Young Leader Meeting

2019 Young Leader Conference

8:00 AM

MotorCity Casino Hotel

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2019-09-27 08:00 2019-09-27 17:00 America/Detroit DEC Meeting: 2019 Young Leader Conference MotorCity Casino Hotel Detroit Economic Club info@econclub.org

About This Meeting

The 5th Annual Young Leader Conference is a must-attend professional development opportunity for those under the age of 40. This one-day conference is designed by Young Leaders (YL) exclusively for Young Leaders!

Be a part of this conference and experience powerful speakers, impactful breakout sessions and networking with other YLs focused around “the future of work.”

Want more networking? Attend the reception following the conference and meet some of the DEC Board Members, Sponsors and more YLs.


The Future of Work


Join the highest caliber under-40 crowd at the region's premier Young Leader event. Expert speakers and actionable breakout sessions will help you EXPLORE GROWTH, REFINE YOUR PURPOSE and CREATE BALANCE as you prepare for YOUR role in the Future of Work.

Manuel Amezcua

President & CEO
MassMutual Great Lakes

PURPOSE Breakout Session: Vision, Hustle, Grit

Key Takeaways:

YOU are the only person standing in the way of becoming the BEST version of YOURSELF. Manny shares his journey and a few of the basic lessons he has learned along the way, summing up his personal recipe for how humans can tap into their greatest potential to achieve their life by design.


Manuel Amezcua is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, public speaker, and executive in the financial planning, wealth management, and insurance industry. He currently serves as Firm President, CEO for MassMutual Great Lakes. MassMutual Great Lakes is one of the leading brands in helping to create financial security, stability and success on behalf of the individuals, business owners, and institutions it serves in the United States. Manuel is also the co-founder of One Life Advisory, a national planning practice focused on serving entrepreneurs, executives, and professional athletes. Prior to March 2017, Manuel served as Managing Partner for MassMutual Chicago.

Manuel was awarded the Huebner Service Award by the Society of Financial Services Professionals Detroit Chapter in 2019, Manuel was recognized with MassMutual’s Community Service Award in 2015, appointed to the Sales Manager Advisory Board in 2015, invited to join the Field Leadership Development program in 2016. Manuel has spoken at MassMutual Academy, MassMutual’s National Marketing Summit, NAIFA Chicago’s Taste of MDRT, GAMA’s global LAMP conference, NAIFA Illinois’s annual conference, Mutual of Omaha, FutureSmart Challenge, FUND Conference, FWD Collective, is a consistent contributor to Hoopis Performance Network’s Firm Foundations program, and various other sales and financial services programs. His talks focus on the power of a positive mindset, vision, brand, intentionality, working from a plan, and execution. At the forefront of Manuel’s personal life are his wife, Samantha, and two children, Ava and Atlas. They share a passion for community involvement and maintain a commitment to the iF Charities (Israel Idonije Foundation) and NFL Alumni Association. Manuel serves on the Board of Directors for the Melanoma Research Foundation & DePauw Centers Co-Curricular Advisory Board. He served as Chair of the Melanoma Research Foundation’s Wings of Hope Gala (Chicago) in 2015, 2016 and 2017. He has provided previous board service to NAIFA Chicago, POSSE Chicago’s Leadership Council, the Center for Economic Progress, and the Reilly C. Bush Foundation.

Susan Morgan Bailey

VP, Culture & Wellbeing Practice Leader
Marsh & McLennan Agency – Michigan

PURPOSE Breakout Session: Purpose & Meaning at Work: Why It Matters and Where to Find It

Key Takeaways:

  • Describe how purpose and meaning and essential to continued success at work
  • Explain how organizations are facilitating connection to purpose and meaning for their employees
  • Identify personal factors that inspire, motivate and provide personal purpose in work and life


Susan Morgan Bailey is a high energy leader with more than 20 years of experience in health, benefits and education settings. In her role as Vice President, Culture & Wellbeing Practice Leader at Marsh & McLennan Agency, she calls upon her experience to help organizations build supportive cultures that empower individuals to live healthy, engaged lives.

Susan was instrumental in the success of a number of best-in-class wellbeing & culture strategies including initiatives at DTE Energy, Beaumont Health System and Chrysler. Prior to joining MMA in 2016, Susan led the Health and Wellbeing Strategy Consulting team at RedBrick Health where she provided strategic support and guidance to the account teams and clients. Susan also worked in the public health sector as a Health Promotion Coordinator for the Gaston County Health Department, in North Carolina, where she developed a county-wide fitness and nutrition program for residents. She remains committed to community health improvement through active involvement in the Michigan Wellness Council.

Susan is dedicated to sharing best practices and learning from the field of health and wellbeing. Speaking engagements include presentations at various Human Resources events, HERO, National Business Group on Health, and Truven Health Analytics conferences. Susan also serves on the faculty of the National Wellness Institute as a trainer for the Certified Worksite Wellness Program Manager certificate.

Susan is a Certified CultureTalk Partner, a Certified Intrinsic Coach® and is SHRM-SCP and SPHR certified, with a BS in Education from Central Michigan University. Susan also holds a Master of Science degree in Health Promotion from the University Of North Carolina at Charlotte. Susan is a graduate of Leadership Oakland class XIX and remains involved with the organization to this day as a board member and retreat facilitator.

Recognized for her passion and enthusiasm, she is on a mission to help others find their own high energy, good health and passion for life! Susan integrates her passion for wellbeing into her own life through time spent with her husband and two boys at her cottage in northern Michigan and conquering various outdoor pursuits like paddle boarding, hiking, swimming, playing soccer, an occasional 10K and traveling to warm, sunny places.

MiVida Burrus

Director of Development
Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit

BALANCE Breakout Session: What's The IDEA?

Key Takeaways:

  • Have a better understanding of the meaning of IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access)
  • How you can intentionally incorporate these skills in your daily habits
  • Learn ways to become a better ally for others through subtle daily changes


MiVida Burrus is the director of development for Mosaic Youth Theatre. Her passions aren’t limited to fundraising. She works as a champion of the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access) committee for her chapter. MiVida incorporates lessons in IDEA to educate her local government officials, work colleagues, and team members on the advisory councils about all aspects of their diversity initiatives. MiVida is dedicated to helping others and expanding understanding of differences in people as an attribute, not a flaw.

MiVida’s career spans 25 years in various industries including HR and Education. She hopes to use all of her skills to better herself and others.

Paul Glantz

Emagine Entertainment, Inc.

GROWTH Breakout Session: The Entrepreneurship Journey

Key Takeaways:

  • There is no such thing as overnight success
  • Being an entrepreneur entails substantial risk-taking, sacrifice, and lifestyle trade-offs
  • The rewards of entrepreneurship are potentially greater than those available from most all other forms of employment


Paul A. Glantz is the Co-Founder, and currently serves as the Chairman, of Troy, Michigan-based theatre chain Emagine Entertainment, Inc.

Glantz has raised over $150 million in capital to develop 11 entertainment venues; and in doing so, brought his concept of an exemplary entertainment experience to reality. Glantz is regarded an expert in the cinematic exhibition industry. He has been at the forefront of technological change in the theatre industry, particularly the transition to high-definition digital presentation, deployment of two of the world’s first four “4K” Texas Instruments/Christie digital projectors at Emagine Royal Oak, initiating its premium large format concept, the Emax Experience, and by introducing Dolby’s revolutionary Atmos sound systems to the Michigan marketplace. Recently, Emagine debuted its Super Emax auditorium, the largest screen in the Midwest. It incorporates both Dolby’s Immersive Atmos® sound system and the picture is produced via laser projectors.

Glantz holds an Honorary Associates Degree in Arts & Sciences from Schoolcraft College, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with High Distinction from Wayne State University and a Master’s Degree in Taxation from Walsh College. He has been recognized by Wayne State’s Mike Ilitch School of Business with its Distinguished Alumnus Award, by the Wayne State’s Irvin D. Reid Honors College naming him as one of its first ever “Pillar Award” recipients, by Ernst & Young as Michigan and Northwest Ohio Entrepreneur of the Year and by Walsh College with the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Judi Holler

Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Improviser and #FEARBOSS
HOLLA! Productions LLC

Closing Keynote Session: Fear Is My Homeboy: How to Transform Fear into Your Success Secret Weapon

