Richard E. Rassel, chairman of Detroit-based Butzel Long, was the recipient of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Inaugural Business Leadership in Education and Equity Award. The chamber presented the award virtually during the second annual State of Education program on Feb. 3.
Rassel was recognized for his years of service and commitment to the mission of the chamber’s Detroit Drives Degrees, an initiative designed to improve the pipeline in Detroit with three areas of focus: advancing access to postsecondary opportunities, boosting student success, and retaining and attracting talent. The organization’s goal is to boost postsecondary degree or certificate attainment in the Detroit region to 60 percent by 2030.
Rassel currently serves as co-chair of Detroit Drives Degrees and as vice chairman of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Foundation Board.
“Dick’s continued leadership – in giving so generously of his talent, time and effort to promote this agenda – is unparalleled in the region, and Detroit is stronger because of it,” says Melanie D’Evelyn, director of Detroit Drives Degrees. “This new annual award will recognize corporate leaders whose contributions to strengthening the regional talent pipeline and promoting racial justice are truly outstanding.”
Rassel has been with Butzel Long for 52 years. He practices primarily in the area of complex business litigation and arbitration with a special concentration in media law. He is also secretary and a director of the Detroit Legal News.
In addition, Rassel is a past board chair of Detroit Public Television, past chairman of the board of the Holy Cross Foundation, past director of the Michigan Strategic Fund, former chairman and founding trustee of the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation, former chairman of the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, and a member of the dean’s advisory council of the University of Michigan Law School.
Rassel holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Notre Dame and a juris doctorate degree from the University of Michigan Law School. He served in the U.S. Navy and is a certified judge advocate. He also is a graduate of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution.
Butzel Long was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has full-service law offices located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing, Ann Arbor, New York, and Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is a member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms.