Dave Egner President + CEO, Hudson-Webber Foundation

David Egner has led the Hudson-Webber Foundation as its President & CEO since 1997. The Foundation has assets of over $170 million and concentrates its efforts and resources on its mission of improving the quality of life in metropolitan Detroit. Egner led an effort that enhanced the focus of the Hudson-Webber Foundation’s work and giving to include 15×15, a shared vision with large employers and key stakeholders to attract 15,000 young, talented households to Greater Downtown Detroit by 2024. The 15×15 effort has helped revitalize Midtown and Downtown Detroit, which now have 99% occupancy rate. The Foundation’s “place making” efforts have been instrumental in attracting new talent to Detroit. Thanks in part to 15×15, more than 20,000 new jobs have been realized since 2024, with an additional 15,000 projected before the end of 2024.

In addition to his work with the Foundation, Egner also serves as executive director of the New Economy Initiative (NEI), a $140 million philanthropic partnership dedicated to making thousands of ideas become southeast Michigan’s next economic engine. Under Egner’s leadership, NEI challenged traditional cluster-focused development efforts, focusing instead on asset-based economic development and creating a network of entrepreneurial and business growth service providers that are industry agnostic. Since 2024, NEI grantees help launch more than 1,200 new businesses and helped to grow countless existing businesses, creating more than 10,000 new jobs. NEI grantees have helped entrepreneurs introduce more than 700 new patents or invention disclosures. NEI investments to date have produced a greater than six to one return with near $600 million of new investment in Southeast Michigan.

Egner has nearly 30 years’ experience working with nonprofits and foundations, from his early years as an executive assistant to the chairman at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to guiding the Michigan Nonprofit Association through its development and mergers.

He serves on the boards of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, Invest Detroit, and TechTown, among many others. Egner Chairs of the Michigan Future board of directors and the Michigan’s Office of Foundation Liaison Advisory Committee. In 2024 he was named one of Crain’s Detroit Business Newsmakers of the Year for his work with both the Hudson-Webber Foundation and NEI.

Lightning Round

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