February 18, 2015

On behalf of the Leadership Oakland Board of Directors, I am extremely pleased to announce that Denise Asker, LOXXV will step into the position of Executive Director effective April 13, 2015. She will replace our current Executive Director, Chris Scharrer, who will be retiring from Leadership Oakland at the end of June. Denise brings a wealth of knowledge, skills and resources to the organization. She is currently in the position of Executive Director of the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce, one of the leading chambers in the state of Michigan. Other career highlights include:

* Non-profit executive with more than 15 years of experience in the areas of business development, management, marketing, public relations, crisis communications, branding, strategic planning, and special events. Diverse background includes hands-on management roles within public and privately held marketing agencies, an independent consulting practice, and regional membership associations.
* Eight years of non-profit management experience, obtained at CultureSource, Kensington Community Church, and the Auburn Hills Chamber.
* Moved the Auburn Hills Chamber from crisis to one of Michigan’s top chambers in four years, through the implementation of strategic communications practices which improved reputation, stakeholder engagement, fundraising, and community support.
* Work as a mentor and coach to students, young professionals and women through roles with the Oakland County Women’s Commission, and as a community leader.

Retiring Executive Director, Chris Scharrer, LOIX, has served us extremely well for the last 10 years. During Chris’ time with the organization she has overseen the implementation and continuation of programs and events such as Taste of LO, the Advanced Leadership Institute, Jr Leadership Oakland (initially a class project), Oktoberfest, and the Breakfast of Champions Series. Under Chris’ leadership the organization has maintained financial stability in spite of rising costs and economic conditions and she has grown the LO brand throughout the region and state. This is in addition to; strengthening our evolving cornerstone program, identifying, mentoring and connecting leaders in our Community, engaging our alum, developing the LO team, and challenging us all to challenge ourselves.

Chris and Denise will be working together over the next few months to insure a seamless transition. We wish both of these women a successful new chapter in their lives!

Sue Novak, LOIX
President, Leadership Oakland Board of Directors