Detroit Regional Chamber > Detroiter Magazine > Celebrating Leadership Detroit Class 44

Celebrating Leadership Detroit Class 44

May 28, 2024

Graduates Share What Leadership Detroit Means to Them

Leadership DetroitLeadership Detroit’s 44th class brought together 73 emerging and existing leaders representing a cross-section of Southeast Michigan, including business, government, education, philanthropic, and civic and community organizations. After completing the eight-month leadership journey, they join an alumni network of over 2,000 determined to bring about positive change to the Detroit Region.

Leadership Detroit is a signature initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber that offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for professionals to take their leadership skills to the next level. Learn more at

Sharea Ayers

Sharea Ayers, Black Leaders Detroit

“Expensive friendships that evolve into a peer network of support and encouragement. Overall, I like that Leadership Detroit wants to educate us about the various facets of Detroit so we can lead Detroit. The cohort is not a conventional leadership program, but I like the intentionality behind the planning meaningful experiences.”

Andrea Harp

Andrea Harp, Michigan Science Center

“Leadership Detroit has changed my life by cultivating a deeper appreciation and love for the city, bringing me new friends and positive interactions, and most importantly personal growth. I’m inspired, empowered, more creative,
and connected.”

Mark Geary

Mark Geary, Corewell Health

“Leadership Detroit is a phenomenal way to learn about both the history of Detroit and the exciting, ever-evolving future of the city. I learned a lot about different communities in Detroit and met so many inspiring people. I feel closer and more connected to the city than ever before. I can’t wait to see how some of the exciting initiatives we learned about come to fruition over the next few years. I have a feeling many of my Leadership Detroit classmates will become even more involved in the city after completing this program.”

Machion Jackson

Machion Jackson, Detroit Public Schools Community District

“I am a daughter of Detroit. Yes, I have lived in other states but purposely returned to experience all Detroit has to offer. Leadership Detroit heightened my experience by exposing me to the city’s talent, provocative thinkers, and dedicated residents who continue to beat all odds to make tomorrow a better place. Leadership by example. Leadership from values. Leadership from lived experiences. Leadership Detroit.”

Justin Jacobs

Justin Jacobs, ComePlayDetroit

“Leadership Detroit has been an amazing opportunity to network with other leaders in the community, but more importantly, has opened my eyes to so many others that are doing great work in the city. It’s extremely invigorating, and gives me a lot of confidence that the future of Detroit is bright!”

Mia Jankowiak

Mia Jankowiak, Waste Management

“It has been an honor to learn alongside this diverse, creative, and inspiring group of leaders – as we dive into the Detroit Region and all it has to offer.”

Maria LaLonde

Maria LaLonde, Detroit Regional Partnership

“Leadership Detroit is AMAZING. I’m so grateful for our kind, caring, dedicated LD44 cohort and excited for the positive impact we all can make together in the coming years. So thankful for our relationships and experiences we’ve built together.”

Erin Michon

Erin Michon, Ancor Automotive

“Leadership Detroit is the best place to find likeminded, motivated peers and use our time together to build relationships that we will take into the future. Leadership Detroit is what you make of it − it will not make a leader out of you, but it will empower those who are present.”

Verne Perigord

Verne Perigord, PwC

“Building new relationships, developing a greater appreciation for the metro Detroit, and becoming inspired and empowered!”

Tony Sorgi

Tony Sorgi, Plante Moran Cresa

“Leadership Detroit to me means ‘gained perspective’. In order to build a community, one needs to understand and be able to relate to its community. This class helped me gain a deeper understanding of my peers from all different walks of life, i.e., career backgrounds, career paths to reach their respective and everyday profession, upbringing, place of where they grew up, family history, passions outside of work, etc.”

Terrence Williams

Terrence Williams, Washtenaw County

“I discovered the power of learning, the strength in relationship building, and the thrill and excitement of doing new things. With each meeting, I embraced new perspectives and ideas, eagerly weaving them into the fabric of my daily work. This experience ignited a passion within me to lead boldly, innovate tirelessly, and transform challenges into opportunities. As the year draws to a close, I stand empowered, enriched, and energized, ready to continue shaping a brighter future for Southeast Michigan.”