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Men of Grosse Pointe

Men who Inspire

Jon B. Cotton

CEO and Board Member, Volunteer

What do you do as a professional and/or volunteer?

I am the president and CEO of Apex Health, Inc., a Medicare Advantage health plan. I also sit on the board of the Belle Isle Conservancy and my family’s non-profit, the Grosse Pointe Housing Foundation. We recently expanded our non-profit’s mission to help fund housing beyond just college students and graduates. We now support GP school system teachers and employees of local businesses. Our funding breakdown is now 60% students, 28% teachers, and 12% for employees.

What is your favorite hobby?

Being outdoors and doing anything in Northern Michigan. Nothing makes me happier than being on the water with my family.

What is your life’s motto?

Work hard, play hard. 

What advice would you give young people growing up in society today?

Get a job you hate when you are young. I want my teenage kids to come home from work exhausted and miserable. When I ask them how their day was, I want to hear, “It was awful.” To realize what you want to do in life, you must understand what you don’t want to do.

David Rickerman
Medical Device Rep, Volunteer, Coach

What do you do as a professional and/or volunteer?
I’m a medical device rep in the metro Detroit Area. I coach at GPN and Eagle Sports and volunteer at Grace Community Church in my free time. These have been great ways for me and my
family to be connected in the schools and community. You always get more out of the things you give!               
        
What is your favorite hobby?
Coaching my sons/daughters in sports. You’re coaching them in sports (skill, competitive drive) and the game of life (personality and habits).

What is your life’s motto?
Pay it forward. I remember days when I felt nothing was going my way, but then I stopped and helped someone or paid for someone’s lunch or coffee, and my day just changed for the better.
What advice would you give young people growing up in society today?
Shut off your electronics, and get out there and experience life. Stop watching someone else living it on a screen. God made you in his image; you’re so valuable to this world. Make your own path, work hard, play hard, and laugh as much as possible! Be resilient, as life doesn’t get easier, and you’ll get stronger with each challenge you overcome.

Michael French
CEO and Board Member, Volunteer

What do you do as a professional and/or volunteer?
I am the chief development officer for an environmental services company called Priority Waste. Before that, I had a 30+ year career in the business process services industry.
I am on the Executive Board for Mariners Inn, a substance abuse
treatment center and shelter for the homeless in the Cass Corridor. I’ve been on the board since 2010 and knew of the Inn as my family donated the primary building in honor of my father, Dainforth Baker French, in 1994.
I spent two years on the Executive Board of the American Heart Association Detroit Heart Ball.
I’m active in the community, helping others with sobriety.

What is your favorite hobby?
I combine my two passions of music and travel and attend many live shows out of town, averaging 10 to 15 concerts a year, most of them on the road. Basically, I am a groupie.
I’ve been struggling to learn to play just one song on my guitar for years.

What is your life’s motto?
Seek improvement, not perfection.

What advice would you give young people growing up in society today?
Put your phones down, and go be extraordinary.

Dr. Tristan Guevara

Physician, Volunteer

What do you do as a professional or volunteer?

I’ve been a family physician for the last 20 years and am a partner at Silver Pine Medical Group. I’m involved in HART (Haiti African Relief Team) and have been doing medical missions to Haiti and the Dominican Republic for the past seven years. I’m also involved in Young Life Grosse Pointe, a Christian Youth organization whose mission is to introduce Jesus to middle and high school students and help them grow in their faith.

What is your favorite hobby?

I love to play tennis, Peloton, and golf, but my golf score needs to reflect my enjoyment of the sport! I also enjoy hiking and traveling with my family.  

What is your life motto?

We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared us to do. Ephesians 2:10

God gave us all spiritual gifts to serve others. I enjoy using these gifts as a physician, father, husband, and son.

What advice would you give young people growing up in society today?

Take advantage of every opportunity and work hard to achieve your dreams. Do not let all the distractions take you off course. Also, seek God in all you do, and He will bless your path.

Tony Cimmarrusti

Businessman, Coach

What do you do as a professional and/or volunteer?

I spent 40 years as a trader, investor, fund of funds operator, and family office manager in the Pointes, on Wall Street, and at the CBOT. I also coached at diverse places, from Cabrini Green, Wheaton College, and Lake Arrowhead to Harvard, GP South, and countless Red Baron squads, GPFCLL teams, and the GP Wrestling Club.

What is your favorite hobby?

Growing up in SoCal and Mexico, I surfed, fished, and played any sport. I love exercising at Thrive in GPCR. It's also my continuous aim to encourage those struggling or who have lost their way wherever I go. My wife Martha and I continually seek to help others regain hope and optimism through friendship with Jesus.

What is your life's motto?

To love God and love people and to do all the good I can, by all the means I can, in all the ways I can, in all the places I can, at all the times I can, to all the people I can, for as long as I can. 

What advice would you give young people growing up in society today?

My best advice is to seek to understand and live out the two greatest commandments - "love God and love others!"

Mark J. Heppner

President & CEO

What do you do as a professional and/or volunteer?

I have the honor of being the president and CEO of Ford House. As such, I have the privilege to work with a dedicated board of trustees comprised of Ford family members to fulfill Eleanor Ford’s wishes in meaningful ways. I often receive kudos for these transformations and positive changes. Still, everyone knows that real success is due to the passionate and highly skilled team I work with.

What is your favorite hobby?

I live in Grosse Pointe during the week, but “home” is a hobby farm in Hartland, Michigan. My wife, children, and I enjoy rescuing and caring for various animals, including horses, goats, sheep, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, and geese. Being connected to nature is important to me.

What is your life’s motto?

Although this might sound cliché, I sincerely try to actively live each day through this simple motto – Be Kind. The power of kindness can and does change the world.

What advice would you give young people growing up in society today?

I would challenge young people to get involved in their communities, understand them, know the challenges, and be part of their solutions. Be the change you want to see.

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