Butzel Long Chairman Richard E. Rassel receives Inaugural Business Leadership Award presented by the Detroit Regional Chamber


DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel Long Chairman, Richard E. Rassel, is the recipient of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Inaugural Business Leadership in Education and Equity Award. The Chamber presented the award virtually during the second annual State of Education program on February 3, 2021.

Rassel was recognized for his years of service and unwavering commitment to the mission of Detroit Drives Degrees, a collective impact initiative to improve the pipeline in the Detroit region with three areas of focus: advancing access to postsecondary opportunities; boosting student success; and, retaining local talent and attracting new talent. Detroit Drives Degrees’ goal is to boost post-secondary degree or certificate attainment in the Detroit region to 60 percent by 2030.

Notably, he currently serves as Co-Chair of Detroit Drives Degrees and as Vice Chairman of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce's Foundation Board.

“Dick’s continued leadership – in giving so generously of his talent, time and effort to promote this agenda – is unparalleled in the region, and Detroit is stronger because of it,” said Melanie D'Evelyn, Director, Detroit Drives Degrees, Detroit Regional Chamber. “This new annual award will recognize corporate leaders whose contributions to strengthening the regional talent pipeline and promoting racial justice are truly outstanding.”

Rassel has been with Butzel Long for 52 years. He practices primarily in the area of complex business litigation and arbitration with a special concentration in media law. He also is Secretary and a Director of the Detroit Legal News.

Over the years, Rassel’s professional skills have earned him listings in Chambers, The Best Lawyers in America, Michigan Super Lawyers, as well as a Martindale-Hubbell AV preeminent rating. In addition, he was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers from 1989 to 2013. He served on the initial Board of Directors of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms.

Rassel also is active in the community. He is a past Board Chair of Detroit Public Television where he was honored with the 2011 Community Leadership Award, past Chairman of the Board of the Holy Cross Foundation, past Director of the Michigan Strategic Fund, former Chairman and Founding Trustee of the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation, former Chairman of the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition and a member of the Dean's Advisory Council of University of Michigan Law School.

He has been honored with the Community Service Award and the Leadership Award by the Birmingham (Michigan) Community House, where he is a past President. He is a Trustee of William Beaumont Hospital System; an Ambassador of the College of Arts and Sciences of Oakland University; and a member of the Board of Advisors for the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. In 2020, Rassel was named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s Hall of Fame.

Rassel holds a B.A. from University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. He served in the U.S. Navy and is a Certified Judge Advocate. He also is a graduate of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution.

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