Leadership Through Caring

How is leadership defined? It comes down to three principles: inspire, innovate and deliver. One of DTE Energy’s team members is not only demonstrating these principles in his role every day, but now, he’s taking his leadership expertise to the next level, so he can continue to spark change in the community.

Jay Williams, manager, Public Affairs Strategy and Special Projects at DTE, was selected as one of the 30 participants in Detroit Regional Chamber’s Leadership Detroit Class XLII. The six-month transformational leadership program is designed to challenge emerging and existing leaders from southeast Michigan to bring about positive change.

“We are excited to be back with Leadership Detroit Class XLII. This program offers a unique experience that takes leaders on a journey out of their comfort zones to challenge long-held assumptions and to embrace multiple and diverse perspectives on quality-of-life issues in the Detroit region,” said Dan Piepszowski, senior director of Community Leadership Development at the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Change is inevitable, as we have experienced in the past two years. The leaders that will best manage change and seize the opportunities that lie beneath the surface are those who are emotionally intelligent and can tap into the passion and concerns of others. Real changemakers not only inspire others but, they lean in and choose to walk with us down new paths.”

While this program is new to Williams, leadership is not. As a life-long Detroiter, he ensures his city continues to thrive.

In March 2020, he spearheaded the project management of the Connected Futures program, getting vital devices, internet access and technical support to each student in the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD). That was no small feat – through his efforts, more than 50,000​​​​​​​​​​​ students benefited from the program and were able to continue their education through the pandemic.

“I’m honored to be part of a program that positions Detroit as a premier place to be for education, opportunity and success,” Williams stated.

Today, he continues his work with DPSCD overseeing the facility’s master plan and budget to transform each K-12 school within the district. In partnership with Detroit’s Regional CEO group, he directs a staff of business leaders from major organizations across the city to establish a Project Management Office with DPSCD operations to manage capital improvement dollars long-term.

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