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Detroit Regional Chamber Hosts Commencement for Leadership Detroit Class XXXIX, Recognizes Past Alumni for Creating Positive Change in the Community

DETROIT, June 14, 2018 – Today, Leadership Detroit, an initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, celebrated the commencement of its 39th class, marking the end of the 10-month transformational leadership program designed to challenge emerging and existing community leaders from Southeast Michigan to bring about positive change.

Leadership Detroit’s Class XXXIX features 67 executives from across the region, drawing from 5 counties and 25 municipalities in Southeast Michigan. The class represents 30 industries, a cross-section of the community, including business, organized labor, government, education, media, civic groups, health services and community organizations.

“This group of exceptional leaders brought to the table a rich diversity of talent, skills and perspectives. These leaders grew in their understanding of one another as they dug deep into the challenges and opportunities facing our region. They leave the program with a keen awareness we are amidst unprecedented change that is dictating the need for collaborative leaders who pay attention to relationships,” said Dan Piepszowski, senior director of community leadership development at the Chamber.

The commencement ceremony took place at The Garden Theater in Detroit and included Leadership Detroit’s annual awards, recognizing past alumni that act on and support the program’s five pillars of exemplary leadership, and who have made a positive impact in the community. This year’s award recipients include:

  • Inspirational Leader Award: Sheilah Clay, President and CEO, Neighborhood Service Organization; Leadership Detroit Class XXIV
  • Lifelong Leadership Award: Bob Bury, Executive Director and CEO, Detroit Historical Society; Leadership Detroit Class XXIV
  • Moving the Needle Award: Billy Strawter, Founder and Digital Strategist, Milo Detroit; Leadership Detroit Class XXXVII

The complete Leadership Detroit Class XXXIX roster is available at

About Leadership Detroit

Leadership Detroit is a community leadership program for executives in Southeast Michigan, led by the Detroit Regional Chamber, with nearly 2,000 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. To learn more, visit

About the Detroit Regional Chamber

Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the oldest, largest and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission of powering the economy for Southeast Michigan is carried out through economic development, education reform, regional collaboration and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit