Watch live stream: 2016 Detroit Policy Conference


The Detroit Regional Chamber’s 5th annual Detroit Policy Conference is Wednesday.

The event will bring together hundreds of business, community and political leaders to discuss sustaining Detroit’s momentum by strengthening neighborhoods.

You can watch a live stream of the speakers here.


8:30 a.m. - Welcome
Sandy Baruah, President and CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber

8:45 a.m. - Keynote Address
John Hope Bryant, Founder and CEO, Operation HOPE Inc.; Founder, Bryant Group Ventures

9:05 a.m. - Moderated Discussion
Financial literacy is key to providing opportunity to young, minority and underprivileged entrepreneurs. Detroit can create a new class of entrepreneur and hundreds of new businesses by focusing on those with great ideas, but little resources and connecting them with the resources/assets needed to succeed.
John Hope Bryant, Founder and CEO, Operation HOPE Inc.; Founder, Bryant Group Ventures
Crystal Nickson, Financial Management Counselor, HOPE Inside-Detroit
Moderator: Rochelle Riley, Columnist, Detroit Free Press

9:25 a.m. - Remarks by Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley

9:35 a.m. - Power Perspective
Gwendolyn Hatten Butler, Vice Chairwoman and Chief Marketing Officer, Capri Investment Group
Sponsored by: Grand Valley State University

9:45 a.m. - Keynote Address
David Maraniss, Associate Editor, The Washington Post; Best-selling Author, “Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story”
Interviewer: Christy McDonald, “MiWeek” Anchor, Detroit Public Television
Sponsored by: Delta Air Lines

10:30 a.m. - Refreshment Break
Sponsored by: ITC Holdings Corp.
Book Signing - Purchase and get your copy of David Maraniss’s “Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story” signed.

10:50 a.m. - Concurrent Sessions
Sustaining Neighborhoods: Champions of Revitalization
There are models for neighborhood sustainability in Detroit that can be replicated and customized across the city to help create safe and vibrant neighborhoods. This session showcases the many efforts to transform local communities through neighborhood stabilization, commercial revitalization and community organizing that increase opportunity and improve quality of life.
Tom Goddeeris, Executive Director, Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp.
Quincy Jones, Executive Director, Osborn Neighborhood Alliance
Luther Keith, Executive Director, ARISE Detroit!
Kristen McDonald, Vice President, Program and Policy, The Skillman Foundation
Moderator: Faye Nelson, Vice President, Public Affairs, DTE Energy; President, DTE Energy Foundation
Sponsored by: DTE Energy Foundation

Building Detroit: One Homeowner at a Time
Home ownership has a dramatic impact on communities by empowering new and longtime residents alike. This session highlights the aggressive efforts underway to replace blight with residential development through collaborative partnerships between the city and business community.
Matthew Elliott, Michigan Market President; Market Executive, Global Commercial Banking, Bank of America
Craig Fahle, Director of Public Affairs, Detroit Land Bank Authority
John George, CEO and Co-founder, Motor City Blight Busters Inc.
Andrew Munro, Execution Team Manager, Bridges to Homeownership Program
Moderator: Jennette Smith, Editor, Crain’s Detroit Business

Connecting Communities: The Impact of Regional Transit
With the city and region facing chronic regional transit issues, the upcoming Regional Transit Authority millage will significantly impact the trajectory of the city’s revitalization. This session outlines the impact of reliable, comprehensive regional transit on neighborhoods and how the lack of a transit system is thwarting economic recovery.
Michael Ford, CEO, Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan
Rev. Oscar King III, Pastor, Northwest Unity Baptist Church; Detroit Practice Leader, Kelley Cawthorne
Melissa Roy, Executive Director, Advancing Macomb
Laura Trudeau, Managing Director, Community Development and Detroit, The Kresge Foundation
Moderator: Nancy Kaffer, Columnist, Detroit Free Press
Sponsored by: The Kresge Foundation

11:40 a.m. - Lunch

12:25 p.m. - Moderated Discussion
Speaker: Mike Duggan, Mayor, City of Detroit
Interviewer: Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor, Detroit Free Press
Sponsored by: MotorCity Casino Hotel

12:55 p.m. - Power Perspective
Lauren Hood, Acting Director, Live6 Alliance-Detroit
Sponsored by: Grand Valley State University

