Ricardo Solomon- Chairman/CEO
Ricardo is Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of HazelWood Development. Solomon has developed municipal and commercial projects over the past ten years. His most recent project is the Shoppes at Gateway Park, where he serves as co-managing director. This project is anchored by Meijer and Marshalls.
Ricardo A. Solomon is the Chairman/CEO of Strategic Communications (SC), Strategic Partners International (SPI), and Hazelwood Development. SC is an communications firm with six core competencies including Community Affairs, Government Affairs, and Diversity & Inclusion. SPI is a recruitment, screening, staffing and placement company. Clients have included: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Ford Motor Company, Johnson & Johnson, Meijer, Quicken Loans, First Independence, Bank in Detroit, City of Detroit, County of Wayne, MI, and County of Oakland, MI.
Solomon formerly served as Chairman of the Wayne County Commission (WCC). Wayne County is the largest county in Michigan. Solomon was re-elected to five consecutive terms as Chairman of the WCC by his colleagues, making him the longest-serving Chairman in Wayne County’s history. Solomon served as the County’s legislative point person for the Detroit Lions & Detroit Tigers stadium developments and the Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport. He had the distinction of being elected President of the Michigan Association of Counties. Solomon also served as a Special Assistant to Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young, and as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Congressman George W. Crockett Jr.
Solomon has substantial international experience having traveled extensively in Africa, South America, Asia, Australia, Canada, and the Caribbean. Solomon has led several major trade missions to Africa sanctioned by the U.S. State Department.
Solomon has written numerous articles for major publications including: Crain’s Detroit Business, Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News and The Michigan Chronicle. He has served as a political analyst for NBC local affiliate Channel 4 (WDIV) and as a weekly contributor to MIX 92.3’s “On Point” commentary.
Solomon has served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Detroit Mercy College and Wayne County Community College. He has also served as a Guest Lecturer at Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. Courses taught include: Introduction to Business, Business & Society, Government Finance, Introduction to Public Administration and Introduction to Public Speaking.
• Master of Arts, Business Management, Central Michigan University
• Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Morehouse College
• Executive Certificate, Effective Decision Making, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
• Certified Economic Development Specialist, The North American Development Council, The Ohio State University
Anthony Adams- President/General Counsel
Anthony Adams, Esq. is a principal at Marine Adams Law PC. He is an accomplished attorney in private practice in the city of Detroit, Michigan. He has an extensive background in both public and private sector initiatives, and understands the issues facing private businesses, municipalities, and public service corporations as they move toward dramatic restructuring.
Previously, Mr. Adams has served as President of Lakeshore Healthcare Investment Group, Inc. (“LHG”). LHG is involved in the acquisition, development and management of skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers in Detroit. He grew the business from scratch to a 10 million dollar business.
He has also served as Interim Director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (“DWSD”). In this capacity, he supervised 14 direct reports and administered a budget in excess of 1.3 billion dollars. With a capital budget of 3 billion dollars and 2,200 employees, it is the largest enterprise agency in the City’s organizational structure. As Interim Director, Mr. Adams was instrumental in negotiating with regional leaders about Detroit’s continued management, operation and ownership of the third largest public utility in America. He also took the lead in restructuring the department’s organizational structure to maintain continued compliance with mandates imposed on the department by MDEQ and the ongoing federal consent decree. He has also increased maintenance efforts by refocusing resources to improve quality of service in Detroit and worked to improve customer service through increasing the utilization of technology within the department.
Prior to his appointment as Interim Director of DWSD, Mr. Adams served as Deputy Mayor for the City of Detroit. In this capacity, he had complete oversight responsibility for the City’s Public Safety portfolio, which included the Detroit Police Department, Fire Department, Department of Homeland Security, Environmental Affairs, Corporation Counsel and the Department of Administrative Hearings. He also served as chair of the City’s Finance/Budget teams, which monitored the City’s fiscal affairs. He also interfaced with the front line departments consisting of the Department of Public Works, General Services Department, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Water and Sewerage, the Airport Department, the Building and Safety Engineering Department, the Department of Health and Wellness Promotion, Human Services Department, Municipal Parking Department, the Public Lighting Department and the Recreation Department. He also served as the Mayor’s Office liaison with the Detroit Housing Commission, the Historical Society, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Detroit Zoological Society, where he was a member of its Executive Committee. Mr. Adams also served as Chairman of the Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Authority, the City’s energy from waste facility. Mr. Adams directed the City’s exploration of options on how to handle waste and expand recycling opportunities for the city of Detroit.
Mr. Adams was a critical participant in discussions to expand Cobo Hall convention facility. Under his leadership, the City developed an intermediate plan to expand the facility by 100,000 square feet utilizing Cobo Arena. Mr. Adams was also involved in negotiations with the city of Windsor, Ontario on the creation of the Detroit Tunnel Authority, a transaction designed to eliminate 65 million dollar deficit in Detroit’s budget. Mr. Adams was also the lead person in efforts to restructure the Municipal Parking Department to accommodate the relocation of Rock Financial to the site of the Premier Garage, Hudson block. Mr. Adams has also served as the Principal spokesman for the city of Detroit on critical presentations given to rating agencies in both New York, and Chicago, which led to the city receiving upgrades in its credit rating after its downgrade in 2005.
