‘Michigan Matters’ Focus: Leaders Share Mike Ilitch Memories; Talk Of The Region

The passing of Detroit native son Mike Ilitch was front and center during “Michigan Matters” taping as Carolyn Cassin, Beth Chappell and Sandy Baruah shared stories of his impact.

Cassin, president and CEO of the Michigan Womens Foundation (MWF), ran Hospice of Michigan and helped the family years ago when Marian Ilitch’s father was dying.

MWF awarded ” Mrs I” as Marian is affectionately known, and Denise Ilitch, the couple’s eldest child, an award from the statewide organization for their efforts in business and the community.

Mrs I, who was married to “Mr I” as Mr Ilitch was called , for 61 years. She remains one of the nation’s most successful women in business . The couple grew the Little Caesars empire from one store into a billion-dollar-plus enterprise.

Following in her parents’ footsteps, Denise Ilitch also is a successful entrepreneur as CEO of Ilitch Enterprises. She is a regent at University of Michigan and co-owns 220 Merrill restaurant in Birmingham. She is a regular panelist on “Michigan Matters.”
Chappell, President and CEO of the Detroit Economic Club, talked how the Ilitches impacted her life. She ended up meeting and marrying her future husband, Warren Chappell, as a result her dealings with them when she came to Detroit as an AT&T executive.

Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, gave Mr I kudos for saving Detroit in the 1980s when he decided to move Little Caesars headquarters to Detroit.

(from left): Sandy Baruah, Beth Chappell and Carolyn Cassin join "Michigan Matters" Senior Producer/Host Carol Cain to talk about the region. credit: Alexis Tesner/CBS 62)

(from left): Sandy Baruah, Beth Chappell and Carolyn Cassin join “Michigan Matters” Senior Producer/Host Carol Cain to talk about the region. credit: Alexis Tesner/CBS 62)

On other issues, Baruah discussed the chamber’s upcoming Detroit Policy Conference taking place in early March. And he explained why they added the Motor City confab as a compliment to their signature Mackinac Policy Conference.

Chappell discussed the importance of growing more young talent and the DEC’s Young Leaders series.

And Cassin reinforced why entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses are so vital to Michigan’s future.

You can hear the conversation by watching “Michigan Matters” 11:30 Sunday on CBS 62.

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