|Member of the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan|
Assumed office |
January 1, 2009
|Preceded by||Rebecca McGowan|
November 1955 (age 62)|
Detroit, Michigan, US
|Spouse(s)||Jim Lites (divorced)|
|Parents||Mike Ilitch and Marian Ilitch|
|Residence||Bingham Farms, Michigan|
University of Michigan |
University of Detroit
Denise Ilitch (born November 1955) is a Detroit-area businessperson, lawyer, and member of the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan. Ilitch was rumored to be a Democratic Party candidate for Governor of Michigan in 2010, after having met with the White House in early January to discuss a potential run, though she later declined to run.
Background and business experience
Denise Ilitch is a second-generation Macedonian American, the daughter of Mike Ilitch and Marian Ilitch. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 1977, and her juris doctorate from the University of Detroit in 1980. After receiving her law degree, Ilitch was the vice-president of Little Caesar Enterprises from 1981 to 1992, during which time the business moved to downtown Detroit from Farmington Hills, sparking other investment in Detroit. She was later president of Ilitch Holdings, a privately held business that manages the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Little Caesars, the Fox Theatre, and other Detroit-area businesses. She is the owner and publisher of Ambassador magazine, and the owner of Denise Ilitch Designs. Ilitch is also "Of Counsel" at the law firm Clark Hill, where she advises clients in the areas of business practice, corporate law, and government policy. In May 2009, she was named as co-chair of Detroit mayor-elect Dave Bing's transition team.
Ilitch serves on the boards of many business and community organizations in the Detroit area. She is a past member of the board of directors for the Detroit Branch NAACP, the ACLU of Michigan advisory committee, the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the board of directors of the Detroit Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Ilitch founded the Ilitch Charities for Children, and established the Denise Ilitch Scholarship at Walsh College for women to complete advanced degrees.
University of Michigan Board of Regents
On November 5, 2008, Ilitch was elected statewide to an eight-year term on the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan. She made controlling university tuition costs a centerpiece of her campaign. Ilitch was one of only two members of the Board of Regents to vote against a tuition hike in July 2009.
2010 gubernatorial election
After John Cherry dropped out of the campaign for governor of Michigan in January 2010, Ilitch met with senior advisors at the White House, including the President. Ilitch also met with the Democratic Governors Association while in Washington D.C. She has not announced a run for governor, or filed paperwork to form a gubernatorial campaign committee to date.
- "Possible Michigan Governor candidate Denise Ilitch at White House". Associated Press. January 13, 2010.
- "Development driver: Ilitches' move downtown started several balls rolling". Crain's Detroit Business. April 28, 2009.
- "Mayor-elect Dave Bing adds Freman Hendrix, Denise Ilitch, Joe Walsh to turnaround team". Crain's Detroit Business. May 6, 2009.
- "Ilitch, Deitch win University of Michigan regent seats". MLive. November 5, 2008.
- "Undergraduate tuition rate to rise by 5.6 percent". Michigan Daily. June 19, 2009.
- "White House officials meet with Denise Ilitch on possible gubernatorial bid". The Detroit News. January 13, 2009.
- Wallsten, Peter (January 13, 2010). "White House picks favorites in 2010 races". The Wall Street Journal.