Board Members

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CLAUDE MOLINARI

Claude Molinari was appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2022 to the five-member Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) and serves as chairman. He is President and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau (DBA Visit Detroit) where he is responsible for developing the strategic direction and overseeing the operations of Visit Detroit and the Detroit Sports Commission. He is a 30-year veteran of the hospitality and tourism industry and graduated summa cum laude from Point Park University with degrees in Public Administration.  

Coming to the Visit Detroit after a decade of leadership at Huntington Place where he served as General Manager from 2016 – 2021 and Assistant General Manager from 2010 - 2016, his responsibilities there included budgeting, forecasting, financing, and implementing safety, security and crisis management programs for the convention center. He negotiated with local trade unions, developed business contingency, facility safety and emergency plans, and assured that annual budget goals were achieved.  

Molinari served five years as Regional Director of Operations for ASM Global overseeing (25) east coast facilities and while with the company, managed facilities in four different states.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, the Parade Company, Engineering Society of Detroit, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), Destinations International, and the US Travel Association.

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RICK PREUSS

Ric Preuss, a lifelong Detroiter and Detroit business agent for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58 (IBEW), is a licensed electrician with 21 years of electrical construction and maintenance experience and member at large on the DRCFA authority board.

Preuss has extensive experience in designing and installing electrical systems safely for large infrastructure projects and, in his current role, is involved in every large construction project in the city of Detroit.

As the Detroit business agent for IBEW Local 58, Ric works on contract negotiations, dispute resolution and arbitration and building strong collaborative relationships with customers and developers. He spends countless hours solving workforce problems and plays a significant role in the rebuilding of the workforce pipeline into skilled trades.

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ALEXIS WILEY

Appointed by Mayor Mike Duggan in 2021, Alexis Wiley serves as the board’s treasurer. She is the Principal at Moment Strategies Public Relations in Detroit and is a graduate of Northwestern University.

Alexis has served as campaign manager for the 2021 Detroit Mayoral Campaign and Chief of Staff for the City of Detroit from 2014-2020. She was an Emmy Award winning local news reporter from 2009-2014.

MarilynMARILYN LANE

Appointed to the DRCFA by Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel in 2020, Marilyn Lane serves as the board's vice chair. She is founder and chief executive officer of Lane Development, Incorporated.

Marilyn is a former State Representative 2010-2016 and former Mayor of Fraser Ml. 2003-2007 and former V.C. Macomb County Charter Commission 2008-2010.

Marilyn serves on a number of boards including Care of Southeastern Michigan, Play-Place for Autistic Children, and Macomb Children's Hands-On Museum. She joined the Henry Ford Macomb Hospital board in 2019, after serving on its Strategy and Growth committee, Quality and Safety Committee and as a member of the Ambassador's Club. She is former board member of Mt. Clemens General Hospital.

A lifelong resident of Macomb County, Marilyn and her husband Jim live in Fraser, Ml They have one daughter.

 

Jeff Abood JEFFREY LANCE ABOOD

Appointed to the DRCFA by Oakland County Executive David Coulter in 2021, Jeffrey Lance Abood serves as the DRCFA secretary. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wayne State University and earned his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and follows in a long family tradition of serving people as a litigator. 

Based in Birmingham Michigan, Jeffrey practices in the areas of family law (including divorce, child custody and support) and criminal defense (including alcohol and drug related offenses and white collar crime).

He is active in serving the community, and is a proud member of several charitable and community boards, and has served as a director of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce.

DRCFA Contact Information
Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority
1 Washington Blvd, Suite 401
Detroit, MI 48226
Phone: 313-877-8777