Robert J. Buckler Selected As The 2009 Distinguished Leadership Award Recipient

Leadership Michigan, a program of the Michigan Chamber Foundation, is pleased to announce its 2009 Distinguished Leadership Award recipient, Robert J. Buckler. He will be honored at the program's Annual Leadership Dinner on October 15, 2009 at The Dearborn Inn in Dearborn.

"Buckler, who retired from DTE Energy in 2008 after 35 years of service, was selected for this award because of his exceptional leadership qualities, his achievement in both professional and civic activities, his ability to create and articulate a vision and effect change, and his significant contribution to the development of future leaders," said Aimee Bahs, Director of the Leadership Michigan program.

"Bob devoted his entire career to Detroit Edison and DTE Energy," said Anthony F. Earley, Jr., DTE Energy chairman and chief executive officer. "Who we are today in many ways is a reflection of his leadership over 35 years of incredible growth and change for our company and our industry. He has made a tremendous impact on all fronts during his career."

Buckler joined Detroit Edison in 1972 as an engineer. He held various positions of greater responsibility throughout and was elected president & COO of DTE Energy Distribution in 1998 and of Detroit Edison in 2005.

During his tenure at DTE Energy, Bob served as the Chairman of the Detroit Regional Economic Partnership, the Greater Wayne Economic Development Corporation, The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, The Greater Downtown Partnership, the Michigan Economic Development Foundation, the State Fundraising Committee for Habitat for Humanity, the YMCA Camping Services Board of Directors and the United Way Community Services Campaign Cabinet. He was Vice Chairman of the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Downtown Detroit Partnership.

In his retirement, Buckler continues to serve as the Chairman of the Downtown Detroit Partnership's Executive Committee and Vice Chairman of Next Energy Corporation. He is a Trustee on the Rackham Engineering Foundation and continues to be involved with activities at the Engineering Society of Detroit. He is a past-president of the Engineering Society of Detroit and was the recipient of the ESD's Horace Rackham Humanitarian Award in 2007.

Through his affiliations with various community organizations, Buckler was instrumental in ensuring that the City of Detroit could put its best foot forward for such events as Super Bowl XL at Ford Field, the NCAA Men's Final Four Basketball tournament also at Ford Field, Grand Prix races on Belle Isle, and the Major League Baseball All-Star game at Comerica Park. He served as the Chairman or Co-Chairman on the planning committees, leading teams of people from various companies in the community who came together to support the event.

"Bob Buckler is the total package when it comes to his leadership qualities," said nominator, Sandy Ennis, Corporate Secretary and Chief of Staff at DTE Energy. "He is not only the coach of the team, he could play every position, and he harnesses each individual's strengths to make the entire team successful. Everyone feels as though they are a valuable contributor under Bob's leadership."

"We are honored to recognize Bob's outstanding achievement in leadership and to provide an example of what excellence in leadership means," said Bahs. "The number of people willing to line up and speak about the positive impact Bob has made on their careers and lives is long."

The crystal award will be presented to Buckler at the Leadership Michigan Annual Leadership Dinner on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at The Dearborn Inn in Dearborn from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Please visit for details and to register.

The Distinguished Leadership Award was created in 2005 to honor individuals who have demonstrated excellence in leadership and exemplify the goals and aspirations of the Leadership Michigan program. Over 500 professionals have graduated from the program since its start in 1988. Past award recipients include: Jim Epolito, President & CEO, Delta Dental Plan of Michigan (2005); Patrick L. Anderson, Principal, Anderson Economic Group (2006); J. Paul Austin, retired, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (2007); and Jim Barrett, retired, Michigan Chamber of Commerce (2008).

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SOURCE: Michigan Chamber Foundation

CONTACT: Aimee L. Bahs, Director, Leadership Michigan, +1-517-371-7679,

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