Belle Isle Conservancy Names Agency's 1st President
Belle Isle Conservancy Names Michele Hodges President
Non-profit Dedicated to Detroit’s Belle Isle Park Hires Its First Executive
(December 6, 2012 – Detroit, Mich.) … The Belle Isle Conservancy (the Conservancy/BIC), a non-profit organization dedicated to preserve, protect, restore and enhance Belle Isle Park in Detroit, is pleased to announce the hiring of Michele Hodges as the organization’s first President. Ms. Hodges was selected for the position after a six-month, nation-wide search and will begin work in January 2013.
Ms. Hodges was previously the President of the Troy Chamber of Commerce for more than 11 years
As President of the Conservancy, Hodges will be challenged with capacity building of an organization that has been purely volunteer-driven and attracting necessary resources to fuel its mission. Building community support and advocacy for the park will be paramount as BIC works to ensure the future of Belle Isle Park as a public jewel for all to enjoy.
“We are thrilled to have Michele join the Belle Isle Conservancy as our first President. Michele has proven herself as an able leader of the Troy Chamber of Commerce. She possesses strong management skills and has demonstrated that she is a collaborator, communicator and innovator,” states Sarah Earley, BIC Board Chair. “Her background of working with local and state government will be invaluable in her executive role at the Conservancy”.
With the Troy Chamber, Ms. Hodges spearheaded initiatives designed to enhance the business and residential climates in the city. Ms. Hodges proved her sagacious leadership skills at the Chamber - shepherding the approval of the new $6.3-million Troy Transit Center.
“I’m excited to take on the challenging role of leading the Belle Isle Conservancy,” states Hodges. “I look forward to working with all involved parties, including my base of resources and networks, to navigate, strategize and come up with the most sound approach to solutions that will ensure that Belle Isle remains a premiere urban park.”
The Conservancy focuses on issues of historic preservation, restoration and preservation of the natural environment, planning/funding improvements, recreational activities and marketing strategies for the park. Ms. Hodges’ depth of experience will provide the Conservancy with a president that is capable of identifying and leveraging opportunities to advance its mission.
Ms. Hodges holds a degree in urban planning from Michigan State University, an Economic Developers Institute certificate from the University of Oklahoma and an Institute for Organization Management designation from Loyola Marymount University. Her previous leadership experiences include positions with the Detroit Regional Economic Partnership and the cities of Southfield and Eastpointe. Among Ms. Hodges many accomplishments and recognitions: Crain’s Detroit Business “40 Under 40,” “Professional of Year” by the Michigan Chamber, Inforum’s “Most Influential Woman” and “Executive to Watch” by Oakland Business Review.
Ms. Hodges is a lifelong Michigander who grew up near 8 Mile Road in Detroit, but never met Marshall Mathers. She lives happily with Matt, her husband of 22 years, two mischievous cats and two darling daughters who fondly recall regular outings to Belle Isle’s play scape.