Oakland County’s Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs honored Donna Zalewski with the Heritage Partner Award for her contributions to helping preserve the county’s natural heritage.
Zalewski, who is director of local government and community affairs for Novi-based ITC Holdings Corp., was given a plaque during the 14th annual Heritage Conference at the Pontiac Silverdome. The conference is sponsored by the department’s Planning & Economic Development Services division.
“If there is a program that addresses the environment or the economy, Donna is there,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “She is everywhere we go. ITC is a company that understands the importance of the economy and the environment.”
The Heritage Partner Award honors individuals who through their cooperative partnership contribute to preserving our natural and built heritage. They are community-minded and motivated people whose efforts serve the public interest. The partnership helps the county department achieve its mission of promoting economic vitality, supporting distinct communities and conserving environmental resources.
Zalewski is a long-time member of the Oakland County Business Roundtable and formerly vice chair of the Quality of Life Committee. She is active in county environmental programs, supporting Oakland County’s Green Infrastructure Vision, native landscape programs, tree planting grants and educational workshops.
Zalewski oversees community outreach, building and maintaining relationships with local governments and developing and executing community relations programs in more than 3,000 communities in ITC’s service territories in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, Kansas, Oklahoma and the portions of Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, and Missouri where ITC operates.
She has a strong interest in mentoring young business professionals with executive aspirations. She has received numerous awards for her corporate citizenship and community involvement, which includes service on the boards of organizations such as the Executive Board of the Michigan Economic Development Foundation, Oakland County Business Roundtable, Oakland County MSU Extension Leadership Council, Eight Mile Boulevard Association and the American Brain Tumor Association.
Zalewski holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Madonna University. She is a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership and holds a General Civil Mediation license.
Zalewski is the eighth person to be honored with the Partner Award.
“Donna understands the mutual importance of economic growth while protecting the environment,” Patterson said. “The most successful endeavors always have one thing in common: an individual that is determined and principled. That’s Donna.”
Keep up on Oakland County news at oakgov.com.