A natural leader with both legal and entrepreneurial experience, Marty Maddin is Executive Coach and Founder of PEAK Performance International. Prior to starting his own business, Marty practiced law as a commercial real estate and corporate attorney. “I discovered you can do whatever you want with a law degree and play to your strengths,” says Marty. “As a business and leadership coach, I am able to affect change one-on-one, on a personal level.” Recently having taken the helm as president of Federation’s NEXTGen, Marty now puts his professional skills to good practice for the benefit of young and emerging leaders in the community. Beyond the Federation, Marty is an avid community volunteer and Detroit booster. He is a past Board Member of Tamarack Camps and currently serves on the Board of the Detroit Jewish News Foundation.
On growing up in Jewish Detroit
Proud to say it: I’m a Jewish Detroiter. My childhood was filled with powerful and formative Jewish experiences. From the start, my education helped build the foundation of my identity. I went to Hillel Day School, played sports at the JCC and spent my summers at Camp Tamarack. I grew up surrounded by Jewish friends, teachers, mentors and role models – all constantly challenging me to learn, to be independent, to have fun and be a mensch.
From the very beginning, I was inspired by watching my parents’ involvement in the community and in listening to them speak about it. I knew that getting involved was the “right” thing to do and that it would allow me to branch out and meet new people. Over time, what started as a logical decision grew into an emotional and heartfelt decision. In other words, the decision to be involved moved from my head to my heart. I came to realize how fortunate I was to have grown up in our community and that the continued vibrancy and existence of it was dependent on my peers caring and getting involved. I also realized that my thoughts and opinions mattered and that I had a voice in the community.
On what makes Metro Detroit a great place to live, work and play
So many factors. For starters, 1) low cost of living! 2) the abundant natural resources and beauty of the region, 3) great educational opportunities, 4) amazing colleges and universities, 5) professional sports teams, 6) a vibrant Jewish community, 7) a rich diversity of cultures, 8) great food and restaurants, 9) a creative and growing talent pool of artists, musicians, designers, inventors, entrepreneurs, 10) a huge helping of Michigan and Detroit pride! More than ever, we pull for each other and are working collaboratively to support those trying to make a difference.
On what you tell people considering moving back to Detroit or into the city for the first time
This is an amazing time for our City and State, a time of transition, transformation and unparalleled opportunity. It’s a great time to move here and be a part of a “new Detroit,” right at the center. Each person truly can and does make a difference right now and that is not the case for most major cities. The key is for people to focus on what really matters at the end of the day. If people do that, I think they’ll find there is an abundance of opportunity, community and creativity all around them.
On your hopes and dreams for Detroit’s future
My hope is that Detroit becomes an economic and creative engine for our entire state. I would love to see a diverse city teeming with entrepreneurial spirit and a “we can achieve anything if we work together” mentality. In spite of its challenges, the city is bursting at the seams with opportunity. If we can move past our old patterns of thinking, we can move forward together and help Detroit fully recognize its potential.
There are too many to choose a favorite, but my brother-in-law introduced me to Mudgie’s a while back and I love it.
Favorite buildings in the Detroit skyline
The Penobscot Building. This magnificent building stands out because of its unmistakable red orb, but it’s also especially meaningful to me because my grandfather spent years working there when he was younger.
Favorite place to take kids
The Detroit Zoo. I can’t think of any other place where on the same day in October you can see wild animals, watch a 4-D movie and stroll around getting Halloween candy (Zoo Boo).
The book on my nightstand.
Drive by Daniel Pink
Favorite Jewish food
I’m addicted to my mom’s noodle kugel. In spite of being a pretty healthy eater, I once put down an entire pan of it.