8:00 8:10 Warm-up: Member Introductions

8:10 8:50 Keynote Presentation by: Ara Topouzian, Troy Chamber President/CEO

In June, 2013, Ara Topouzian was appointed President and CEO of the Troy Chamber of Commerce, responsible for overseeing one of Oakland County’s strongest Chambers with more than 700 members, as well as expanding the Chamber’s role as a champion for small and large businesses. The Troy Chamber’s mission is to promote an environment that builds successful businesses and a thriving community by providing leadership through service and regional collaboration. The Chamber champions integrity, diversity, innovation and sustainability. Experience A strategic leader experienced in both private and public industry sectors, Ara is accomplished in the field of economic development for municipalities. He has a successful track record in attracting international corporations as well as retaining small and large businesses to the area. He is a visionary who excels in the creation and implementation of organizational structure and processes. Ara is a relationship builder who astutely cultivates and utilizes relationships to create win-win situations for all involved parties. His proven abilities in marketing, leadership and operations have made him a creative thinker and problem solver who consistently delivers business growth and development for entities represented. He is also skilled in association management and membership development. To that end, he has presented, moderated and facilitated small and large groups, including service organizations, colleges, libraries, associations and more. For more than six years, Topouzian was the City of Novi Economic Development Director, responsible for marketing to- and communicating with 2,000-plus large and small businesses by providing them with important local, regional, state and federal resources. During his tenure in Novi, Topouzian was responsible for business attraction projects valued in excess of $100 million in investment, as well as directing the city’s current economic development goals and objectives in both attraction and retention efforts. Notable Accomplishments: Board Chair, Michigan Economic Developers Association (2014) Board Member, Artserve (2014) Economic Development Director, City of Novi (2009-2013) President, Farmington/Farmington Hills Chamber of Commerce (2000-2009) Kresge Artist Fellow of Performing Arts (2012) Mike Conboy Economic Development Award, MEDA (2013) Professional Education Wayne State University, Bachelor of Arts – Journalism (1993) Trinity of Management – Sirolli Institute (Small Business mentorship) (2011)

8:50 9:15  Leadership Enrichment Council discussion- Current evaluation and suggestions for the future      

9:15 9:30    Wrap-up: takeaways, announcements, and housekeeping items

 

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