Detroit economic development chief Tom Lewand to retire

The Michigan Chronicle published a photo of the wrong Tom Lewand. We originally posted a photo of former Detroit Lions President Tom Lewand Jr. His father is the one retiring and should have appeared with this article.

Tom Lewand Sr., who for nearly the past six years has led Mayor Mike Duggan’s economic development and job creation efforts, has informed the Mayor he plans to retire at the end of the year.

Since being named Group Executive for Jobs & the Economy in January 2014, Lewand, 73, has been the chief negotiator on an impressive string of deals that together have brought – or are bringing – more than 15,000 new jobs and billions of dollars of investment to the city. Among them are:

FCA’s new Mack Avenue Assembly Plant
Ford’s Corktown mobility campus
Flex-N-Gate auto parts manufacturer
Ally Financial
Sakthi Automotive
Lewand also was central to the City’s successful efforts to bring the Detroit Pistons back home and build their new corporate headquarters and practice facility, which will open next month.

“In 2013, Tom was retired and attending art school when I recruited him to spend a couple of years to help us rebuild the city’s planning and economic development team and to help land the first couple of deals,” said Mayor Duggan. “Tom is as fine a negotiator as I’ve ever met. He has exceeded by far every expectation I could have had for transforming Detroit’s reputation as a great place for business development.

In addition to his job creation efforts, Lewand also led the restructuring of the city’s job training programs, which have resulted in more than 10,000 Detroiters being prepared for jobs in growing sectors such as skilled trades, IT, health care, trucking and logistics, culinary arts and more.

“I’m very proud of the fact that since the Mayor took office, unemployment has been cut more than in half and the number of employed Detroiters has continued to rise,” Lewand said. “This shows that these opportunities are reaching real Detroiters.”

Lewand says he looks forward to retiring – again – so he can spend more time with his family.

“It’s time for me to let others take on the full-time challenge of creating new opportunities for growth in this great city and time for me to return to being a full-time husband, father and grandfather. I’d like to thank my friend the mayor for this extraordinary experience, my team for their wonderful collaboration, and the people of Detroit for the incredible opportunity to serve them.”

Mayor Duggan said he expects to have Lewand’s successor hired and in place by the end of the year.

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