Denise Pike Guzman has joined the Department of Community Development and Inspection, which she will lead as Director of Community Services following the retirement in 2022 of CDI Director Chris Rayes.
Photo provided by the City of St. Clair Shores
ST. CLAIR SHORES – A seasoned business leader will join the city ahead of the retirement of Community Development and Inspections Manager Chris Rayes, who has served the City of St. Clair Shores for 25 years.
Denise Pike Guzman was Director of Development for the Community Health and Social Services Center in Detroit and is a former Director of Community Development for the City of Mount Clemens.
Her experience running an organization in the public sector and working on the “capital side” for a non-profit will be a good asset to the city when she comes on board as director of community services, City Manager Matthew Coppler said.
“She comes in with a good understanding of the services we want to provide our residents with regards to community development,” said Coppler. “It can build on the foundation that Chris has built over the past 20 years and lead us into the next phase of city development.”
According to a city statement, Guzman began his career with Pike & Associates, an advisory service to nonprofit organizations developing affordable housing, and has spent the past two decades working on developing programs to create vibrant, healthy communities that work for everyone. As Director of the Community Development and Inspection Department after Rayes’ retirement in 2022, Guzman will be responsible for the long-term planning and physical development of St. Clair Shores, promoting livability and appearance.
Coppler said he and community development staff spoke to city council at budget time about the need to hire a new manager ahead of Rayes’ impending retirement in January 2022, “so Mr. Rayes can pass on a lot of his information and knowledge “.
“Our community development department has a lot of different responsibilities,” continued Coppler. “Normally you don’t see the engineering / capital project part in community development, so it’s a lot of extra work. We wanted to try to spend as much time as possible with Chris and her.
Mayor Kip Walby said in a press release that he saw this as “a tremendous opportunity to impact the look and feel of the future of St. Clair Shores while remaining true to our values. community”.
The fall is a very important time in the city, Coppler said. So they wanted to make sure that Guzman was exposed as much as possible to the construction and planning process.
“There are a lot of things that we wanted to make sure that (she and) Chris… have the opportunity to work together, so when Chris leaves she will be ready to go,” he said.