What's The Diff?

The things Quicken Loans team members care about and want to share with the world

Making A Difference

Goodbye to the DIFF blog. Hello Zing!

Goodbye to the Quicken Loans DIFF blog. Hello Zing!I can’t believe it.

The DIFF blog is ending today. It’s over. Done.  Finished.

That’s right, the DIFF blog is officially retired.  We started the DIFF blog over four years ago as our original foray into blogging here at Quicken Loans. We wanted a blog. And we wanted to try something different. So, as part of a recruiting campaign, we launched the blog and wrote about things we found around the globe that made a difference.

The recruiting campaign ended a few months later, but the blog lived on. We’ve had several dozen writers over the years contribute to the blog. Almost a thousand posts in 4 years.

My favorite?

Just about a month or so after we launched the blog, my wife’s grandfather died. He had such an inspiring story, I wrote about it here. It pretty much cemented me as one of the main contributors to the blog for the next four years.  Check it out: Requiem for a Warrior.

One personal note about the DIFF blog. It was my writing here that eventually led to my current position leading the Quicken Loans Brainstorm team (content team).  It’s funny how things like this happen.  An opportunity opened up that I didn’t plan, and I can thank the DIFF for setting the stage for it.

I’ll miss this blog. I’m the first to admit I haven’t always given the DIFF blog the attention it deserved. Seems like other business priorities often got in the way of spending a lot of time writing here. But I never gave up on it and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working this for the past four and half years. Interestingly enough, I’ve never really considered myself a blogger. Just a writer working at a mortgage company that fell upon a pretty cool assignment.

So there you have it.

The time has come to say goodbye.

Goodbye to the DIFF blog, one of the favorite projects of my professional life..

Welcome, my friends, to Zing!

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Dan Gilbert – A Detroit Visionary!

WXYZ’s Detroit 2020 recently featured Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert, discussing his take on downtown Detroit’s future. Here’s some info from their website:

“Dan Gilbert wants to help Detroit become prosperous again.  And he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

The Chairman of Quicken Loans is moving 2,000 more workers from the suburbs to the heart of downtown Detroit.

Gilbert tells Detroit 2020 his company is talking to Apple about bring a retail store to the Chase Tower, which he recently bought.  Many of the workers coming downtown will be working at the Chase building.

Quicken Loans is the nation’s largest online lender.  Inside their headquarters at the Compuware Building, the atmosphere is Google-esque…with a ping-pong table, a slushy machine, and popcorn.  It’s also open, airy and colorful.

Gilbert also has companies that invest in entrepreneurs, which he believes are key to the city’s turnaround.

Channel 7′s Carolyn Clifford talked one-on-one with Gilbert:”

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Celebrate National Librarian Day

National Librarian Day

Celebrate National Librarian Day by honoring your favorite librarians!

“Libraries are the mind and soul of their communities, and librarians are the mind and soul of the library.” – American Library Association

April 16th is National Librarian Day, according to Holiday Insights. That means today is your chance to honor and celebrate the librarians who serve your community.

As Thomas Jefferson said, information is the currency of democracy. Librarians provide one of the most valuable services in a free society, protecting free access to information and knowledge, and intelligently using technology to enhance services. As the saying goes, librarians may not know everything, but they know where to find it.

In honor of Librarian Day, here are some facts* about libraries and librarians:
• Including academic, public, government, school and special libraries, the United States has a total of 122, 101 libraries, employing a total of 150,296 librarians.
• According to self reports by public libraries, library visitation has increased over the past ten years. In 2010, there were 5.1 visits per capita.
• In 2010, libraries circulated 2,277,549,000 materials, or 7.7 items per capita.
• In 2010, 34 percent of all circulated materials in public libraries were materials for children.
• The Harris Poll from Harris Interactive for 2008 found that 92 percent of Americans say they view their local library as an important education resource.
• Former First Lady Laura Bush, Beverly Clearly, Lewis Carroll, and Marcel Proust were all librarians at one time in their lives.

*from American Librarian Association Fact Sheet and Wikipedia.

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LiveWork Detroit Shows Students Advantages of City Living

LiveWork Detroit, an event sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, brought nearly 250 students from 20 universities to downtown Detroit last Friday to learn more about what’s to love about living in the Motor City.

The tour kicked off at the lovely Fillmore Theater, where young visitors were addressed by a variety of speakers – from Shannon Homes, Chief of Staff for Mayor Bing, to Jennifer Berkemeier, Special Events Director of the Fillmore. The overall theme was that young people who want to make their mark have a wide-open playing field and lots of community support in up-and-coming Detroit.

LiveWork Detroit Bus tour

Five buses toured just some of the highlights of Detroit.

In light of Detroit’s recent loss of population, Bryan Barnhill, a former DPS student and recent Harvard grad who now works as an aid to the mayor, brought up the historical Detroit fire of 1805.  He said the people of Detroit probably had a very low census that year, too. But residents rebuilt the city to one of the most important in the nation, which is a testament to the character of Detroiters and proof the city will rise again. Visitors were also enlightened to many unknowns about Detroit — for instance, Detroit is home to the second largest theater district in the nation, with over 13,000 theater seats in a 2-block radius. And downtown has over 130 bars and restaurants in its one square mile. And the incredible affordability of living right in the middle of it.

Students and visitors then boarded five buses for a whirlwind tour of the city, given by the knowledgeable guides at Inside Detroit.

Buses zipped around town, stopping at highlights like the gorgeous art deco Guardian Building, Belle Isle park, Eastern Market, Cork Town, The Heidelberg Project, and hot spots of Midtown, like the Avalon bakery.

