LOdown News
March 2016 

Update Your Information for the 2016 LO Alumni Directory

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Kirsten Elliott, LOXVI
Vice President of Development
 Community Housing Network, Inc.
What made you decide to go through the LO program?
  I was just promoted to the Vice President of Development, a senior leadership position in my organization. I knew that that I needed to strengthen my ties to other community leaders and learn how our community worked in order to help CHN better serve Oakland County.program?
What did you think you'd get out of it?
I thought I would learn skills and insights about myself as a leader but also meet other leaders to be able to learn from them. I learned how to network with a wide range of people and most importantly, LO strengthened me as a leader.
What did you actually get from the experience?
I got what I thought I would get and so much more. I learned not only about personal leadership but I learned the behind the scenes details of how our community works and why certain decisions are made. I got connected to decision makers and learned of their needs, which in turn has helped me lead CHN's revitalization efforts.
What would you tell someone who was thinking about the Cornerstone program?
I would say that Leadership Oakland is top notch and well worth the time and financial investment. We send at least one staff member to Leadership Oakland each year. It is one of the best well rounded professional development tools out there.
Have you made any changes since your LO graduation?
Last year I was honored to be awarded the Leadership Oakland Leader of Leaders award for Public Leadership. Since I have graduated from LO in 2006, I have remained at CHN serving as the Vice President of Development. I have built a strong team that works diligently to address the housing needs for Oakland County and Southeastern MI. Some of our highlights include, major revitalization of the Unity Park neighborhood in Pontiac MI with over 13 million in funding to rebuild once blighted and vacant lots. We were also just awarded another 19 million in funding to build new units in Oak Park and Pontiac. The lessons and connections I learned from Leadership Oakland have stayed with me and enabled me to achieve great things for our community.
Click here if you would like to be spotlighted!

The LOXXVI Cornerstone class is pleased to have partnered with the Micah 6 Community, Pontiac, and looks forward to building a 26-foot by 90-foot greenhouse and planting seedlings for the group's community garden on April 23. Class members appreciate the fact that this Day of Service will give all who participate the opportunity to help boost the revitalization work Micah 6 Community has been doing in the northwest area of Pontiac.
Visit the LO website to learn more.

Thank you to our

Premier Sponsors









Volunteer photographer needed for Taste of LO event
Contact us if you love taking pictures and want to take shots during our March 24 Taste of LO event!
Thank You to our Breakfast of Champions Young Professionals Panel

Jennifer Korman, LOXIX, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Kim Martin, LOXXIII, Henry Ford Health System, Treger Strasberg, LOXXVI, Humble Design, and Ryan Bladzik, LOXXIII, Village of Holly.

Saturday, March 26
Pistons vs. Atlanta Hawks 
7:30 PM

Join Leadership Macomb, Leadership Windsor/Essex, Leadership Toledo, Leadership Oakland at The Palace of Auburn Hills for an exclusive Leadership Night experience! Tickets include the Detroit Pistons vs. Atlanta Hawks game, access to a pregame Sports Business Panel, and a post game free-throw shot on The Palace Court!

A Message from the Director, Nancy Maurer
What Makes LO So Special?
As I've been making the introductory rounds at various community events, I often find a lot of curiosity about Leadership Oakland and what makes it so special. To be honest, it's difficult for me to put into words without feeling like a salesperson that's a bit too overzealous to be believable. As a proud graduate of last year's class, LOXXV, LO was so much more than the knowledge and contacts gained through the program. There's a bond, camaraderie and commitment that transcends far beyond the graduation ceremony.
I don't know about you but lately it's easier to sound like a curmudgeon with sentiments of "What is this world coming to?" instead of a beacon of hope. It's then that LO comes through with stories that show me why it is so special. I'd like to share a couple with you.

Recently, we received an email from an LO alumni facing a medical crisis. She was overwhelmed, absorbing the shock of her diagnosis and needing to make decisions quickly. She turned to LO for help. It isn't the type of request one expects a leadership development organization to be able to answer. But LO isn't your typical organization. We shared her story with our more than 1,100 alumni. Within minutes, the email responses began to pour in. Some had recommendations for specialists to treat her condition; others shared the names of survivors to encourage her; still others offered prayers and thoughts of strength. No one knew her name; they just knew someone needed help and they took time out of their busy day and overloaded inbox to quickly respond.

                                                          -read more
To learn more about Leadership Oakland,
register  f or Taste of LO on March 24. 
Nominate someone for Cornerstone - LOXXVII
Leadership Oakland is now accepting applications for LOXXVII. Applications received prior to April 6, 2015 will be given  "Priority Status" in the review process.
The benefits of Priority Status include:
  • VIP treatment for applicants attending the "Taste of Leadership Oakland" on March 24, 2016 and the ability to meet other applicants and members of the Leadership Oakland Board. A nice gift package will be presented to you that evening.
  • Eligibility for the Early Selection Review that occurs in early April. Because the Executive Director will talk to each early applicant prior to the selection review date and will pass along her recommendation to the selection committee, you are highly likely to be accepted.
  • Once accepted, ability to lock in calendar dates for the upcoming program year.
  • Ability to be on a tuition payment plan, if needed, prior to the start of the program.

Regular application deadline is May 25, 2016.
Download the application  or call 248-952-6880 for more information.

Upcoming Events
Register Now! - Taste of LO is Next Week


Limited number of tables still available, reserve your spot now! Call Carol Dendler at 248.952.6880


Barbara McQuade, US Attorney for the Eastern District of MI, to Address Oakland County Leaders During Final
 Breakfast of Champions

April 27, 2016
Attorney McQuade is one fierce leader who has worked tirelessly on behalf of our community. She has prosecuted corrupt mayors,  fraudulent  doctors and even led the conviction of an Al-Qaeda operative who threaten our safety on Christmas Day. She's a wife, mother and leader who will share some of the  highlights  of her time in this role and encourage all of us to be strong, ethical community and business leaders.
Join Leadership Oakland for this year's final session of its highly popular Breakfast of Champions (BOC) series on April 27. The breakfasts are open to the public. The BOC  will be held at the MSU  Management Education Center, 811 W. Square Lake Road, Troy, MI 48098.
The cost is $32 for LO alumni association members and $36 for non-members and guests and includes a complete breakfast. Pre-registration required. To register, contact Carol Dendler at 248.952.6880 or register online at: http://www.leadershipoakland.com/breakfast-of-champions/

Thank you to our BOC sponsors. Current sponsors include: HAP,  DTE Energy Foundation, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and Northwestern Mutual
Education Session
March 9 was our sixth session for our LOXXVI class. The session's objectives 
were to understand the many issues facing education and to explore educational opportunities in the county.
"I learned about the inequities in the education system and the dedication of the teachers to overcome those differences for the betterment of their students."

              - LOXXVI class member
Session Sponsors: Oakland Community College, HAP, DTE Energy Foundation, and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.

Member News

Congratulations to
Jason Mayer, LOXXIII on his promotion to partner with Giffels Webster.

Congratulations to Melissa Freel, LOXIV on becoming the Chief Operations Officer for Northeast Guidance Center.
 Congratulations to the 2nd Annual Women's History Month Career Mastered Award Honorees 

Congratulations to
Brenda Lawrence, LOX on being selected as the Mastered Leadership in Action "Living Legend"

Congratulations to
Beth Morrison, LOXIV, President and CEO of Haven, 
 on being selected as a 2016 Career Mastered Award Honoree

Congratulations to Dr. Rita Fields, LOXX, Executive Vice President of the Mosaic Youth Theater, on being selected as a 2016 Career Mastered Award Honoree.