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Non-Profit Created to Strengthen Macomb County

County Executive Mark Hackel announced the formation of Leaders Advancing Macomb which will help with development and enhancement of communities throughout the county.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel is joined by members of Leaders Advancing Macomb.
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel is joined by members of Leaders Advancing Macomb.
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel was joined by members of the business, education and non-profit community Thursday to announce the formation of Leaders Advancing Macomb, which aims to support Macomb County communities.

The non-profit organization will help communities in Macomb County identify investment and development opportunities, in addition assisting those municipalities which already have projects in mind. 

This will be done through the support of foundations, nonprofits and corporations looking to invest in the county for economic and community development. Similar nonprofits are already in place in the region, including the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, which helped transform the city's waterfront, and Automation Alley.

"You have got to create a sense of place for people to want to invest. Here we have a tremendous sense of place and tremendous resources," said Hackel, referring to county's the 31 miles of coastline on Lake St. Clair and 41 miles of the Clinton River. 

The Leaders Advancing Macomb will help leverage those resources, raise funds and help connect those who want to invest in the communities throughout the county with programs, groups and projects in need of support. 

“Having a philanthropic structure in place is necessary to fund major community projects and attract funds from outside sources,” Hackel said.

Over the next two years, the group will raise funds, promote the county to potential investors and identifying community economic development needs. 

“Strong philanthropic and community reinvestment will give us a sustainable and healthy community, not only today but well into the future,” said Maria Silamianos Sherman, secretary of the group..

"This is a much needed shot in the arm to help advance some of the identified 50 program and projects that are associated with our strategic plan," said Gerard Santoro, Macomb County Program Manager of Land & Water Resources, and has helped oversee the county's New Blue Economy initiative.

While specific projects were not identified, Santoro stated the group could help improve waterfront access, improve water quality and assist business development in larger projects such as a waterfront hotel.

"There is a huge need for (a hotel)," Santoro said, citing the large number of fishing tournaments and other events in Macomb County.
 
Leaders Advancing Macomb participants come from across the county and include:

Dave Girodat -- 5/3 Bank - Chairman Mark Hackel -- Macomb County
Mike Feezey -- Huntington Bank
Barbara Rossmann -- Henry Ford Health
Steve Kurmas -- Detroit Edison
Grace Shore -- Macomb Chamber
Wayne Oehmke -- Sterling Heights Chamber
Dave Girodat -- 5/3 Bank - Chairman 
Jim Jacobs -- Macomb Community College
Chris Peyerk -- Dan’s Excavating
Gerald Smith -- Comcast
Paul Trulik -- Apparatus Solutions
Maria Silamianos Sherman -- Omega
Richard Gibbs -- The Webber Group
Steve Mancini -- Ric Man
Tom Horton -- Waste Management
John Blanchard -- General Motors
John Nitz -- O’Reilly Rancillio
Barbara Kiel June 21, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Great idea. As long as there is no cronyism or helping out multi million dollar corporations who can well afford to do economic improvements on own. Please do it for the public good!!! NOT for the cooperate good or to give certain favored developers a heads up where plans are to develop new ideas, or worse to get them to subsidize political campaigns in return for favored status. We will be watching to see WHO and WHERE and What develops.

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