Sunday, January 11, 2009

Strather identified those who formed nucleus of Atwater Associates in 1994

excerpted from an article published on 2.21.05 in Crain's Detroit:

When MotorCity was being organized in the days before the city's Detroit casinos were authorized, [Herb]Strather said, 112 Detroit area people each bought one or more $25,000 units in the company that eventually founded the casino.

"Many put in $100,000, four units," he said, making their holdings worth about $1.7 million today.

Strather said this investment growth in MotorCity doesn't include the $38.5 million that he and three other initial investors - Nellie Varner, Ron Slavik and James Blain - received when they sold their shares to Ilitch and to Mandalay, operating partner for MotorCity.

These four, along with former New Detroit President Paul Hubbard, funeral director O'Neill Swanson, and Barbara Callaway, who was Strather's grade-school teacher, were the original investors in 1994 when the city of Detroit voted approval for three casinos, Strather said.

That same article reported that Strather raised "about $3.3 million through Atwater to help win approval for three Detroit casinos in a 1996 statewide election campaign."

Strather, not known for consistency, appears to leave out Lawrence P. Doss in his references to AEA's original members although Doss signed the original Articles of Organization for Atwater Entertainment Associates LLC (AEA) in January 1995 along with Strather and Varner. Doss has been noted as Manager/Treasurer of AEA and along with Strather and Verner he was a signatory to the Detroit Entertainment LLC Operating Agreement on behalf of AEA.

Strather had formed another entity, Atwater Entertainment Associates, Inc., in May 2004. He changed the name to AEA, Inc. in January 2005 and the Michigan DL&EG indicates that entity expired in July 2005.

Atwater Entertainment Associates LLC was dissolved by Vivian Carpenter, Strather's wife, in September 2006.

See List: Investors - Atwater Entertainment Associates LLC

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