Timothy W. Herman
Chief Executive Officer
Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce
Tim Herman was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, and is a graduate of Luke M. Powers High School. He went on to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy from Ferris State University.
In 1994, Mr. Herman was elected to the Genesee County Board of Commissioners and represented the county’s Third District serving the East Flint area and most of the City of Burton until 2000.
Concurrently, Mr. Herman worked as a Senior Investment Associate with Merrill Lynch Stock Brokerage in Flint from 1992-2000.
In July 2000, he became President and CEO of the Genesee Area Focus Council, a business leadership group. Along with his duties as head of the Focus Council, Mr. Herman was elected President of the Uptown Reinvestment Corporation (URC) in November, 2001. The URC was developed as a partnership between the Genesee Area Focus Council and the Flint Downtown Development Authority. The organization’s mission is to carry out the financial and legal requirements of downtown building acquisitions and their transfer to private developers.
In August 2005, Mr. Herman was appointed CEO to lead the process of consolidating four existing agencies: Flint Area Chamber of Commerce, Flint-Genesee Economic Growth Alliance, Genesee Area Focus Council and Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, into a new organization named Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce. The consolidation process was completed in January 2006.
State Senator Jim Ananich (27th District)
Senate Democratic Leader
Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich was reelected in 2014. Before that he served Genesee County as a Representative and member of the Flint City Council.
Sen. Ananich has been at the forefront of addressing the Flint Water Crisis. He continues to push for answers as a member of the bicameral, bipartisan panel investigating the crisis, as well as championing long term solutions to the critical infrastructure, health, and economic needs now facing the community.
During his time in the State House and Senate, he has also taken on issues such as preventing scrap metal theft, prescription drug abuse, and better access to health care.
Sen. Ananich is a former teacher at Carmen-Ainsworth and Flint Community Schools, and he lives in Flint with his wife Andrea, son Jacob, and their dog Maddie.
Richard L. Baird
Senior Advisor & Transportation Manager
State of Michigan
Richard L. Baird was appointed Senior Advisor to the Governor and Transformation Manager in October of 2013. Prior to that, he was the CEO of MI Partners, LLC, a Michigan-based company specializing in public policy and organizational effectiveness consulting. Since January 2011, he had been under exclusive contract working with the Snyder leadership team to reinvent and transform Michigan. Key objectives include achieving organizational excellence in government, talent assessment, recruitment and retention, turning around financially distressed cities and school districts, and designing strategies to achieve administration priorities.
In 2010, Mr. Baird retired from PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP as global and U.S. leader of people and change management. From 2003–2008, he was global managing partner – people, responsible for human resources and learning and education for PwC’s 150,000 partners and staff in 150 countries, while serving on the 14-partner global team leading PwC.
Mr. Baird has been referenced in various professional publications for his work in talent management, including The Wall Street Journal, Global HR News, Newsweek, Economist, and Chicago Tribune.
Mr. Baird is a life member of the board of trustees for United Methodist Homes and Services; a past member of the AIESEC U.S. board of directors; and is currently a board member of the Grow Michigan Fund. He also served on the AIESEC global advisory steering committee and on the board of the Great Lakes Protection Fund.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Albion College and was a trustee for 12 years, including five as chair.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Detroit Regional Chamber
Sandy Baruah is president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. Under Mr. Baruah’s leadership, the Chamber focuses on four strategic priorities: economic development, regional collaboration, education reform and membership value.
Mr. Baruah joined the Chamber in 2010 after serving in the Administration of President George W. Bush as Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce.
Susan E. Borrego, Ph.D.
University of Michigan-Flint
Susan E. Borrego, Ph.D., is the seventh chancellor of the University of Michigan-Flint. She came to UM-Flint in 2014 and quickly established herself as a community partner championing the transformative power of education. Chancellor Borrego’s ongoing research focuses on student learning and success, developing organizational capacity to serve under-represented students, and class issues. Dr. Borrego previously served as vice president for Enrollment Management, Planning, and Student Affairs at California State University, Dominguez Hills; vice president for Student Affairs at CSU, Monterey Bay; and assistant vice chancellor for Student Affairs and associate vice chancellor/dean of students at the University of Arkansas.
Chancellor Borrego has served on numerous boards, national task forces and as a faculty member for the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Greater Expectations Institute and the National Association for Student Personnel Administration (NASPA) Minority Undergraduate Fellows Institute. Borrego serves on the Hurley Medical Center Board of Managers and the Board of Directors for the Greater Flint Health Coalition.
Dr. Borrego received her B.A. in speech and communication from Northwest Nazarene College, a M.A. in in social science/student development from Azusa Pacific University, and her Ph.D. in education from Claremont Graduate School.