Continue reading “LiveWork Detroit Shows Students Advantages of City Living” »

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Help Us Save Detroit 1-8-7

ABC’s primetime show Detroit 1-8-7 is backed into a corner and taking more blows than Sonny Liston in a Muhammad Ali fight. With ratings down, the show is in danger of being canned after only its first season. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is also pulling the plug on film tax credits in an effort to balance the state’s budget.

Detroit 1-8-7 has helped spotlight the city and showcased its humanity and spirit. The show gives viewers the real Detroit, the good and the bad.

If you’re a fan of the show, or just want to help a good cause, contact ABC and let them know the positive buzz Detroit 1-8-7 brings to the city. Direct your plea to Paul Lee, president of ABC entertainment. Please be polite, concise, and tell them you are not a happy camper!

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Quicken Loans Helps PostEgram Keep Military Families Connected

In January, 171 men and women of the 1775th Military Police Company joined together with their families for a Departure Ceremony at Ultimate Soccer in Pontiac. PostEgram was proud to be at the event signing up soldiers with PostEgram subscriptions–courtesy of Quicken Loans.

PostEgram will help these soldiers headed overseas feel connected to the people they love at home. We’re able to print their Facebook news and photos into a family magazine and deliver it to them via the US Mail to their new base in Afghanistan, which will have very limited Internet access.

We talked to many soldiers who were excited to be able to get their Facebook in print form, and many more parents and spouses who were delighted the service was free, thanks to Quicken Loans. It’s truly appreciated. Soldiers make so many sacrifices to serve their country—staying connected should not have to be one of them.

Go to www.postegram.com and find out how we KEEP MILITARY FAMILIES CONNECTED.

Watch the video:

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Quicken Loans Matching Lemonade Detroit Donations Through Jan. 31

Quicken Loans is matching donations to “Lemonade Detroit.” What is “Lemonade Detroit,” you ask? From their site:

“‘Lemonade: Detroit’ is a film about the disarming resilience of a city that can no longer rely on a single industry for its livelihood, and the entrepreneurial strengths of those who are reinventing themselves and their communities.

“Instead of sensationalizing blight, ‘Lemonade, Detroit’ will sensationalize hope, told through the intensely personal stories of those who are turning the city into what it will become.”

Quicken Loans Lemonade DetroitVery appropriately, the film is being made by acclaimed producer Erik Proulx, who also produced the film “Lemonade,” another glass-half-full documentary about how creative professionals find success after being laid off buy the marketing industry.

Sounds pretty cool right? Since we at Quicken Loans are all about highlighting the positive aspects of our home city, supporting “Lemonade Detroit” is a no-brainer.

Certainly not the least intriguing aspect of the film is the unique buy-a-frame funding structure. Contributors don’t just donate, they actually buy frames of the film – $1 per frame – and become IMDB-credited producers through their donation!

We can’t wait to see “Lemonade Detroit,” and are honored to be a part of this endeavor. Be part of it too, and help the film in a big way by giving double through our matching contribution!

But don’t miss your chance. Quicken Loans is only matching between now and January 31, 2011.

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Foodsurge: Healthy Fast Food, From Detroit with Love!

FoodsurgeThe challenge – come up with a concept that can change the way we eat.

We still live in the same fast-paced society, we still have things to do that prevent us from taking the time to cook like we should, but how can we incentivize the system to bring healthier choices to the fast food space? How can we have REAL food, fast? Not just crappy fast food?

Enter the Beet Squad, one of several teams from accross the country with a dream to and a plan to do just that. The Beet Squad came up with a concept called Foodsurge that uses online crowdsourcing (similar to Groupon) to hook up the people who desire healthy food fast with the producers who desire to bring it to them. Using online connections, would-be eaters vote to signify their willingness to buy, and preparers  prepare the fast, to-go, healthy items, based on a tipping point of minimum votes.

Great idea! But this will take money and support.

Enter Yoxi.tv. Yoxi will give marketing support and money to the winner of the competition.

Right now, Beet Squad/Foodsurge is one of two final contestants. And today is the last day to vote.

Beet Squad is an amazing example of Detroit ingenuity and the pioneering spirit that is infusing the city, especially around the foodie community with cool ideas like urban-garden supplied restaurants and travelling produce vending trucks. Help provide healthy options by helping the Beet Squad and Foodsurge win this thing!

Go here to register with yoxi.tv

And go here to vote for Beet Squad/Foodsurge.

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Quicken Loans is So Awesome We Won a National Philanthropy Award

IMG_0615Quicken Loans Inc. continues to re-define routine corporate culture after being awarded the National Philanthropy Day Outstanding Corporation Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Detroit Chapter. The award recognizes organizations that are dedicated to improving the quality of life in their community and around the world.

 “This honor is a tribute to our commitment to make a difference,” said Wendy Kemp, AVP of Community Relations at Quicken Loans. “Our team members, our clients, and our community – all shape who we are everyday.”

Kemp accepted the award in front of approximately 500 people representing over 100 non-profit organizations.

Last year, Quicken Loans donated more than $1 million to 250 non-profits and charitable organizations throughout southeast Michigan and northeast Ohio. Over the past five years, Quicken Loans has partnered with and contributed more than $5.1 million to 513 different charities. Continue reading “Quicken Loans is So Awesome We Won a National Philanthropy Award” »

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Quicken Loans Has Closed Over One Million Loans!

After 25 years, we did it.  Quicken Loans has reached and surpassed a major milestone.  We’ve closed our millionth loan!  Watch the video above to view our highly “technical” process for keeping track of all our loans and meet the Biedermanns – our one millionth closed client!  If you’ve ever closed a loan with Quicken Loans – thank you.  If you have yet to do so, now is a great time!  There’s still time to enter our Thanks A Million Giveaway and get your mortgage paid off!

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Today's Date:
Sunday, February 25, 2018