Mark Davidoff: Corporate executive over-commits to community
Business executive Mark Davidoff rallied companies from across the state to help improve Flint residents’ lives in 60 days. A board member on some of Michigan's most prominent institutions, he's constantly working to solve the area's problems.
Mark Davidoff lives life according to two mottos:
“One is I’m committed to being over-committed,” said the Michigan managing partner for Deloitte LLP. “The other is sleep is overrated.”
Davidoff starts most workdays at 6:30 a.m.
When he’s not with family or at work, he’s guiding some of Michigan’s most prominent institutions and organizations.
Davidoff is a board member for Business Leaders for Michigan, the Detroit Economic Club, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the M-1 Rail.
And when not at board meetings, he’s leading a charge to improve other people’s lives.
For example, he launched in 2015 a five-year pilot program designed to help students at Cornerstone Schools in Detroit prepare for careers in business.
More recently, Davidoff rallied companies from across the state to help improve Flint residents’ lives in 60 days in the “Flint Sprint.” The initiative, which began Oct. 1, sprang from the Moving Flint Forward Leadership Summit, a gathering of Michigan business executives he organized to come up with a post-water crisis vision for the city.
“Although we’re a state surrounded by lakes, we actually all live in the same pond,” Davidoff said. “When there’s a ripple in Flint, we feel it in Detroit.”
“Mark is a unique leader for Michigan,” said Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. He and Davidoff sit on the Downtown Development Partnership’s board. “When most leaders go home at night to relax, Mark never stops thinking about the wide-ranging issues that face our region.”
Davidoff was born in Detroit in 1959 and grew up in Oak Park. “I was 8 years old in 1967,” he said. “My street ended at the north end of the Michigan Light Guard Armory on Eight Mile.”
A 1981 Wayne State University accounting graduate, he also has a master’s degree in management from Northwestern University. But he didn’t set out to become an accountant.
“I was going to be a doctor until Day 1 of organic chemistry, and I realized it wasn’t for me,” he said.
Davidoff joined Deloitte in 2005 and became its Michigan Managing Partner five years ago. Before joining the firm, he was the executive director/chief operating officer of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.
Detroit and Michigan have made a lot of progress in the last few years, but there are still a lot of problems that have to be solved and a lot of work that needs to be done, Davidoff said.
“It’s important that we all work as hard as we can during this sort of golden period of everything being done (in Detroit and Michigan) seems to be working,” he said. “I’ll sleep sometime, but it’s not really important right now.”
Charles E. Ramirez
Occupation: Michigan Managing Partner, Deloitte LLP
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Wayne State University; master’s degree, Northwestern University
Family: Wife, Margie Dunn; two adult sons, Avi and Kale; Avi's wife and daughter-in-law Amanda; one grandson.
Why honored: For his leadership and commitment to improving Michigan.