The Mackinac Center Board of Directors has chosen Rodney M. Lockwood Jr. as its new chairman. He replaces former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Clifford W. Taylor, who has served as chairman since 2013 and will remain on the board.
“The Mackinac Center has long benefited from Cliff ’s wisdom and wit,” said Mackinac Center President Joe Lehman. “His commitment to freedom and the rule of law left an indelible mark on Michigan. We are grateful for his service as chairman these last ten years.”
Lockwood joined the Mackinac Center board in 1996. He is chairman of Lockwood Companies of Southfield, Michigan, which develops and manages multifamily housing and senior living communities. He previously served as chairman of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and provided leadership on policy issues, including the chamber’s support of Michigan’s right-to-work law. He is the author of “Belle Isle: Detroit’s Game Changer,” published in 2013.
“Rod Lockwood is a champion of free markets, a student of transformational ideas and a respected business leader,” Lehman said. “His leadership is essential to our mission of advancing liberty and opportunity.”
Lockwood thanked his fellow board members. “I am committed to promote the values and strategies that will increase Michigan’s growth, in terms of both population and economics,” he said. “From my real estate background, I know the market speaks clearly on where to work, where to live and where to play.”
Sound policy will secure Michigan’s future, Lockwood said.
“To achieve growth and particularly to retain and attract our young people, Michigan needs affordable and reliable energy, quality K-12 education, and better tax policies,” he said. “All are solvable. I am sure the Mackinac Center’s staff will continue its leadership in these areas and others of importance to our state.”
The Mackinac Center Board of Directors also welcomed new member Jennifer Panning. She is president of Artisan Tile Inc. in Brighton, Michigan. She also serves as chair of the Northwood University Board of Trustees.
Panning co-founded Artisan Tile with her father in 1995. Her profile on the company website tells a story of servant leadership: “Although she started the business and worked from day 1, Jennifer is employee #023. It took some time before she was able to pay herself.”
Artisan Tile has since earned a strong reputation for its award-winning work, specializing in tile and terrazzo installations. The company’s notable projects include Little Caesars Arena, the Henry Ford Cancer Center and the Detroit Metropolitan Airport’s McNamara Terminal. The interior tilework in the McNamara Terminal is the largest tile project in the state of Michigan.
“We are delighted that Jennifer Panning has joined our top leadership board,” Lehman said. “She exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit and dedication that make the American dream a reality.”