Deloitte LLP, Michigan Practice
Mark Davidoff is the managing partner of the Michigan practice of Deloitte LLP. He is the organization’s top leader in the state, overseeing more than 1,200 professionals based in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Midland. In addition to serving clients in the marketplace, he is responsible for the strategy, operations, talent, and business development of the statewide practice. Mr. Davidoff collaborates with the Deloitte U.S. Firms and global organization — Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited — to bring the best Deloitte resources and talent to help Michigan companies, organizations, and governments respond to today’s challenges.
Prior to his current role, Mr. Davidoff led the North Central region Forensic & Dispute Services practice. He currently serves as the lead client service partner for the State of Michigan, the University of Michigan and Taubman Centers, Inc., as well the advisory partner on The Ilitch Companies and CMS Energy.
Mr. Davidoff joined Deloitte in 2005 after experiences in both public accounting and serving in significant C-Suite positions for various not-for-profit organizations in the health care and social services arena. He has more than 30 years of professional experience including serving as the CFO for Mercy Services for Aging, as well as CFO and then executive director/COO for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.
Mr. Davidoff is a CPA and holds a BSBA from Wayne State University and a Master of Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Michael A. Finney
President & Chief Executive Officer
Community Ventures Resources, Inc.
Michael A. Finney recently founded Community Ventures Resources, Inc. (CVR), where he serves as President and CEO. CVR is a “social impact” consulting team that assists communities with development and execution of strategic plans designed to create a pathway out of poverty for populations who are disconnected from employment resources.
Prior to his current role, Mr. Finney served Governor Rick Snyder as Senior Advisor for Economic Growth and President & CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).
His responsibilities at MEDC included serving as Governor Rick Snyder’s Economic Growth Group Executive and as President and Chairman of the Michigan Strategic Fund. Under Mr. Finney’s leadership, the MEDC moved to the forefront of U.S. economic development organizations with innovative new initiatives, including Pure Michigan Business Connect, Community Ventures, and the revitalized Michigan Export programs. During his tenure, Michigan became the “comeback” state adding nearly 400,000 new jobs and more than $15 billion of new investment.
Prior to taking the helm at MEDC, Mr. Finney served as President and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK, President and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise, Rochester, New York; Vice President, Emerging Business Sectors, MEDC; Senior Vice President and General Manager, Thomson Saginaw; and Assistant City Manager, Saginaw, Michigan.
James W. Gaskin
Chief Executive Officer
United Way of Genesee County
James W. Gaskin serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the United Way of Genesee County. As CEO, he leads the area’s largest workplace-based fundraising organization; setting the strategic direction as it impacts the lives of residents throughout Genesee County.
Under Mr. Gaskin’s leadership, United Way of Genesee County has undergone an intensive strategic planning process, which included strengthening the organization’s board; narrowing its areas of focus; increasing the campaign goal; and expanding the number of person’s impacted by its funding.
Prior to joining the United Way in January 2013, Mr. Gaskin served in Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the Midwestern United States for more than 17 years, progressing from an entry-level program position to the Executive Director in Flint.
Mr. Gaskin has been recognized nationally for his work in a feature article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy in September of 2008. His awards include 2014 Peace Maker of the Year and 2012 Sybil Atwood Award nominee.
He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree, Cum Laude, from Central Michigan University in Sociology with a concentration in Social Work.
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
Hurley Children’s Hospital & Michigan State University
Mona Hanna-Attisha MD MPH FAAP is director of Hurley Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Residency Program and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Human Development at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine in Flint, Michigan.
With a background in environmental health, Dr. Hanna-Attisha completed medical school at Michigan State University, residency and chief residency at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and public health training in health policy from the University of Michigan.
In addition to educating the next generation of physicians, Dr. Hanna-Attisha now directs the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, an innovative and model public health program to research, monitor and mitigate the impact of the Flint water lead crisis.
Kathi A. Horton
Community Foundation of Greater Flint
Kathi A. Horton is a community leader who has spent her life engaged in work that aligns with her deepest beliefs – getting resources to people who have faced generations of discrimination, activating a community’s generosity for the sake of subsequent generations, and advancing the importance of early childhood education. For 30 years Mrs. Horton has led nonprofit organizations specializing in education, human services and philanthropy.
Since 2004, Mrs. Horton has served as President of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint (CFGF), a charitable organization focused on engaging people in philanthropy to build a stronger community.
During her tenure as Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA of Greater Flint (1993 – 2004), Mrs. Horton played a pivotal role in the reorganization of the National YWCA and helped to establish the Racial Justice Department at the local YW.
