September 17, 2014 [DETROIT] – The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy announced today that Chief Financial Officer William Smith will participate in the Detroit Regional Chamber’s latest Leadership Detroit class, a 10-month transformational leadership program designed to challenge emerging and existing community leaders from Southeast Michigan to bring about positive change.

“Participating in the Chamber’s Leadership Detroit program is a tremendous opportunity for me,” said William Smith, chief financial officer of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy.  “I look forward to spending time with my classmates and learning how we can work together to make the City of Detroit and the region stronger.” 

As part of Leadership Detroit’s Class XXXVI, Smith joins 70 executives from across the region, representing a cross-section of the community, including business, organized labor, government, education, media, civic groups, health services and community organizations.

“We have a rich tradition as ‘makers’ in this region that sets us apart. Southeast Michigan sets the standard of what is possible when creativity, ingenuity and hard work come together,” said Dan Piepszowski, senior director of community leadership development at the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Our region’s future success relies on these same ingredients shaped in new ways by leaders like these who are making a commitment to challenge long-held assumptions, embrace multiple perspectives and connect with their passion.”

Leadership Detroit provides opportunities for participants to foster problem-solving, while providing new views on key issues to lead the region to success. As it has since 1979, Leadership Detroit will continue its role in addressing, discussing and leading conversations important to the Detroit region. The complete Leadership Detroit Class XXXVI roster is available at


About The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy

The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy is a non-profit organization founded in 2003 with the mission to develop public access to Detroit’s riverfront and serve as an anchor for economic development.  As the permanent stewards of the RiverWalk and the Dequindre Cut, the Conservancy is responsible for raising the funds needed for construction, operation, maintenance, security and programming of the public spaces located along the riverfront.  The Conservancy’s ultimate vision is to develop five-and-a-half miles of riverfront from the Ambassador Bridge on the west to Gabriel Richard Park, just east of the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle.  The first phase of the project, three miles along the east riverfront, is now 80 percent complete and spans from Joe Louis Arena to Gabriel Richard Park.  The first phase of the west riverfront project, a 20-acre parcel located on West Jefferson that features a wider RiverWalk and open green spaces, opened this summer.    Visit for more information.

About Leadership Detroit
Leadership Detroit is a community leadership program for executives in Southeast Michigan led by the Detroit Regional Chamber with over 1,800 alumni. Launched in 1979, the program aims to create awareness of key issues that affect the Detroit region and to challenge emerging and existing community leaders to bring about positive change in the community through informed leadership.


About the Detroit Regional Chamber

Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the oldest, largest and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission of powering the economy for Southeast Michigan is carried out through economic development, education reform, regional collaboration and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit


Photo Gallery