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Leadership Detroit’s ‘East Meets West’ Tackles Regional Issues

Leadership Detroit, an initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, has joined forces with the Center for Community Leaders and the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce to host a thought exchange of best practices called “East Meets West.”

Thirty-three leaders across the state came together in Detroit on Oct. 8-9 to explore the politics, opportunities and challenges of the state’s two largest regions. Participants collaborated on ideas and strategies to better align the Detroit and Grand Rapids regions on statewide issues to support Michigan’s comeback.

Key to this initiative is to better understand how leaders approach major challenges in Michigan around three principles:

  • Alignment among the business, civic and philanthropic organizations to drive major community initiatives
  • Leveling expectations for local government to advance partnerships with the business community
  • Leading strategies to grow economic equity and inclusion

The Detroit session included a bus tour of the city and panel discussions on Building Economic Equity, Understanding Race and Diversity and Economic Diversification Efforts in the Detroit Region. Participants heard from regional leaders including Chamber Board Chair Mark Davidoff, Michigan Managing Partner of Deloitte LLP, New Economy Initiative’s Dave Egner, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund’s Chris Rizik, and Walker-Miller Energy Services’ Carla Walker-Miller.

“The Detroit session was very eye opening and helped me see the issues impacting Detroit from the Detroit perspective. I was very engaged from start to finish and I was extremely happy with the speakers, bus tour, participant discussion and overall vibe of the Detroit region session,” said Shlynn Rhodes, project manager for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The group will meet again in Grand Rapids on Nov. 5-6 before completing the program on Dec. 8 in Lansing. View the complete East Meets West roster.