Prior to becoming Deputy Mayor, Mr. Adams served as the General Counsel for the Detroit Public Schools. In this position, he was responsible for supervising a staff of 20 and managing more than 25 outside firms to coordinate the legal defense of the school district. He also served as the Chief Legal Compliance Officer for the school district. Mr. Adams guided the complete restructuring of the department by introducing computerized document and case management systems, increasing the size of the legal staff from three to ten attorneys, and increasing the professional staff from five to fifty. He formalized the relationship between the Office of Risk Management and the Office of General Counsel to better coordinate efforts to reduce the district’s legal exposure and liability. He restructured the outsourcing of legal services and reduced the outside counsel budget by 2 million dollars. Mr. Adams also directed the DPS Title I program where he supervised a staff of 80 people and directed a budget of more than 250 million dollars, restructuring Title I to deliver more direct services to programs.
Prior to becoming General Counsel for Detroit Public Schools, Mr. Adams served as Chief Development Attorney for the District. He was responsible for coordinating all development projects and business contracts for the Detroit Public Schools, including the 1.5 billion dollar capital improvement program. He restructured procurement guidelines for the Detroit Public Schools and negotiated condominium documents for the Detroit Public School’s purchase of an interest in the historic Fisher Building for its new headquarters.
Prior to joining the Detroit Public Schools, Mr. Adams was in private practice with the firm of Segue, Fair, Adams and Pope, PLC. He specialized in real estate development and finance, low income and historic tax credit syndication, construction law, land use planning, and zoning. He worked extensively with private lenders, public housing authorities, and both for–profit and non-profit developers in creating market-rate affordable housing and commercial developments. He served as the Managing Partner of Segue, Fair, Adams and Pope PLC, of Detroit, Michigan, a small full-service firm of 25 professionals and administrative staff.
From 1991 – 1993 Mr. Adams was “Of Counsel” to the Dykema Gossett law firm in Detroit, Michigan. He concentrated his practice in real estate development and finance, construction law and local government relations. He developed a land contract mortgage conversion program with Fannie Mae and area lenders to assist public assistance recipients convert existing land contracts into permanent mortgages.
Mr. Adams served as an Executive Assistant to the Honorable Coleman A. Young, Mayor of Detroit, Michigan from 1985 – 1991. In this position, he served as Senior Advisor coordinating inter-departmental task forces on the development of Victoria Park subdivision; the first residential subdivision constructed in Detroit since 1950, the expansion of Detroit City Airport, which introduced commercial air services at the facility, and the redevelopment of the East Side Industrial Park area. He also served as an international liaison with Canadian officials on matters involving air and rail transportation and served as the Mayor’s representative on the Detroit Building Authority, which had oversight responsibility for all construction projects in the city.
Mr. Adams also served as a Federal Judicial law clerk to the Honorable Anna Diggs Taylor, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan.
He has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law, Wayne State University, and Adjunct Professor of Management, Lawrence Technological University.
Mr. Adams earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Urban Management and Planning from the University of Cincinnati, and a Juris Doctorate Degree from Georgetown University, Law Center in Washington, D.C.
Linda Thomas- Partner/Chief Administrative Officer
Linda Thomas is Partner & Chief Administrative officer of Hazelwood Development. was established in 2004 and has led the company from its development into aligning its best work practices and integrated solutions with successful strategic partnerships. Under her leadership, Linda has lead every facet of the company including operations, strategic integration, customer satisfaction, human resources and supply management which includes supplying a broad range of janitorial supplies to meet every customer’s need.
Thomas also serves as Chief Operating Officer for Strategic Communications and she also serves as a board member of Strategic Partners International.
A fixture in the local and national business community for nearly 25 years, Thomas excels when it comes to making sure that projects succeed. She has been successful as a management consultant for major fortune 500 corporations and government agencies, in project management, process re-engineering, customer service/retention programs, community relations, and event planning. As a principle of Strategic, Linda led the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s initiative to strengthen its relationship with the Arab American community. Previously, Linda owned Thomas Management Consulting firm with clients that included the City of St. Louis, City of Detroit, County of Wayne, Detroit Board of Education, Camp Dresser McKee, IBM and Oracle.
Thomas also worked for the 12th largest international consulting firm. In this capacity, she worked domestically in over 35 states and abroad in two countries assisting clients to improve profit, redesign business processes, and reduce costs. A sample of clients included Hartford Insurance, Advo-Systems, and Barclay’s Bank.
Thomas is a currently a member of the Airport Minority Advisory Council and a former member of the St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce, a former board member of Boys2Men Youth Program, Forest Park Forever, and Edgewood Children’s Home. holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a certificate in Effective Decision Making from the JFK School of Public Policy, Harvard University.
Donnell Cravens- Partner/Chief Operations Officer
Donnell Cravens graduated from Eastern Michigan in 2010 with a focus on Business and entrepreneurship. Cravens simultaneously held a position with the Michigan Department of Housing and Urban Development in Detroit Michigan. His skillset was centered around researching discrimination, compliance in home sales, lending practices, and landlord tenant issues. He then held a position on the Mayor Task Force with City Connect in Detroit. This position required him to manage multiple sites of over 40 youth summer employees.
After graduation, Cravens acquired a position with Wayne County focusing on foreclosure prevention, his responsibilities involve coordinating with 9 originations to strengthen Wayne County communities. He Coordinated large foreclosure prevention events, venue selection, coordinated lender involvement, and Received client financial applications to ensure appropriate documents were in order, increasing efficiency.
While at Wayne County EDGE, Cravens Scouted properties for viability, coordinated with vendors, subcontractors, communities as well as budgets and invoices. Cravens organized and maintained a database of information for each property to maintain a relationship with each subcontractor and utility company in order to prevent duplicates.
During this time Cravens earned his Masters of Finance at Wayne State University. He currently holds the position Assistant Vice President at Core Partners.