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December 12, 2013 - Image 38

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-12-12

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>> ... Next Generation ...

Storied _
Promising

Brad Dizik steps in to steer Masonic Temple toward better times.

ALLAN NAHAJEWSKI I CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The Masonic Theater

n some ways, the future could not be brighter for Detroit's Masonic Temple.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the world's largest Masonic
Temple is in good shape. It has one of the largest indoor stages in the country,
and it stands in the middle of the 45-block entertainment district planned
between Downtown and Midtown. The new arena for the Detroit Red
Wings will be across the street.
But before that exciting future can become reality, there's a rocky road
to navigate in the form of lawsuits and financial challenges.
Enter Brad Dizik.
The 30-year-old legal and financial strategist has been a special adviser
to the Masonic Temple's board of trustees since May. He's president and
founder of Tiberian Regulatory Advisers LLC and Dizik PC, based in New
York. In his brief career, he has worked on the General Motors bankruptcy,
the Lehman Brothers and AIG cases, and has provided counsel to financial
institutions, sovereign funds, corporations and individuals on sensitive
financial, regulatory and political matters.
Brad Dizik
A third-generation mason, Dizik was motivated to offer his services
to the Masonic Temple after reading that it was about to go into foreclosure. "That's
when I called to ask how I could help," he said.
Dizik's scope of involvement is wide-ranging.
"Anybody who looks at litigation myopically and only sees it through the lens of the
law and doesn't see it through the lens of how it relates to the business operations,
public relations and a multitude of tangential issues is going at it the wrong way," he
says. "The reputation of the temple needed to be defended, rebuilt and preserved."
With that objective in mind, Dizik has brought Rebuild Nation on board to publicize
the facility and help rebuild its image. The Royal Oak-based public relations and
marketing firm is owned by Joshua Gershonowicz.
In addition, Crofoot Presents, based in Pontiac, has been selected as the temple's
lead promoter.
Earlier this year, singer-songwriter Jack White, formerly of the White Stripes, donated
money to the temple to pay $142,000 in back taxes to Wayne County. White has
performed at the temple, and his mother worked there as an usher when he was
growing up. The temple's 1,600-seat Scottish Rite Cathedral Theater has been renamed
in his honor.
"Activity here is picking up," Dizik said. "We had 15 to 20 events scheduled this fall.
A few years ago, there were just four events all year."

38

December 12 • 2013

The Jack White Theater

Dizik grew up in the Detroit area, attending North Farmington High School. He has
earned degrees from Georgetown University Law Center and Michigan State University
and is a member of the New York and District of Columbia bar associations. He is a
lifelong member of West Bloomfield-based Temple Israel, where he taught a class on
Jewish politics while in law school.
Rabbi Joshua Bennett of Temple Israel says Dizik is right for his newest
role. "I've known Brad for many years, and he's always been an amazing
young man with great character and work ethic," he said. "Brad's always
been a go-getter. He's very directed and refuses to take no for an answer,
which is ideal for his work for the Masonic Temple."
The 85-year-old facility still serves as a meeting place for various
Masonic organizations. Inside its walls are 1,037 rooms, including three
theaters, three ballrooms, numerous meeting rooms, dining rooms and
offices.
Groundbreaking took place on Thanksgiving Day, 1920. The
cornerstone was placed on Sept. 19, 1922, using the same trowel that
George Washington had used to set the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol.
The building was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1926.
Through the years, the temple's stages have hosted a wide range of performers —
from Jascha Heifetz to Jimi Hendrix. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra broadcast a live
weekly nationwide radio show from the temple from 1936 to 1942.
For the third year in a row, the temple was the site of Theatre Bizarre, a sold-out,
two-day Halloween event with thousands of partygoers on seven floors.
"We can host just about any kind of event here — bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings,
community or corporate events," Dizik said. "We have rooms as small as efficiencies,
and we have a 4,400-seat theater. We have beautiful ballrooms and a 17,500-square-
foot drill hall, where early auto shows were held. We have a room with a cigar-bar
license with amazing wood paneling and gorgeous craftsmanship. We have many
rooms where small groups can gather. There's a room for everything."
Including offices. "Two floors are currently used by film studios," Dizik said. "We
have two movies shooting here currently. We're one of four buildings in Michigan
that movie studios can use for tax credit, and the only one in Detroit. We are actively
seeking a good fit for the remaining office space. We have space for 60-80 employees,
maybe more."
For more about renting space at the temple for an office or an event, call (313)
832-7100 or visit themasonic.com . ❑

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