King Mike 

Most Trusted Corporate Citizen
Mike Ilitch

Hail Caesar, the Macedonian monarch of Hockeytown, lord of all he surveys from his gilded aerie high atop the Fox Theatre. Emperor Ilitch has built up a great deal of trust in the local community due in large part to his heroic efforts in renovating the Fox, erecting Comerica Park, and returning the Red Wings to legendary status with two Stanley Cups. Detroit Tigers fans were most likely underrepresented in this vote, as Ilitch’s hopeful statements over the past several years about his perpetually hapless club have done absolutely nothing to engender a modicum of trust in the team’s fan base.

Also, Ilitch seems to have retreated from the public eye, leaving his progeny to take the reins of the Olympia empire. While rumors continually swirl concerning the Ilitch family and their holdings, including stories that they want to build a new hockey arena behind the Fox, the pizza chain is floundering, and the Tigers are up for sale, Mr. I. remains a silent “eye” in the middle of the supposition storm. In any event, the considerable reservoir of trust that Ilitch has built up over the years should be enough to get him through another decade of inferior Tiger teams who lose more than they win, as long as the hockey team brings home another Stanley Cup or two. Win or lose, however, there can be no doubt that the impressive Ilitch legacy will be permanently enshrined in structures such as the Fox, Second City/Hockeytown Cafe and Comerica Park, developments which have forever altered the downtown Detroit streetscape. It is from legacies such as these that folks like Peter Karmanos take their cue. All we need now are a few more homegrown, self-made millionaires and we’ll have a reborn downtown on our hands.

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