New tools for a tough economy: WSU's Stephanie Fries uses Fusion to build networks and forge partnerships.

Author:Mattera, Julianne

Stephanie Fries, associate director of community affairs at Wayne State University, has been a member of Fusion, the Chamber's young professionals organization, since its inception back in the spring of 2007, and she has been a true advocate ever since. Using the tools and opportunities that Fusion affords members, Stephanie has been proactive in making connections across the Detroit Region--resulting in successes for her and her employer.

What attracted you to Fusion?

What drew me to Fusion is that it was an effort of the Detroit Regional Chamber. The fact that the largest chamber in the country began this effort to foster the next generation of professionals really validated the effort, in my eyes. Fusion demonstrates that there are viable young professionals that are available to take the reins and make a difference in the region. If Fusion allows us to build these opportunities now, it should give companies relief to know that these young professionals are capable and willing to make an investment in the region's future.

How has Fusion benefited your career?

Fusion gives young people the opportunity to network in a community that is sometimes hard to access. Not everybody knows of all the great things going on in Detroit. Fusion succinctly puts it all together.


I've also been able to meet people who I wouldn't have been able to meet otherwise. Having the opportunity to attend the Mackinac Policy Conference as a young professional gave me the ability to meet with our region's leaders. I was able to meet influential people who really wanted to hear what young people in our community have to say. I was able to make connections that will make a lasting impact on my career, no doubt.

How has your involvement with Fusion benefited Wayne State?

My current position affords me the opportunity to work in the community and use the networks that I've made. One of my tasks as a community affairs associate was growing

Wayne State's Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Luncheon; we're working hard to make this a premier event. Almost half of our sponsors came through the networking I did at Fusion events. I met Marcie Brogan, of Brogan ft Partners Convergence Marketing, at the Mackinac Policy Conference last year. She and Deborah Younger, the executive director...

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