DIA chair to be saluted at CRC centennial event

By Tom Kirvan

Legal News

Former Michigan governors James Blanchard and John Engler will be there, as will a host of other VIPs as the Citizens Research Council of Michigan holds its 100th Anniversary Dinner on Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Inn at St. John's in Plymouth.

The fact that those from very different political stripes will be in attendance is partial testimony to the high regard they have for the special honoree of the evening, longtime CRC director Eugene Gargaro Jr., the current chair of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Gargaro, a 1967 University of Detroit School of Law grad who helped build Dykema Gossett into one of Detroit's most successful law firms, has served as chair of the DIA board since 2003, succeeding his former boss, Richard Manoogian of Masco Corp. fame.

In his leadership role with the DIA, Gargaro helped spearhead a $160 million renovation of the museum in 2007, while also driving a successful tri-county millage campaign in 2012. Several years later, he played a pivotal role in helping the DIA raise $100 million as its part of the "Grand Bargain" initiative that enabled Detroit to exit bankruptcy proceedings with the museum fully intact.

"I am deeply honored to be recognized by the Citizens Research Council, especially during its centennial celebration," said Gargaro, who will be the subject of a Friday Feature profile in the September 23 edition of The Detroit Legal News. "The Research Council has fulfilled an important mission for the citizens of Michigan for many years, providing unbiased research for the betterment of government."

The former chair of the CRC, Gargaro has been committed to the advancement of educational and charitable causes from the time he graduated from law school at the U of D. Currently secretary of the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation, Gargaro has served as a regent at Georgetown University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in economics and finance.

He also has served on the board of the University of Detroit Mercy, and was a lead donor and fund-raiser for the $8 million renovation of the law school in 2011. In addition, he has held director roles with Legacy DMC and New Detroit, and formerly served as chair of the Michigan Manufacturers Association.

He and his wife, Mary Ann, a former English teacher and a University of Michigan graduate, were honored by the DIA in 2015 with Lifetime Service Awards for their exemplary volunteer work on behalf of the museum.

Published: Tue, Sep 20, 2016