Detroit Regional Chamber > Mackinac Policy Conference > Recognition of Sen. Debbie Stabenow

Recognition of Sen. Debbie Stabenow

May 30, 2024

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) was recognized for her trailblazing public service career on stage during the 2024 Mackinac Policy Conference.

Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Sandy K. Baruah, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) presented the recognition on May 30 in Grand Hotel’s Theatre, briefly detailing Stabenow’s lifelong civility, innovation, and dedication to Michigan’s key industries throughout her five-decade career in public service.

Over the years, the Chamber has found a willing and accessible advocate in Stabenow on several significant legislative and infrastructure priorities, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and modernizing the Soo Locks.

“I am personally going to miss Debbie because my relationship with her dates back long before I lived in Michigan,” Baruah said. “We had different approaches, but we never had a crossed word. In fact, we had a lot of laughs and mutual respect.”

Stabenow’s career of “firsts” tracked women’s growing political influence in Michigan, including being the first woman to preside over Michigan House sessions in 1979 and being the first woman to represent Michigan in the U.S. Senate in 2000.

“She helped bring the City [of Detroit] back a decade faster,” he said. “She is one of the world’s greatest human beings.”

“Having Debbie as my partner [in the Senate] was a godsent,” Peters said. “I consider her a friend and a mentor. There’s nobody who can get things out of the other members of the Senate like Debbie.”

During the Conference, attendees were given challenge coins featuring Loepp, along with Daniel J. Loepp and Sandy Pierce, who were also honored for their esteemed careers. These challenge coins were designed as reminders to be inspired by these leaders’ characters when doing business.

Related: Detroiter| ‘Michigan Makes Things and Grows Things’