Detroit Economic Growth Corporation announces leadership changes

  • DEGC announces leadership changes following the departure of COO Kenyetta Hairston-Bridges
  • Derrick Headd joins as Senior VP of Public Policy and Operations
  • David White elevated to VP of Business Development
  • Jacqueline Young appointed as Senior Director of Business Development
  • David Howell promoted to VP of Development Services


The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) today announced several key leadership changes following the departure of Chief Operating Officer Kenyetta Hairston-Bridges, who has accepted the position of President and CEO of the Downtown Tampa Partnership in Florida.

“We are grateful for Kenyetta’s significant contributions to DEGC and the city of Detroit,” said DEGC President and CEO Kevin Johnson. “While we will miss her leadership, we’re excited about the new talent joining our team and the internal promotions that will help drive our mission forward.”

New appointments include:

  • Derrick Headd joins DEGC as Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Operations. Headd has 38 years of experience with the City of Detroit, most recently serving as a Fiscal Analyst for the Legislative Policy Division of the Detroit City Council. In his new role, Headd will drive strategic planning, oversee critical metrics and manage relations with City Council regarding incentives and policy. Additionally, he will lead special infrastructure-related initiatives, manage local, state and federal funding proposals, and oversee grants and contracts reporting. Headd will also serve as a liaison with government departments, coordinate sensitive projects requiring legislative approvals and manage day-to-day interaction with state and local government affairs efforts for the organization.
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Derrick Headd, President of Public Policy and Operations.


  • Jacqueline Young has been named Senior Director of Business Development. Young comes to DEGC from DTE Energy, where she was an Economic Development Manager responsible for job growth and retention strategies in DTE’s service territories. Young will lead DEGC’s business attraction efforts in her new role, focusing on multi-sector industries supporting Detroit’s ever-growing supply chain. She will guide companies through site selection and deal-closing processes, create new job opportunities in Detroit, and work closely with local, regional and state partners. Young will also represent DEGC at industry events and maintain strong relationships with stakeholders in Detroit’s startup and innovation ecosystems.
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Jacqueline Young, Senior Director of Business Development.


Additionally, DEGC announced two internal promotions:

  • David Howell has been promoted to Vice President of Development Services. A 25-year residential and commercial real estate veteran, Howell has led a team of seasoned real estate professionals at the DEGC since 2021. In this role, he has been instrumental in underwriting all property tax abatements for real estate development projects in Detroit. In his new role, Howell will lead DEGC’s engagement with real estate developers, overseeing project underwriting and viability assessments. He will serve as the liaison between DEGC, the Mayor’s office, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and City Departments on real estate development matters, focusing on neighborhood redevelopment and affordable housing. Howell will also lead land use strategies, investments for the Downtown Detroit Authority and develop community engagement initiatives to educate Detroiters on development incentives.
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David Howell, Vice President of Development Services.


  • David White has been elevated to Vice President of Business Development. In this new role, White will lead DEGC’s business attraction, retention and expansion efforts for larger-scale industrial, commercial and high-growth companies. Working closely with City of Detroit, State of Michigan and regional partners, he will implement strategies to drive job creation and investment in Detroit. White and his team will serve as the primary contact for business attraction deals and oversee programs to support existing large-scale companies in the city.
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David White, Vice President of Business Development.


The organization is also actively recruiting a Business Retention Manager who will report to White.

“These changes position DEGC to build on our momentum in driving economic growth and opportunity throughout Detroit,” said Johnson. “We’re confident our new and promoted team members will bring fresh perspectives and proven expertise to our work.” 


Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC)

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is a non-profit organization that serves as Detroit’s lead implementing agency for business retention, attraction and economic development. DEGC is led by a board comprised of business, civic and community leaders. Its staff provides services for key public authorities that facilitate incentives and other forms of financing for projects that bring new jobs and investment to the City. DEGC also manages important initiatives to support small businesses and grow neighborhood commercial corridors. DEGC is dedicated to inclusive development and access to economic opportunity.