Where’s Michelle?

As a guest on The Weam Namou Show, I spoke of the 7 Acts of Leadership, my memoir, and how I’ll turn my political activism story into a book some day. Thank you to Weam for the interview.

August in Australia participating in a ‘Think Tank’ with the global board of the Change Management Institute.  The week was packed with strategic planning; building upon earlier work with the Business Model Canvas framework. The focus was on growing UK and US markets and leveraging a new brand centered around the 3-Cs:  Credibility, Capability and Connection. It was great to meet people face to face, roll up our sleeves, and co-create.

Kicking off 2017 in Austin, Texas by presenting to a class of 80 manufacturer reps!  January 8th Michelle returned to teach Leadership in the Digital Age.  Her class is a part of the capstone requirement in the Certified Professional Manufacturers Representatives (CPMR®) Program. Students come from across the globe to be part of this elite program offered by the Institute for Professional Advancement through MRERF. Congratulations to the 2017 graduating class!  LeadON!


October brought the first annual joint session of the Great Lakes Chapters of PMI and CMI hosted by Trinity Health. Michelle shared the CMI change manager competency model, highlighting differences and similarities between the project and change manager roles. A panel of industry leaders from Delphi, Meritor and SPX shared their experiences and attendees participated in discussions about wearing two hats, collaborating on process projects, and getting buy-in for change management.

At the ATD Detroit August 2016 Meeting telling her story of how The 7 Acts of Leadership came to be. Attendees participated in a self assessment for leadership and teams uncovered training needs of the Digital Age Leader. ATD members can download slides at Detroit ATD.IMG_6995

January 11, 2016 teaching leadership as part of the capstone in a 3-year program to become a Certified Professional Manufacturers Representatives (CPMR®) offered by the Institute for Professional Advancement through MRERF at the AT&T Conference Center, Austin, Texas. Congratulations to the 2016 graduating class!
At the University of Toronto on November 13, 2015 introducing the Change Management Institute to students accepting a Nudge Challenge to help the Australian-based non-profit reach a North American market.

Michelle kicked-off the annual ISM Central Michigan Purchasing Conference on November 10, 2015 at the MSU University Club in East Lansing, Michigan.

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11695746_1628608770716380_5426180255014476472_nClick to download slides from the meeting:  PMIGLC Dinner 151012 v3 

Michelle presented on change management at the Great Lakes Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI) on October 12, 2015.  More information at PMIGLC Dinner Meeting.

June 11, 2015 Michelle kicked off the Pay-It-Forward activity for the 2015 Elevate Leadership Mentor Program. A cohort of business professionals plan and deliver a career day for students at Davenport University, giving mentees a chance to be mentors. Career day is scheduled for September 26! Let the planning begin!

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Viren Shah asked “Will you come to our town hall and inspire my staff to be the best they can be?”  Who could say no to that?  April 16, 2015 Michelle shared her life story by explaining the challenges of her youth. She could have lived her life as a victim, but she chose to find a better life. She leveraged her family and friends and chose to travel a career path that had been laid down by those women who came before her. Once she found the courage, she became a trailblazer.

March 5, 2015 DATA 360 Healthcare Conference at Ford Conference Center was for informatics geeks!  Michelle moderated a discussion on Harnessing the Power of Big Data in Treatment Research….the human side of big data. The panelists included Sanjay Joshi from EMC, Steven Lanier from Wayne State University and Anwer Khan from Deloitte.

WeBuildCharacter_LogoFebruary 7, 2015, Michelle was found helping out at the 2015 Elevate Leadership Mentor Program launch at Cisco Systems where Jennifer Charters, Technology Executive from Ally Financial spoke to the mentees about personal brand management.  Program alumnus Nicole Pettiway from Motor shared best practices with the cohort of mentees and Teresa Hughes from FCA stepped through monthly assignments and commitments. Mentors, advisory board and executive sponsors joined for lunch and to be present for the pairing announcements. Sue McGuire and Tracy-Ann Palmer, the non-profit’s leaders, conducted ceremonies announcing mentor-mentee matches.  Many thanks to Julie Mettie who spear headed the program design.

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, FCA, invited Michelle to speak about trends in mentoring at the 2015 launch of the Purchasing Supplier Quality Mentor Program.

Over 100 participants at FCA headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan and remote locations joined the session.

Kicking off the new year in Austin, Texas; Michelle teaches leadership as part of the capstone to a three-year program offered by the Manufacturers Representative Education Research Foundation.  When the 50 candidates from across North America pass the exam on January 9th, they will have achieved a much respected credential: the CPMR Certified Professional Manufacturers Representative .  Congratulations!


