University of Michigan Gateway Ford School

Biographical Profile - Philip H. Power

For nearly forty years, Philip H. Power was founder, owner and chairman of the board of HomeTown Communications Network, Inc., a group of 62 community newspapers and 24 telephone directories throughout Michigan and around Cincinnati, Ohio. Initially an entrepreneurial effort, the corporation came to be recognized as among the very best of its sort in the country while at the same time retaining its roots as a family company. Taken together, his newspapers won more state and national awards for excellence than any other group in the country. In March 2005, Mr. Power sold the assets of his company to the Gannett Company. His award-winning column continues to appear regularly in his former newspapers.

Mr. Power founded in January 2006 The Center for Michigan, a think-and-do tank aimed at improving the policy and political environment in Michigan.

Mr. Power was appointed a Regent of the University of Michigan in 1987; he was elected to office in 1990, winning more than one million votes statewide. He led the effort to rewrite U of M rules governing the technology transfer from University laboratories into the commercial world. As a result, applications for patents, new company start-ups and IPO's by U of M faculty and staff increased markedly. He was defeated for re-election in 1998. He received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from the U of M Alumni Association in October 2000.

From 1983 to 1990, Mr. Power chaired the Michigan Job Training Coordinating Council and was a primary advisor to Governor Blanchard on human investment and job training. In 2000, Governor Engler appointed him to the Executive Committee of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; he currently serves as Vice Chair of the MEDC and Chair of the Finance Subcommittee.

In 1991, Mr. Power helped found the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, a not-for-profit organization that helps communities, states, employers and others achieve world-class workforce development systems. He currently serves as its Chairman.

Mr. Power served on the Board of Directors of Jacobson Stores, Inc. and SenSyTech Technologies, Inc. He is Chair of the Michigan chapter of The Nature Conservancy and President of the Power Foundation. He also is a member of the board of the University Musical Society, in Ann Arbor, MI. He was awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Public Service, by Eastern Michigan University in 2003.

Mr. Power graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan in 1960. He was editorial director of the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily, and a member of Americans Committed To World Responsibility, a student organization that proposed volunteer service abroad - the original version of the idea taken up by John F. Kennedy as the Peace Corps. In 1962 he received a Marshall Scholarship to study at Oxford University in England, where he received an MA in philosophy, politics and economics.

He is married to Kathleen K. Power. They have two sons, Scott T. Sutton M.D., who practices internal medicine in Denver, and Nathan E. Power.

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