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The Chamber Remembers Former Board Chairman Dick Gabrys

Last week, former Chamber Board chairman and longtime friend of the Chamber Dick Gabrys passed away. With four decades of service to the Chamber, Dick is undoubtedly the longest-serving volunteer leader in the history of the organization. This distinction reflects Dick’s commitment to the Chamber.

Dick began his journey with the Chamber as a participant of the first Leadership Detroit class in 1979. In 1985, Dick was invited to join the Board and went on to serve as its chair in 1989. Following his chairmanship, he remained active and served on numerous committees including Audit, Compensation, Finance, Investments, Political Action, and Tax Policy.

A regular, active presence at meetings and events, Dick took his volunteer roles seriously and always engaged thoughtfully. He never hesitated to participate in policy or financial conversations. He was direct and at times asked challenging questions of staff or guest speakers which prompted a healthy, flowing dialogue among the group. His insights were valued by fellow board members and guided staff. Serving the Chamber over half of his lifetime, his impact will be evident for years to come.

After 42 years at Deloitte, Dick retired as vice chairman in 2004. During his professional career and throughout his retirement, dozens of business and civic organizations benefitted from his leadership and service. Dick’s passing is a tremendous loss for the Chamber and the many other organizations he chose to share his expertise and time with.

Those at the Chamber who worked closely with him over the years will always remember his quick insights, voice of reason, and the genuine care, dedication, and guidance he provided the Chamber. The organization, region, and state were better off for having him as a business leader.

As is the case with a life remarkably lived, Dick will be greatly missed by many. Funeral arrangements are available online.

Read more about his legacy in Crain’s Detroit Business.