Gary Torgow is a recognized businessman, leader, and active participant in his Detroit community. Today he works as the Chairman of TCF Financial Corporation. TCF is a financial holding company based in Detroit, Michigan. As of December 31, 2019, they hold $47 billion in total assets. They also have a top 10 deposit market share in the Midwest.
The group’s banking subsidiary, TCF, has over 500 branches across the Midwest and the rest of the country. They provide consumer and commercial banking services including wealth management, specialty leasing, lending products, and more. The group conducts business throughout all 50 states and Canada through its specialty lending and leasing services.
Gary Torgow also served as the Chairman of the Chemical Financial Corporation, part of Chemical Bank, before they acquired TCF Financial Corporation and adopted the name. Mr. Torgow was the Founder and Chairman of the Chemical Bank’s predecessor, Talmer Bank. In addition to founding Talmer Bank, he also founded the Sterling Group, a real estate, development, and investment company based in Michigan. They have focused on acquiring, developing, and operating a variety of landmark properties throughout the state.
TCF Financial Corporation is highly involved in their community. They recently announced donations totaling $250,000 in support of Great Lakes Bay Region community organizations. They also created a $10 million Hardship Lending Program in response to dam failures and unprecedented flooding. The loan helps individuals and businesses who have been impacted by the floods to receive quick assistance so they can purchase the supplies necessary to rebuild. United Way of Midland County, the Midland Area Community Foundation, and the Gladwin County Community Foundation are all receiving assistance from TCF. Mr. Torgow believes that their “purpose is to strengthen individuals, businesses, and the community — not just in good times but in times of hardship.”
Gary also joined together with other CEOs from the region for a news conference inspired by a letter he created for his employees condemning the death of George Floyd while in police custody. During the press conference, nine executives discussed how leadership has evolved and how those in power need to take a stance that aligns with their company and consumers’ values. According to Torgow, “We unite together in rejecting all forms of bias, racism and violence in our workplaces and in our communities.” He went on to say that he wants to see his company increase purposeful engagement with its community, especially in the areas where peaceful protests were interrupted.
His involvement with the community does not end with his workplace. Gary Torgow also serves on the Board of Jackson National Life Insurance Company of New York and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Business Leaders of Michigan and the Detroit Downtown Partnership. He serves on the Foundation Boards of Wayne State University and Henry Ford Hospital and is a Trustee and Board member of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan. In the past, he has served on the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the Michigan Civil Rights Commission.
Gary Torgow has also won several awards. They include the Frank A. Wetsman Leadership Award from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, the Wayne State University Law School Outstanding Alumni Award, and the NAACP’s Fannie Lou Hamer “Keeping the Spirit Moving” Award. Gary originally graduated from Yeshiva University, then went on to Wayne State University School of Law. He is in good standing of the Michigan Bar Association. Mr. Torgow has also authored two books, Raising the Bar and Holy Warrior.
Raising the Bar
Raising the Bar shares the story of Manuel Merzon, an excellent example of the Jewish faith. In the book, published in 2001, Torgow shares about the perseverance of Merzon and discusses how although small in stature and gentle in demeanor, he was a giant of a person due to his strong will, divine purpose, and perseverance.
Holy Warrior is a book devoted to sharing the life of Rabbi Freedman, a man who was devoted to serving the Almighty at any cost. He saw himself as a humble servant and worked hard to achieve his holy purpose. He was extremely passionate about the Torah, and hoped that by sharing about it he could spiritually encourage everyone he came into contact with.
Gary and his wife Malke Torgow live in Michigan. They have five children and many grandchildren.