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1001 Woodward
Detroit, Michigan 48226

Timothy Bryan

By MJ Galbraith
October 10, 2013

Detroit's biggest boosters and business leaders tend to have ties to the city itself, emotional or otherwise. Timothy Bryan, CEO of technology corporation GalaxE.Solutions, never even set foot here before 2010, when he opened GalaxE's second North American office at 1001 Woodward. He says he never even caught a connecting flight in Michigan before.
In conversation, Bryan doesn't bring up childhood trips to the Fox Theatre or Tiger Stadium, and he couldn't tell you about the city's long-defunct streetcar system if he tried. Bryan's a businessman, one with a Rutgers University education and a corporate headquarters in Somerset, New Jersey. But what Bryan can tell you about is why he expanded operations into Detroit and why it was such a good idea.
"We had—and have—enormous expectations about this city. From everything that we could see, all the elements were present for a renaissance for the city," says Bryan. "And if you believe as we do that computer technology work is coming back to the United States, based on the requirements around quality and the value that is driven from proximity and collaboration, which goes on where your clients are, we thought that this work needed to be done some place [in the U.S.], and we thought Detroit had everything that we needed to be successful."
Bryan believes that the trend of the outsourcing of technology work will soon be reversed. It's what led to that enormous banner you can see from just about anywhere north of Campus Martius park, 'Outsource to Detroit'. It's Bryan's call to businesses in the United States and beyond to move their technology operations into the city. He says he's received messages from people in Poland and China that have seen pictures of the banner in their local newspapers.
One of the reasons Bryan believes so strongly in the future of the Detroit tech industry is Michigan's education infrastructure. It was a key component in his decision to locate in Detroit in the first place. Now that GalaxE is here, they have teamed with some of their downtown neighbors to strengthen that infrastructure and better connect students with IT careers in the city. The partnership between GalaxE, Compuware, Quicken Loans, Marketing Associates, Fathead, and Title Source is called "IT in the D." Bryan was even invited to the White House to have two meetings with President Obama on the subject.
"What you're going to see, really for the first time ever, is regional alignment," says Bryan. "If you think about the hiring power of these companies and you essentially create a supply chain where you put an order in with an educational institution, 'You turn out people that meet these requirements and we'll have jobs waiting for them on the other side'."
Despite Bryan's lack of emotional ties to Detroit, he has made sure that GalaxE is an upstanding corporate citizen of the city. In addition to his involvement with IT in the D, Bryan answered a call from Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, agreeing to the mayor's request for assistance with the police department's relationship with technology. GalaxE donated hardware, software, and requisite labor to outfit the mayor's mini-police stations rolled out in 2012.
For a city facing the uncertainty of a pending bankruptcy hearing, Detroit's leaders no doubt appreciate a company like GalaxE.Solutions coming in from out of town and not only establishing itself as a hiring presence but also in actions like offering its services to the police department. Of course, what Timothy Bryan says next is incredibly important to the city's future too.
"We're here because it's good business to be here."

All photos by Doug Coombe.

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