David Egner

President and CEO of the Hudson-Webber Foundation in Detroit. Established in 1943 with major contributions from Mr. and Mrs. Richard H. Webber, other members of the Webber family, and The J. L. Hudson Co., the foundation has assets of more than $160 million and concentrates its efforts and resources on its mission of improving the quality of life in metropolitan Detroit. Egner led an effort that enhanced the focus of the Hudson-Webber Foundation's work and giving to include 15x15, a shared vision to attract 15,000 young, talented households to Greater Downtown Detroit by 2015. In addition to his work with the foundation, Egner also serves as executive director of the New Economy Initiative (NEI), a $100 million philanthropic partnership accelerating the transition of southeast Michigan to a more innovation-based economy. Under Egner's leadership the NEI has targeted grant making to promote a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem, capitalize on existing regional assets and resources, and build and employ a more skilled and educated workforce. Egner has more than 20 years of experience with nonprofits and foundations, from his early years as an executive assistant to chairman at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, to guiding the Michigan Nonprofit Association, a Lansing-based coalition, through its development and mergers. He serves on the boards of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, the Council of Michigan Foundations, Inc., among many others, and chairs the Michigan Future Board of Directors and Leadership Council. Egner is a graduate of Leadership Detroit Class XIX and chaired the Leadership Detroit Trustees, 2009-10. In 2006, Egner was appointed by Governor Granholm to the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, and in 2009 he was named one of Crain's Detroit Business Newsmakers of the Year for his work with both the Hudson-Webber Foundation and NEI. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration and speech from Westminster College in Missouri, and his MBA from Western Michigan University.

WHERE BORN: “East St. Louis, Ill.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “Russell Mawby, the former chairman of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, as the predominant leader in philanthropy and for teaching me that every issue has multiple sides; George Romney and his third career, promoting citizen action and volunteerism and for giving me the notion that you can't move the needle without committed individuals; and Thomas Edison because of his drive to innovate and risk tolerance – he didn't fear failing.”

LAST BOOK READ: “I just finished two – Traction by Gino Wickman and Startup Communities by Brad Feld.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Observant, enthusiastic, and innovative.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “In economic development, it's around driving resources toward greater entrepreneurial development and business growth, as opposed to the old way of thinking, which was smokestack chasing.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “My iPhone. I do everything on it.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “There's so many that I can only pick my patio. It's consistent.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Golf, when I get to play it.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Steamed seafood.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I write poetry.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As inspiring shared vision and empowering others to act.”