Nominee’s nameJosh Gershonowicz

SEEN Changemaker CategoryBusiness

A picture of the nomineeA picture of the nominee
Nominee’s job titlePresident & CEO
Nominee’s cityDetroit
Please describe why the nominee is a SEEN Changemaker:

From 2012 start-up to 2019 creative agency servicing multinational companies, Rebuild has held true to its name, with Josh’s vision leading the way. He recently finished his second “rebuild” project in Detroit. His company Rebuild was one of the first businesses to see New Center’s potential, and he and his partner have now revitalized a 10,000-sq.ft. building in Milwaukee Junction to serve as its new headquarters location. Josh’s forward-thinking harnesses the strengths of long-term and new team members to “rebuild” the agency model to develop marketing breakthroughs enhancing bottom lines, client portfolios and brands.

Tell us about the individual’s accomplishments:

Some of Josh's greatest accomplishments have been through his leadership of Rebuild's creative solutions. Rebuild is breaking the mold on the large agency model, working diligently to focus on the emotional experiences people have as they interact with companies to build brands and motivation action, especially for Detroit companies, but also for those interested in the creative hustle coming out of Detroit. They have proven to companies ranging from international OEMs to regional vacation getaways how creative thinking can breakthrough.

For example, for more than two years, Rebuild served as both a strategic advisor and B2B/B2B2C marketer of the General Motors Marketplace platform, built in conjunction with Xevo, serving as a bridge between the two in the development of an entirely new in-car marketplace for advertisers. This platform allows GM drivers to use their touchscreen to place orders from behind the wheel for food/drink items and even pay for fuel without swiping their card at the pump. Brands in the platform include Shell (with Fuel Rewards), Dunkin’ Donuts, Applebee’s, Wing Stop and Yelp Reservations. Recently, it was announced that Lear Corporation entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Seattle-based Xevo Inc., broadening Lear's connectivity portfolio.

In another example, for TreeTops, from the beginning of the engagement, Rebuild used travel-decision-maker priorities to drive more than a digital solution but to highlight year-round resort experiences. Rebuild worked with the client to go from an “anchor activity” (e.g. golf, skiing) to a layered experience (e.g. Golftoberfest, Winter FamJam), combining multiple resort activities to create value from check-in to check-out. Based on this work, in 2018 Treetops booked 47% more revenue than 2017, leading to a 9% increase in guest room revenue.

How is he/she impacting the community or the lives of people in Metro Detroit or across the world.

Not only has Josh, through Rebuild, reinvested in Michigan’s growth twice by choosing to help revitalize neglected areas of Detroit, he has been a steady employer achieving incremental growth for job opportunities. The Rebuild team has helped bring a renewed client interest into the creative capabilities of Southeast Michigan with its support of multinational companies seeking creative thinking.

Josh's growth strategy for Rebuild in Metro Detroit is not just to continue to grow the agency but continue to bring jobs back to Detroit and be part of helping rebuild the district in Milwaukee Junction. Once a hub of automotive manufacturing, including the factory where the Ford Model T was first built and early innovations in the assembly line production occurred, Milwaukee Junction fell victim to blight and disrepair. The area was also home to The Jam Handy Organization, launched in 1932, and known for its creative support for General Motors and the production of more than 25,000 instructional films. The entire Rebuild culture is invested in helping return the area to its creative glory and bring renewed attention to the innovations brought on by the hardworking men and women of its history.


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