Key Takeaways:

  • An understanding of fear’s greatest hits
  • How to bravely embrace change
  • The truth about fearing less
  • How to not be burdened by a fear of failure
  • Tools to help you manage fear, personally and professionally
  • A 4-Step fear setting framework that will help you take action
  • A sneak peak into the world of improv theatre!
  • Copy of Fear is My Homeboy


Judi Holler is a keynote speaker, author, and a professionally trained improviser and alumni of The Second City’s Conservatory in Chicago, Illinois. Judi studied and performed improv theatre at night while working full time by day in the meetings industry in sales and marketing for companies like Marriott, Omni, and Starwood Hotels before starting her company, HOLLA! Productions, in 2013.

Judi is a past president of Meeting Professionals International, Chicago Area Chapter, and was named one of the 40 under 40 in the meetings industry by Connect magazine in 2015. Judi has a passion for the meetings industry and is proud to work with Meetings Mean Business® to advocate for the undeniable value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences and conventions bring to people, businesses and communities.

Judi’s book on Fear, titled “Fear Is My Homeboy®: How to Slay Doubt, Boss Up, and Succeed on Your Own Terms”, was recently endorsed by Mel Robbins calling it: “relatable, relevant and most importantly ACTIONABLE!” Fear Is My Homeboy® was officially released May 28, 2019 and is available on Amazon, 800 CEO Read, Barnes & Noble, and across the country in airports nationwide.

When Judi is not keynoting conferences, testing out new fear experiments and/or creating content for you … she is most likely riding her Peloton bike, deep in a book, or hanging out with her husband Scott and their golden retriever, Tito!

Judi likes her books non-digital, her wine bubbly, and her music hip-hop.

Judi’s Mission: To help you transform fear into a powerful secret weapon so you can succeed the way YOU want.

Judi’s Vision: A world so brave that fear is actually a motivator and a world so courageous that regret has been removed from the dictionary because you are way too busy making things happen for yourself!

Influencers in Judi’s work : Brené Brown is her Beyoncé. Mel Robbins is her spirit animal. Amy Poehler is her favorite funny girl. Marie Forleo reminds her that “everything is figure-out-able”. Steven Pressfield is her Fear Doctor. Dr. Dre reminds her to roll to the beat. And Seth Godin inspires her to go make things happen.

Lisa Howze

Vice President, Detroit Campuses and Strategic Partnerships
Davenport University

GROWTH Breakout Session: Career Development: How to Bounce Back From a Setback

Key Takeaways:

  • Strategies to handling a career setback
  • How to prepare for setbacks and/or avoid them
  • Lessons on how to redefine your career and create new opportunities


Lisa Howze began her career with Davenport University in March 2018 and serves as vice president for Detroit campuses and strategic partnerships. In this role, Lisa is responsible for leading the launch and growth of a new campus in the city of Detroit while overseeing the operations of Davenport University’s Warren campus. Based on the leadership qualities Lisa has demonstrated thus far, she was selected by President Dr. Richard Pappas and confirmed by the executive leadership team to participate in Davenport University’s Leadership Academy. This nine-month program is a significant honor that recognizes her leadership and future potential with Davenport University.

As a native of the city, Howze has spent her career focused on making a positive impact on Detroit. Her prior work experience has been in the government sector, where she was elected to public office in 2010 and represented the 2nd District in the Michigan House of Representatives. Most recently, Howze was an executive member of Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration at the City of Detroit, having served in the roles of chief of staff and chief government affairs officer from 2014 to 2018.

Prior to her work in the government sector, Howze founded and was principal speaker and trainer for Speaking Life Principles, Inc., providing personal and professional development programs to organizations and their employees. Fundamentally, Lisa’s background is in the accounting and finance profession where she became a certified public accountant. Her earlier career roles at DTE Energy Company and Arthur Andersen LLP tapped into her financial and business acumen.

Howze serves on the boards of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA), Accounting Aid Society and the Chandler Park Conservancy. She earned the MICPA’s Outstanding Certified Public Accountant in Government Impact Award in 2017, the Women of Excellence Award from Michigan Chronicle in 2014 and was named Habitat for Humanity Michigan’s 2011 Public Official of the Year.

