Leadership Detroit Turns 40

Dome Magazine

By: Tom Watkins

Times Flies. I was in Leadership Detroit ll or class 2 , 38 years ago? Come on!

I am a proud recipient of the “lifetime achievement award” from Leadership Detroit in 2011 and am grateful for the contacts and friendships I made early in my career across city-suburban, race, ethnicity, professional backgrounds in the nonprofit, government and private sectors. Many remain friends to this day. In fact one of the strengths of this Chamber leadership program is the enduring personal and professional relationships that continue far beyond graduation. It is like joining a sorority or fraternity – without the hazing!

Leadership Detroit was launched in 1979 under the leadership of Frank Smith, the Detroit Regional Chamber CEO, and today is a vibrant community leadership program for executives in Southeast Michigan, with nearly 2,000 alumni. The program aims to create awareness of key issues that affect the Detroit region and to challenge emerging and existing community leaders to bring about positive change in the community through informed leadership.

It’s able Chamber staff leader, Dan Piepszowski, Senior Director, Community Leadership Development Detroit Regional Chamber (LD XVII) is as passionate about the leadership development program as he is to the enrichment and advancement of the entire SE Michigan region. He is the ultimate cheerleader for the program and engaging the rich tapestry of people and talent that make up our city and region.

Like the leaders that came before him, Dan is energetic, dynamic, and committed to adding value and making a lasting and positive difference.

Dan captures the essence of Leadership Detroit explaining, “The Leadership Detroit experience takes executives out of their comfort zones to challenge long-held assumptions and to embrace multiple and diverse perspectives on quality of life issues in the Detroit region and Michigan. These leaders have proven that change is possible when passion, commitment, and courage coalesce to change our understanding and expectations of what is possible.”

Leadership Matters!

Some, and by no means not all of the distinguished alumni include:

  • N. Charles Anderson, President and CEO, Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan, Inc.
  • Dennis Archer, Founding Principal and President, Archer Corporate Services, LLC
  • Charles Beckham, recently retired Group Executive for the Department of Neighborhoods, City of Detroit
  • Gerald Brisson, President, Gleaners Community Food Bank
  • Dean Brody, Managing Director, Health and Life Sciences Consulting Accenture
  • Robert Bury, (Former) Executive Director and CEO, Detroit Historical Society
  • Mark Davidoff, Managing Partner, Michigan Deloitte LLP
  • Dorothy Deremo, Principal Partner and CEO, The Deremo Group
  • David Egner, President and CEO, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation
  • Eva Garza Dewaelsche, President and CEO, SER Metro-Detroit, Jobs For Progress Inc.
  • Jennifer Granholm, former Governor, State of Michigan
  • Ronald Hall, President and CEO, Bridgewater Interiors, LLC
  • Hassan Jaber, Executive Director, Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services (ACCESS)
  • Ron Kagan, Executive Director and CEO, Detroit Zoological Society/Detroit Zoo
  • Brenda Lawrence, Representative, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Ryan Maibach, President., Barton Malow Company
  • Barbara McQuade, Former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.
  • Mariam Noland, President, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
  • Sandra Pierce. Private Bank and Regional Banking Director, Senior Executive Vice President, Chair of Michigan Huntington Bank
  • Rochelle Riley, Columnist, Detroit Free Press
  • Robert Riney, President, Healthcare Operations and Chief Operating Officer, Henry Ford Health System
  • Christopher Rizik, CEO and Fund Manager, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund
  • Rick Sperling, President and Artistic Director, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit
  • Daniel Varner, President and CEO, Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit

The reviews are high from people who have participated in Leadership Detroit:

“‘Before you lead, learn.’ That is an adage that I’ve come to respect. Leadership Detroit has been a process of learning. We have become more aware of local and state issues and resources that will make us more effective, connected and prepared leaders.” -LaNesha DeBardelaben, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; Leadership Detroit Class XXXVIII

“This opportunity was able to pack a lifetime of experiences into just a few short programs. This experience has allowed me to look past my own biases and challenge what assumptions I have made throughout my life.” -Kevin Zeleji, Barton Marlow Company; Leadership Detroit Class XXXIX

There is also a sense of excitement from the new class LD 40 as they begin their journey.

Carol Zuniga, Executive Director Hegira Health, Inc. exclaimed, “The anticipation of the 2-day Leadership Detroit Class XL orientation at Camp Tamarack this past week was palpable. Dan Piepszowski, his team from the Detroit Regional Chamber and the contributions from several exceptional LD XXXIX class members, reinforced the pride, excitement and appreciation for the journey.

