Press Release

Detroit Future City Implementation Office Finalizes Leadership Team & Structure with Addition of Exec. Dir., Steering Committee

December 19, 2013

Seven months later, with 36 impactful pilot projects underway, the Detroit Future City Implementation Office has completed the development of its leadership team by hiring an Executive Director, elevating two existing staffers to Director positions, and introducing an Executive Committee and Steering Committee.

Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr. has been named Executive Director of the Detroit Future City Implementation Office. The former Detroit City Council President and Mayor will begin his duties on Monday, January 6, 2014.

“Detroit is at a pivotal moment in its history and the Detroit Future City Strategic Framework presents us with an exciting opportunity to rethink, reshape and rebuild our city,” said Cockrel. “I am honored to be able to continue serving the residents and neighborhoods of Detroit as we work with our partners to improve the quality of life in Detroit by carrying-out the recommendations of the Strategic Framework.”

The addition of Cockrel and elevation of two existing staffers comes as momentum and demand for Detroit Future City's guidance is growing.

In his new role as Executive Director, Cockrel will lead an implementation office that has three Directors and a project staff of 10 others, including one Strong Cities, Strong Communities Fellow, and three Detroit Revitalization Fellows.

Dan Kinkead, hired in May as Director, will now serve as Director of Projects. Heidi Alcock, hired in May as a Senior Program Manager, will now be Director of Operations and Carrie Lewand-Monroe, hired in March as Public Assets Manager, will now be Director of Policy. Their new roles with the implementation office are effective starting Monday, January 6, 2014.

“Seven short months ago Dan Kinkead and Heidi Alcock were hired to turn the idea of a long-term Strategic Framework into real projects with real results,” said George W. Jackson, Jr., President and CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). “They've navigated a demanding start-up process, and their talent and determination have produced strong results in a very short period of time.”

“By bringing Ken on board now, the Implementation Office's leadership team is in a great position to have an even greater impact in 2014.”

In addition to executing the strategies and actions necessary to assemble a brand new organization, over the last seven months the Detroit Future City Implementation Office has been working with partners on a range of pilot projects, including:
Hardest Hit Fund Neighborhood Stabilization – partnering with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and the Detroit Land Bank Authority
Lower Eastside Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Green Infrastructure Project – partnering with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, Lower Eastside Action Plan, Environmental Protection Agency, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Kresge Foundation, and Erb Family Foundation
Springwells Village Residential Deconstruction – partnering with Next Energy, Eco Works, Wayne State University, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and Kresge Foundation

“We've essentially created and activated an implementation office while executing key projects and policy initiatives along the way. Heidi and I knew the leadership structure was a work-in-progress when we were asked to drive implementation, but we stepped in and moved forward knowing there was no time to waste. None of our progress would have been possible without our innovative and driven staff, the DEGC, and our funders,” said Kinkead. “We emerge from 2013 with the opportunity to leverage this catalytic start. We're extremely excited to bring Ken onboard to fill such an important leadership role. His depth of experience and dedication to this city speak volumes.”

Successes DFC has already achieved over the last seven months include:
Development of 60 current and potential future pilot projects
Formation and activation of an Executive Committee, with a Steering Committee to be seated in January of 2014
1,100 coordinating meetings between Kinkead, Alcock and other stakeholders since May of 2013
Design and construction of an implementation homebase at 2990 West Grand Boulevard
Raising necessary funding for implementation in 2014 from The Kresge Foundation, Knight Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Rock Ventures

Looking ahead to 2014, the Detroit Future City Implementation Team will move to its new homebase located in New Center. The DFC Implementation Platform will also be introduced early in the New Year along with a new website and brand.

While Jackson's organization serves as the fiscal sponsor for the Implementation Office on a daily basis, a newly formed Steering Committee of community, business, government, non-profit and foundation stakeholders will offer the budding organization strategic guidance and counsel.

The Steering Committee's Executive Committee has been seated. The members are:

Matt Cullen, President and CEO, Rock Ventures
James Michael Curenton, Master of Divinity, Mayflower Congregational United Church of God in Christ
Paul Hillegonds, Senior Vice President, DTE Energy
George W. Jackson, Jr., President & CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation
Saunteel Jenkins, City Council President, City of Detroit
Sharnita Johnson, Program Office, W. K. Kellogg Foundation
Tom Lewand, Attorney, Bodman
Faye Nelson, President and CEO, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy
Rip Rapson, President & CEO, The Kresge Foundation
James Ribbron, Director, City of Detroit Board of Zoning Appeals / President
Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, Business Leaders of Michigan
Dr. George Swan III, Vice Chancellor, Wayne County Community College District
Alice Thompson, President and CEO, Black Family Development
Heaster Wheeler, Deputy County Executive, Wayne County
Marja Winters, Deputy Director, City of Detroit Planning and Development Department

About the Executive Director

Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr served on the Detroit City Council for 16 years, rising to City Council President, after serving four terms on the Wayne County Commission. He also served as Mayor of Detroit in 2008-09 after Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick resigned. As a Detroit City Councilmember, he passed several very important pieces of legislation including: ordinances to prevent the over-concentration of liquor stores, pawn shops, and other disruptive businesses in residential neighborhoods; to designate the areas around public libraries, schools, parks, recreation centers, and public pools as drug free zones — stiffening the penalties for those who are found to be trafficking illegal narcotics in these areas. He also established a Green Taskforce to educate the Detroit Community on green principles and encourage the implementation of green practices in new construction, existing buildings, neighborhood communities, and government operations.

About Detroit Future City Implementation Office

The Detroit Future City Implementation Office drives projects, informs decisions and influences processes so that key initiatives implemented in the City of Detroit are in accordance with the Detroit Strategic Framework.


Detroit Strategic Framework
Economic Equity Dashboard