"That's an important message from today -- the role models," she said. "There were young women in the room today, but there were [also] young men in the room seeing women in leadership roles."Another special attendee at the reception was Orioles third baseman and Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson. He spoke to the group about his playing days and the dedication it took to get to the Majors. "I loved every minute of [playing baseball]. I never wanted to do anything in my whole life except put on a uniform and be a baseball player," Robinson said. "I remember in the eighth grade I had to write a book called 'My Vocation,' about what I wanted to do when I grew up, and I wrote on being a big-league baseball player -- that was really my dream, and my dream came true." Robinson answered guests' questions and, after the brunch, took photos with them. Each guest also received an autographed baseball from Robinson. Kim Stine, an Economic Club member and John Hancock's director of marketing, said she was impressed by Robinson's determination. "If you can see it in your head and you commit to it, there's nothing that you can't do," Stine said. "There's really not a lot that you can't achieve if you have the passion for it." The Economic Club is the largest professional women's forum in the Detroit area, and it has over 2,000 members nationwide. According to Barclay, the goal is "to strengthen the environment by creating opportunities for women to lead and succeed." "We work with a really broad cross section of business and industry people," Barclay said. "When [people] think of Detroit, they think of autos and manufacturing, but there's really much more to the economy than that here. There are 24 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the state of Michigan, so we have members from all of those different companies." After the reception, the guests were invited to check out the John Hancock All-Star FanFest in the Cobo Center's main arena.
Christie Cowles is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.