Detroit has had its struggles and troubles, but there are positive stories and influential people in the city every day.

That's why Local 4 and local clergyman, the Rev. V. Lonnie Peek, Jr., have teamed up to find those people and tell those stories.

Everyday Heroes

The Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) has been a permanent and influential structure in Detroit since 1887. It was originally created to encourage and support amateur athletics. The building itself has grown into a massive physical structure with incredible art and architecture. It has exquisite housing accommodations for its members ? a pool, track, bowling alley, gym, workout facilities, sauna, banquet facilities, meeting room and dining areas. It is a city within a city, located in the heart of Detroit?s theater, sports and entertainment district.

How does an organization of this magnitude operate? It has accommodated presidents, sport figures, elected officials, celebrities, and movie stars, provides impeccable services to its members, all in a building that sparkles and honored with numerous awards. Well, one of the foundational lynch pins that not only holds this operation together but moves it each day is Steven B. Dunlap, the Director of Housekeeping. One might think, so what makes him an ?everyday hero?, he is just doing his job. But it is ?how? he does his job that makes a difference.

As a religious leader in his church, Steven has taken that training and transformed it into a style of leadership that makes the support systems of DAC seamless and highly operational everyday. He has been with the DAC 17 years and supervises 25 employees who work within 5 divisions; laundry room, housekeeping, quest room attendants, banquet room set up and tailor shop. It is his daily impact on people, the DAC members, quest, co-workers and past employees that makes him an ?everyday hero.?

His staff is just about as diverse as you can get Muslims, Christians, Bosnians, Irish, African Americans, Mexicans, and Puerto Ricans. Steven runs a common tread of compassion, understanding and motivation through their diverse backgrounds to make them a cohesive team. He has not become just a boss but a trainer, mentor and counselor.

The Muslims refer to this Christian man as a ?good man?. For example one of his employees had to return to Yemen to take care of his ailing father and brother. He called Steve for guidance on how to handle his daily challenges of dealing with his sick family in the midst of the violence that his country is enduring. He calls halfway around the world to speak to his ?mentor and friend?, Steve.

Beyond his personal individual touches, he touches them collectively with activities that help build camaraderie and friendships. He sponsors ethnic potluck dinners and pizza parties. Recently, he took a group of his folks over to the Book Cadillac for lunch. To get around, they used the People Mover. Several of them who have passed the People Mover for years exclaimed, ?We have never been on the People Mover before."

Steve?s philosophy is that in order for the ?front of the house to shine?, he has to motivate his team from the back of the house?. You just can?t be a boss. You have to bring a positive impact into their life that?s more valuable than money. Steve says,? I am available to my team 24-7. They give me their best, because I give them my best? Steve Dunlap ?makes a difference? not only at the DAC, but also in the lives of those who make the DAC what it is. He is an ?everyday hero?. Do you know an everyday hero in your life? E-mail us and tell us about them.

Rev. V. Lonnie Peek, Jr. located in Detroit in 1975. After teaching 2 years in DPS, he went to WSU receiving a Masters of Social Work, an activist on campus he created the Association of Black Students. He is an entrepreneur and serves on such civic boards as New Detroit, Inc, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. With extensive radio background expanding 25 years, he writes a weekly column for the Michigan Chronicle. He has been a regular on local/ national television shows dealing with political and social issuesAn ordained minister and seminary graduate, he serves on the executive committee and is the public relations chairman for the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity and is Assistant Pastor at Greater Christ Baptist Church.