Alumni Insights

Alumni Insights

Alumni Insights: Discover how Leadership Macomb transformed local leaders both personally and professionally.

April 7, 2017

When I left the Detroit Regional Chamber in 2005 to take the helm of the Macomb Chamber, my then Public Policy Chair was Jon Peterson from AT&T. He was quite active with Leadership Macomb and told me how important he thought it was for me to go through the Leadership Macomb program. As he saw it, there was no better way to get to know the county, its distinct attributes and its leadership in the most efficient way possible. And he was right.

In that critical first year on the job, the Leadership Macomb program not only helped me quickly learn about the many gems Macomb County has to offer, it also helped me gain a better appreciation for some of our community’s unique challenges and opportunities. Just as important, it helped me create a bond with dozens of fellow emerging Macomb County leaders – many of whom I’m privileged to still have as close friends today.

As a part of LM X, I was able to quickly build out a network of trusted business colleagues I could consult with on important projects. The program challenged me to think about how I could help connect the dots between government, civic and business leadership to build a stronger community, and that challenge remains with me to this day. With each new session, it became more evident that had I not been a part of the program, I would have never fully understood the issues so critical to our community. Things like water quality and our waste water treatment, or hearing first-hand how devastating incarceration can be to a family and why it’s important to explore alternatives (like the newly formed Hope Not Handcuffs). I also would have never fully appreciated our community’s hidden gems like the Anton Art Center, All The World’s a Stage and the Macomb Ballet, to name but a few.

In my current role as President of the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce, I continue to tap my Leadership Macomb network for a variety of tasks, and I’m able to use my broad understanding of Macomb’s issues and assets to help our business community grow and thrive. To say Leadership Macomb is a game changer for those who want to drive positive community transformation doesn’t begin to do it justice.

March 31, 2017

At the start of every a new Leadership Macomb class, I get really jealous because I know the class members are starting an adventure in which they will learn things they may never have thought of before. There’s a landfill to see and be surprised at the number of Canadian trucks that make a deposit in that one hour visit – I counted 50. There are green parking lots designed so that rain water runs off to water plants/trees. There’s a heart breaking visit to juvenile justice center where you will see teenagers that look just like your child yet when you leave their stories will stick with you forever. There are high school programs that sound like so much fun – you’ll almost want to go back. You’ll understand the differences between cities, townships and villages. Every session is a different topic and you will learn something you can use in your life – I guarantee it. And when all the stars align, you’ll emerge from the experience eager to make a difference.

From my very first session, I was able to take home actionable items – Jim Jacob’s presentation contained the missing information I needed for a recommendation to change the hours of my bank. His commuting patterns and times were the catalyst needed to convince management we need to extend our hours to better serve commuting Macomb County residents. This did not endure me to my co-workers as one told me she thinks of me every day at closing time.

In my role as Director of Marketing, I controlled a “donations and sponsorship” budget. Something just didn’t set right with me when I first I looked at the expenditures. In my second Leadership Macomb session, it became very clear what was causing this feeling. The donations were all geared to large national charities and events. I doubt that the American Cancer Society or the March of Dimes would truly miss our annual donations, although not insignificant, but I saw how our donations could make an immediate impact with any number of local non-profit groups – many of which presented at or were in my class. I then quietly (and since very loudly) shifted our donations to 100% local charities. I now preach “dine/shop/bank/give locally” to anyone who will listen.

“I drank the Leadership Macomb Kool-Aid” and embraced what I learned from day one and beyond into both my work and personal life. Leadership Macomb came into my world at exactly the right time and place for me and was nothing short of life-changing. I loved the experience and wish I could do it all over again.


March 15, 2017
Leadership Macomb was recommended to me by another Alum, Donald Kling (XVI).  Donald experienced great value in this class as a leader in the community, and also saw the value for me to attend as a community leader at Immanuel Lutheran.

When I began LM, I realized on day one how valuable this group would be.  In my class were civic leaders, government leaders, and business leaders; and I saw what unites us all – people who care deeply about the community in which we live, work, and play.  Leadership Macomb opened new insights and doors for me to see where we at Immanuel can expand our care for the community.

At Immanuel, one of our values is to be a community of faith that meets the needs of the community around us.  Just one of the major insights that I learned from LM was that Macomb is the ‘defense capital of the Midwest’.  We began to evaluate how we could be a greater blessing to the brave men and women that bless us with freedom.  We now offer a special military tuition rate to bless and thank them while they are serving in our area.

Also, through this, we saw such a need to help our staff see how great Macomb is that we now have put four of our staff through Leadership Macomb; and will continue to do so until our entire Senior Leadership Team experiences and learns about the assets that we have right here in our own backyard.


March 1, 2017
Leadership Macomb provides a unique opportunity to grasp a better understanding of the county’s economic, political and civic dynamics. Participants can connect with top private and public sector leaders in informal settings. Leadership Macomb creates awareness of key issues that affect Macomb County and the Southeast Michigan region.

As a graduate of Leadership Macomb Class XV, I gained an in depth understanding of decision making from regional and local leaders that enabled me to see the big picture. Building relationships with classmates from a diverse pool of professionals provides multiple perspectives on key issues.

After graduating LM, I was motivated to become more involved with my community, and I became a LM board member. It was a rewarding experience, being part of a team that developed the Jr. Leadership program, contributed to program content, and motivated future leaders.

In my current role as Deputy County Executive, I am responsible for municipal and government relations and act as a liaison between the County Executive, Elected Officials, and local municipality leaders. Leadership Macomb prepared me for maintaining intergovernmental relations in order to develop and advocate for the benefit of the County.


 Apply for LM XXI today or find out more by attending our Discover Leadership Macomb Recruitment Breakfast on April 12, 2017!


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