Business Leaders Initiative

Business and poverty alleviation are not mutually exclusive. The PuLSE Institute believes that businesses can work to fight poverty and address the growing inequality that is so prevalent in this dispensation. But in order to do so, we must make the business case against poverty. We must make the case to directly confront poverty in a city like Detroit that ranks the largest among big cities in the nation on the question of economic inequality. That is why these CEOs and industry captains who are significant employers of labor in Detroit answered the call of the Institute to join our Business Leaders Against Poverty Initiative, a Working Committee of the Institute. They have a commitment to taking on the vexing issue of inequality beyond the mere definition of corporate social responsibility. We believe that they can use their power to address the inherent and debilitating issues that give rise to abject poverty.

Meet Members of The PuLSE Institute Business Leaders Against Poverty Initiative

Jerry Norcia – Chairperson

Dan Loepp – Member

Cindy Pasky –Member

Alessandro DiNello- Member


Gerardo Norcia  President & COO - DTE Electric/GSP

Jerry Norcia
President and Chief Operating Officer
DTE Energy

Jerry Norcia is president and chief operating officer for DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading. As one of Michigan’s leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress.

Norcia is responsible for the strategic oversight and operation of DTE’s electric and gas businesses, Major Enterprise Projects and Customer Service. He also leads the company’s non-utility Gas Storage and Pipelines and Power and Industrial businesses.

Norcia joined DTE Energy in 2002 as president of DTE Gas Storage, Pipelines and Processing. Prior to his current position, he was president and chief operating officer of DTE Electric and Gas Storage and Pipelines. Norcia also served as executive vice president of DTE’s gas utility operations, before being named president in 2007. Prior to joining DTE, Norcia was vice president of business development for Union Gas. Norcia has more than 25 years of experience in the energy industry, where he has worked in executive leadership roles, business development, engineering and operations.

Norcia serves as the chair of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the chair of The Skillman Foundation board of trustees, which is dedicated to the well-being and prosperity of children in Detroit. He is also on the board of directors for Saint Joseph’s Mercy Health System, the American Gas Association, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Invest Detroit – a catalyst for economic growth in Detroit and Southeast Michigan.

Dan Loepp

Daniel J. Loepp
President and Chief Executive Officer
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Daniel J. Loepp, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, has played a major role in modernizing Michigan’s health care delivery system.

Mr. Loepp, who oversaw the transformation of Blue Cross to a nonprofit mutual insurance company in January 2014, has led initiatives to improve health care quality and promote affordability, saving more than $1.4 billion through nationally-recognized performance-driven quality programs. The company is Michigan’s largest health plan and the 9th largest health insurer in the nation.

Under Mr. Loepp’s leadership, Blue Cross remains committed to its long-standing non-profit mission. It is the only carrier offering ACA plans in all 83 Michigan counties. Blue Cross also has led efforts to revitalize and strengthen core Michigan cities, including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Traverse City.

During his tenure, BCBSM has been named Corporation of the Year in Finance and Insurance Services 10 times by the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council and Forbes recently included BCBSM on its first-ever list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity.

Mr. Loepp joined Blue Cross in 2000. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, he served as board chair of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), an organization that includes all 36 Blues plans and covers more than 106 million Americans. Mr. Loepp continues to serve on the BCBSA board. He is now the chair of the BCS Financial Corporation board. He also serves on the board of America’s Health Insurance Plans and the National Institute for Health Care Management. He is also a member of the Wall Street Journal CEO Council. Mr. Loepp is Executive Committee Chairman of the Downtown Detroit Partnership board, serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation and serves on the Mackinac Island State Park Commission.


Cindy Pasky
Founder, President and CEO
Strategic Staffing Solutions

Cindy Pasky founded Strategic Staffing Solutions in 1990 with four benchmarks that became the corporate pillars of S3: set the bar high for what a corporation should do; create jobs; offer people an opportunity to succeed and change their station in life; and make community and charity work a core part of the company’s business.

Pasky leads by example and is actively involved in civic and community organizations globally. She serves as chair of the Detroit Downtown Partnership Board of Directors, co-chair of the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board, and is a member of Business Leaders for Michigan Board of Directors. She is the Founding Chair of the American-Lithuanian Business Council and serves on Investor Advisory Committee of the Government of Lithuania.

She serves on the board of directors for the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Reggie Jackson’s DETermined to Assist Foundation, and the Foreign Investment Advisory and Supervision Council in Lithuania. Additionally, she is past chair of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and still serves as a member emeritus.

Pasky has recently been named among the Top 100 Most Influential Lithuanian Women by “Women At” magazine and is an inaugural member of Staffing Industry Analysts’ Staffing Hall of Fame. She has been named among Staffing Industry Analysts’ Global Power 100 Women in Staffing every year since its inception; listed among the Most Powerful Woman in Business by dBusiness Magazine; CEO of the Year by Automation Alley; one of 10 Most Intriguing People in Staffing by Staffing Industry Review; one of Detroit’s Most Powerful People by Crain’s Detroit Business, and one of the Top Women Entrepreneurs in North America by Women Impacting Public Policy.

She also has been inducted into the Michigan’s Women’s Hall of Fame and the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame, and has been named a Michiganian of the Year by The Detroit News and Michigan Women of Achievement and Courage by the Michigan Women’s Foundation.

Under Cindy’s leadership S³was named among the Top 25 woman-owned businesses in the nation by Women’s Enterprise USA Magazine. The company has been ranked as a Top Diversity-owned Business in Michigan by and recognized as a 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For by the Michigan Business and Professional Association (MBPA), a Cool Place to Work by Crain’s Detroit Business and a Michigan Economic Bright Spot by Corp! Magazine.

She is the chairperson of the Downtown Detroit Partnership Inc., and serves on the board of many leading organizations including Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Business Leaders for Michigan Inc., Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Detroit Economic Club, Michigan Board of Medicine, American-Lithuanian Business Council etc.

Sandro DiNello.jpg

Alessandro Dinello
President and Chief Executive Officer
Flagstar Bank

Alessandro (Sandro) DiNello has served as president, CEO, and a director of Flagstar Bank and Flagstar Bancorp since mid-2013). The bank is an $18.7 billion savings and loan holding company headquartered in Troy, Mich. Flagstar Bank, FSB, provides commercial, small business, and consumer banking services through 108 branches in Michigan and California. Prior to his current position, he was president and chief administrative officer of Flagstar Bank, and for a number of years, executive vice president of Retail Banking.

He began his banking career as a bank examiner and later joined Security Savings Bank in Jackson, Mich., where he ultimately served as president. In 1994, Security Savings was acquired by First Security Savings Bank, which later became Flagstar Bank. He continued with the combined organization as an executive officer responsible for growing the bank’s funding sources.

During his career at Flagstar, he has served as head of branch banking, retail product strategy, marketing, communications, internet banking, and branch expansion. He also was in charge of the bank’s technology, operations, and commercial units. Additionally, he led the government affairs and community relations initiatives. As CEO, he has played a critical role in strengthening the bank’s risk management, compliance, and quality control.

His business affiliations include membership on the board of directors of the Business Leaders of Michigan, the American Bankers Council of the American Bankers Association, the Detroit Regional Chamber and its Economic Development CEO Advisory Board, the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board, the Executive Committee of the Mid Size Bank Coalition, and the Western Michigan University Foundation. He also is a founding member of the Detroit Sports Organizing Corp., and serves on the National Board of Trustees of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. He is a recipient of the Haworth College of Business Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award.