Barry Matherly

President and CEO, Detroit Regional Partnership

Barry Matherly is the president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership, an economic development nonprofit serving Southeast Michigan’s 11-county region. Under Matherly’s leadership, the Partnership is laser focused on marketing the region to out-of-state and international companies to attract investments and jobs.

Prior to joining the Detroit Regional Partnership, Matherly was the chair of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). He is also a member of the IEDC thinktank, the Economic Development Research Partners. Matherly also serves on the executive board of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and is an institute instructor.

Matherly earned a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and a master’s degree from Virginia Tech University.  He is a recipient of the Robert B. Cassell Leadership Award.

Megan Moslimani

Chief Legal Counsel, Special Projects, City of Detroit

Megan Moslimani is the chief legal counsel for special projects for the City of Detroit, where she is responsible for strategic initiatives integral to the City’s revitalization and development. In 2016, she led the Medical Marijuana Enforcement and Regulation program helping the City implement a complex framework to regulate the possession and sale of medicinal marijuana. Today, she oversees the Medical Marijuana Facilities Review Committee, which is responsible for reviewing and approving applications for new marijuana facilities

Moslimani also assists in the oversight of the Local Prosecution Unit at 36th District Court and commercial blight litigation before the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County. She has been deputized by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to practice as a Special Assistant Prosecuting Attorney to prosecute graffiti, illegal dumping and scrap metal thefts across the City. Megan takes pride in that fact that her work will increase the quality of life of the citizens of Detroit.

She began her career as an assistant prosecuting attorney at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office in the Trials Division. Moslimani serves on the boards of the Arab Civil Rights League, the Detroit Bar Association, and the Detroit Institute of Arts Founders Junior Council, and Police and Fire Retirement System Pension.

Keep Up On All of Destination Detroit’s Business Attraction Efforts From the Past Few Months

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s award-winning Destination Detroit team has been busy traveling the globe and nation promoting the Detroit region to companies and site selectors. Some trip highlights from the past few months include:

Oct. 29-30: Israel Fuel Choice and Mobility Summit
Joined by Oakland County and PlanetM, the Chamber returned to Israel for the country’s second largest mobility conference and tradeshow. The teams met with more than 50 Israeli startups with connected, autonomous, shared, and electric (CASE) technologies and a number of established global automotive leaders.

Nov. 26-30: Vehicle and Transportation Technology Innovation Meetings (VTM)
The Chamber traveled to Torino, Italy for VTM Torino, an event convening the traditional Italian automotive industry with new disruptive technology and mobility companies across Europe. As the global leader of next-generation mobility, the Chamber represented the Detroit region at the show and participated in more than 20 meetings with companies interested in relocating to the region alongside Comerica Bank, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) and Oakland County.

Nov. 26-30: Automobility LA
Similar to the North American International Auto Show’s AutoMobili-D exhibit, the LA Auto Show kicked off with AutoMobility LA. The Chamber traveled with the MEDC and PlanetM to attract startup companies with automotive and mobility technology to the Detroit region, while promoting the PlanetM Landing Zone. The team met with more than 13 startups, an OEM, a global accelerator and an engineering firm interested in the Detroit region.

Site Selector Outreach Trips
Over the past few months, the Chamber has participated in site selection trips to Cleveland, Ohio and Nashville, Tenn. to gain leads for businesses interested in re-locating to the Detroit region. Through both trips with regional economic development partners, the team met with more than 30 site selectors.

Update on Destination Detroit and the New Business Attraction Entity
In early November, the Chamber shared that Barry Matherly was selected as the CEO for the new business attraction and regional marketing entity. The entity was formed through collaborative efforts by the Chamber and a group of business and philanthropic CEOs from across the region. Matherly will lead the new entity from the Chamber offices and the Chamber’s Destination Detroit team will transition over to become employees of the new entity in the new year. Learn more about the progression of the new entity here.

Leigh Ann Hello

Vice President, The Cabinet Studio

Leigh Ann Hello is the vice president of The Cabinet Studio, a Windsor-based business that designs and sells non-toxic, green kitchen cabinetry. She has been with the company since 2005.

Prior to joining The Cabinet Studio, Hello worked in engineering, marketing, and business. She earned a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Windsor.

Hello has been published in local and national magazine, such as The Art of Luxury Living. She has received awards for her design from The National Kitchen and Bath Association. Hello has also been recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by The Women’s Council of Realtors Birmingham-Bloomfield Chapter and most recently was featured in a film photography exhibition celebrating twenty of Windsor’s most influential and impactful women.

