Friday, October 16, 2015
Michele Hodges succeeded Gayla Houser as the President and CEO of the Troy Chamber of Commerce in February, 2001. She led Troy’s dynamic business organization until December, 2013.
A regional native, Michele hails from the east side of Detroit where her great-grandparents farmed the land that was developed as Eastwood Amusement Park. “Dad’s ancestors actually relocated his grandparent’s historic farmhouse,” she explained, “and then our family moved into it.”
Following graduation from Regina High School Michele attended Michigan State University where she majored in Urban Planning. Immediately after graduation, she was hired by Eastpointe’s Downtown Development Authority (1990- 1993) and then Southfield’s DDA (1994-1996.) Michele’s next role was at the Detroit Regional Chamber for Economic Development.
“These positions were a great proving ground for leading Troy’s Chamber of Commerce,” Michele recalls. “There were so many opportunities to participate in business development, to work with local units of government, and to envision what communities could be.”
“Working in and for Troy was always a pleasure,” she continued. “There is such a strong and vibrant core of businesses, great schools, and incredible community leaders in Troy.” She also noted two of the Chamber’s innovative programs that were implemented in the 2000s. “We exposed Troy business leaders to the global marketplace through our trips to China and Dubai. We also helpedform the Oakland County Wellness Coalition, which worked to promote wellness in the workplace and reduce healthcare costs. It is now a statewide program known as the Michigan Wellness Coalition. ”
In 2014 Michele redirected her energy and enthusiasm for community development as the new President of the Belle Isle Conservancy. “We are all soldiers ensuring Detroit’s future,” she explained. “I believe we are on the precipice of something great!”
Telephone interview with Michele Hodges
To commemorate the City of Troy’s 60th Anniversary in 2015, we will publish a different story each day that highlights a person, discovery, or event that occurred locally, regionally, nationally, or even globally between 1955 and 2015 and that helped shape our lives and our community. We will try to post stories on important anniversary dates, but we also realize that dates are less critical than content and context. We will include the facts related to controversial stories, allowing our readers to form their own opinions. We invite you to read and comment on the stories. Your suggestions for topics are also welcome and can be posted on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TroyHistoricVillage. You can also email stories or ideas to the 365 Story Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org