2013-2014 Season

The Big Four

The Honorable Mark  Hackel

The Honorable Mark Hackel
Macomb County Executive
Macomb County, MI

View Biography

The Honorable L. Brooks  Patterson

The Honorable L. Brooks Patterson
Oakland County Executive
Oakland County, MI

View Biography

The Honorable Mike  Duggan

The Honorable Mike Duggan
City of Detroit

View Biography

The Honorable Robert  Ficano

The Honorable Robert Ficano
Wayne County Executive
Wayne County, MI

View Biography

Don’t miss the new Big Four as Mayor Mike Duggan joins the incumbents for their debut together! This meeting will take place at the beautifully-renovated Cobo Ballroom during the 2014 North American International Auto Show.

Each attendee will receive one ticket to the 2014 North American International Auto Show good January 18, 2014 – January 26, 2014, compliments of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and the NAIAS.
  • Meeting Date: Thursday, January 16, 2014
  • Time: 11:30 a.m.
  • Location: Cobo Center


 Carol  Cain

Carol Cain Sr. Producer & Host CBS 62's "Michigan Matters"
Columnist - Detroit Free Press


Speaker Biography

The Honorable Mark Hackel   
A lifelong Macomb County resident, Mark A,. Hackel joined the Macomb County Sheriff's Department in 1981 as a dispatcher. Over the next 20 years he worked his way through every rank and was ultimately elected sheriff in 2000. A sheriff, he was recognized for his innovative law enforcement practices and his fiscal discipline.

In 2012, Mark was elected to serve as Macomb's first-ever county executive in November 2010, finishing first in every voting precinct in the county. He ran on a platform of making County government more efficient and effective. As county executive, he immediately enacted organizational changes and budgetary amendments that improved the County's bottom line by nearly $7 million.

Mark has actively promoted the county's position as the Defense Capital of the Midwest and has also unveiled his "New Blue Economy Initiative," which supports clean water, tourism, recreation and economic development on Lake St. Clair and the Clinton River.

Mark is a forceful advocate for Macomb County on key regional issues and has been an effective voice for the county in Lansing and Washington D.C.

As a member of the Big Brother Big Sister Detroit Board of Directors, he enjoys mentoring and empowering children to succeed. He is an adjunct professor at Macomb Community College and Wayne State University. Mark resides in Macomb Township/

The Honorable L. Brooks Patterson   
L. Brooks Patterson is transforming Oakland County and southeast Michigan with his vision and no-nonsense leadership. His mission is to make Oakland County one of the best places to live, work, play and raise a family. In his sixth four-year term as chief executive officer of one of America’s most affluent and progressive counties, Brooks presides over a more than $800 million annual budget and a county workforce of 4,000 employees.

During the 22 years of Brooks’ administration, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s have awarded Oakland County its coveted AAA bond rating for prudent fiscal policies such as its three-year budget with a five-year outlook, fully funding its retiree obligations, and shifting from defined benefit to defined contribution for retiree benefits. Brooks has had marked success in transforming Oakland County’s economy from a manufacturing-based to a knowledge-based economy through initiatives such as Emerging Sectors, Medical Main Street, tech248 and Automation Alley. Oakland County is also recognized as one of the most digitally advanced counties in the United States because of its embrace of technology to improve government services and transparency.

Finally, Brooks’ leadership has created a quality of life in Oakland County that is second to none. His Main Street Oakland County initiative has transformed the county’s numerous downtown areas into regional shopping, dining and entertainment destinations. Plus, Brooks support of events that promote active and healthy lifestyles such as The Brooksie Way, The Brooksie Way Minigrant program, the Fire & Ice Festival in Rochester, and the Oakland Edge Adult Hockey Tournament is improving the overall health of residents.

The Honorable Mike Duggan   
Mike Duggan, 55, was elected as Detroit’s new Mayor on November 5, 2013 and took office on January 1, 2014. As Mayor, he will govern the city of his birth and where he spent the previous 32 years of his career collaborating with others to solve some of the city’s most vexing issues.

While Mayor Duggan was elected largely on his track record of leading successful large-scale financial and operational turnarounds, Detroiters responded strongly to his deep love for the city, which can be seen in his work over the years. During his career he has taken on challenges and untangled problems that directly impact the quality of life of Detroiters, including access to health care, public transportation, crime, blight, expanding recreational opportunities in the city, job creation and more.

As the elected mayor of a city under the current emergency manager form of government, Duggan will have day-to-day control of most city operations, with the exception of the police department. His immediate priorities will be to implement a single coordinated strategy to once and for all address the city’s ongoing blight problem, establish a Department of Neighborhoods office each of the seven City Council districts, work with the new Detroit Public Lighting Authority to speed repairs of broken street lights and to improve EMS response times.