Najah Bazzy

Executive Director and Founder, Zaman International

Najah Bazzy, is the executive director and CEO of Zaman International, a metro Detroit-based nonprofit providing crisis assistance and vocational training to marginalized women with children.

In addition to Zaman International, Bazzy is the CEO of Di­versity Specialists and Transcultural Health Care Solutions, a training group that promotes cross-cultural understanding between clinicians and patients. As head of that organization, she has conducted workshops for health care administrators, practitioners, educators and policymakers on cultural and spiritual considerations for service delivery, ethical decision-making, staff training, and end-of-life care.

Bazzy was recently profiled on CBS 62’s “Eye on the Future: The Power of Women” along with Suzanne Shank, Mary Barra, Gretchen Valade and Andra Rush. She earned her nursing degree from Madonna University with a specialization in critical care and transcultural nursing, which promotes cultural and spiritual competency within health care.

Christy McDonald

Christy McDonald is the anchor and moderator of “MiWeek,” a weekly news and political analysis show on WTVS – Detroit’s PBS. McDonald also anchors WTVS special coverage including the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference. She has appeared on the PBS “NewsHour” and CNN reporting on Detroit, Michigan politics and the 2016 presidential election.

McDonald has moderated panels at the Detroit Economic Club, Detroit Policy Conference, Mackinac Policy Conference, Great Lakes Conference and Michigan Political Science Association Conference.

As an Emmy-winning anchor and reporter, McDonald connected with Detroit viewers for 10 years on WXYZ-TV 7 on big stories, from 9/11 in New York to political corruption in the city of Detroit. She has received reporting honors from the Associated Press and Michigan Association of Broadcasters for anchoring and breaking news coverage. She is a graduate of Michigan State University’s James Madison College.

Adrienne Bennett

President and CEO, Benkari LLC

Adrienne Bennett is president and CEO of her contracting company, Benkari LLC. In this position, she leads a team of operational personnel, negotiates contracts, consults on water conservation and commissioning, and has worked on projects that include the construction of the Little Caesars Arena. She is the first black female master plumber in the nation.

Prior to starting her own business, Bennett served as a consultant in project management and design for Products Direct LLC, serving clients including Comerica Park, Ford Field and Atlantic City. In this position she worked with a team to create hospital plumbing and piping and led preventive maintenance programs.

Bennett is active in several professional organizations including the American Society of Plumbing Engineers, the American Society of Sanitary Engineers, and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.

A Message From Sandy Baruah, President and CEO

As 2018 comes to an end, Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah reflects on the Chamber’s priorities over the past year while looking forward to 2019.

Thank you to all of our members, investors, Board members, government leaders and stakeholders that made this year prosperous for the Detroit region.

Gretchen Whitmer

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is a lifelong Michigander.  She is a lawyer, an educator, former prosecutor, State Representative and Senator.  She was the first woman to lead a Senate caucus. But the most important title she boasts is MOM. Inspired by her family, she’s devoted her life to building a stronger Michigan for everyone.

Governor Whitmer was elected to the House of Representatives in 2000 and elected to the Michigan State Senate in 2006 where she served as the Senate Democratic Leader. In the 2018 gubernatorial election, Governor Whitmer won all 83 counties in the primary and won the general election with 53 percent of the vote. Since taking her oath of office, she has put together the most diverse cabinet in our state’s history and has signed executive directives to clean up our drinking water, end discrimination in state government based on sexual orientation and gender identity, secure equal pay for equal work, and expand opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses. She has led bipartisan negotiations to lower Michiganders’ auto insurance and led a bipartisan group of legislators and business, education, and labor leaders to make sure every Michigander has a path to a high wage skill.

Governor Whitmer is committed to solving the problems Michiganders face every day. She has put a bold budget plan on the table that will ensure every Michigander has a great public education and a path to a good-paying job, every community has clean, safe drinking water, and everyone can drive to work or drop their kids at school safely, without blowing a tire or cracking a windshield.

Ridgway White

Ridgway White is president and CEO of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, headquartered in Flint, Michigan. Established by an automotive pioneer in 1926, Mott is a private philanthropy supporting projects that promote a just, equitable, and sustainable society. Grantmaking is focused in four programs: Civil Society, Education, Environment, and Flint Area. Offices are in Flint, metropolitan Detroit, Johannesburg, and London.

White is a driving force behind public-private partnerships aimed at revitalizing Flint and strengthening its education continuum. He was instrumental in helping Flint return to Detroit’s water system — a critical first step in bringing safe drinking water back to the community. He is also passionate about protecting and restoring the Great Lakes, increasing access to high-quality afterschool programs for all children, and advancing community philanthropy, both locally and globally.