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Episode 83 – Adrian Tonon, Detroit’s first 24-Hour Ambassador

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Adrian Tonon is an example of what happens when people believe anything is possible. The first-generation son of Italian immigrants, Adrian is now Director of Customer Service and the first 24-hour Economy Ambassador for the City of Detroit. But before that, he was an inspiring leader of the entertainment economy in Detroit, as co-founder of Sick Em Records with hip hop artist Kid Vishis, co-founder of the Detroit Music Foundation and a manager of bands during his years at Michigan State University.

He learned principles, dedication, and entrepreneurship from his family, who owned restaurants and created the Going Above and Beyond Curriculum at their flagship eatery Café Cortina. Adrian brought that curriculum to the City of Detroit to promote “the politics of love.” He has long seen the wisdom of using food and song to gather people and serve the community. 

In this episode, Lynne and Adrian discuss: 

  • The 24-hour economy 
  • The Detroit Unity Initiative 
  • Census 2020 
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospitality and creatives 
  • Living by principles 
  • The gig economy 
  • A missed opportunity to have dinner with Magic Johnson 
  • What restaurants, musicians and the hospitality industry have in common 

Links and Resources 

Coming up next on the Make Meaning Podcast: 

Lynne interviews Andrew Meloche, principal of Berkley High School, on being a principal during a pandemic and finding your passion in and around your profession! 

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