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Nourishing the Soul Benefit
The Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit is well known for fighting hunger, but the monks also maintain a beautiful center memorializing the Venerable Fr. Solanus Casey adjoining it where they nourish the spirit. Ten years ago the late Anthony and Catherine Lutfy began staging a wine splashed dinner event to support the center. This year it attracted 430 to The MET hotel in Troy where 12 wine vendors presented great pours during the cocktail hour and the seated dinner. Carey Cornacchini and Laurie Maass chaired the 10th annual benefit. They coordinated a silent auction that raised $23,000, two 52-card raffles that raised $10,500 and they got Fox-2’s Charlie Langton to be the auctioneer for the live bidding ($40,000) that followed dinner and a video presentation of the center’s gardens and sculptures. Guests gave resounding applause to the generous bidders who bought the Chef’s dinner for eight at Oakland Hills Country Club because it sold three times for $5,000 each. When the evening concluded, it had raised $120,000 for the center. Visit it at http://www.solanuscenter.org.
Daniel Sillman began the Ross School of Business at University of Michigan thinking he'd become an investment banker. But a chance encounter his freshman year with two Michigan football players who became his close friends led him to create Compass Management Group to provide financial management for professional athletes.
Sillman, 22, graduated from Ross in Dec. 2010, on the fast track since he had already begun his company to work with his two friends, Brandon Graham and Brandon Minor, who left U-M as top picks in Dec. 2009 to enter the NFL, and provide them with financial guidance and management once they left school.
"Statistics show that 78 percent of NFL athletes declare bankruptcy or are financially distressed within two years of retirement; it's 65 percent in the NBA within five years," Sillman said. "It's because most athletes lack core financial strength. They hire agents who negotiate their contracts and sponsorship deals, and they might hire someone to open a portfolio for them, and they think they're all set. The word financial advisor throws them. They're often coming from the inner city, and suddenly, they're coming into wealth, like a lottery winner."
While undergrads, Graham and Minor spent holidays and weekends at Sillman's Birmingham home, and Sillman and his father, David, began looking into business managers for them as their need became apparent. "What we realized is that there is a huge presence for entertainers and corporate space, but not for athletes. These athletes should treat themselves the same as someone else with wealth," Sillman said. Just as Graham and Minor had prepared themselves for the NFL by practicing football for years, Sillman realized he had been preparing himself for his career with Compass not only via his business school studies, but at the foot of his father's chair, watching, listening, observing.
"I've been going to the office with my father since I was 5," he said. "I rely on my father for life experience and financial experience."
Compass Management Group, so called because it provides direction, guidance and discipline to athletes, provides attorneys, accountants, insurance consultants, tax planning, bill paying, private banking, estate planning, portfolio management, business consulting and vetting services, and retirement planning.
"The average football career is three years; the average basketball career is four or five years. They could live to be 100. They have to realize they are being compensated for their entire lives, not just their pro careers," Sillman said. He creates a level of transparency and professionalism for the athletes, which now number 11, that he manages. All of the athletes, including Desean Jackson, Jimmy Smith, Manny Harris and Jurrell Casey, have come to him by word-of-mouth through locker rooms....continued on page 2
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