Grad's book making splash at Beach Book Festival, beyond

Posted: June 17, 2013

HOWELL – If you happen to be looking for a good book to read at the beach this summer, you may want to consider “17 Cents and a Dream,” by Cleary University alumnus Daniel Milstein.

But don’t take our word for it.

Milstein’s book was just named the best general non-fiction book for the 2013 Beach Book Festival. It is also ranked No. 1 on Amazon’s list of the best-selling Kindle ebooks in the business and entrepreneurship category.

“17 Cents and A Dream” chronicles the Milstein family’s tough life in Kiev, Ukraine under an oppressive government and how they managed to escape to the United States. When he arrived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Milstein had 17 cents in his pocket, given to him by a friend to cover the expense of a postage stamp so that Milstein could send him a letter.

Milstein began his career working long hours mopping floors and cleaning restrooms at a local fast food restaurant. A strong work ethic and determination led him to graduate from Cleary University to succeed in jobs at various financial institutions, where he was consistently promoted.

“None of this came easy.... In school after working my morning shift at McDonald's, I was painfully aware that I smelled like a quarter pounder with cheese,” Milstein said in a recent interview. “I was always tired, but I was also proud that I was able to take care of my family and to make something of myself, to honor the wishes of my grandfather."

Milstein is the founder, president and CEO of Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group. He has led the company to the INC 500 list as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. Gold Star has more than 500 employees in 48 offices across the U.S. and has been named a top workplace in Michigan for four years by the Detroit Free Press.

Cleary University ( is an independent, not-for-profit, multi-campus, specialized business university, committed to the betterment of society through the success of its alumni and their employers; to operate as a role model of responsible business practice; to embrace quality management principles, innovation, and an attentive customer focus; and to aspire to a better future.

Cleary’s mission is to provide a practical, application-based education, which equips students to advance their careers.