Drea joined the Zell Lurie Institute in 2015, since that time she has championed the design and implementation of an arm of initiatives as the inaugural Program Manager for Alumni Engagement. In this role, Drea proudly creates lifelong learning experiences for this “a-Maize-ing” network of U-M alumni founders, C-Suite executives, and VCs. She is continuously motivated by the innovative and enthusiastic alumni constituents she has the privilege to work with.
Drea’s favorite programs to manage have been the Zell Alumni Summit, including a Detroit trek to explore the entrepreneurial ecosystem, from its roots of innovation to the revitalization brought about by startup growth and investments from notable U-M alumni, among others. Drea also reimagined the campus-wide Entrepalooza symposium, with her vision to showcase U-M alumni and student-founded food and agriculture businesses, including content sessions and a Food Fair to engage the community with these brands. Most recently, Drea launched a custom U-M ZLI Alumni Masterminds Group, with support from the dedicated ZLI Alumni Council, providing founders and VCs an opportunity to create meaningful relationships with other alums at similar business stages and industries, to share best practices, develop accountability partners and hit their next professional and personal milestones.
Prior to ZLI, Drea served two elected terms on the Alumni Association Board of Directors at her graduate alma mater, EMU, and as Chair of the Communications, Media, and Theatre Arts Alumni Chapter. She was an exhibit curator and coordinator of the oral history installation for the university-wide Capital Campaign kick-off.
She was previously employed with a corporate aviation management LLC for several professional sports teams based in Detroit. Drea also held grant-funded positions and co-led the launch of a 501c3 organization. Drea brings expertise in program development and management and she values collaboration, with her commitment to creating high-quality experiences for diverse stakeholders in corporate and non-profit organizations and in higher education institutions.
Drea holds an M.A. in Arts Management and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Student Affairs and Academic Advising from Eastern Michigan University.