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Detroit Regional Chamber Announces 2012 Leadership Detroit Award Winners Recognizing Difference Makers

DETROIT, October 10, 2012 – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber announces winners of the 2012 Leadership Detroit awards recognizing individuals who are creating positive change in the region. Recipients of the Inspirational Leader, Lifelong Leader and Emerging Leadership awards will be recognized at a ceremony tomorrow, October 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. on the M@dison Building rooftop in Detroit.

“The distinguished individuals recognized through the Leadership Detroit Awards have left a lasting footprint in Southeast Michigan through their commitments to making a difference and building a brighter future for the region,” said the Chamber’s Senior Director of Community Leadership Development Dan Piepszowski. “I am proud to present each of these individuals with the recognition they deserve for all of their hard work in our community.”

This year’s winners of the Emerging Leadership Award are members of the Leadership Detroit Class XXXII Race and Reconciliation Committee, including: Alicia Alvarez, University of Michigan; Leslie Andrews, Rock Ventures, LLC; Alejandro Bodipo-Memba, DTE Energy; Gerald Chiddick, Amerisure Insurance Company; Scott Alan Davis, Vanguard Community Development Corporation; Al-Azhar Pacha, ALPAC, Inc.; Gina Polley, Legal Aid & Defender Association; Sharnita C. Johnson, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; and Mary Jo Larson, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP.

Each of these LD graduates are being recognized for their commitment to work together after graduation to develop a framework to continue a dialogue on race relations. They moved the conversation beyond their class using the Cafe Model and invited leaders from the region to join them in an effort to support racial reconciliation.

Elizabeth Barton, LD XXIX, of The Waverly Group-Midwest, LLC is being honored with the Inspirational Leader Award for her leadership in the development of the University Partners Detroit program, an innovative student leadership program. She modeled the way for the development of new collaborative program that allowed representatives from seven competing universities in the region, including Windsor, to work together for the benefit of supporting young talent development.

Faye Nelson, LD XIII, of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Inc. is receiving the Lifelong Leadership Award for her sustained commitment to improving the quality of life for the residents of Detroit. She has contributed to Detroit’s future through her steadfast commitment to the revitalization of Detroit’s waterfront.

About Leadership Detroit

Leadership Detroit is a community leadership program for executives in Southeast Michigan led by the Detroit Regional Chamber with over 1,800 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. For more information on Leadership Detroit, visit

About the Detroit Regional Chamber

With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three-quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit

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