Retired COO of Quicken Loans, Former Owner of The Cleveland Cavaliers, and Founder of Fatheads
April 27, 2002
When he was growing up on Dearborn Street in Flint, Pat McInnis could scarcely conceive in the adventures that awaited him. Not that he was a stranger to adventure. Any boy growing up as a Flintstone has that DNA firmly ensconced. Plus he was an athlete, and in Flint that meant playing with and against the best. But it wasn’t that kind of journey that played out for him. Rather, it was a business and entrepreneurial journey that would lead him to the adventure of a lifetime.
When he thinks of his youth and the values that it instilled in him, he goes beyond his upbringing in Flint and thinks of his mom. You see his mom faced challenges as a young woman that exceed anything most people anywhere experience. Growing up in Italy during World War Two led to her being completely cut off from her family and ultimately losing every belonging. She was imprisoned in a concentration camp and lived a daily life of hunger, desperation, and fear of the unknown. From these traumatic circumstances, she ultimately met Pat’s father, which led to the family he grew up in.
He believes this tough start informed the resilience he came to internalize. It served him well through his athletic career at both Flint Powers Catholic, and then Eastern Michigan University where he played football. His blue collar roots in Flint informed his foundational philosophy of Care, Trust, and Loyalty. Those aren’t just good ideas for a family--they work particularly well in a business, and weren’t optional if you hoped to successfully navigate the tough streets of Flint.
Taking that mentality in to the business world seemed like a natural, and a chance encounter from a referral to a business owner changed the trajectory of his life forever. Looking for a career path, his sister-in-law suggested that he talk to a fella who she cut hair for. That fella was none other than Dan Gilbert, founder of Rock Financial. Quickly hired, McInnis soon found that he had a knack for sales in general, and the mortgage business in particular. He loved the competition, the accountability, and the rewards. In short order, he was leading the entire sales organization and helped shepherd in the evolution to Rock Financial becoming Quicken Loans (it’s now Rocket Mortgage). By 2002, McInnis was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Quicken Loans.
That success led to other opportunities that included starting up a company called Fatheads that produced life size vinyl wall graphics featuring pro athletes and other celebrities. The company took off just like everything else he touched. While he was in the middle of doing all of this he managed to become a minority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team, and make friends in every venue he participated.
Throughout it all he never forgot where he came from, who he was, or the city and people who helped him grow from the kid on Dearborn Street to the COO of a major company and the owner of one of the top athletic franchises on the planet.
Despite being retired from active business pursuits today, he continues to deploy the triumvirate of core values that helped thousands of people in their life, career, and business: Care, Trust, and Loyalty. A genuine leader. A true Flintstone success story. And today a Hall of Fame member of “Fish and The Flint Chronicles!"