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Leslie Smith

President and CEO, TechTown

Leslie Smith is the President and CEO of TechTown where she continues pursuit of her passion to move forward meaningful economic development and opportunities within the City of Detroit. As a Detroit native, she has a special commitment to its renaissance and looks forward to being even a small part of the solution. Her commitment to mission-focused enterprise at the community level is demonstrated through years of leadership roles within organizations focused on culture development, strategic planning, expansion of arts and physical activity and executive leadership across all sectors of industry, both public and private. She has extensive experience managing multi-faceted organizational teams, implementing best practices, right seating interactive teams, challenging status quo, building multi-dimensional relationships, raising money in complex economic times, managing complex national real estate portfolios, overseeing site selection and development, negotiating and managing programmatic GSE capital transactions (Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, HUD, MSHDA), traditional and institutional financing vehicles, joint venture partnership arrangements, venture capital raise initiatives and participative equity transactions totaling in excess of $2 billion. Prior to joining TechTown, Leslie served as Director of Business Acceleration at Michigan Economic Development Corporation where she had direct oversight of a $300 million investment portfolio, state and federal grant and loan programs (review, analysis, development, creation, award, negotiation, documentation and ongoing oversight), SmartZone and regional, state and national entrepreneurial strategic service provider relationships including statewide incubation and acceleration service. Prior to that, Leslie was Chief Financial Officer for a privately held real estate firm in Ann Arbor.