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Detroit’s Legacy Leaders Share Optimism for the Future

The notion of standing for change and being vocal Detroit advocates dominated a panel discussion this morning, with particular emphasis on the importance and impact of continued investment in the Motor City – whether it be in time or other resources. A group of generational leaders from some of Detroit’s most influential families took the Conference stage for the second Detroit-focused panel discussion, “Detroit: Legacy Leaders.

Panelists included Dennis W. Archer, chairman and CEO, Dennis W. Archer PLLC and former Mayor of Detroit; Dennis W. Archer Jr., founding principal and president, Archer Corporate Services; Sheila Cockrel, president, Crossroads Consulting Group and former Detroit councilwoman; Katy Cockrel, director, strategic communications, Ignition Media Group; John Rakolta Jr., chairman and CEO, Walbridge; and John Rakolta III, business development director, Walbridge. News anchor and multimedia journalist for WXYZ-TV Stephen Clark moderated the discussion.

The panel offered their historical perspective on Detroit’s evolution and their optimism in its future. The younger generation lauded the successes of their predecessors and vice versa, in addition to emphasizing the cultural changes occurring that allow the two to meet in the middle. The panel agreed that the meeting point between the generational cultures is in partnering young entrepreneurial-minded, creative individuals with traditional business and philanthropy. This session was sponsored by The Kresge Foundation.