Dennis Archer is no stranger to the Detroit community.
Born in Detroit and raised in Western Michigan, Archer set himself to change the city of Detroit for the better. After graduating from Western Michigan University in 1965, Archer taught learning disabled students in public schools. Archer started law school at the Detroit College of Law by going to night school in the spring of 1966. Archer graduating with his Juris Doctorate in January in 1970.
His success as a lawyer lead him to become President of the Wolverine Bar, President of the National Bar Association and the first person of color to become president of the State Bar of Michigan and the American Bar Association.
After over fifteen years of practice as a lawyer, Archer was appointed and then elected to the Michigan Supreme Court. He resigned in the middle of an eight-year term to consider running for mayor.
Archer was elected mayor in 1993 and served from 1994 – 2001. He then term limited himself and became Chairman of the Dickinson Wright LLC Law Firm. He served in that capacity from 2002 – 2009.
One could say Archer gave his time to help make the city of Detroit a better place, but for him, it wasn’t enough.
Archer served as Chairman of the Detroit Regional Commerce from 2006 – 2007. Archer, a member of the Detroit Golf Club, was given the opportunity to become chairman of the volunteers at the Rocket Mortgage Classic when the tournament began in 2019.
“I wanted the city of Detroit, the region and state to host one of the best run PGA TOUR tournaments. I wanted fans to feel that pride, feel welcomed and be respected. I wanted the players and caddies to have the desire to come back and play the Detroit Golf Club,” said Archer.
Rocket Mortgage Classic had a tremendous number of fans show up for the tournament. The tournament had a large number of local charities to benefit from the tournament’s revenue.
What was even more special for Archer to see his community come together to volunteer and give back. There were 2,000 volunteers giving out their time on-site, but an additional 250 had signed up to take a shift if someone was unable to work.
“We benefited from the PGA TOUR Volunteer Service Excellence workshop the first year, developed with the service industry experts at Disney Institute. The workshop really helped set the tone of why volunteering was so important. The Rocket Mortgage Classic board really worked with the community and made sure everyone felt respected.”
The Volunteer Service Excellence program is designed to recognize the tireless efforts and unwavering passion of the TOUR’s more than 100,000 volunteers; unify volunteers around a common purpose; and provide volunteers with the knowledge and resources to deliver outstanding guest service to fans, players, media, sponsors and communities. The program is part of the PGA TOUR’s broader volunteer initiative focusing on the important role volunteers play in bringing these world-class events to life.
The Rocket Mortgage Classic in 2019 was honored by the PGA TOUR to receive four nominations, one which included utilizing the services of vendors who were women and minority members.
Another notable award that had been given to the Rocket Mortgage Classic had been the PGA TOUR’s Fair Way Award given to tournaments that recognize the PGA TOUR’s ongoing quest for diversity, inclusion and social responsibility. It is to highlight the best moments, gestures and initiatives that promote equality, fairness, respect and openness in professional golf.
For the 2020 TOUR season, the Rocket Mortgage Classic was to be held at the end of May because of the Olympics in Japan. Instead, due to COVID-19, the tournament took place at the end of June.
“It was definitely different from last year. We had no fans, no hospitality suites or venues to buy merchandise or food and beverage. Watching how things unfolded at the tournament, one could hear the birds chirp.”
Although it was a quiet scene, Archer could not praise the Rocket Mortgage Classic team and the volunteers more for their work running a tournament that ultimately had another positive impact on the community.
“The television commentators and others did a great job sharing with the public the action on the course and that helped to make them feel like they were there. Jay Monahan is just outstanding – he was there and attentive, with everyone who had a responsibility to make sure it was a well-run tournament.”
From the Rocket Mortgage Classic Exhibition held on Wednesday of tournament week with winners Bubba Watson and Harold Varner III to Bryson DeChambeau’s winning putt, it is safe to say that every joyful moment of the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic tournament was appreciated by Archer and the volunteers.
Archer strives to continuously make a positive difference in the city of Detroit.
“We want the Rocket Mortgage Classic to be the best and we want to continue it here at the Detroit Golf Club.”