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Plugged into Detroit: Thomas Group Consulting helps clients maximize business opportunities


By Zach Burgess

New navigators emerge daily amidst explosive development opportunities that now characterize Detroit. But, there are few more formidable than Thomas Group Consulting Principals Buzz and Terence Thomas.

Respected by corporate and community stakeholders alike, these native Detroiters are garnering increased recognition for their capacity to chart the course of community-minded development efforts throughout Detroit.

With intimate knowledge of the region, a huge network and vast knowledge of the city’s business and political climate, Buzz and Terence are helping their rapidly expanding group of clients uncover and successfully pursue new development opportunities for the ‘greater good’ of Detroit.


Although their tony roster of clients includes industry leaders like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), MGM Grand and UHY, the firm also serves smaller firms and small business clients.

Unrelated by birth, these brothers in business have been friends since they were teenagers. Today they are on a mission to help restore Detroit to greatness by helping their clients visualize the limitless potential of the city.

It’s about how they can find ways to plug their clients into the needs and wants of the people by helping them understand and engage the neighborhoods.

“What we try to do is help our clients imagine what can be possible here in Detroit,” Buzz said. “We help them identify what the community is really asking for … not necessarily what (our clients) think it is asking for.”

Once they have identified the specific needs, the consulting group helps create a plan that engages the community and supports the vision the neighborhood has for its future.

L:R: Terence Thomas and Buzz Thomas

L:R: Terence Thomas and Buzz Thomas

“Our clients want to be successful in Detroit,” Buzz said. “They want to grow businesses here in the city. And what I like most is that they feel a sense of obligation to not just do business here, but be a partner with the folks that they hope to do business with.”

Buzz and Terence are working with clients who can help improve the school system and public services or have other businesses that will move Detroit forward. They already have their hands in a vast array of businesses including technology, healthcare, real estate, automotive, non-profits and, of course, those involved with public policy.

Both men have a background in that area. Buzz was a state legislator and Terence is a lawyer, who previously specialized in governmental affairs for one of the region’s largest healthcare providers. Still they are quick to tell you they are not lobbyists nor are they involved in changing public policy. What they do is offer strategic support, guidance and access to the right people so their clients can be successful throughout the city and the region.

“I believe in a vibrant Detroit,” said Buzz. “I believe in the Detroit I remember as a kid … that no matter where you go in America and you say you’re from Detroit someone always has a relative here or an amazing story or experience about the city. Not only in America, but wherever you go in the world … where that nostalgia for Detroit is omnipresent. It should be that type of city.”

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