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Detroit Regional Chamber Leads Delegation of Business and Civic Leaders on Lessons Learned Tour of New Orleans

Trip continues 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference To-Do List item

DETROIT, Oct. 21, 2014 – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber leads a delegation of business, civic and philanthropic leaders, and representatives of the city of Detroit, to New Orleans, La. for a three-day lessons learned tour to bring back insight for Detroit’s continued revitalization. The trip, coordinated with the offices of Mayor Mike Duggan and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, will explore New Orleans’ successful – and still developing – recovery from Hurricane Katrina and years of challenged government function.

“As Mayor Landrieu put it at the Mackinac Policy Conference, the future of New Orleans, Detroit and the rest of the nation are inextricably linked,” said Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah, referring to Mayor Landrieu’s keynote address at the 2014 Mackinac Policy Conference. “New Orleans has faced some of the very same challenges Detroit will need to address as it emerges from bankruptcy. It offers some important lessons that can be applied in Detroit as we work to continue to position our city to compete and thrive in the global economy.”

The Detroit delegation features more than 30 regional and business leaders who will tour key areas of the city and attend panel discussions comprised of New Orleans leaders who have firsthand experience and insight on efforts to revitalize New Orleans.

“We are proud to continue to support the people of Detroit as they rebuild and reclaim a great American city,” said Mayor Landrieu. “Like New Orleans, Detroit continues to confront difficult, long-standing challenges – from fighting crime and creating jobs to improving schools and investing in major infrastructure upgrades. American cities must come together to take on the tough challenges and to find a way for our communities to thrive.”

Tour programming will explore the major factors contributing to New Orleans’ path to recovery focused on economic development, education, government function and budgeting. At the 2014 Mackinac Policy Conference, Mayor Landrieu shared his experience from New Orleans’ revitalization and encouraged Detroit leaders to continue to tackle the city’s challenges head-on.

“There is a lot Detroit can learn from New Orleans’ experience and our delegation may be able to provide Mayor Landrieu with some insights into what is working here, as well,” said Mayor Duggan. “New Orleans has come back strong from terrible challenges and Detroit is beginning doing the same.  I appreciate the Chamber for taking the lead organizing this tour, which I expect will be just the beginning of an ongoing relationship of mutual support between Detroit and New Orleans.”

The New Orleans delegation is sponsored by The Kresge Foundation in partnership with the city of Detroit. Strategic Staffing Solutions, which has an office in New Orleans, is hosting a reception and tour of Mardi Gras World for the delegation.

“Strategic Staffing Solutions is proud to have invested in the City of New Orleans for 10 years and Detroit for 25 years,” said Cindy Pasky, president and CEO of S3. “In addition to the role S3 plays in growing the contingent workforce in both cities, we are also deeply committed to philanthropic investments in both communities.”

The trip, held Oct. 21-23, is a continuation of an action item from the Chamber’s 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference To-Do List to expand visits to U.S. cities that can provide models of ongoing renaissance of Michigan’s major urban centers. The Chamber also led previous delegations to Pittsburgh, Pa. in October 2010 and Washington, D.C. in May 2013.

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

About The Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation is a $3 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, community development and place-based efforts in Detroit. In 2013, the Board of Trustees approved 316 awards totaling $122 million; $128 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. In addition, Kresge’s Social Investment Practice made commitments totaling $16 million in 2013.

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