She continues, “The 2-day orientation was a matchless and amazing experience to share with a group of 70 strangers. After two days of introspection and engagement with this diverse, remarkably talented, confident and driven group of professional men and women, what united this group of mostly strangers became exceptionally clear; the self-derived expectation that each one of us is here to make a difference and that embarking on this journey called LD XL, will provide the platform from which we will each find our way to impact the region, our communities and the people for whom we care so deeply.”

Value Added

“For 40 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber has led one of the nation’s oldest and most respected leadership development programs,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Leadership Detroit has had a hand in shaping the Detroit region’s top talent and providing them a network of more than 2,000 alumni to connect with. We are proud of the program and the change that has spurred from this network of individuals.”

In recognition of the 40th anniversary , the Chamber is hosting a Fall Legacy Celebration on Oct. 25th at Cliff Bell’s that will focus on supporting the LD scholarship fund to help encourage a diverse class of participants. Please consider attending or contributing — because we all know, leadership comes in all shapes, color, ethnicity and sizes and it truly matters!

Want to learn more about leadership Detroit and how to nominate someone to join the mountain of people that call themselves alum go to their website: www.leadershipdetroit.com

Leadership Matters. The Detroit Regional Chamber has helped set the table for leadership development in ways that continue to add value and make a difference. Thank you Detroit Regional Chamber.

Five Tips to Strengthen Your Leadership Detroit Application

Leadership Detroit is entering its 40th year and is currently seeking high-potential leaders in the Detroit region to join the upcoming class. Please consider nominating a leader from your organization, or if you have been nominated and want to learn more about the program, consider attending an informational breakfast.

Leadership Detroit is a transformational program, led by the Detroit Regional Chamber, for existing and emerging leaders in the Detroit region. For the past 40 years, this program has provided the foundation for a lifelong commitment to leadership by creating awareness of key issues that affect the Detroit region. Approximately 70 individuals are selected for the class every year, representing a cross section of the community, including business, organized labor, government, education, health services and community organizations. The program takes place over a 10-month period, with a graduation ceremony in June.

If you are considering applying to Leadership Detroit, or have a colleague in mind you would like to nominate, read the five tips below to strengthen your application:

  1. Work with your employer, not against him or her. To give yourself the best chance of success, it is smart to work with your employer on the nomination and application process, rather than informing him or her after the process is complete. There are many reasons for this: you and your employer can decide how your participation in Leadership Detroit best serves the organization; your employer can write a recommendation letter to strengthen your application; and your employer can approve the dates you will need to miss work for sessions ahead of time.
  2. Accept the time commitment. Before filling out the application, it is crucial that you look at the schedule of classes. Leadership Detroit class members are required to attend a certain number of the classes. Failure to fulfill this requirement could prevent members from graduating. Once you have been nominated, be sure to review the class schedule and approve these dates with your employer.
  3. When filling out your application, be authentic. The Leadership Detroit application is all about authenticity. Be transparent about who you are and exactly why you want to be in the class. What do you hope to gain from the experience?
  4. Attend an informational breakfast. If you have been nominated for Leadership Detroit, it is highly recommended that you attend an informational breakfast to learn more about the program and the application process. There are three informational breakfasts in 2018: March 13 at Plante Moran PLLC in Southfield, March 21 at the PNC Building in Troy, and April 17 at Detroit PAL in Detroit.
  5. Do not be discouraged if you do not get in on the first try. Many Leadership Detroit applicants do not get accepted to the program on their first try, and many apply to the program multiple times. Do not be discouraged if you are not selected, and try again next year.

To learn more, visit the Leadership Detroit page on the Detroit Regional Chamber website.

Detroit Regional Chamber Announces Leadership Detroit Class XXXIX

The Detroit Regional Chamber today announced the participants in Leadership Detroit Class XXXIX, a 10-month transformational leadership program designed to challenge emerging and existing leaders from Southeast Michigan to bring about positive change.

“Southeast Michigan has proven that transformative change is possible when creativity, ingenuity and hard work come together,” said Dan Piepszowski, senior director of community leadership development at the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Our ability to improve the quality of life for all in the region relies on these same ingredients, shaped in new ways by these leaders. The Leadership Detroit experience is about taking executives out of their comfort zones to challenge long-held assumptions and embrace multiple perspectives while connecting them through their shared passion for the region.”

