Deputy Oakland County Executive and Executive Director of Automation Alley in Troy. Rogers was named Oakland’s deputy executive for government in 1996. His responsibilities include managing Automation Alley, Southeast Michigan’s technology business association. As executive director, Rogers oversees strategic planning and ongoing activities for Automation Alley’s 900-plus members. Prior to his current position, Rogers was director of Oakland County community and economic development, responsible for the planning and development division, the equalization department, and the community development division. In addition, Rogers was one of the founders of the Oakland County Economic Development Corp., served as a member of the governor’s conference on small business, president of the Oakland County Chamber of Commerce, and a director of the North Oakland Board of Realtors. He is currently chairman of the board of Clarkston State Bank and was appointed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to the state’s Strategic Economic Investment Commercialization Board. He is also a director of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center. Rogers has been active in the community, having served on the board of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and the United Way of Oakland County. In 1992, he received Oakland County’s volunteer of the year award. In 2007, he received the Michigan Diversification Celebration’s outstanding diversification achievement award from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Rogers earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration and was awarded the honorary degree, doctor of public service, from Central Michigan University.

WHERE BORN: "Detroit, and I grew up in Pontiac."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "My mother because she was my mentor and taught me life lessons."

LAST BOOK READ: "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis. It's the story of Billy Bean, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team who built a championship team with new and innovative ways to discover talented players that ran contrary to way business was done in big leagues. He stepped out of the norm and found new ways of doing business."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "A positive attitude, hard worker, trustworthy, and a caring person."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "We're in the business of technology and we think technology will lead the way for Michigan in a knowledge-based economy that will be driven by technology. Automation Alley is now one of the leading technology organizations in the country that is creating new jobs, expanding new international markets for small- to mid-sized companies, and finding funding for innovators, right in the middle of the knowledge-based economy."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "That's an easy one – it's my handheld. If I lose that, life doesn't go well. It goes with me anywhere and has replaced the need for a laptop when I go on my trade missions globally – not only in my office. I can't function without it."

FAVORITE PLACE: "Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. It's a 40-mile lake surrounded by snow-covered Alps. On a summer's day, you can ride a boat and watch the Alps. It's beautiful."

FAVORITE HOBBIES: "I like to play golf but I'm lousy at it. I like being outdoors and spending time with family and friends. I work long hours so finding time with family and friends is important to me."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Surf and turf – the best of both worlds. My lobster and my steak. A little Scotch on the rocks isn't bad to go with that."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "I play a guitar but God help those around me. In the future my goal is to write a book."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "As a person of integrity and as someone who had the courage of my convictions and sought them through. I recognized the importance of change. I loved life to the end and went out kicking."