Sharing lessons learned about designing mentoring programs Michelle told her story to a group of PMO directors at the Great Lakes Chapter Corporate Roundtable meeting October 23, 2014.

Think about the purpose of your program, she said. Is it to promote diversity, develop skills, elevate high-potentials or simply to help on-board new people? Start small and build on successes. Make sure everyone understands what is expected of them, the mentor, mentee/protégé and the executive sponsor.

October 10, 2014 Michelle participated as a judge at the Entrepreneur You business plan competition at Walsh College, Troy, Michigan. Congratulations to  everyone who competed in the event and especially the winners. Bravo!

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Ascension Health Information Services (St. John Providence Health System) invited Michelle as a guest speaker to their August virtual book club gathering. Michelle spoke about assessing leadership potential in a digital age.  She explained how Laser Lectures came to be and their influence on the content in her memoir. She shared her story about being a seeker during her youth, becoming a pathfinder when building her career and taking on a trailblazer attitude when starting her own business 15 years ago.

MPI Digtal Age AllyApril 9, 2014 Ally Financial Women in Technology is kicking off their new internal group with a presentation by Michelle. She will explain why the digital age definition of leadership is good news for women and share her personal story about leadership development. The audience will participate in a multi-generation activity uncovering new and old perspectives.

michelle_julie_sm March 11, 2014 she is presenting to the Greater Detroit Chapter of the American Society of Training and Development. Michelle and Julie Mettie will share a success story about the We Build Character leadership mentoring program. Instructional design elements and program design will be shared. Attendees will have fun inventing their own program designs. Book signing before and after the event.

March 6, 2014 Michelle will be speaking at Consumers Energy in Royal Oak to benefit the 2014 class of the CIO and MCWT Leadership Mentor Programs on the topic of Presentation Skills as they prepare to present their Pay It Forward projects to Oakland University and Davenport University students.

January 8, 2014 teaching leadership as part of the Certified Professional Manufacturers Representatives (CPMR®) program offered by the Institute for Professional Advancement through MRERF at the AT&T Conference Center, Austin, Texas. Congratulations to the 2014 graduating class!

December 4, 2013 at CMS Energy for a work session on design thinking for mentees of the We Build Character executive leadership program. Alice Dawson of SAP facilitated the session. Read more in Forbes

November 30, 2013 is the book launch party for the release of Pack an Extra Pair of Underpants: Leadership Inside Out at the Troy Community Center, 3179 Livernois, Troy, Michigan from 2p to 5p and that is where you will find Michelle signing books.  Short readings at 3p and the results of the Laser Lecture Challenge at 4p. Everyone is welcome!

Café Conversations at Ford Motor Company iTEK building on November 6, 2013 – Michelle’s table topic is “Will Agile software development replace the job of a project manager?”  Results of discussions will be available on the We Build Character site for mentees and mentors only.

September 11, 2013 is the kick off and orientation for the 2013-14 Leadership Mentoring Program for MCWT and Elevate CIO Mentees.  On September 18th the Mentor and Mentees meet for the first time at Walsh College and each month Mentees complete and share results of assignments.  A team community giveback project brings the group together mid-program and the program wraps up at graduation in August, 2014.  See We Build Character for more information about the program or to volunteer.

June 24, 2013 Michelle is presenting on the topic of generational differences in the workforce to the Chrysler Sales Academy trainers during their annual summit.

June 10, 2013 Michelle is presenting to a group of product managers at General Motors in Warren, Michigan.  During a lunch-and-learn session the group will learn about leading change by leveraging generational differences of team members and project stakeholders.

P4P Presentation v 8.1 P4PApril 30 – May 2, 2013 Michelle is speaking on the topic of mentoring with Julie Mettie, Curriculum Manager with Chrysler Academy at the Partnering for Performance Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. Presentation Title: Mentoring: Big Impact Without a Big Budget.



April 23, 2013 Michelle is speaking on the topic of generational differences and project management leadership at the Project Management Institute Great Lakes Chapter Symposium in Novi, Michigan. Presentation Title: The Economic Stimulus Package is the Next Generation Project Manager

Click here for conference information


Other places where Michelle likes to hang out:WeBuildCharacter_Logo

Michelle serves the community by supporting the not-for-profit organization We Build Character, an organization committed to retaining high potential talent in Michigan.  Michelle is the author of the 12-month community-based leadership mentor program.