The man behind the suit: a day in the shoes of Sebastian Wade, vice president, Regional Affairs and manager of diversity initiatives, Detroit Regional Chamber.

Author:Poole, Steve

Outside of his nameplate on the cubicle wall, walking through the office you may never realize Sebastian Wade works for the Sebastian Wade works for the Chamber. A strange thing to hear considering Wade is the Vice President of Regional Affairs and the lead member of the Chamber's diversity initiatives.


Although Wade is constantly in and out of the office, his work certainly doesn't go unnoticed. On most days, Wade can be found at meetings and engaging in interest groups all across the region.

One of the most recent groups Wade has become a part of is the Southeast Michigan Health Information Exchange, a group assigned to address improving quality and cutting costs in health care by helping exchange in the region.

"Cutting health care cost and improving care is a priority for us at the Chamber," says Wade. "My role on the committee is to bring a business perspective to the table and help iron out the best solution for all parties."

Wade recently coordinated, with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago-Detroit Branch, a two-day forum to explore regional health care initiatives and their impact on the health care value chain.

After attending the Southeast Michigan Health Information Exchange, Wade heads back to the Chamber to review the various agendas for the Detroit City Council and the Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Country Commission meetings. He flags any issues relevant to the Chamber and small business and researches the latest health care and policy issues to stay abreast of current events. Often times Wade attends city and/or county meetings, such as the recent Detroit City Council meetings on vending and copper theft.

"Copper theft is an issue we definitely want to keep our eye on," said Wade. "It has caused major problems for many of our member's businesses operating inside of the city."


Wade recently provided testimony in support of Marathon Oil Company's Heavy Oil Upgrade Project (HOUP). The $1.9 billion investment by Marathon will have a huge impact in the regional economy.

Another issue that has a tremendous stake in the region's business community is diversity. As the lead member of the Chamber's internal diversity council and external diversity efforts, Wade often times attends meetings with the presidents of all the Chamber's nine diversity partner organizations. A typical meeting discusses advocacy issues and how all of the partners can collaborate on a particular legislative or...

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