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A Word from the Executive Director

One of my favorite childhood memories is breaking out the Sears and JCPenney holiday catalogs and poring over them to make my Christmas list. So many decisions to make! I still love the holidays but my list has gotten shorter and easier to make, especially this year. I wish for only one thing - more kindness. Yeah, I know it sounds cliché but it seems like our lives, region and world are in desperate need of massive doses of it.

I was reminded of that need the day after the presidential election. As chaos ensued on social media from supporters of both sides, Leadership Oakland held our Non-Profit and Human Services Day. While so-called "friends" were hurling harsh judgments against each other, we toured some of the organizations meeting the needs of our community and learned they all could use more help. More kindness.

It got me thinking, how can we as leaders show more kindness personally, professionally and publicly? How can we as individuals lead in a different way against such strong social forces and obstacles? I don't pretend to have the answers but I do know that I don't want to fall victim to the fray.

So I've decided this holiday season to purposefully seek out ways to give the gift on my list - more kindness - to slow down, put down the phone and engage people more meaningfully. I started this past weekend at a rest stop along the Ohio Turnpike. I noticed the woman cleaning the restroom looked tired and moved slowly. Instead of walking by, lost in my own thoughts, I stopped and thanked her for keeping the restroom so clean. The look on her face was priceless! You can bet in that moment she probably didn't care if I had voted for a different candidate than she did.

I encourage you to join me in the challenge. Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas on our social media pages as to how we can bring more kindness to our families, friends, community and world. 

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BOCSheriff Michael Bouchard 
Leading in Times of Chaos

November 29, 2016 | 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

It seems as if each day brings news of growing violence involving those sworn to protect and serve. From public outcry over alleged police brutality to innocent officers losing their lives, law enforcement is increasingly under fire. Join us as Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard - named the nation's outstanding sheriff for 2016 - shares what it's like to lead in such turbulent times.

Location: Troy Community Center
3179 Livernois Road, Troy, MI 48083

Cost of Single Session:
$32 LOAA Member
$36 Non-LOAA Member/General Public

Thank you to our breakfast sponsor:

Register for BOC_

Young Professionals Panel 
The Changing Face of Leadership

February 21, 2017 | 7:30 a.m - 9:00 a.m

Moderator: Jennifer Korman, LOXIX, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

The face of leadership is changing as a new generation begins to ascend. These bright, innovative professionals definitely have some ideas of their own. This is one of our most popular events! In a special panel discussion, they'll share their views on leadership, success, how to work effectively with them, and what it takes to be an impactful leader. We also will be joined by Brooks Patterson's Elite 40 for this event.

Location: MSU Management Education Center
811 W. Square Lake Road, Troy, MI 48098


Talisa Norton, LOXXVII
Co-Owner / Chief Operating Officer
All Pro Color
Sara Stoddard, LOXXIV
Chief of Emergency Management
Oakland County Homeland Security Division
Jordan Twardy, LOXXV
Community & Economic Development
City of Ferndale
Cost of Single Session: 
$32 LOAA Member
$36 Non-LOAA Member/General Public

Thank you to our breakfast sponsor:

Joyce Jenereaux 
Staying Relevant in a Noisy World

April 4, 2017 | 7:30 a.m - 9:00 a.m

With the world whirring at warped speed most days, how does a leader keep up and stay relevant? Perhaps no one knows that challenge better than Joyce Jenereaux, former publisher and president of the Detroit Free Press and Joyce successfully navigated the digital revolution to transform the traditional newspaper to meet the needs of today's hyper-connected society. Recently retired and on to new ventures, she'll share the leadership and business lessons she learned along the way.

Location: MSU Management Education Center
811 W. Square Lake Road, Troy, MI 48098

Cost of Single Session: 
$32 LOAA Member
$36 Non-LOAA Member/General Public
Together We CAN!

Alumni Event

Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Granite City
699 W. Big Beaver, Troy, MI
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm (After the LOXXVII Session)

Reunite with LO friends, meet some new ones, share some holiday spirit, and just relax for a bit. Light appetizers will be provided and there will be a cash bar.

Cost of entry:
Canned or pantry goods (any number of cans of soup, vegetables, etc will do). Bring what you CAN and we'll see which LO Class CAN donate the most CANS. It is a friendly competition between classes. All donations will be given to the Baldwin Center.

Please RSVP so we can get an idea of how many will be attending. Event is for LO current class members, LO Alumni and their guests.

