Detroit: The City of Opportunity


June 15th, 2016


More than 160 members of The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) convened last week for The ELC’s 2016 Summer General Membership Meeting at the MGM Grand in Detroit, MI. The meeting theme, “Impact 2016: The Role of Business Leaders of Color in the Revitalization of Our Cities,” set the stage for several exciting panels educating members and guests about the opportunities to play an active role in urban revitalization. For detailed information on the meeting, events and panelists, please click here to download our 2016 Summer Meeting Program Book.

Thursday, June 9th:

The 2016 Summer Meeting kicked off with The ELC’s New Member Orientation and Induction Ceremony. Nearly 35 new members of The ELC’s 2016 Summer Class were inducted and received their ELC member pins.

Later that evening, members and invited guests attended “An Executive Conversation with The ELC” and a VIP Welcome Reception at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History sponsored by the General Motors Company. The session titled, “The Trifecta: When Innovation, Access and Collaboration Win,” featured a panel discussion exploring opportunities to launch, grow and sustain black businesses with a potential to impact Detroit.

Alicia Boler-Davis, the newly appointed head of global manufacturing and labor relations for the General Motors Company, and the Honorable Mayor Michael Duggan of Detroit, delivered welcome remarks. ELC members were joined at the opening session and reception by more than 30 members of Calibr.

Friday, June 10th:

On Friday, the meeting continued with The ELC Member Business Session where leadership informed members of The ELC's $1M donation to the National Museum of African American History and Culture set to open in Washington, D.C. on September 24, 2016. The session was followed by two executive breakout sessions, including “The Balancing Act: The Role of Foundations in Urban Revitalization.” The panel featured board members and executives from major philanthropic foundations based in Detroit who shared best practices for supporting urban revitalization throughout the city. The second session, titled “ELC Members: The Champions of Change,” guided members on how to contribute either personally or professionally to the transition of an urban community.

During the afternoon, Dr. Marilyn Parker engaged members in a candid and confidential conversation about their business and personal experiences, encouraging members to support one another.

The ELC’s Corporate Board Initiative (CBI) partnered with Heidrick & Struggles and Huron Capital Partners to host a joint session exclusively for Cohorts Groups 1, 2 & 3. The session was held at Coach Insignia located on the rooftop of the GM Renaissance Center overlooking the beautiful Detroit skyline, river and Canada. This special venue was secured by Huron Capital to offer yet another glimpse of what Detroit has to offer. The session featured a board readiness coaching session led by the Heidrick & Struggles Board Practice Group, and a panel discussion with Huron Capital’s senior leadership team focused on portfolio board opportunities.

ELC members and guests also had the opportunity to participate in one of two tourism excursions exploring cultural destinations in the city. Members took a tour of the Motown Museum and discovered Detroit through the Innovation & Economic tour offering an insider’s perspective on the city’s past, present and future.

The day concluded with a cocktail reception and an ELC member dinner featuring Regional Table Discussions. Seating was arranged by geographic location to allow members to engage in conversations about the development of urban centers close to home. The dinner provided attendees an opportunity to reflect on the insights they gained from the Summer Meeting, formulate ideas on how they can engage personally or professionally, and set action plans.

Members closed out the evening at Club ELC: The Throwback Edition where the audience was treated to a special musical performance by a live band. Members and guests also gathered to watch a live broadcast of Game 4 of the NBA Finals.


The ELC welcomes our new members from the 2016 Summer Class.

(L-R) 2016 SGMM Committee Members Michael Hyter, Senior Partner, Korn Ferry; Linda Forte, Chief Diversity Officer & SVP, Business Affairs, Comerica Bank; Joyce Hayes Giles, VP, Customer Service, DTE Energy (retired); Vivian Pickard, President, General Motors Foundation and Director, Corporate Relations, General Motors Company (retired) with Mayor Michael Duggan of Detroit (3rd from left); Executive Conversation and Welcome Reception sponsor Alicia Boler-Davis, SVP, Global Connected Customer Experience, General Motors Company (3rd from right); and Ronald C. Parker, President & CEO, The Executive Leadership Council at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

An Executive Conversation with The ELC featuring: (L-R) Carla Walker-Miller, CEO, Walker Miller Energy Services; Sherwin Prior, Managing Director, GM Ventures, General Motors Company; Michelle Sourie Robinson, President & CEO, Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council; Roderick Miller, President and CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation; and moderator Linda Forte.

ELC members visiting the Spirit of Detroit at the Coleman A. Young Center during the Innovation & Economic Tour

(L-R) ELC CBI Chair A. Louis Parker, Corporate VP, GE (retired) and Founder/CFO/COO, Visible Men Academy; David Kowal, Board Member, Ronnoco Coffee; Brian A. Demkowicz, Managing Partner, Huron Capital Partners; The ELC’s Ron Parker; John A. Higgins, Senior Partner, Huron Capital Partners; ELC Member John J. Webb, CEO & Managing Partner, Quantum Reach; and ELC CBI Chair Billy Dexter, Partner, Hedrick & Struggles.

ELC members and guests watching the Golden State Warriors take on the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

View photos from the 2016 Summer General Membership Meeting on Flickr



comments powered by Disqus