pick up the torch, since he works so well with the Detroit Land Bank Authority during a SIGTARP investigation, but, hey, what do I know?

Detroit consultant with no known health issues or recent travel dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

I know it is a harrowing experience when the death of someone close to you is announced in the media, and no one reaches out to you because they were co-conspirators. 

Detroit champion, father, husband, dies after coronavirus diagnosis

Marlowe Stoudamire was larger than life, a vibrant man with a huge smile, known for his tireless dedication to Detroit, his kindness, and his honesty. He truly saw others, and dedicated his life to building Detroit community, and creating opportunity for Detroit and Detroiters.

Marlowe Stoudamire stands by his award-winning Detroit 67 project in 2017.
Marlowe Stoudamire, where tanks are used
as a butterfly effect in Detroit
He died Tuesday, a victim of the spreading coronavirus outbreak. He was 43; and is survived by his wife, Valencia, and two young children.

Michigan has now reported 24 coronavirus deaths, and nearly 1,800 cases.

"Today this became deeply personal for me," said Bob Riney, COO of Henry Ford Health System, and a personal friend of Stoudamire's. "Marlowe was a light to the city, a light to the region, a light to the time he spent with Henry Ford Health System, just a great, great dad and husband."

"We are mourning his loss," Riney said. "This is a very, very sad day."

Stoudamire, who was project director of international business strategy at Henry Ford Health System before leaving to found consultancy Butterfly Effect Detroit, brought excellence and enthusiasm to his work, Riney said.

"To say he was an idea generator is an understatement," Riney said. "It was very common for him to call me at any hour to say, 'I just drove by this building and I had this idea ...' ... I would have a point of view about something in the community, and he would challenge me on it. We gave each other permission to be brutally honest with each other, because we knew we could trust each other."

Stoudamire had also worked at the Skillman Foundation, and led the Detroit Historical Museum's award-winning Detroit 67 project, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 67 uprising. He was a graduate of Cass Technical High school; Stoudamire held a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University, a master’s from Central Michigan University and attended Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders program.

One of Stoudamire's last projects was a partnership with the NHL and the Detroit Red Wings called "Learn, Play, Score," an initiative to bring hockey to more than 30,000 Detroit youth through street hockey at 79 schools, and 12 parks and rec centers, hockey as a classroom tool, e-sports, scholarships for hockey programs, open skate sessions at Little Caesars arena and more.

Those who knew Stoudamire said he was committed to restoring Detroit’s glory through his various projects and relationships. He was a man of action, they said.

“He was one of those shining examples of what you can do when you’re committed to making Detroit a better place,” former state Sen. Ian Conyers said. “Marlowe made Detroit a better place. He was doing it.”

Conyers said he was working out of an art shop on Livernois Avenue in high school when he met Stoudamire. Stoudamire, who was about 10 years older, became a mentor to Conyers and other younger people in the neighborhood.

“I never thought of Marlowe as anything but a straight-up Detroit guy,” Conyers said.

As committed as he was to Detroit, Stoudamire was eager to expand his outlook. He received a fellowship through the German Marshall Fund of the United States and was involved with the Harvard Business School Young American Leaders Program.

“His trajectory was limitless,” said Ken Harris, president and CEO of the National Business League, Inc.

When Stoudamire was in his 20s, Harris said they gravitated toward each other. They shared interests in entrepreneurship, economics and lifting up the city’s black professionals, said Harris, who sponsored Stoudamire into the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

“Marlowe had no bounds and no borders. He was truly a transformational figure,” Harris said. “His spirit will be felt not just in Detroit but internationally.”

One of Stoudamire’s most enduring efforts may be Roster Detroit, an initiative to recognize and showcase the talent of black Detroiters, and push back against the narrative that talent has been leaving Detroit and the state. Roster Detroit began as a series of Facebook posts in which Stoudamire would profile friends in his vast network, showing broad audience Detroiters’ talents and accomplishments.

Stoudamire’s death shows how unprepared the country was for the pandemic, Harris said.

“To see someone that you love so close to you be taken away from us by this particular virus is nothing we all expect, but at the same time it sends a strong message that the community has to take this pandemic seriously.”

Riney echoed those sentiments: "The social distancing some find a nuisance, they should consider their obligation. It is an obligation for us to take this seriously and break the ability for the virus to spread."

But there's hope, he said.

"We have a choice in bringing out the best in each other, or the worst in each other. I'm seeing the vast majority of people bringing out the best in each other. Marlowe's death makes me do an even better job of messaging the distancing we talk about to everybody. Even in this terrible time, there can be amazing lessons we learn as we grow stronger as a community. I can't think of a better gift to Marlowe than that."

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

No comments: