Leaders & Innovators: Phillip Cooley

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PHILLIP COOLEY is co–owner of Slows Bar BQ and Slows To Go and general contractor of O’Connor Development Group LLC in Detroit. Cooley’s latest endeavor is Pony Ride, which provides cheap work space in a 30,000-square-foot Detroit warehouse for socially conscious artists and entrepreneurs. Pony Ride accommodates more than 25 organizations in the space and plans to add more. Cooley and his brother bought their first building several years ago and began renovating it. That led to the formation of O’Connor Development, a real estate and development company, which owns several commercial and residential properties in Detroit. Slows Bar BQ opened in 2005 and has been recognized nationally not only for its menu but for revitalizing a Detroit neighborhood. Cooley has been recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of the magazine’s “20 in their 20s” young business leaders. He is on the board of the Architectural Salvage Warehouse Detroit, Greening of Detroit, Roosevelt Park Conservancy, Center for Community Based Enterprise, New Detroit, and the Heidelberg Project. Cooley is also on the advisory board of the ACLU of Southeastern Michigan, the advisory committee of the Knight Foundation (Detroit), and currently co-chairs the Mayor’s Advisory Task Force for the Detroit Works project. He also supports Playground Detroit. Cooley received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Columbia College in Chicago. Read the complete profile at http://www.ltu.edu/leaders.

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