A Special Night at the DIA

DIATwo great leadership organizations came together to network - Leadership Oakland and Leadership Macomb

The evening was a great success filled with great networking, food and art. More than 100 leaders from the two organizations came together for a special evening at the Detroit Institute of Arts in the beautiful Kresge Court. Both organizations provide 'back stage' experiences to their alumni, and Wednesday night was no different. Attendees had an opportunity to tour the conservation lab after they were greeted by DIA's President and CEO, Salvador Salort-Pons. Elliott Broom, Vice President of Museum Operations was also present to mingle with guests and give tidbits about the museum's newest exhibition, Bitter|Sweet: Coffee, Tea and Chocolate.

For some, it was their first time at the DIA and it seemed that everyone vowed to return for future visits.
Click here  to see more pictures.  

LOXXVII : Non-Profits & Human Services Session

The Cornerstone program is where leaders go to learn about all the resources in Oakland County.

The Non-Profits & Human Services session objectives were to provide an overview of nonprofit and human service issues, challenges and resources; to develop a heightened awareness of the barriers individuals and organizations face; to identify opportunities for personal and professional involvement in supporting nonprofit agencies.

"Traveling to the different not-for-profit agencies was so enlightening and helpful. I was not aware of the depth and breadth of services that our agencies provide in Oakland county and now I can look for ways to contribute"    -LOXXVII member

Thank you to our session sponsor:

Alumni Spotlight

Ryan Bladzik, LOXXIII
Immediate Past President, Village of Holly

Public service is in Ryan Bladzik's, LOXXIII, core, which was what originally drew him to the Cornerstone Program.

"When my family and I moved to Oakland County 9 years ago, Holly was really struggling through the recession, probably more than many other communities in Oakland County," he explained. "It was tough for me to not want to get involved and try to help our residents and our community rebuild and grow."

Bladzik started out volunteering in Holly by forming a committee to earn the community a "Playful City USA" designation by the KaBOOM! organization, a non-profit that advocates for play resources for children. He also became a member, and eventually Master, of the Holly Masonic Lodge, as well beginning to get involved in local politics.

"I have a hard time saying no," he laughed about being finally convinced to run for election to the Village Council, also noting that's true of most of the other volunteer projects he's had a hand in.

The timing was perfect, as he came to Leadership Oakland while serving as the Executive Director of the Oakland Schools Education Foundation, a position that has a heritage of being held by LO alumni. Additionally, less than two months after graduation, Ryan was appointed to fill a vacancy for Village President and then was re-elected in 2014.

"I encountered person after person who had been in Leadership Oakland, and all of them had nothing but great things to say about it," he said. "I knew it was something I had to be a part of, not just for myself but for my job and my community as well."

Bladzik said the diversity of information and experiences in the Cornerstone program were a unique resource to lead Holly, which he said often feels disconnected from the rest of the County due to its rural location and smaller size.

"Much of the activity in Oakland County is far to the south of us," he said. "It was invaluable to be exposed to everything Oakland County has to offer, to be able to build relationships and learn about resources to help bring my community a little closer to everyone else."

But even as a functional resource, Leadership Oakland also had very personal impact for Ryan as well.

"LO was a defining experience for me," he said. "There were many sessions that were so powerful that my entire drive home was in silent reflection. There were sessions that I continue to ponder today, that still move me, but also make me want to work harder and continue to help people."

Ryan finished his term as Village President with an unsuccessful run for election to State Representative this fall, but it's unlikely he's going to stay out of the public arena for long.

"Like I said, I have a hard time saying no when people are in need, and Leadership Oakland has given me far too much to just watch from the sidelines."

SponsorshipShowcase Your Company

Maximize your company's visibility by becoming a Cornerstone, Breakfast of Champions, Taste of LO or Jr. LO sponsor. We have packages to fit every budget and can work directly with you to ensure that we meet your marketing or community involvement needs. Contact Susan Hollady at  for more information.

Thank you to our premier sponsors:

Congratulations to Annmarie Erickson, LOIV
on her new position as Vice President, Governance  for Henry Ford Health System.

Congratulations to Stephen Percival, LOXXVII for becoming the new Mayor of the Village of Clarkston.

Congratulations to Tom J. Berman, LOXXVII for winning his election to become the District 5 Oakland County Commissioner.

Congratulations to Clarence Dass, LOXXVII for starting his own law firm, The Dass Law Firm. He was an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Oakland County.

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