Prior to moving to Flint in 1990, she served as Director of Canton Montessori School in Canton, Ohio for 11 years.
Mrs. Horton currently serves as vice president of the board of directors of Genesee Global Intermodal Corridor Initiatives, a group devoted to overseeing the redevelopment of the former Buick City and other brownfield sites. She also serves on the board of directors of Uptown Reinvestment Corporation, and is a member of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Strategic Board and Regional Leadership Council.
Regionally she serves as a board member of Michigan Community Foundations’ Venture, an initiative begun by the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) to strengthen the role community foundations play in philanthropy, and also serves on CMF’s Community Foundations Committee.
A native of Defiance, Ohio, Mrs. Horton holds master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and Fordham University. She is married to Mark Horton and together the couple has four children and five incredible grandchildren.
Janice L. Karcher
Vice President – Economic Development
Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce
Janice Karcher, Vice President – Economic Development, serves as the head of the Economic Development Group at Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. She has worked for the organization since 1988 in increasing levels of responsibility.
Ms. Karcher leads economic development strategy and projects in Flint & Genesee County, MI, supporting the work of nine development staff and 15 support staff. Other significant duties include the coordination of regional collaboration of the I-69 Thumb Regional Economic Development Partnership and I-69 International Trade Corridor Next Michigan Development Corporation. Ms. Karcher has played an active role in marketing and outreach, project management, strategic partnerships, government relations, fundraising, and ongoing investor relations.
Ms. Karcher is a member of the German Marshall Fund’s Cities in Transition Project. She serves on numerous Boards including the Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission, the Michigan Economic Development Corp Collaborative Development Council (CDC), Michigan Economic Developers Association, and the Mid-America Economic Development Council.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Michigan University & Goethe Institute, Germany.
Multiple Restaurants in Flint
Robb Klaty is a Grand Blanc native who moved to Flint in 2008. Since then, he has launched, started, and partnered to bring a number of successful ventures and food- and beverage-based businesses to Flint.
He and his wife, Tamra, of 22 years, are partners in the Flint Crepe Company, Table & Tap, Tenacity Brewing, Merge, Heyday Coffee, and Hard as Flint.
They and their six children live in downtown Flint. Mr. Klaty is a 1991 graduate of Grand Blanc High School.
Lawrence Reynolds, M.D., F.A.A.P.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Mott Children’s Health Center
Dr. Lawrence Reynolds is President / CEO of Mott Children’s Health Center.
Dr. Reynolds was appointed to the MI Governor’s Flint Water Advisory Task Force in 2015; in 2016, he was appointed by the Governor to the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee to help oversee the implementation of necessary steps for the resolution of the Flint water issues.
He served as President of the Genesee County Medical Society for 18 months through December 2005. He is also past President of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Reynolds earned his B.A. from Wayne State University in 1974 and his M.D. from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., in 1979.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Greater Flint Health Coalition
Kirk Smith is President & CEO of the Greater Flint Health Coalition. The Flint, Michigan-based Greater Flint Health Coalition (GFHC) is a nonprofit collective impact organization created by multi-sector community, health care, public health, and business leaders to serve as the neutral backbone and convening entity to lead and coordinate collaborative efforts to improve population health status, reduce and prevent disease, improve access, quality, and cost effectiveness of the healthcare system, and reduce health disparities in the region.
Mr. Smith joined the Greater Flint Health Coalition in 2005, and has served as the organization’s President & CEO since 2010. He holds a master’s degree in Health Service Administration with a concentration in Health Management and Policy from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and serves on a number of local and state advisory boards.
Born in Flint, he currently resides in Genesee County with his wife and two children.
Richard K. Studley
President & Chief Executive Officer
Michigan Chamber of Commerce
Rich Studley became President & CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce in July 2008. Prior to that, He served as the Chamber’s Executive Vice President (2005-2008) and chief lobbyist (1997-2004). Mr. Studley joined the Chamber in 1981 as Manager of Taxation and Labor Relations.
Mr. Studley currently serves a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He also serves as Chairman of the U.S. Chamber’s Committee of 100, representing the top 100 state and local chambers of commerce in the country; and as Chairman of the U.S. Chamber’s Accreditation Committee for state and local chambers.
He is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives’ Leadership Development Program.
In December 2014, Mr. Studley delivered the winter commencement address and received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Northwood University in Midland, MI. He was appointed by Gov. Snyder to serve an 8-year term as a member of the Board of Trustees for Central Michigan University starting in January 2015.
Born in Pontiac, Illinois, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Alma College and a Master of Science in Administration degree from Central Michigan University.
