16 Mar Alumni Insights
Alumni Insights: Discover how Leadership Macomb transformed local leaders both personally and professionally.
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.
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.
Apply for LM XXIII today!