To accomplish these goals, Mayor Duggan pledges that he will do as he always has done: First listen to workers and residents, who best understand the problems and partner with unions, employees, community organizations, business leaders and others develop sustainable solutions. At the center of these solutions will be a culture of accountability that will begin with the Mayor and his leadership team and extend throughout all levels of city government.

Mayor Duggan is humbled to have the opportunity to help restore the city of his childhood to new greatness. As a young boy, he lived on Stansbury near Fenkell and Schaefer on the city’s west side and attended Catholic Central High School when it was still in the city on W. Outer Drive. While most of his friends were leaving Michigan to attend college in places like New York and Chicago, Duggan was committed to staying in the Detroit area, and attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for his undergraduate studies and law school.

Duggan’s first job out of college was at a law firm in downtown Detroit, to which he rode the bus to work every day until he could afford his first car. He later was hired to work in the Wayne County law department and before long was tapped to serve as Deputy Wayne County Executive under Ed McNamara from 1987 through 2000.

It was in his role as Deputy CEO that Duggan’s management skills and commitment to his hometown began to display themselves.

During his tenure Duggan oversaw 14 straight balanced budgets and a fully funded pension system, led the effort to bring the Detroit Lions back downtown, Co-chaired the construction of Comerica Park and Ford Field, and negotiated the deal with the Clinton Administration that led to the construction Metro Airport’s spectacular midfield terminal.

During this time he also stepped in to run the SMART bus system, which was facing the threat of shutting down. In three years, he turned around the organization’s finances and partnered with unions to improve reliability, expand service in Detroit and increase ridership.

As Wayne County Prosecutor from 2001-2003, Duggan led efforts to reduce gun crime and to address the problem of vacant homes across Detroit by seizing 1,000 abandoned homes and selling them to new owners who fixed them up and got them reoccupied.

Before running for Mayor, Duggan again partnered with workers and unions to lead the Detroit Medical Center out of near bankruptcy and back to profitability in his first year (2004). Today, the DMC is undergoing $850 million in new construction as part of a deal Duggan negotiated as CEO.

Duggan ran his 2013 mayoral campaign on a platform that “every neighborhood has a future.” During the campaign he spoke directly with nearly 20,000 Detroiters at the 250 gatherings he attended in living rooms, coffee shops, barbershops and salons, as well as church halls. It was out of these intimate meetings that Duggan’s vision for the city crystallized.

Duggan says that as Mayor, he will continue to be accessible and will host frequent community conversation to help him keep in touch with Detroit residents, their needs and their evaluation of the city’s progress.

The Honorable Robert Ficano   
Robert A. Ficano has led the Metro Detroit region as Wayne County Executive since January 2003, after serving with distinction as Sheriff in Wayne County for nearly 20 years. Executive Ficano presides over approximately two million citizens in the most populated county in the state of Michigan and the 11th largest county in the nation. Overseeing an annual budget of more than $2 billion, Mr. Ficano provides innovative leadership for the region and state, delivering services that citizens and stakeholders expect while aggressively pursuing investment, economic growth and job-creation opportunities.

Mr. Ficano is a recognized leader in attracting investment and positioning Wayne County as the place to locate, conduct business, live, work and enjoy leisure-time activities. He is leading several major initiatives, including the Detroit Region Aerotropolis, Cobo Hall expansion, and international investment with China, the Middle East and other countries.

Having led four trade missions to China and traveled twice to the Middle East, Mr. Ficano has enabled businesses to establish partnerships in global markets, Wayne County and the southeast Michigan region. Mr. Ficano is a key leader in exploring airport development, having been the invited guest to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and the Airport World Conference in Frankfort, Germany and a conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Wayne County, the most culturally diverse county in the state of Michigan provides a competitive advantage for anyone seeking opportunities. Mr. Ficano often states: “When looking to locate a business or to make investment, Wayne County is the place as it looks like the rest of the world.”

Mr. Ficano’s vision for Wayne County is clear — families are his top priority. His staff reflects the vast diversity of the county and demonstrates a genuine sensitivity to the communities it serves. He is committed to making Wayne County a desirable place to conduct business, pursue an education, build careers and raise families. Implementing this vision means investing in economic and community development, education and quality health care. From its cities, suburbs and rural communities, Mr. Ficano’s goal is to leverage Wayne County’s assets: diversity, a highly skilled workforce, educational opportunities, nationally recognized health care facilities and business growth opportunities that enhance the quality of life for all constituents.

Mr. Ficano founded The Vision Fund, a non-profit 501C3 that offers hundreds college scholarships to Wayne County high school students. He has also served on the board of the March of Dimes. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and University of Detroit Mercy Law School.

As the Sheriff, Mr. Ficano was instrumental in creating the Internet Crime Task Force that garnered national attention. County Executive Ficano is the proud father of two children and resides in Livonia.