For This Detroit Business Owner, Fairness Is Good for Business

Joe Lentine • Detroit

Joe Lentine & StaffJoe Lentine runs a second-generation family-owned business in Detroit. His father founded DENCAP Dental Plans in 1984, selling dental coverage to people in Detroit at first and then the greater southeastern Michigan area.

“My dad always taught me that diversity was a strength,” Lentine says. “For him it wasn’t about where you were from or what religion you were, it was about whether you could do the job,” Joe says.

Today, DENCAP is run exactly the same way. Joe says he supports updating the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act because every worker in Michigan – including gay and transgender Michiganders – should be judged by their ability to do the job, not by things out of their control.

“For us, the diversity of our employees is a huge strength. It only helps our business. I have always worked to make sure that every single one of my employees feels welcomed and valued, just like my dad did. I think that’s a big part of why we have such great employee retention,” Lentine says.

For many years, the company was stable with about 10 employees, but in the last few years they have expanded to 23, with more growth expected.

“Everyone we’ve hired over the past few years, and everyone we’re looking to hire, it’s only about one thing: Will you do the job well. That’s how it should be for everyone who is looking for work in Michigan.”

Joe is glad to support Freedom Michigan and the effort to make sure that all workers in Michigan are treated fairly. For him, it’s not only the right thing to do, but it’s the way his family has always done business.

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