Making A Difference: Bud Denker


DETROIT – Penske Corporation Executive Vice President Bud Denker enjoys his job now as much as he did when he was first hired nine years ago. He travels the Grand Prix race car circuit, all throughout the country, as part of the Penske team.

"I have to keep [my life] in balance between my wife, my sons, my family and other community connections that I have," Denker said. "These are the things around you that give you happiness, so that you can enjoy the job the I have. For I am definitely blessed."

The Detroit Grand Prix has become not only the place to be, but a showcase of Detroit as a vibrant city that is more than capable of hosting such an event.

Bud Denker is the glue that manages the event. You might recall when the Grand Prix came to Detroit under the Coleman Young administration, these powerful cars race the streets of downtown. But as the event grew, Belle Isle became the site and it was not up to par.

Bud has a team of 150 people who prepare the course and develop the infrastructure. Preparation and cleanup is a big job with specific timeframes. Denker and his team work with the city and the state on meeting deadlines and working within certain prescribe guidelines. They also organize and manage all of the volunteers that serve at race times.

With Denker's leadership, the Grand Prix has become more than a race. It is a catalyst for Penske Corporation to invest in the city and Belle Isle.

Beyond street improvements, they have invested millions of dollars in improving the infrastructure of Belle Isle, like draining sewerage, pumping off water and fixing pips and foundations.

Denker and Penske Corporation are examples of how to make a difference. What they do for Belle Isle is not part of the contract. They invest their time, skills and money to help improve Belle Isle.

Denker is an everyday hero, Making A Difference.