Crain’s Salute to Entrepreneurs (2011)

I led this recognition program, from vetting and selection of winners to the writing of the content and managing the related event.

Entrepreneurs, it’s often said, are a rare breed. Tenacious and willing to enter situations that would make the stomachs of less courageous people bleed, they seem to have some gene that allows them to not just step out of their comfort zone, but ignore it altogether.

Take Duane Jones, who lost his job right before Christmas and right after his son was born. Spending the next year with little sleep, he turned his former employer into a customer and built an industrial cleaning company.

Or John James, who fought regulators for eight years to get the license needed to get his trucking company rolling in the 1970s.

And then there’s Hortensia Albertini, who got her first job when she was 14 by lying about her age so she could help her parents.

These and other stories of relentless persistence are featured in this year’s Salute to Entrepreneurs recognition program, organized by Crain’s to honor local business owners who demonstrated problem-solving and innovation — and are helping to grow the local economy.

Oct. 16, 2011 | Crain’s Detroit Business