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2016-17 Detroit Pistons Yearbook

Leadership Tom Gores Tom Gores is owner of the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment (PS&E), and Chairman and CEO of Platinum Equity, a global investment firm. A graduate of Michigan State University who grew up in Flint, Michigan, Mr. Gores has substantial family and business ties to the region. His wife, Holly, a Michigan native who also graduated from Michigan State, has deep roots in the area and both are actively involved in the local community. Mr. Gores has often described the Pistons as a “community asset” with the power to unite and inspire people in Detroit and throughout Michigan. In service to that mission, he has taken extraordinary steps to revitalize the franchise and ensure PS&E remains a leader on the court and in the community. He has assembled an experienced executive leadership team that includes PS&E Vice Chairman Arn Tellem and Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy. Under the direction of Van Gundy and general manager Jeff Bower, the Pistons front office has delivered on Mr. Gores’ vision of resetting the culture of the franchise and assembling a cohesive and compatible team that is capable of winning now while ensuring salary cap space and flexibility for the future. Just two players remain from the roster Van Gundy inherited two years ago (Andre Drummond, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) and the club has executed 10 trades and signed nine free agents since that time, bringing in young and talented players like Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris, Tobias Harris, Jon Leur, Ish Smith and Boban Marjanovic, The rebuilding effort is clearly paying off. The Pistons returned to the NBA playoffs last year, competing hard against a Cavaliers team that went on to win the championship. As the youngest team in the postseason last year, the Pistons gained valuable experience that sets the stage for continued improvement this year. Off the court, Mr. Gores is equally committed to making an impact in the community. In February 2016, he launched FlintNOW, a $10 million private sector campaign to support short- and longterm relief and revitalization initiatives in response to the Flint water crisis. FlintNOW has cultivated relationships with dozens of key stakeholders and deployed resources to programs focused on immediate relief, healthy food and nutrition, education and longterm economic revitalization. PS&E and the Detroit Pistons have been active in their support of FlintNOW, as have many other businesses. In March, Mr. Gores and Huntington Bank announced a $25 million dollar economic development program aimed to boost the economy in Flint by supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs, homeowners and residents through grants, mortgage assistance, small business loans and youth education. A FlintNOW partnership with the NBA Players Association provided 8,000 Flint Community School children and families access to health food and information on minimizing the effects of exposure to lead-tainted water through a “nutrition backpack” distribution. The Pistons are equally committed to being impactful in the city of Detroit and its metro region. Mr. Gores, Mr. Tellem and the Detroit Pistons Foundation made significant commitments to many local charitable organizations, including S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center, the Detroit Police Athletic League, City Year, Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, the Bing Youth Institute/BINGO Mentoring Program, Forgotten Harvest, HAVEN and the Jalen Rose Youth Academy. Additionally, the club maintains a wide-range of community programs through NBA Cares, addressing health & fitness, education, military, special needs, Black History and 6 Detroit Pistons 2016–17 Yearbook green initiatives. In all, the NBA Cares program impacted over 20,000 people through over 3,500 logged hours of organizational volunteerism. All of these efforts over the past year were recognized nationally by ESPN as the Pistons became a finalist for the ESPN 2016 Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award. Since acquiring PS&E in June 2011, Mr. Gores and his team have made substantial investments to maintain world class facilities. A four-year $40 million capital campaign upgraded nearly every aspect of The Palace, including the entrances, concourses and other open areas, restaurants, club spaces and suites. The latest and most visible components include an upgraded East Terrace, new seating around the arena’s lower bowl and a massive new 60-foot wide high-def scoreboard with accompanying digital signage both inside and outside the arena. The new terrace, seats and digital package, combined with all the other upgrades, make good on Mr. Gores’ pledge to provide Pistons fans one of the most innovative, technologically advanced game day experiences in the country. Substantial improvements have also been made at DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadow Brook Amphitheatre. Strong relationships, trust in people, and open communication are keys to Mr. Gores’ leadership approach and are reflected in the success of Platinum Equity, the investment firm he founded in 1995. Under his strategic direction, Platinum Equity has grown into a multibillion-dollar investment firm with a diverse, global portfolio of operating companies in a wide range of industries including automotive, technology, telecommunications, manufacturing, distribution and logistics, and media. The firm’s current portfolio comprises approximately 30 operating companies, and in 2015 generated more than $14 billion in revenue. Platinum Equity has invested in many Michigan-based companies in a range of different industries, including automotive, transportation and logistics, and boat manufacturing. Mr. Gores’ focus on operational execution is a hallmark of Platinum Equity’s approach, and a signature of its differentiation in the global M&A marketplace. The firm’s highly differentiated M&A&O approach – Mergers, Acquisitions and Operations – reflects Platinum Equity’s mission of not only merging or acquiring businesses, but operating them in a way that creates meaningful value. His attention to detail and commitment to executing on fundamentals can be traced back to his early experience in learning to run a business from the ground up. The Flint native started out in the software industry as an entrepreneur who founded a successful business that provided inventory and supply chain management solutions to the lumber industry. As a small business operator, where companies often trade principally on their good word and ability to follow through on what they promise, Mr. Gores learned the importance of empowerment, hard work and integrity – principles that guide him still today. Mr. Gores was born in Nazareth, Israel, and moved with his family at age four to Genesee, MI, where he grew up and attended high school. He worked his way through school at Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in 1986. The 52-year-old resides in Beverly Hills, CA with his wife, Holly, and their three children. The family also maintains a residence in Birmingham, MI. Mr. Gores is an active and avid coach of youth soccer and basketball, and a patron of education, health care and the arts. Owner


2016-17 Detroit Pistons Yearbook
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