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Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert, who has not been seen publicly since suffering a stroke Memorial Day weekend, appeared in a video message emailed to employees this week, and seems to have made great strides in his recovery.

Gilbert, 57, who is receiving treatment in a Chicago rehabilitation center, is shown in the video snippet I saw seated and from the chest up. 

He's wearing a black sweater, and has a white, neatly trimmed beard.

His face shows no signs of a stroke. His speech is clear, and his voice is strong and steady. He looks somewhat thinner than before the stroke, but not weak or wan.

"Whatever you're doing is great," Gilbert tells his employees. "It's going much better since I left a few weeks back, I noticed."

During his absence, Quicken reported its strongest quarter in its 34-year history.

A company spokesman declined to release the entire video, saying it was prepared exclusively for team members.

Gilbert, whose companies employ 17,000 in downtown Detroit and 24,000 nationwide, is the prime driver of Detroit's comeback.

His Bedrock development arm controls 90 properties with 15 million square feet of space in Detroit. Bedrock is currently in the early phases of building the tallest skyscraper in the city on the old Hudson's department store site, and a major mixed use development on the Monroe block in the heart of downtown.

When he suffered the stroke while visiting Beaumont Hospital for other ailments on May 26, speculation immediately started on whether the billionaire would be able to continue his effort's to revitalize Detroit.

Updates on his condition have been spotty since then. During the Rocket Mortgage Classic PGA Tour event at the Detroit Golf Club in late June, vice-chairman Bill Emerson said Gilbert was focused on his recovery and not involved in the operations of his empire.

Outside of his family and a close circle of friends, Gilbert has not been seen, nor have images of him been released before the email to employees.

"As Dan continues his rehabilitation and makes progress toward his recovery, yesterday he recorded a brief video to share his gratitude with our company’s 17,000 team members who have set numerous records through the second quarter and beyond," a company statement said.

"We all wish Dan well as he continues down the path to recovery.”

nfinley@detroitnews.com 

Catch “The Nolan Finley Show” weekdays 7-9 a.m. on 910 AM Superstation.

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