Marlo Rencher Announced as First Detroit Means Business President

Headshot of Marlo Rencher
Courtesy of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp.

The Detroit Economic Growth Corp. has announced Marlo Rencher as the first president of its small business initiative, Detroit Means Business (DMB), a coalition of private, public, and philanthropic partners dedicated to meeting the needs of Detroit-based small businesses. Rencher, a native Detroiter and serial entrepreneur, is a longtime advocate of entrepreneurship and inclusion within Detroit’s small-business community.

“Dr. Rencher is well known and respected within many circles of Detroit’s small-business community. She brings a strategic mindset that will help DMB anticipate future opportunities and chart a course that will enable the team to thrive in our rapidly changing environment,” says Kevin Johnson, DEGC president and CEO.

As president, Rencher will provide direction in delivering DMB’s strategic agenda while building capacity within the organization. Additionally, Rencher will provide leadership in strengthening relationships with Detroit’s small and midsize businesses, supporting the needs of the city’s small-business ecosystem and fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for local entrepreneurs.

“It is an absolute honor and privilege to join this esteemed organization and be part of a community of forward-thinking leaders dedicated to driving innovation and progress for Detroit entrepreneurs,” Rencher says. “Together, we will unlock new opportunities and achieve greater heights in shaping the future of our city’s business community.”

Rencher joins Detroit Means Business after serving as senior director of technology-based programs at TechTown Detroit. There, she focused on developing new, inclusive, outcomes-based initiatives to break down discriminatory barriers within the startup community.

Prior to that, she worked as vice president of innovation, entrepreneurship, and diversity at Cleary University. Rencher is also the co-founder of Commune Angels, an inclusive community of angel investors. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds a master’s degree from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in business and organizational anthropology from Wayne State University. In 2021, she was named one of Michigan’s 100 Most Influential Women by Crain’s Detroit Business.

“Dr. Rencher is a fearless advocate for Detroit’s small businesses. Her experience as a business owner, innovator, angel investor, and problem-solver is unmatched,” says Carla Walker-Miller, founder and CEO of Walker-Miller Energy Services, who also serves as DMB’s executive committee chair. “Under her leadership, and informed by the voices of Detroit’s small businesses, we will meet the vision of DMB to scale the ecosystem.”

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