1:05 p.m. - Pitch Detroit Competition
Introduction: Sandy Baruah, President and CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber
Host: Carolyn Cassin, President and CEO, Michigan Women’s Foundation
Tatiana Grant, Co-owner, Flash Delivery; President, Infused Public Relations and Events
Anthony Hatinger, Co-founder, Detroit Ento
Theodore Kozerski, Co-founder, Detroit Ento
Jarret Schlaff, CEO and Co-founder, Boots on the Ground
Joe DeBose, Co-founder, Boots on the Ground
Justine Sheu, CEO and Co-founder, Pro:Up
Dennis Archer Jr., President, Archer Corporate Services; Chair, 2016 Mackinac Policy Conference
Craig D’Agostini, Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Comcast
Devita Davison, Marketing and Communications Director, FoodLab Detroit
Gabe Karp, Partner, Detroit Venture Partners
Sponsored by: Comcast Business Solutions

1:55 p.m. - Refreshment Break
Sponsored by: ITC Holdings Corp.

2:10 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions
DPS Spotlight: The Legislative Approach
Quality education is critical to bringing widespread revitalization to neighborhoods throughout the city. This session examines the future of Detroit Public Schools as the state and city navigate legislation intended to address the longstanding problems faced by poor-performing public schools in Detroit.
Clark Durant, Founding Chair, The New Common School Foundation
Arlyssa Heard, Parent Leader and Education Organizer, 482Forward
Karen McPhee, Education Advisor to the Governor, State of Michigan
Dan Varner, CEO, Excellent Schools Detroit
Moderator: Huel Perkins, Anchor, WJBK FOX 2 News

Building Safe Neighborhoods: Crime and Vitality
Public safety is a prerequisite for vibrant communities as crime undercuts revitalization efforts. This session updates progress made in the post-bankruptcy era to improve neighborhood safety through initiatives from installing more public lighting to reducing police response times and eliminating blight.
U. Renee Hall, Deputy Chief, Neighborhood Policing Bureau, Detroit Police Department
Peg Tallet, Chief Community Engagement Officer, Michigan Women’s Foundation
Linzie Venegas, Chief Marketing Officer, Ideal Group
James Ward Jr., President, Greenacres Woodward Community Radio Patrol
Moderator: Chuck Stokes, Editorial and Public Affairs Director, WXYZ-TV 7

Combating the Digital Divide: Detroit Disconnected
The Internet’s ever-growing importance does not bode well for cities struggling with a lack of access to broadband Internet and digital literacy. This session explores Detroit’s connectivity, the challenges and issues contributing to the city’s digital divide, and strategies to increase residential broadband adoption.
Diana Nucera, Community Technology Director, Allied Media Projects
Jerry Paffendorf, Co-Founder and CEO, Loveland Technologies
Marlin Page, Founder, Sisters Code
Moderator: Daniel Howes, Columnist and Associate Business Editor, The Detroit News
Sponsored by: Rocket Fiber

2:55 p.m. - Refreshment Break
Sponsored by: ITC Holdings Corp.

3:15 p.m. - Power Perspective
Dave Bing, Former Mayor, City of Detroit
Sponsored by: Grand Valley State University

3:25 p.m. - Pitch Detroit Announcement
Dennis Archer Jr., President, Archer Corporate Services; Chair, 2016 Mackinac Policy Conference

3:35 p.m. - Panel Discussion
Shared Opportunity: Questions of Inclusion and Gentrification
At the heart of Detroit’s revitalization are questions about economic inclusion, gentrification and sharing opportunity beyond downtown. As momentum brings business, jobs and talent to some areas of the city, it also increases property values and rent. This session explores the socioeconomic impact of revitalization, the politics of gentrification and key steps in developing a unified, economically vibrant city.
Ron Bartell, Owner, Kuzzo’s Chicken & Waffles
Ken Harris, President and CEO, Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce Inc.
Rodrick Miller, President and CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corp.
Rashida Tlaib, Community Partnerships and Development Director, Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice
Nolan Finley, Editorial Page Editor, The Detroit News
Devin Scillian, Anchor, WDIV-TV 4, NBC

4:20 p.m. - Networking Reception
Sponsored by:
Detroit Economic Growth Corp.
Ilitch Holdings Inc.
Office Depot
Wayne County Community College District