The Smart Business Dealmakers Dealmaker of the Year Awards recognize exceptional individuals who are shaping the landscape of business and innovation in Detroit.

In addition, The Detroit Hall of Fame is recognizing a class of dealmakers that has made an often-groundbreaking impact on their organizations, industries and the region over the course of decades in business.

We celebrated the accomplishments of the 2024 class of winners April 18 at the Detroit Smart Business Dealmakers Conference. Together, they provide a strong picture of the Detroit business community.


Dealmaker Of The Year Honorees


Dave Mitchell is the Managing Partner for TRP and Steve Carrel is a Partner and Chair of the Investment Committee. The private equity firm invests in the commercial and consumer segments of the transportation industry. Since its founding in 1997, TRP has invested over $1.2 billion in 31 platform investments and nearly 200 follow-on investments. Over the past 12 months, TRP has had four portfolio company exits, raised its’ sixth fund, and executed three refinancings to support portfolio growth. 


Mike Klein is the CEO of Genomenon, Inc., which has created a genome interpretation software designed to improve cancer diagnosis and treatment. The company has been active over the past 24 months — it acquired Boston Genetics, a genomics interpretation and curation company; expanded the company's commercial operations and the development of its genomic data hub; continued evolution of AI-driven genomic engine, as well as the incorporation of collaborative features for community-based variant interpretation; and launched Curate-Pro, a rapid on- on-demand evidence curation and variant classification service for genetic testing labs


Deidra Mitchell is the President and CEO of Waséyabek, the tribally-owned non-gaming economic development firm of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians, a Michigan-based tribe. Part of Mitchell’s strategic five-year plan included growth of the firm’s Federal Group, which targeted organic growth, joint ventures, and acquisitions. Last year, Waséyabek purchased majority interest in two companies: VES, an innovative software systems integration firm operating in the defense sector, and BLDI, a Michigan-based environmental engineering firm.


Tom Saeli is the recently retired President and CEO of Duro-Last while Jason Tunney is the former EVP and General Counsel. The company is one of the nation’s premier manufacturers of prefabricated roofing systems intended for flat or low-sloped applications. Not only were the two responsible for the hypergrowth and expansion of the company, but most recently, they engineered the sale of Duro-Last and its affiliates to Holcim in a more than $1.2 billion deal.


Stephane Vedie is the CEO of LUXIT Group, a world-leading technology expert in vehicle small lamp, with a mission to inspire and guide the evolution of lighting for styling, branding, performance, and safety. The company recently acquired Proper Group International LLC, which was the fifth of five recent acquisitions. Under Vedie’s leadership, the company is slated to reach $250 million in revenue this year and now, with a new acquisition in Mexico, has set its sights on organic growth to reach — and surpass — $300 million.


Dealmakers Hall of Fame


Eli Crotzer is the President and CEO of ARCH, a consolidated contract manufacturing company that was founded in 2011. ARCH provides a combination of engineering expertise and precision-machining technologies to serve the medical, aerospace and defense, and industrial markets. Under Crotzer’s leadership, the company has been highly active since inception in acquiring companies that complement and expand its core competencies — close to 10 companies in just the last two years alone. Crotzer is a visionary leader who has developed a comprehensive organic and acquisitional growth strategy, which has led to ARCH’s continued growth and establishment as a global market leader.


Jack Serda is the Chief Financial Officer of ARCH. He is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning and turnaround consulting services for financial institutions, private equity funds, OEM’s and suppliers. Prior to joining ARCH and helping engineer over 40 M&A transactions and leading the financial aspects across the organization, Serda spent considerable time internationally working in the Corporate Restructuring practice at Grant Thornton U.K. (London office), and with the Commercial Risk department at Ford Credit U.K. analyzing their dealership portfolio to identify merger and acquisition targets. While not serving as the face of these organizations, Serda’s contributions across all segments of M&A have been critical to each organization’s successful growth.



John Henderson is a recognized chief executive with strong leadership skills, who offers a unique blend of executive acumen, business management experience and entrepreneurial vision. He has more than 40 years of business management and leadership experience and has held senior management and board level positions in Banking, Venture Capital management, manufacturing and Logistics. Currently, Henderson is the Chairman of AEL Holdings, a holding company for several businesses focused in the automotive and logistics verticals. Henderson is a retired U.S. Marine, having served our country admirably. He earned an MBA in Economics and Corporate Finance, along with a Bachelor’s degree, from the University of Washington. He is also a graduate from the Stonier School of Banking (now partnered at the Wharton School). Henderson has been a faculty member in the Finance department in the University of Phoenix’s Troy Michigan campus, and is a lead instructor at the Joseph Business School in Detroit.