Class XXXIX features 69 executives from across seven Southeast Michigan counties representing a cross-section of the community, including business, organized labor, government, education, media, civic groups, health services and community organizations.

Leadership Detroit provides opportunities for participants to foster and spark problem-solving discussions, while providing new views on key issues to lead the region to success. As it has since 1979, Leadership Detroit will continue its role in addressing, discussing and leading conversations important to the Detroit region.

A complete Leadership Detroit Class XXXIX roster is available online at this link.


About Leadership Detroit

Leadership Detroit is a community leadership program for executives in Southeast Michigan led by the Detroit Regional Chamber with more than 1,800 alumni. Launched in 1979, the program aims to create awareness of key issues that affect the Detroit region and to challenge emerging and existing community leaders to bring about positive change in the community through informed leadership. For more information, please visit leadershipdetroit.com.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber

Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the oldest, largest and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission of powering the economy for Southeast Michigan is carried out through economic development, education reform, regional collaboration and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

 

Detroit Regional Chamber’s Leadership Detroit Receives Inclusion Award During Game Changers Ceremony at Ford Field Hall of Legends

DETROIT, March 27, 2013 – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Leadership Detroit program received Playworks Detroit’s Inclusion Award for its work in raising awareness to needs in the Detroit community. The award was presented at the 2013 Get in the Game Luncheon and Game Changer Awards at the Ford Field Hall of Legends in Detroit.

“This year Leadership Detroit will kick off its 35th class and we are honored to receive the Inclusion Award,” said Dan Piepszowski, senior director of community leadership development at the Chamber. “Events like the Get in the Game Luncheon speak to the wealth of individuals and organizations committed to building a brighter future for Detroit. We look forward to continuing to work with our region’s emerging leaders to create lasting positive change in our community.”

Leadership Detroit was selected for the Inclusion Award due to its longstanding history of bringing awareness to the needs of the Detroit community. The program has been recognized as an important stimulus for change and awareness with a proven track record of engaging dynamic participation from the leaders of the community.

The Playworks Detroit 2013 Get in the Game Luncheon and Game Changer Awards is a signature event recognizing individuals, companies and organizations that are making a positive impact on the well-being of Detroit. Award recipients were selected by community nomination, Playworks staff, and board based on Playworks’ core values: respect, inclusion, healthy play and healthy community.  In addition, a Game Changer Award is presented for community service.

About Leadership Detroit
Leadership Detroit is a community leadership program for executives in Southeast Michigan led by the Detroit Regional Chamber with over 1,800 alumni. Launched in 1979, the program aims to create awareness of key issues that affect the Detroit region and to challenge emerging and existing community leaders to bring about positive change in the community through informed leadership. Learn more about Leadership Detroit, which is taking nominations for Class XXXV, at detroitchamber.com/ld

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three-quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

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Detroit Regional Chamber Announces Participants for Leadership Detroit Class XXXIV

DETROIT, August 16, 2012 – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber announced the participants in Leadership Detroit Class XXXIV, a 10-month transformational leadership program designed to challenge emerging and existing leaders from Southeast Michigan to bring about positive change.

“Southeast Michigan has some of the most talented executives anywhere, and their leadership holds the key to our region’s future prosperity,” said Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Leadership Detroit has a strong legacy of bringing together executives from around the region who are committed to making a difference. This year’s class is poised to drive the dialogue and build the relationships that will move our region forward.”

Class XXXIV features 69 executives from across Southeast Michigan representing a cross-section of the community, including business, organized labor, government, education, media, civic groups, health services and community organizations.

“We’re excited about the individuals participating and the organizations they represent,” said Dan Piepszowski, senior director of community leadership development at the Detroit Regional Chamber. “This class has the right balance and dynamic that will help build the strong relationships for the region to tackle the challenges ahead.”
Leadership Detroit provides opportunities for participants to foster and spark problem-solving discussions, while providing new views on key issues to lead the region to success. As it has since 1979, Leadership Detroit will continue its role in addressing, discussing and leading conversations important to the Detroit region. Click here for a complete list of the Leadership Detroit Class XXXIV roster.

About Leadership Detroit
Leadership Detroit is a community leadership program for executives in Southeast Michigan led by the Detroit Regional Chamber with over 1,800 alumni. Launched in 1979, the program aims to create awareness of key issues that affect the Detroit region and to challenge emerging and existing community leaders to bring about positive change in the community through informed leadership. For more information, please visit the Leadership Detroit web page.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

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