Financial and Social Entrepreneurship Leaders Bring Critical Expertise to HFLI

DEARBORN, MI – August 9, 2016 – Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI) today announced the appointment of two new members to its Board of Trustees. Joining the Board are Brent Ott and Shawn H. Wilson.

HFLI trustees provide strategic direction, support and oversight to the HFLI team. They are advocates for the organization’s overall vision, mission and goals, and as such, leverage and build relationships that help HFLI empower innovators and lifelong learners.

Brent Ott and Shawn H. Wilson
Brent Ott (L) and Shawn H. Wilson (R)
The HFLI Board of Trustees is also the school board for Henry Ford Academy: Alameda School for Art + Design, a public charter school in San Antonio, Texas. The school board is responsible for ensuring that all students receive the highest quality education possible and the educational staff meets all state and federal guidelines for financial, operational and instructional programs.

“Our two newest Board trustees embody a spirit of innovation and service to community, which they bring to the table along with their considerable expertise and energy. We are fortunate to have them by our side as we advance our commitment to redesign how people learn,” said Deborah Parizek, Executive Director, Henry Ford Learning Institute.

Brent Ott was appointed Vice President of Business Services and Chief Financial Officer for The Henry Ford in 2014, where he had served as manager of financial strategy and analysis since 2011. As Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Ott is responsible for evaluating The Henry Ford’s financial performance, participating in the long and short-range planning process, designing and implementing mechanisms to manage the budget development cycle and advising the President, Senior Leadership Team and Board of Trustees in budget development. He works closely with The Henry Ford’s President and Executive Vice President on long-term strategic planning while managing all relationships with lending institutions and investment managers. Ott also oversees Human Resources, Security, ITS and Facilities Management for the institution. Ott started his career with The Henry Ford in 2000 and began working in the finance department in 2005 as financial analyst for the institution. In addition to volunteering his time at many of the major events that take place at The Henry Ford throughout the year, Ott serves on the Board of Henry Ford Academy in Dearborn, Mich., on the Culture Source Finance Committee as an outside advisor, Chairs the Investment Committee of the American Association of State and Local History, and ACCESS as an Investment Committee member. He is also the member of the Detroit Economic Club’s Young Leaders Group.

After starting his career in the traditional nonprofit sector with the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, Shawn H. Wilson found his passion as a social entrepreneur and in 1998 launched SWI Consulting Inc., a full service philanthropic consulting firm in Atlanta, Ga. In his role as President and CEO, Wilson spearheaded the launch of more than a dozen charitable non-profit organizations for high net-worth individuals. In 2004, Wilson partnered with 8-time Grammy Winning Artist, Usher Raymond IV to re-launch the New Look Foundation. During his decade long tenure as President and CEO, New Look trained & certified 21,000 youth leaders across 4 continents and 9 countries. Wilson joined Ford Motor Company Fund in June 2014 and develops programs that engage and empower people to create brighter futures in Southeastern Michigan in addition to various multicultural communities nationally. He serves on the boards of the National Drop Out Prevention Network, Detroit Public Schools Foundation and Ponyride Detroit.

About Henry Ford Learning Institute

Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI) is a non-profit organization that imagines, designs and delivers programs to help people become more creative and innovative in how they think and learn. HFLI was founded in 2003 by The Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company Fund to equip K-12 students with the skills to imagine and innovate a brighter future and to make an effective transition from the classroom to college and beyond. Today, HFLI partners with organizations around the world to empower innovators and resourceful learners with the tools, skills and capacity to empathize, ideate, create and adapt as contributing members of thriving schools, communities, and workplaces. Learn more at or on Twitter

Press Release: Financial And Social Entrepreneurship Leaders to Bring Critical Expertise to Henry Ford Learning Institute HFLI New Trustees 080916

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