Lisa is a proud alumna of Cass Technical High School, where she demonstrated her entrepreneurial spirit and interest in business administration. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a master’s degree in finance from Walsh College.

Josh Schneider

The Millennial & Employee Engagement Institute

PURPOSE Breakout Session: Find Your Spark

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover innovative techniques designed to unleash their best selves
  • Deploy a framework for how to successfully "play at work"
  • Connect the power of personal engagement to performance
  • Break free from constant energy drains
  • Leverage problems into focused opportunities for growth


In the trenches of a well-paid CPA firm, learning first-hand the hard cost of disengagement and how Millennials worked, Josh Schneider knew something had to change – so he did something about it. What he did was form a coaching company and work with organizations and individuals to increase performance, energy, and happiness. As the impact of disengagement rose, Josh wrote the book Generation NEXTLEVEL, which calls the next generation of leaders to play to their strengths and do work that matters. To increase the impact of his work Josh founded The Millennial & Employee Engagement Institute to curate and develop research to help unlock people performance and consult businesses to transfer leadership to the next generation. From labor studies and engagement work with Sikorsky Aircraft, to working with the small business owner down the street Josh truly understands the future of the workforce and how to engage it. He has been featured on Under30CEO and the CEOhour talking about business and people performance with strategies for reaching the next level. From the stage Josh brings a passion that is contagious, an energy that’s undeniable, and innovative ideas that work in today’s new business climate.

James Studinger

JPStudinger Group

BALANCE Breakout Session: Staying Focused in a Distracting World to Achieve Great Things

Key Takeaways:

Distractions are everywhere. Information flies at us in small headline grabbing snippets. How do you stay focused and achieve something great? Start by understanding what that greatness looks like, identify the milestones necessary to get there, and build a game plan/training plan capable of success. All while realizing that life changes, and sometimes you need to adapt. Hiking through raw and tough woods to a specific location has a definitive end game. But there’s no defined path to follow. The lessons learned in nature are lessons that can be applied in everything you do in life. It prepares you for life, keeps you focused, mentally and physically able to adapt, and shows you that you have the drive to do what it takes to succeed.


James Studinger grew up in Manistique, in the Upper Peninsula of MI and is known as the “Yooper” by his downstate (troll) friends. He is the owner of JPStudinger Group, a financial planning firm in Bloomfield Hills. James has a passion for the outdoors, exploring and physical activities – and uses the journey to his triumphs as a method to get the most out of his A.D.D. James lives in Bloomfield Hills with his wife and 2 boys. He is the author of Wealth Is a Choice, Owner of JPStudinger Group, & Call of the Yooper.

Jeff Tippett

Jeff Tippett Enterprises

Opening Keynote Session: Unleashing Your Superpower: Why Persuasive Communication is the Only Force You Will Ever Need

Key Takeaways:

  • A realization that we all live or die by our ability to persuade
  • An understanding of how to persuade others without ever manipulating
  • Specific techniques of persuasion that will help move organizations to the next level, help navigate transition, lead more effectively, and boost their productivity within the next month
  • An awareness of the butterfly effect of the greater good


Jeff speaks by blending motivation with actionable content. Life can beat us down, so he wants to lift people. To accomplish this, Jeff bring lots of energy, humor, and heartfelt connection. But attendees need more than just motivation because motivation fades. So, he mixes in actionable content that can create lasting change in lives. And with 500+ presentations under his belt, Jeff knows how to successfully weave these two styles together. Attendees almost always immediately comment on his passion and energy, the actionable content, and his heartfelt connection. Jeff is a communications practitioner as the founder and partner of a public affairs + communications firm. His industry peers has validated his work through multiple awards like the following: The American Advertising Awards, The InSpire Awards, Sir Walter Raleigh Award.

Kumari Williams

Director, Global Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding
HARMAN International

GROWTH Breakout Session: Executive Presence for Women

Key Takeaways:

Attendees will be able to apply techniques to display authenticity, confidence, resilience and presence in a professional way. Authenticity is the gold standard of leadership. If you are not ready to exhibit yourself in an authentic way, you will experience challenges that will become unsurmountable. Success as it turns out, correlates just as closely with confidence and authenticity as it does with competence and resilience is the capacity to recover from difficulties. It is often described as toughness. As a leader it is important to master these elements of executive presence and use them as you communicate your leadership vision. Executive presence is not a replacement for overall strong leadership skills. But rather for women it is the necessary addition to our skillset that helps to even out an often times unleveled playing field. Lastly, we will address the things knowingly and unknowingly that women do to hold themselves back while their male counterparts move forward in their careers.


