Denise Ilitch has been an integral part of Detroit’s business and philanthropic communities for 30 years as a dedicated business leader, a devoted community servant, a supporter of many charitable causes, and a tireless advocate for women and children.
Ilitch is “Of Counsel” at Clark Hill PLC, where she advises clients in the areas of business practice, corporate law, and government policy. Prior to joining Clark Hill, she was the president of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., a privately held business that manages such entities as Little Caesar Enterprises, the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Tigers, and Olympia Entertainment. As owner of Denise Ilitch Designs and the owner and publisher of Ambassador Magazine, Ilitch promotes entrepreneurship and the successes of Michigan citizens. She was part of the team that joined prominent business leaders and government entities to create a vibrant entertainment and sports district, including a $600 million side-by-side stadium project, Comerica Park and Ford Field, for the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions near the Fox Theatre. Ms. Ilitch served as co-chair for the 2009 Detroit crisis turnaround team.
A strong supporter of continuing education, Ilitch completed a mediation training course offered by the Michigan State Court Administrative Office through its Resolution Center in 2003. As a mediator, Ilitch works to enhance the traditional justice system by providing and promoting the use of Appropriate Dispute Resolution. She established the Denise Ilitch Scholarship at Walsh College in an effort to help young women earn their advanced degrees.
Ilitch earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her Law Degree from the University Of Detroit School Of Law. In the Fall of 2005, Ilitch joined the University of Detroit Mercy’s School of Law as its first Distinguished Visiting Business Executive. She mentors students interested in using legal training to go into business and serves as an advisor for students in the University’s joint juris doctor/MBA program. She also gives guest lectures. The University of Detroit Mercy Law School named her 2007 Alumnus of the Year. Ms. Ilitch currently serves as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan.
Ilitch has served on the Boards of several civic, business, professional, charitable and civil rights organizations. She is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Detroit Branch NAACP. She served as a Detroit Red Wings Alternate Governor for the National Hockey League, and as a Board Member of Major League Baseball. Among her numerous awards and commendations are the B’nai B’rith International Great American Traditions Award and the Clara Barton Award from the American Red Cross.
Ilitch is married to Jim Scalici and has three children – daughter Brooke Lites and two sons Sam Lites and Paul Scalici.