Larry Alexander was originally appointed by Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm in February 2009 to the five-member Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, and was elected the first chairman of the Cobo Authority at its inaugural meeting the next month. He is president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau and a 30-year veteran of the hospitality and tourism industry.
Alexander leads an innovative, multi-award-winning convention sales, marketing and convention services effort that has often exceeded CVB industry standards for performance. In 2002 he introduced a 10-year tourism vision for the region and a Tourism Economic Development Council to maintain accountability for that vision. These efforts have led to improved regional beautification; service training of hospitality industry workers; and infrastructure improvements.
Alexander navigated the efforts to land some of the world’s most coveted sporting events, including Super Bowl XL in 2006 and the 2009 NCAA Men’s Final Four. He also created and leads the Detroit Metro Sports Commission, a subsidiary of the bureau responsible for landing the 2003 and 2008 AAU Junior Olympic Games and the 2008 Women’s International Bowling Congress, and for contributing to the successful bid for the 2005 MLB All-Star Game.
Before stepping into his DMCVB role, Alexander was the managing director of the Westin Hotel-Detroit Renaissance Center (now under Marriott ownership), responsible for the marketing and operations of one of the nation’s largest hotels. He also served as general manager of the Westin Miyako in San Francisco, the Westin-O’Hare in Chicago and the Westin Hotel Cincinnati.
Alexander is a board member of the American Society of Association Executives, the Michigan Society of Association Executives, The Parade Company, The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, The Detroit Zoological Society, New Detroit and Forgotten Harvest.
Appointed by: Gov. Rick Snyder - state of Michigan: www.michigan.gov
First appointed to the DRCFA in 2009 by then-Mayor Dave Bing and reappointed by Mayor Mike Duggan, Waymon Gillebeaux serves as the board’s Director of Projects. He is currently executive vice president of project management and contract services for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, a quasi-public private corporation devoted to creating economic growth and opportunity in Detroit.
A native Detroiter, Guillebeaux began his career as an education counselor with the Detroit Urban League, a non-profit organization that assists African-Americans and other minorities. Later he joined Michigan Bell as a marketing account executive, and eventually moved on to Electronics Data Systems (EDS), where he was promoted to regional manager and provided leadership in the areas of system design, implementation and training. Guillebeaux then moved to the Bing Group, where he successfully increased the sales volume of its construction management firm tenfold. In 1993 Guillebeaux started his own business providing project management consultative services to clients including Chrysler, Henry Ford Community College, WCCCD, Ecorse Public Schools and Detroit Public Schools.
At DEGC, Guillebeaux assisted the 2002 implementation of the aggressive Lower Woodward Improvement Program. The LWIP has delivered successful construction of three major streetscape improvements, a successful façade-improvement program and the attraction of several new businesses and residential developments to downtown Detroit.
Guillebeaux serves on the board of directors of the Neighborhood Services Organization.
Appointed by: Mayor Mike Duggan - city of Detroit: www.detroitmi.gov
Appointed to the DRCFA by Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Joseph Abdoo serves as the board’s Secretary. Abdoo is the retired business manager and financial secretary for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 58. A Detroit native and Macomb County resident since 1988, Abdoo was a licensed journeyman electrician for more than 30 years.
His service with IBEW Local 58 began in 1988, when he became registrar. In 1994, Abdoo was elected to Local 58’s executive board; and in 1997 he was elected president, a position he held until 2005 when he became the business manager.
Abdoo served on the board of the Electrical Workers’ Health Insurance Fund; the Electrical Workers’ Pension Trust Fund; the Electrical Workers’ Annuity Fund; and as chair of the IBEW Local 58/SE Michigan Chapter NECA Labor Management Cooperation Committee.
Appointed by: Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel - Macomb County: www.macombgov.org
Lisa Canada was appointed to the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority by Wayne County Executive Warren Evans in February 2015. She serves as chair of the DRCFA Arts Committee.
Canada is Political and Legislative Director for the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, one of the most active and influential political organizations in the state of Michigan. She has more than 20 years’ experience working with organized labor, politics and government affairs.
Canada grew up in Northern Michigan before moving to Flint. She majored in Political Science at the University of Michigan-Flint.
She was an organizer for Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) Local 24 before becoming Midwest Director of the Organizing Institute at the AFL-CIO national office. Later, Canada became Political Director for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 951, the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO, and Operating Engineers Local 324 before joining the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights in 2012.
Lisa was appointed to the Board of the Children’s Trust Fund by Gov. Jennifer Granholm and re-appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder. She is on the Executive Board of Labor’s International Hall of Fame and the Michigan Labor History Society. She sits on the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, where labor and business work together to develop ideas helpful to the well-being of Metro Detroit. She was recently asked by Mayor Mike Duggan’s office to sit on Detroit’s Economic Development Committee.
Canada lives in Royal Oak with her husband and two children.
Appointed by: Wayne County Executive Warren Evans - Wayne County: www.waynecounty.com
Appointed to the DRCFA by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Michael Carroll serves as board Treasurer. He is chief financial officer at George W. Auch Co., a mid-sized, full-service general contractor and construction management company specializing in healthcare, educational and institutional construction in southeast Michigan.
Carroll has 35 years’ experience working as a controller and chief financial officer for mechanical, deep-foundation and general contractor companies. He is also a certified public accountant.
Carroll serves as director and treasurer for the Construction Financial Managers Association, and as a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants; the Engineering Society of Detroit; and Associated General Contractors Michigan.
Carroll holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Detroit, and completed the Private Companies Management Program at Southern Methodist University.
Appointed by: Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson - Oakland County: www.oakgov.com