Stretching beyond the mold: leadership Detroit alum tell their stories.

Author:Poole, Steve
Position::FOR OUR MEMBERS - Column

Have you ever been a part of something greater than the individuals involved? Was it moving? Did you remain bonded with those sharing your experience even after it ended? Most people I've asked answered "yes," recalling a wedding" day, birth of a child or another personal event that etched a lasting image on their emotions, mind and heart.


Rarely the answers to those questions are career-related. After all, why would they be? Jobs are not the end-all be-all in life, but they do go a long way toward shaping who we are. With that said, why not build your personal and professional life together at once?

Leadership Detroit (LD), the Chamber's premier leadership development program, is now accepting applications for its historic 30th class year. The 10-month program takes 65 class members through a life-changing experience impacting them on a professional and personal level, while driving home the key principle of "everyone can make a difference."

How, you ask?

Class members gain professional leadership and new thought perspective by being in an extremely diverse group of individuals engaging, first-hand, in the most significant issues facing Southeast Michigan as a highlighted by the regional priorities of One D.

Year after year, LD touches its class members in a variety of ways. Below are the stories of three LD alumni willing to share how LD shaped their lives.

Taking pride in the city

During her time in LD XX, Dottie Deremo took the reigns as Hospice of Michigan's president & CEO. Recognizing the company's stake in the region and social responsibility, she pursued business ideas in the city of Detroit.


"We originally wanted to build a nursing facility in Brush Park," says Deremo. "We found out it wasn't financially viable for us, so we worked with the city and ended up moving our headquarters instead."

According to Deremo, LD helped her understand the issues the region faces. It also opened her eyes to all of the wonderful work going on in Detroit and the people behind it.

"It's one thing to intellectually understand issues and it's another to experience them," she says. "I met a lot of great people through LD and it reinforced my commitment to do my part in the city."

Initially, Deremo's employees were not as enthused about the move. They were uneasy about the big city environment and the safety within its borders. Deremo, recognizing their concerns, scheduled shuttle bus tours for her employees...

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