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DEGC Leaders Chosen as “Women of Excellence”

Jun 26, 2018


By Glen W. Long Jr., Chief Financial Officer, Interim President & CEO


It’s rare that a single organization can claim the sheer volume and breadth of talent found at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), but we find ourselves gifted with a staff that exemplifies the phrase, “best in class.” The most recent example: two of our senior leaders have been recognized by the Michigan Chronicle as 2018 Women of Excellence. They are Malinda Jensen, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Kenyetta Hairston-Bridges, Director of Real Estate and Financial Services.


Kenyetta and Malinda join an exclusive society of more than 500 professional women who have previously received this distinction. They were selected from a pool of more than 700 nominees and will be honored at an induction ceremony on March 23, 2018, at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center.


For eleven years, the Michigan Chronicle has recognized local African American women who continue to break the mold and affect change in their professions and community. Kenyetta and Malinda both fit that description. To paraphrase the Chronicle, these two women are visionaries in their fields and inspire those around them to go beyond the norm and strive for the exceptional. They are champions of economic empowerment and driving forces – not only within the DEGC – but throughout Detroit’s economic landscape.


Malinda joined the DEGC in 2008 from the city of Detroit’s Planning & Development Department, where she held several roles as part of the Real Estate Development team. Prior to that, she managed the Wayne County HOME Program. She’s also worked in private sector development and consulting. Malinda earned her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, Masters Degree in Public Administration from Eastern Michigan University and her J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Today, Malinda oversees a team that manages the city’s public economic development authorities, including the Downtown Development Authority and others. 


Kenyetta began her career with DEGC in 2005. Prior to that, she worked for the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) in the Legal and Risk Management Division.  She started her career working for financial institutions before moving into the public sector. A lifelong Detroiter, Kenyetta received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Central Michigan University, and has a passion for community advocacy, specifically, working with the young girls of Detroit PAL.


Kenyetta leads a multi-faceted team of real estate and project managers focused on stimulating investments across Detroit, developing commercial, mixed-use and industrial assets.

While Malinda and Kenyetta are both stellar employees — and even more extraordinary individuals — they are not unique among DEGC employees. Their honors add to the many accolades our staffers have received over the years. They serve as an important reminder that people are not only our greatest asset, but the very essence of what powers excellence at the DEGC.

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