President, Belle Isle Conservancy
Michele Hodges took the helm at the Belle Isle Conservancy in 2013. The conservancy grows out of a 40-year effort to support the maintenance and development of Belle Isle, one of metro Detroit’s jewels. Prior to joining the Belle Isle Conservancy, Michele served the Troy Chamber as its president,from 2001 to 2013. The Troy Chamber is a dynamic organization comprising nearly 700 of the Troy area’s best companies. Its objectives are heavily oriented toward economic development, entrepreneurship, globalization, and leadership. In her final year there she worked successfully to advance the Troy Transit Center.
Michele has held a variety of positions with the Detroit Regional Chamber, including director of technology, senior director of new investment, and director of national investment. She previously served as executive director of the DDA and business development team member for the City of Southfield, where she promoted economic health through the coordination of redevelopment efforts, marketing activities and a citywide business retention/attraction program. Mrs. Hodges also spent several years with the City of Eastpointe, beginning as an intern, concluding as director of economic development, and reporting directly to the city manager. She served as president of the Oakland Chamber Network for four years, and was recognized in 2011 as the Business Woman of the Year by the Troy Rotary. She is a member of the 2007 Crain’s Detroit Business 40 under 40 class. She was also identified as a Leader/Innovator by the Great Lakes IT Report; one of Southeast Michigan’s Most Influential Women by Inforum and Deloitte; and the Michigan Chamber Professional of the Year by the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals.
Since 2009, the Millennial Mayors Congress has worked to tackle shared challenges in metro Detroit through regional collaboration, but we were missing a paramount participant—the City of Detroit! This year, Detroit City Council voted unanimously to join the Congress, officially making Detroit our 23rd member city.
On August 5, you’ll be called on to maintain or eliminate a significant source of income for many of Michigan’s municipalities, but most people have never even heard of this revenue stream: the personal property tax.