Bilal Kareem Tawwab
Flint Community Schools
Superintendent Bilal Kareem Tawwab is the superintendent of the Flint Community Schools located in Flint, Michigan. He became superintendent of the 5,400-student district in September 2015 and oversees a budget of approximately $77 million.
Superintendent Tawwab brings a strong focus on educational leadership to his approach to school and district transformation. Superintendent Tawwab uses research-based interventions in the Flint Community Schools and is working to build capacity at all levels throughout the district. He has focused his attention in four specific areas: Eliminating the budget deficit, building teacher and leader capacity, using data to make decisions, and effective and efficient systems.
Previously he served as the assistant superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools. In this role, he provided leadership for the district’s Office of School Turnaround, with responsibility for overseeing the district’s priority schools, state school improvement grants, supervising non-priority school principals, and mentoring school leaders in areas of academics, operations, and fiscal management. Under his leadership, 12 of Detroit’s 36 priority schools had their priority designation removed as a result of improved student achievement.
Superintendent Tawwab began his career as an elementary teacher and has held roles as a teacher facilitator, assistant principal and principal. Mr. Tawwab holds a master’s degree in educational administration and a bachelor of science in elementary education. He is a member of various organizations including the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the National Association of Black School Educators.
Palace Sports & Entertainment
Arn Tellem is Vice Chairman of Palace Sports & Entertainment (PS&E), which includes the Detroit Pistons basketball franchise. He joined PS&E in August 2015 following a distinguished career as one of the top player agents in sports.
As a representative of ownership, Mr. Tellem has broad responsibility for business strategy, planning and development, and strengthening the connection between PS&E and the community. With respect to the Detroit Pistons, Mr. Tellem is responsible for league-related initiatives as one of the team’s Alternate Governors on the NBA Board of Governors.
Mr. Tellem has represented more than 500 professional athletes in his career. He joined PS&E following nine years at Wasserman Media Group, where he served as Vice Chairman and oversaw the Team Sports Division. In 1989, he founded Los Angeles-based Tellem & Associates, which was acquired in 1999 by SFX Entertainment, the world’s largest producer and marketer of live entertainment. Mr. Tellem served as Chief Executive Officer of SFX Sports until he joined Wasserman.
Mr. Tellem began representing professional baseball and basketball players in the early 1980’s. Before that, he was a partner at the law firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips and also served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers between 1982 and 1988.
A member of the American Bar Association and the State Bar of California, Mr. Tellem received his bachelor’s degree from Haverford College in 1976 and his J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1979.
Mayor Karen Weaver
City of Flint
Mayor Karen Weaver was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. She is the youngest of three children born to Dr. T. Wendell Williams and Marion C. Williams. She attended the Flint Public Schools graduating from Northern High School in 1977. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi. She obtained her Master’s degree from Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY and PhD in Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University.
Mayor Weaver has held several leadership positions, such as Director of Behavioral Services, Mott Children’s Health Center, 2000-2010; Chief Operating Officer, Ennis Center for Children, September 2012-March 2014; and is currently the Owner of Shea Lavelle Boutique, a specialty store for natural skin, hair and body products.
She serves on the following boards: The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Operating Board, Downtown Development Authority, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Flint Institute of Arts and as past president of the Pierians Inc., Flint Chapter. She has served as Flint NAACP Freedom Fund Chair since 2012. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Zeta Beta Omega Chapter and of Vernon Chapel AME Church.
Mayor Weaver has been married to Dr. Wrex A. Weaver for 28 years. They have three children, Adrienne, Alanna and Douglas.
Group Vice President
Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce
George Wilkinson is a Group Vice President for the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce; he has served as COO and President for Walker International Transportation, Vice President for Dana Corporation.
In the past, he has served as a General Motor’s Executive for Global Logistics with responsibility for GM’s $5.7 billion global logistics supply chain. In this role, Mr. Wilkinson led the efforts of four regional directors to ensure the implementation of a globally cohesive supply chain strategy. He joined General Motors in 1984, serving in a variety of positions with increasing responsibility in the materials, inventory, purchasing, quality assurance, logistics, and delivery disciplines. Among these positions, Mr. Wilkinson spent three years in Buenos Aires, Argentina as Logistics Director for General Motors Argentina.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., and an MSA from Central Michigan University.
Mr. Wilkinson, an ordained minister, is actively engaged in building community. He is vice chair of the Community Foundation, and is a board member of Genesee County DHHS, Hamilton Health Network, Habitat for Humanity and is the chairperson for the Education Foundation for Flint Community Schools.