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October 7: Henry Ford Health System CEO Announces Retirement; TIME, Forbes Highlight Detroit Trailblazers

Henry Ford Health System CEO Announces Retirement

Nancy Schlichting, CEO of Henry Ford Health System, announced last week that she will retire in December 2016. The Chamber thanks Schlichting for her continued leadership and looks forward to her ongoing impact on the region.

As CEO, Schlichting led the hospital system through a major financial turnaround and helped transform its patient safety and customer service operations. In 2011, HFHS was one of only four organizations nationwide to receive the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for its innovative health care strategies.

Schlichting’s visionary leadership continues to play a pivotal role in the Detroit region beyond her work at HFHS. In addition to serving as past chair of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Board of Directors and chair of the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference, Schlichting was recently tasked by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to lead the city’s Innovation District. Click here to read an article in the Detroiter magazine on how the Innovation District will be a catalyst for new jobs and small business growth throughout the city.

Wright Lassiter III, CEO of Alameda Health System in Oakland, Calif., will begin his new role as president of Henry Ford Health System on Dec. 15 and will succeed Schlichting when she steps down in 2016.

TIME, Forbes Highlight Detroit Trailblazers

This month, two prominent Detroit business leaders are featured in TIME and Forbes, highlighting their critical role in the region’s comeback for a national audience. The cover stories are a powerful example of how the region is home to outstanding leaders who have made Detroit a world-class business city.

Forbes reporter Joann Muller interviewed Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans Inc., about his effort to revitalize the city. The Forbes cover story focuses on Gilbert’s efforts to attract workers to Detroit through real estate investment and marketing Detroit as “the place to be” for job opportunities. Miller wrote that Gilbert sees Detroit “not as a hindrance but rather as a unique opportunity for millennial workers looking for a city that is authentic, inspiring and edgy.” Click here to read the article.

TIME’s cover story takes an intimate look at General Motors’ Mary Barra, the first female chief executive officer of a major global automotive manufacturer. Reporter Rana Foroohar focuses on Barra’s efforts to reinvent the company and bring long-term improvements to one of Detroit’s largest automakers. Click here to read the article.

Networking Series Continues with Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Nov. 20

The Chamber’s new quarterly networking receptions featuring the Big Four regional leaders and their senior staff will continue with Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20 at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester. The event is part of the Chamber’s ongoing effort to promote regional collaboration among business and political leaders across the Detroit region.

Following brief remarks from Patterson, attendees have the opportunity to network with his key staff along with Chamber Board members and business leaders. Attendees can also tour Meadow Brook Hall, a national historic landmark. Pre-registration pricing is $10 and on-site pricing will increase to $25.

Nearly 300 attendees participated in the Chamber’s inaugural reception in August with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. Click here to register for this event.

Gov. Snyder Praises Detroit Comeback at Town Hall Meeting in Troy

Gov. Rick Snyder held the second in a series of town hall-style public meetings in Troy last week to talk with constituents and share information about the state’s ongoing economic recovery.

Among the topics discussed were the New International Trade Crossing, job creation and funding for education. The Governor praised Detroit’s revitalization efforts, citing new economic development projects in downtown and Midtown, as well as the work of Mayor Mike Duggan to tackle blight, public safety and lighting issues across the city. The Governor also commended elected officials for sound fiscal year budgeting and efforts to lure skilled immigrants and recent college graduates to Michigan.

The Chamber endorsed Gov. Snyder in the 2010 election, and is proud to support his re-election campaign. Additional dates and details of the Governor’s remaining town hall meetings are expected to be announced soon.

Candidate Spotlight: Carol Ann Fausone (R-Canton)

Located between the cities of Ann Arbor and Detroit, the 21st District in the Michigan House of Representatives is one of the closest races in the 2014 general election. The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) is proud to endorse Carol Ann Fausone (R-Canton).

As the first woman to be promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the Michigan National Guard, Fausone’s leadership skills will be a valued asset as she collaborates with her colleagues in the House. Her success in both the public and private sector is a positive example of the reliable expertise that comes from employing Michigan’s military veterans.

Along with her advocacy for veterans, Fausone’s priorities include fixing Michigan’s crumbling roads, investing in education and job training programs, and promoting a robust business climate in Southeast Michigan by lifting burdensome regulations while strengthening the foundation for growth in the entrepreneurship community.

For a full list of Chamber-endorsed candidates, click here.

Detroit’s West RiverWalk Celebrates Grand Opening

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy held a block party last weekend to celebrate the grand opening of the first section of the West RiverWalk. Located at 1801 W. Jefferson Ave., the 20-acre West RiverWalk opened to the public in July.

The opening of the RiverWalk is another shining example of private and public philanthropic organizations collaborating together to revitalize Detroit by developing the riverfront to serve as an anchor for economic development. Spanning a total of 5.5 miles, the Detroit RiverWalk will connect the city from the MacArthur Bridge on Belle Isle to the Ambassador Bridge and includes walking and bike paths, access to parks, fishing areas and open space.

U.S. Small Business Association Offers Disaster Loans for Michigan Homeowners Affected by Aug. 11 Flood

In the wake of President Obama’s disaster declaration for Michigan, homeowners and businesses affected by the Aug. 11 flooding in metro Detroit are eligible to apply for a low-interest loan from the U.S. Small Business Association.
The disaster declaration covers the counties of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne. Residents are able to apply for physical and economic injury loans up to $200,000 to repair damaged or destroyed structural property, and up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Additionally, small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Monroe, Saint Clair and Washtenaw counties are eligible to apply for an economic injury disaster loan.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged structural property, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 24. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 25, 2015. For more information, click here.