Kumari Williams is the Director of Global Talent Acquisition at HARMAN International. As a partner to the business she works with leaders to identify and secure talent for HARMAN. Kumari is responsible for developing strategic partnerships that feed the talent pipeline and maintaining a pulse on the skills that are needed today and in the future.

Kumari has over 15 years of experience in Talent Acquisition, Talent Management & Human Resources across multiple industries, including 6 years with ADP RPO managing the hiring process for a global automotive OEM. Kumari has a hands on approach and has exceled over the years by understanding the needs of her clients and ensuring that her team’s capabilities evolve as technology does.

Kumari is active in the community and serves as an Advisory Board Member on the Pathways Advisory Board for Osborn High School in Detroit, MI. She also serves as the Vice President of Perfectly Scarred, Inc. an organization that engages with and encourages youth that are burn survivors.

As the owner of Kurated Coaching Kumari is able to leverage her corporate experience to provide career preparation services to youth along with interview and career coaching services to professionals.

Kumari holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Grand Valley State University and an MBA from Wayne State University.

Matt Wollack

President & CEO
Noble Child

BALANCE Breakout Session: Slash Generation: Millennials in the Workplace

Key Takeaways:

  • Importance of millennials understanding and accepting that they're part of the slash generation – what exactly does this mean?
  • How technology has advanced Millennials creative minds and thought processes in the workplace and in their personal life
  • How and why does the slash generation take on multiple projects/jobs and still try to find a work/life balance?
  • How Millennials have merged technology + personal + careers all in one space


Matt is the President and CEO of Noble Child, the first and only functional, cloud-based intelligent analytic information system on the Salesforce platform to meet the growing needs of the child welfare industry. He founded the company in 2017 and is the vision and driving force for the development and architecture of Noble Child solutions. With a BA and MSW from University of Michigan and a lifetime dedicated to helping Michigan’s most impactful child welfare agency, Matt has earned expertise and understanding of the intricacies and challenges of the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. As a third-generation social worker, Matt is driven to make workflow and treatment a frictionless experience and to truly disrupt the industry as we know it today. Social work runs strong in his DNA. His family founded Wolverine Human Services 30 years ago, the largest child welfare agency in Michigan. He currently serves as the VP of Strategic Development at Wolverine, driving all aspects of business development, change management and future visioning for the agency.

Dedicated to philanthropy, Matt feels strongly that giving back to the community is one of the most imperative and rewarding aspects of being a startup founder. Matt is an advocate for empowering youth on a local and national scale and works alongside nonprofits and other organizations that have similar goals. Inspired to create his own networking group, Matt founded Fresh Era, an opportunity for young professionals to gather together and volunteer throughout the City of Detroit with the hope of supporting the social and economic revitalization of the city. Furthermore, Matt is the Project Lead of Core Orchards Detroit, the City of Detroit’s first U-pick apple orchard with the mission of planting the seed to empower children and communities through education, partnership and caring. Matt also sits on the board of the Jordan Morgan Foundation, the Alumni Board of Governors for University of Michigan School of Social Work, and the Founders Junior Council at the DIA, as well as a DAC Resident Member. In addition, he’s been honored as Oakland County Executive’s 2019 Elite 40 Under 40 Class, DBusiness 30 in Their 30’s, and is a graduate of the Crain’s Leadership Academy, a nomination-based program.


$100 – DEC YL
$125 – Non-YL

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Ticket cancellations must be made by 12:00 p.m. (noon) five business days prior to the conference in order to receive a refund.
2019 Refund Deadline: 12 p.m. on Friday, September 20

Meeting Agenda

8:00 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
9:00 a.m.– 3:30 p.m. Keynotes & Breakouts (12 p.m. Lunch)
3:30 p.m.– 5:00 p.m. Reception with DEC Board & Sponsors
5:00 p.m. Adjourn

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