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October 20, 2011 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-10-20

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Best And Brightest

Young Jewish leaders meet with Gov. Snyder to talk about
retaining and attracting talent to Michigan.
Jackie Headapohl I Managing Editor

A

bout 50 young emerging Jewish
leaders in Metro Detroit met
Oct. 12 at the West Bloomfield
home of Jewish News publisher Arthur
Horwitz for an intimate conversation with
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.
The event, sponsored by the IN, Horwitz
and his wife, Gina, and Lena and Brett
Koretzky of Bloomfield Hills, was intended
to begin a dialogue in the community
on how to help Michigan reinvent itself,
attract new talent to the state and make
Metro Detroit a community where young
people will want to stay and lead their
lives.
Those who attended the invitation-only
event were chosen from those passion-
ate about the Jewish community and
on the cusp of leadership. They were a
representative sample of the community:
Democrats and Republicans, entrepre-
neurs and teachers, community profes-
sionals and volunteers.
"We brought together a cross-section of
the emerging Jewish leaders of Michigan':
said Lena Epstein Koretzky, vice president
and general manager at Southfield-based
Vesco Oil. "We all have different strengths,
different career paths, but what binds
us together are our shared Jewish roots
and the fact that we all chose to stay in

8

Michigan or return to Michigan to build
our lives. We're not part of any formal
organization. We're just getting together to
make a difference."
Young people are seeking an urban
experience, Snyder said.
"A thriving vibrant Detroit is important
to young people he said. "We need to
reinvent Detroit — and some of you are
already making that happen."
Snyder's talk was focused on how the
community can work together to retain
young talent and bring back those young
people who have left the state for greener
pastures.
"This is an initiative that the governor
relates to:' Horwitz said. "How do we bring
and keep people here who have the energy
and the talent to help reinvent the state?"
To answer that question, the governor
discussed the importance of mentorship,
immigration and the need for "relentless
positive action."

Mentors Needed
He began his talk with a personal story
of why he chose to build his career in
Michigan. Snyder grew up in Battle
Creek and didn't have many ties to Metro
Detroit. When he graduated in 1982, dur-
ing a time of soaring unemployment, he

had two opportunities:
Attorney Stephanie Barr of
Top left: Gov. Snyder
taking a job with an oil engages the audience.
Bloomfield Hills said, "I just
company in Houston —
graduated from law school and
right: The governor
a growing city with lots Top
would
love the opportunity to
meets attendee Jon Stone.
of opportunity — or
mentor and reach out to young
taking a lower-paying
law students and tell them
Bottom right: Event co-
sponsor Lena Koretzky
CPA job in Detroit. He
that it is possible to work in
and Federation CEO Scott
chose Detroit, partly to
Michigan."
Kaufman confer with the
stay closer to his family, governor.
She says she knows that
but mainly because of
opportunity is what is going
mentors.
to keep young Jewish fami-
"It was people saying they were going to lies in Detroit. Barr's husband of three
invest in my career': he said.
weeks, Michael, had left the state when he
He challenged the audience to help him
couldn't find an engineering job. Then GE
create and launch a wide-scale mentoring
in Van Buren Township announced a hir-
program.
ing spree for engineers. Michael was hired.
"If we want to keep our young people
"That allowed him to move back home
here we should be connecting people and
she said, "get married and start our own
creating mentor programs': Snyder said.
Jewish family."
That challenge fired up Rachel Wright
of Birmingham, campaign co-chair for
The Welcome Mat
the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan
Snyder also told a story about a brilliant
Detroit's Young Adult Division (YAD) and
young Jewish man who earned a Ph.D.
national co-chair of next year's TribeFest
from Moscow University in the early
in Las Vegas.
1990s. He had the opportunity to leave the
"It's exciting to me that the governor is
Soviet Union. As he got off the plane in
on the same page as we are she said. "A
Vienna, Austria, he was given a choice by
formalized mentorship program is some-
Jewish resettlement personnel: He could
thing we've been doing in our own com-
leave for Israel in a few hours or he could
munity for so long. We need to mentor not go to a camp and, depending on which
only each other, but other people as well."
country he wanted to go to, he might be

Best And Brightest on page 10

October 20 • 2011

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