30 in Their Thirties: Matthew X. Roling // 35

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Director of Business Development | Rock Ventures, Detroit | Employees: 23,500 |

Revenue: NA | University of Wisconsin

From a young age, Matthew X. Roling learned what it took to operate a business.

“My mom owned and operated a family day care center in our home, and I learned about revenue, taxes, and taking care of other children,” says Roling, director of business development at Rock Ventures in Detroit, an umbrella entity that provides operational guidance, coordination, and integration for Quicken Loans Inc.’s family of companies.

“My dad left when I was 11 years old, (so) my mom and my two younger sisters were all in it together,” he says, of the day care business. “We saw how our mom focused on building relationships with parents, making sure the books were in order, and providing proper nutrition for the children. It really inspired me to push myself.”

During college — Roling earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting from the University of Wisconsin — he sold cars and shoes. “I was Al Bundy before there was one,” he laughs.

Following graduation in 2003, he parlayed a college internship at General Motors into an entry-level position in the automaker’s finance and accounting operations. Two years later, he worked for PwC, and in 2008 he joined AlixPartners in Southfield, where he worked on GM’s post-bankruptcy operations — namely “Old GM,” or Motors Liquidation Co.  

In 2012, he joined Rock Ventures. “I love it here,” he says. “It’s just a special place with all of the people, opportunities, ideas, and resources. It feels like Dan (Gilbert, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans) spent the first 30 years (of his career) building Quicken Loans, and now he wants to spend the next 30 years rebuilding Detroit.”

Along the way, Roling and a due diligence team worked on the acquisition and integration of Greektown Casino into the Quicken family of companies, and helped launch ZipCar, a vehicle-sharing service in Detroit, among other operational activities.

“During the last five years, our organization has grown by leaps and bounds, and I want to see more cranes, more buildings, more residents, more businesses, and more people from all walks of life experiencing success here in Detroit,” he says.

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