Tag Archives: Metro Detroit Youth Day

Franco On the Town – July Edition

The month of July took Franco to Oregon, local events and we even had a chance to play with puppies.

Marie and Jen celebrated Buddy’s 70th anniversary with the unveiling of a new mural outside the original location on the corner of Six Mile and Conant in Detroit. Detroit Street Artist Fel3000ft painted an original art piece that blends directly into the sky.

JS and MS at Buddy's mural

Pictured left to right: Jen, Wes Pikula – Buddy’s Pizza vice president of operations, Michelle Lawton – Buddy’s Pizza marketing director, Marie, and Fel3000ft – Detroit street artist and muralist.

Jermaine got a tour of the Fox 2 truck during a live shot at Belle Isle for the 34th annual Metro Detroit Youth Day.


Brittanie took photos at Metro Detroit Youth Day. Here she is catching some great shots of kids in the boxing ring.


Ann Marie gave the camera a big smile while checking out a RAV4 Hybrid  at NWAPA (Northwest Automotive Press Association) Drive Revolution in Portland, OR.


Mary captured playful moments at Pathways Academy’s daycare photo shoot to help promote the Detroit charter school. Pathways Academy is geared toward 7th through 12th-grade pregnant or young parents.

Pathways photo shoot

Dan, Andrea and Lauren pause for a photo during Comerica Bank VIP Party at Cheli’s Chili. The Franconians are using their event knowledge at every Saturday Detroit Tigers home game.

DH, AK, LC at Comerica VIP Party

Tina got her puppy fix in during Pet Day On the Plaza. She spent time with this adorable Puggle (the offspring of a beagle and a pug).

“This is me and my new boyfriend, Louie.” – Tina

TK On the Plaza - puppy day

Mary and Rene enjoy some sunshine on a Fisher Building balcony overlooking downtown Detroit during a recent building photo shoot.

MP and RC at Fisher building

Elizabeth, Mary and Rene joined communications professionals from throughout metro Detroit at the DBusiness Breakfast Series. Guests enjoyed a presentation from Tom Wilson, president and CEO of Olympia Entertainment, detailing plans for the new Little Caesars Arena and the city of Detroit.

ERS, MP, RC at DBusiness Breakfast series

Live on Location from Metro Detroit Youth Day

Have you ever seen someone photo bomb a news reporter’s live frame? Imagine 34,000 kids serving as the background to a live set. That’s what Metro Detroit Youth Day looked like on July 15.

Up until Metro Detroit Youth Day, I had only been in news studios for TV segments. Metro Detroit Youth Day attracted all the major Detroit news stations and a radio station. Metro Detroit Youth Day is a treasured event in Detroit that invites children ages 8-15 for a day of fun, learning, activities and sports. This was my first time being live on location with media and wow, it is a different ball game.

We usually arrive 30-45 minutes before airtime for in studio segments. That gives the client plenty of time to set up, review speaking points and prepare anything needed on-air. We have lots of time to stage the set carefully, making it look appealing for camera. Being in a studio provides a controlled environment, so it comes out exactly how we want.

TV in studio

TV on location makes you stay on your toes. I followed our resident media relations guru, Dan Stocking (check out his most recent blog on measuring success in business) for the day while he organized interview after interview with multiple reporters. Often times it went a little something like this:

Reporter: “Can we get insert name to go on air with us? We’re live in 5 minutes.”

Off goes Dan to find someone to put on air.

It is truly a different beast. TV on location forces you to set the stage on the fly with whatever you have, wherever you are. This means running around to find an appropriate spokesperson who can provide necessary information on air. Being live on location also makes the surrounding environment a variable. You never know who could mosey into the frame or what kind of commotion can happen behind the reporter.

walking in tv frame

It’s fast-paced and can be challenging, sure. However, the result of being live on location makes it all worth it, giving reporters the opportunity to be interactive with Metro Detroit Youth Day. It makes a standard studio stage an exciting backdrop that conveys the energy of the event, which at Metro Detroit Youth Day was a LOT of energy with 34,000 kids running around.

Camera operators were able to capture things like:

mdyd in action 2

mdyd in action

Metro Detroit Youth day was a successful day of activities and fun for the kids and for those of us working it. I’ll leave you with the motto of the organization, craftily painted by the students that attended.


Sasha Reeves is a PR Coordinator for Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at 313-567-5090 or reeves@franco.com.

CEO Dan Ponder honored by Michigan State University as Alumni of the Decade

Franco’s CEO Dan Ponder’s wealth of business experience has led to many recent honors. Let me tell you what makes Dan such an amazing business person and mentor.

In addition to celebrating his 30th anniversary with Franco earlier this year, Dan was recently recognized as Michigan State University Broad College of Business Executive MBA Program’s Alumni of the Decade. An honor bestowed upon distinguished alumni who have made a significant and lasting impact on the program, their industry or in their communities, Dan was one of ten alumni recognized throughout the MBA program’s 50-year history.

Dan Ponder MSU Alumni of the Decade

Dan Ponder accepts the Alumni of the Decade award from Dean Sanjay Gupta. In a recent interview with The Detroit Free Press, Dan gives a detailed look at Franco’s past, present and future, as well as his role in the agency.

Dan Ponder has also recently been honored by the Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation with the Corporate Hero Award for his support of Metro Detroit Youth Day and was named one of 2015’s Most Valuable Professionals by Corp! Magazine for his leading work at Franco Public Relations Group and in the city of Detroit.

Dan exemplifies Franco’s commitment to the community and leads by example serving on many nonprofit boards and committees, including serving as vice chairman of the St. John Providence Health System Board of Trustees including Human Resource and Physician Compensation Committee Chair; Executive Committee member, treasurer and finance committee chair of the Detroit Regional Chamber Board of Directors including serving on its Foundation Board and Audit Committee;  past chairman of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, inaugural chairman of its Energy, Telecommunications & Technology Committee, currently serving as treasurer of the MCC Foundation; past chairman of Crime Stoppers of Michigan Board of Directors, currently serving as Executive and Nominating Committee member; Salvation Army Metro Advisory Board; U.S. Army-SE MI Advisory Council; Ecumenical Theological Seminary Board of Directors; and member of the Detroit Athletic Club Audit Committee.

A modest leader, Ponder would much rather utilize his relationships to promote the news of his clients or employees than focus on his own accomplishments. But, behind the scenes Ponder is a driving force of Franco’s business development and operations.

Back at the Franco office located in the GM Renaissance Center, Dan is hands-on leader and can often be found working in his office with a door that’s always open.

If you’re so inclined, please take to Franco’s Facebook and Twitter and join me in congratulating Dan Ponder for his recent accomplishments!

Dan Stocking is an account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach him at (313) 567-5094 or stocking@franco.com. Follow him on Twitter @danielstocking.