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Governor Whitmer Appoints Shirley R. Stancato to Wayne State University's Board of Governors


December 12, 2019


Governor Whitmer Appoints Shirley R. Stancato to Wayne State University’s Board of Governors 

Kim Trent joins the leadership team for the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity in January


LANSING, Mich. --Governor Gretchen Whitmer today appointed Shirley R. Stancato to the Wayne State University Board of Governors following the resignation of Kim Trent. Ms. Trent is leaving the Board to join the Labor Economic Opportunity leadership team starting in January. 


“It’s imperative to have someone on the board who will focus on addressing the problems that are currently facing Wayne State, we must put the students first. I believe that Shirley will work with the board through civil and respectful discourse, to ensure that Wayne State University is focused on providing a high quality education to each student,” said Whitmer. “Shirley is bringing an impressive leadership and advocacy background to the board, which is what Wayne State University needs to be even more successful.”  


Shirley R. Stancato is the former president and chief executive officer of New Detroit Inc., a coalition focused on racial understanding and racial equity in Metropolitan Detroit. She was the longest serving president and chief executive officer for the organization retiring in December 2018. Prior to joining New Detroit, Ms. Stancato had a long career at Chase Bank, beginning in college and eventually becoming the senior vice president. A Detroit native, she graduated from Cass Technical High School and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wayne State University.  


“As a proud alumna, I’m honored that I have been selected to serve the students, staff, and alumni of Wayne State University. This is not a position that I take lightly,” said Stancato. “Throughout my career, I’ve been dedicated to advocating and elevating under-represented individuals. I will serve on the board with the mission of upholding and championing the positive reputation that Wayne State is known for.” 


 Ms. Stancato currently serves on the boards of the Coleman A. Young Foundation, Fifth Third Bank-Eastern Michigan, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She is a member of the DTE Energy Community Advisory Council and the Detroit Zoological Commission.   


“Shirley has a spectacular track record of stepping up, showing leadership, and holding civic and community leaders accountable as needed,” said Tonya Allen, President & CEO of The Skillman Foundation. “She demonstrates the highest levels of integrity and her background in advocacy and business will serve the University well.” 


Ms. Stancato is appointed to serve the remainder of Ms. Trent’s term expiring at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2021. Her appointment is not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.  


“We’re excited to have Kim join our leadership team,” said Jeff Donofrio, Director of Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “Kim brings a wealth of experience which will be invaluable as we tackle issues of poverty and inequality and work to expand economic opportunity for all Michiganders.” 


Kim Trent currently serves as the senior vice president of corporate and civic engagement for Compass Strategies, LLC. She began her career as a city hall reporter for The Detroit News and later became the communications director for Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick. In addition, she has served as the Detroit regional manager for Senator Debbie Stabenow and as the director of the Southeast Michigan office of Governor Jennifer Granholm.  


Ms. Trent earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and Africana studies and a master’s degree in communication from Wayne State University. She currently serves as president of the board of trustees for the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation and vice president of the board of Detroit-based nonprofit Connect Detroit. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s National Social Action Commission. 


Trent’s resignation and Stancato’s appointment to the board are effective immediately. 


Please see photos below: