About This Project


Chris Grindem



Executive Director


How long have you been in operation:

We’re closing in on five years.


What inspired you to start your business?

Everyone needs to answer the question, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” For me, The Utmost Group does that. I’m taking 30+ years of experience in branding, marketing and comunications, and using it for the greater good in my hometown of Detroit.


What are some struggles you faced when trying to achieve your goals?

No relevant work, case studies or client testimonials to show/promote. It’s the Catch-22 of most service provider entrepreneurs. But we all have to start somewhere…

Being strong enough to say No. In most of the categories The Utmost Group operates, there’s always pressure to work for little or no money. Sometimes it can work as an authenitc win-win. Most times, it doesn’t. So I need to be both careful and wise about these opportunities.

Just showing up, doing the work, and choosing to remain optimistic. I very much like the Thomas Edison quote, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration.”


What is one of your most notable triumphs?What is one piece of advice you would give to those who want to be entrepreneurs?

Two words: Polite persistence.

As an entrepreneur, if you’re not persistent, you will fail. And if you’re not polite, you’ll also fail in the long run. Because what goes around really does come around.


Where do you envision your business and Detroit in 10 years?

The truth is, I don’t know. I believe that anyone who is confidently predicting the future 10 years out is delusional and/or a charlatan.

But based on my experience, I am sure that sustainable progress will continue, and Detroit’s emerging leaders will do the right things for the right reasons.


Finish this sentence: Detroit / Michigan / Your City needs…?

Detroit needs an abundance mentality. There’s enough here for everyone to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — if we choose come and work together for the common good.