Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s Kenyetta Hairston-Bridges to depart for new role as Tampa Downtown Partnership CEO


The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) today announced that Kenyetta Hairston-Bridges, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Economic Development and Investment Services for the DEGC, will be leaving the organization to become the new president and CEO of the Tampa Downtown Partnership in Florida.

During her 19-year tenure at the DEGC, Hairston-Bridges has been instrumental in driving the organization's successes and expanding its services, which have been pivotal in Detroit's ongoing revitalization.

Her leadership and expertise have been instrumental in securing and facilitating transformative projects such as the state-of-the-art Future of Health academic medical center, the cutting-edge Stellantis Mack Engine Plant, Lear Automotive's Gratiot location, the District Detroit composed of 10 new mixed-use residential and commercial projects, Ford's Michigan Central Train Station Innovation Hub, the 12-story Hudson's Block Transformational Project, redevelopment of the Michigan State Fairgrounds and the Detroit Pistons Headquarters.

“Kenyetta has been an invaluable member of our team, and her contributions to the DEGC and the city of Detroit have been nothing short of remarkable,” said DEGC President and CEO Kevin Johnson. “Her leadership and dedication have been essential in delivering major projects such as the Stellantis Mack Engine Plant, Michigan Central Station, Bedrock's Hudson Block and District Detroit, among many others. We are sad to see her go but are so grateful for the lasting impact she has made on our organization and city.”

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the city of Detroit and its residents for the past 19 years,” said Hairston-Bridges. “I am incredibly proud of our work at the DEGC and our positive impact on the community. While it is bittersweet to leave, I am excited for this new opportunity and confident that the DEGC will continue to drive Detroit's economic growth and revitalization.”

Throughout her career at the DEGC, Hairston-Bridges has helped navigate the organization through uncertain times, including the 2007-09 financial crisis, the 2008 near collapse of the automotive industry, 2013 City of Detroit Bankruptcy, multiple mayoral transitions and the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite these challenges, the DEGC continued to deliver and provide stability for the business community, the City of Detroit and DEGC staff under Hairston-Bridges’ leadership.

In her new role, effective July 1, Hairston-Bridges will bring her dynamic leadership style and record of success to the Partnership's existing award-winning services. This includes creating a vibrant and welcoming Downtown, organizing cornerstone events, enhancing neighborhoods and advocating for crucial Downtown interests such as transportation.

As a native Detroiter, Hairston-Bridges has been deeply committed to serving her community and fostering economic growth and opportunities for the city. Her hard work and dedication have earned her numerous accolades, including being named one of Crain's Detroit Business Notable Women in Real Estate and honored as a Women of Excellence in the Michigan Chronicle.

The DEGC will announce plans for Hairston-Bridges' succession later this year.