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Chamber Actively Supports Key Programs To Help Young Leaders Evolve

Leadership matters and the Detroit Regional Chamber is committed to creating opportunities for emerging leaders to collaborate with their peers to tackle the key issues facing our region and create positive change. Each year, the Chamber facilitates participation in the Charter School Board Leadership Program, Leadership Detroit, Mackinac Future Leaders, and Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders Program.

By supporting these programs, the Chamber empowers the next-generation of leaders and encourages them to make connections across sectors and communities as a means to increase collaboration and create innovative solutions to the challenges we face. These experiences help foster a network of talented individuals committed to moving Southeast Michigan forward today, and in the decades to come.

Leadership Detroit

A community leadership program for executives in Southeast Michigan led by the Chamber with nearly 2,000 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.

Leadership Detroit offers a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity for professionals to take their leadership agenda to the next level. It offers a unique, behind-the-scenes approach to understanding the inner workings of the region and the people that make it work.

Participants tap into a diverse pool of professionals that are actively engaged from multiple perspectives in improving the quality of life in the region. Over a 10-month period, participants are able to develop multiple and unique relationships among their classmates. Approximately 70 individuals annually participate in the program representing a cross section of the community.

Mackinac Policy Conference Future Leaders

Each year, the Detroit Regional Chamber grants scholarships to entrepreneurs and future leaders who have never attended the Mackinac Policy Conference. The Future Leaders receive reduced rates and have full access to all Conference sessions and activities while attending exclusive networking opportunities and receptions with speakers.

The Chamber selects forward-thinking professionals between the ages of 23 and 35 years old who are making an impact in their organization and community. Mackinac Future Leaders welcome change, view challenges as opportunities, and continue to influence everything they approach with fresh ideas and innovative thinking.

These entrepreneurs, which include the Detroit cohort for the Harvard Business School Young American Leaders Program, are relentless in pursuit of their entrepreneurial aspirations and have high-growth potential. In addition, these individuals provide a product or service that is closing a gap in an underserved market or community or helping to solve a societal problem.

Charter School Board Leadership Program

The Charter School Board Leadership Program aims to connect business leaders who have the right mix of skills and a desire to help Detroit’s students succeed academically, with open seats on public charter school boards.

Public School Academies, often referred to as “charter schools,” and independent school boards are often made up of dedicated business, civic, and community leaders. However, many board members have not been trained or are not equipped to provide the necessary support the school requires.

The Charter School Board Leadership Program is designed to create a pipeline for those who are prepared to fill the vacancies that can occur on public charter school boards. The Chamber partners with Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, and Oakland University, the largest public charter school authorizing bodies in the state, on this program.

Harvard Business School Young American Leaders Program

Started in 2015, the Young American Leaders Program (YALP) brings together 10 leaders from each of 14 cities across the country, immersing them into a Harvard Business School experience including case studies, speaker presentations and whiteboard sessions that challenge participants to work together to target an issue their city faces.

The program, of which Detroit is a founding member, is designed to inspire collaborative innovation in cities across the U.S. and jump-start the conversation about how business, civic, and nonprofit leaders can work together to bring shared prosperity to America’s communities. It is part of the Harvard Business School’s U.S. Competitiveness Project, in which Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah participates.

Each year, the Detroit Regional Chamber serves as the liaison with the Harvard Business School leading the Detroit YALP cohort and fundraising to cover the stipend for participant costs. After their experience, the Chamber works to keep the participants engaged to foster cross-sector collaboration opportunities to lead change and growth in the region.