Name: Dave Bing
What Makes This Person a Game Changer: It’s not often, if at all, that one can claim success in three distinct areas—professional sports, business and politics. Yet, Dave Bing did just that when he was elected the 62nd Mayor of the City of Detroit in May 2009 as part of a special election. A native of Washington, D.C., Bing is a graduate of Syracuse University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and was later bestowed an honorary Doctorate of Laws in 2006. He was also a standout basketball player and an All American in both high school and college.
Dave Bing came to Detroit in 1966 when he was drafted by the Detroit Pistons as their #1 pick, and the #2 overall pick in the National Association of Basketball (NBA) draft that year. Bing played nine of his twelve years in the NBA with the Pistons, and was named to the All-Star Team eight times during his career. Bing and his family made Detroit their permanent home, returning in the off-season even after he was traded to the Washington Bullets in 1975. After retiring in 1978, his number (#21) was the first retired by the Detroit Pistons. Voted one of the top 50 basketball players of all time, Bing was inducted into the Michigan Hall of Fame in 1984, and into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1990.
Bing turned his winning strategies from the basketball court to the boardroom as the founder of an automotive supply corporation, The Bing Group in 1980, where he served as President and Chairman until April 2009. Bing realized yet another level of success in this role, as The Bing Group has been recognized around the country as a premier supplier of quality and uncompromised products and service. Within a decade, The Bing Group was recognized as one of the nation’s top Minority-Owned Companies by Black Enterprise. In the summer of 1999, he partnered with Ford Motor Co. to build the Detroit Manufacturing Training Center, a nonprofit facility to help prepare unemployed and under-employed workers to obtain jobs in the auto supply industry.
Awards to The Bing Group and to Bing as President and Chairman include:
- National Minority Small Business Person of the Year, presented by President Ronald Reagan in 1984.
- GM, Supplier of the Year-1992, 1997, 2001-2004
- Crain’s Detroit, Business Newsmaker of the Year-1994
- Black Enterprise Magazine, Company of the Year-1998
- Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Entrepreneur of the Year-2003
- Michigan Minority Business Development Council, Diamond Award-2003
Dave Bing has also received an Honorary Degree in Management from Kettering University in 2000 and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Michigan in 2006.
In addition, he has been the recipient of numerous civic awards for his involvement in philanthropic efforts and his commitment to the community including:
- Ford Motor Company, Community Service Award-1999, 2003
- Hour Magazine, Detroiter of the Year-2007
- Detroit Free Press and Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, Shining Light Award named in his honor, the Dave Bing Future Leader Award-2007
- City Year, Idealist in Action Award-2008
Answering yet another call to serve, Bing decided to run for Mayor to help rebuild a city that he has loved and been a part of for more than 40 years. Proving that the basics of good performance, integrity and business can be applied to any area or industry, Bing has brought a renewed sense of trust and hope to the City of Detroit.
Poised to make the tough decisions, he has already begun to lay the groundwork for solid city government by instituting the toughest ethics ordinance in the city’s history. He and his team of professionals are also carefully analyzing ways to restructure operations to improve efficiency, and to tackle the city’s systemic issues.
Dave Bing is married to Yvette Bing, with whom he has shared more than 23 years. He is also the proud father of three, and grandfather of four. He still enjoys tennis and golf, as much as his now demanding schedule will allow.