Dearborn Area Chamber Announces 2014 Chamber Choice Awards & Expo

The Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce is once again looking forward to hosting the prestigious Chamber Choice Awards & Expo on Friday, May 2, 2014, from 11 am – 2 pm, at the Henry, an Autograph Collection Hotel in Dearborn.  This awards event, sponsored by Ford Land, combines effective networking and business appreciation, honoring over 90 businesses celebrating milestone anniversaries and an expo showcasing over 40 vendors.

This year the Chamber will honor the University of Michigan-Dearborn as Business of the Year. Since its founding in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres from Ford Motor Company, University of Michigan-Dearborn has been distinguished by its commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities responsive to the needs of southeastern Michigan. The University of Michigan-Dearborn has 9,000 students enrolled in programs offering bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate and professional degrees in arts and sciences, business, education and engineering and computer science. The University has excelled in groundbreaking research and community based projects including the housing of one of the largest natural areas in metropolitan Detroit, which makes up one third of the U of M-Dearborn campus, more than 70 acres serving as a research and educational resource for the campus and the region. The University of Michigan-Dearborn continues to demonstrate its strong commitment to promoting and enhancing our region by continuing to be an active partner and leader in addressing the economic, environmental and cultural challenges faced by our community.

The Leadership Award will be presented to Donna Inch of Ford Land. Inch is Chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Land Development Corporation (Ford Land), the real estate arm and wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. Prior to her current appointment, Inch held a series of finance and management positions in Ford Customer Service Division, Marketing and Sales, Product Development and other automotive operations, making her a strong leader in her industry. She serves as a member of the Eastern Michigan University Dean’s Advisory Board and is a member of the Ford Finance Executive Recruiting Committee. Inch also serves on the board of HAVEN, a non-profit organization in Oakland County, which works to promote safe, equal and accountable communities. Inch is honored to serve as Chairman of the Board of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with holding an advisory capacity for several national and global real estate organizations. She continues to champion causes within Ford’s Employee Resource Group such as Women in Finance and serves on the Professional Women’s Network executive board. As a result of her work, Inch was recognized by Treasury and Risk Magazine as one of the top women in finance in 2009, as one of the Top Women to Watch in 2010 and as a “Newsmaker” by Crain’s Detroit. Inch was inducted into the Midwest Real Estate Hall of Fame in 2011, and named as WJR’s “Women Who Lead” in 2013.

Del Taco of Dearborn Heights will receive the Small Business Award.  Del Taco has been a part of the Dearborn area business community since 2005. The restaurant, located on Telegraph north of Ford Road recently set a franchise record for opening restaurant sales, proving early on to be a strong asset to the community. Adding to the recipe for small business success in a rich and diverse community, Del Taco, which is managed by Lisa Dufresne, uses fresh and delicious ingredients for the numerous Mexican favorites that are featured on their menu. Community service projects have included supporting local church tin can raffles, Dearborn Animal Shelter fundraising efforts, and sponsoring local Rotary events. As a result of Del Taco’s commitment and involvement in the Dearborn Area community, the restaurant was awarded the Member of the Year award in 2012 by the former Dearborn Heights Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber Choice Awards and Expo event connects and showcases organizations in the Dearborn Area community.  The luncheon, including a video component spotlighting each awardee, will also highlight businesses celebrating milestone anniversaries, from 5 years to 180 years, including the Dearborn Area Chamber’s own 70th anniversary in 2014. The expo will enable companies to promote their products and services to more than 300 business owners, community leaders and corporate professionals.

The cost to attend the event is $50 for Chamber members, with a special early bird registration price of $45 prior to April 18. Tickets for non-members are $65; $500 for table of 10 with signage. Space is limited.  To register or to view sponsorship opportunities, visit the Chamber online at or call 313-584-6100.

For more information, please contact the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce by phone at 313-584-6100. Be sure to follow the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce on Facebook at, on Twitter @DbnAreaChamber and online at for all the latest news and events.

The Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce provides 600+ members with the opportunities and resources to engage and network with other businesses, enhancing financial growth, professional development, and the ability to contribute to a thriving community environment.