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Charles Richard O'Brien

Charles Richard O'Brien

Charles 'Chuck' O'Brien

February 5, 1941 - March 29, 2007
Resided in Orchard Lake, MI


Charles R. O'Brien

A native Detroiter, Chuck attended Redford High School, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.

He was a batboy for the Detroit Tigers and a water boy for the Detroit Lions.

Chuck, a certified public accountant, became president of Ring Screw Works in 1986. He served as chairman of the Industrial Fastener Institute and founded the Automotive Industry Fastener Group. Under his leadership, Ring Screw Works attained the Michigan Quality Leadership Award. Upon the sale of Ring Screw Works to Textron in 1998, he became president of Textron automotive fastener operations on three continents until 2001.

Chuck founded Emerald Steel Processing in 2001 and was active as an owner and executive with three other automotive suppliers including a Detroit based minority company.

Chuck, along with other former Ring Screw Works shareholders, funded an Endowed Chair for Pediatric Cancer Research at Childrens Hospital of Michigan. He served on the Children's Board of Trustees since 1988, the Detroit Medical Center Finance Committee since 1995. Chuck became Detroit Medical Center Board Chairman in 2003.

These are excerpts from a letter written by Michael Duggan, President & CEO of Detroit Medical Center, nominating Chuck O'Brien for Trustee of the Year.

I would like to nominate Chuck O'Brien, chairman, The Detroit Medical Center Board of Trustees, as your Trustee of the Year.

…….I often read the story of the DMC in our local news papers, but it became a reality when the new board chairman, Chuck O'Brien, contacted me to consider one of the toughest jobs of my long-standing community career, that of DMC president and CEO. Twelve months later I look back and see his vision shaping truly historic changes in local health care and the national health care industry as well.

………It was amidst this turmoil that Chuck O'Brien, a skillful leader in the global automotive supplier industry, stepped forward to assume the chairmanship of the DMC??s board of trustees. O'Brien was appointed to the DMC system board in June 2003. Previously he had served on the DMCs Childrens Hospital Board and the systems oversight and finance committees.

By October 2003 he stepped in as “acting CEO,” a volunteer, unpaid position he assumed for four months. During that short tenure he helped lead the health system through strategic cost reductions (nearly $50 million), a reorganization of the board structure, a revamping of all system contracts and the hiring of a new CEO to implement his plan. Looking back at his plan now in full motion, Chuck's “Motown magic” appears to be working.

Under Chuck's leadership we have successfully recruited a number of new, diverse and experienced business executives on the board to help us set new paths of growth for the future.  Modern Health Care has looked to the DMC for a number of leadership stories in the past, from our innovation in technology to ISO certification and innovation in managing quality. Today I ask you to look at a volunteer who took the helm, encouraging more innovation, leadership and unique problem-solving at a time when all others would traditionally walk away from the storm. Chuck O'Brien should be recognized for his efforts at one of the nations largest urban health systems as the Modern Healthcare-Witt/Kieffer Trustee of the Year.

Sincerely, Michael Duggan
President and Chief Executive Officer,
The Detroit Medical Center

Beloved husband of Linda L. (nee. O. Scallan) for 10 years. Dear father of Kara Laramie (Michael), Anne Perlin (Andrew), Cassie Sobelton and Colby Zemmin (Ryan). Grandfather of Katie, Sarah, Erin, Patrick and Abigail. Brother of Barbara Reason (Roger), Denise Egan (Henry), Maureen Morrow (Greg) and Monica Guercio (Tom).

Family will receive friends at A.J. Desmond & Sons (Vasu, Rodgers & Connell Chapel), 32515 Woodward Ave. (btwn 13-14 Mile) Sunday 2-7pm and Monday 2-8pm. Scripture service Monday evening.

Funeral Mass Tuesday 11am at St. Hugo of the Hills, 2215 Opdyke Rd., Bloomfield Hills. Visitation begins at church 10:30am.




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08/29/09 08:15 AM #1    

Linda Stultz (Tucker)

I've been putting off writing something here, hoping others who knew more about Dick's life during or after Redford might speak up. Bat Boy for the Tigers, and CEO/Det. Med. Ctr. are a couple things, and even some say he died in 2006, not 2007.

Maybe we don't have all the info we wish we did, but I know this for sure. Dick was tall, good looking, soft spoken, and such a gentleman. Mama and Daddy never worried about me when I was out with Dick. (Some folks called him Rich.)

If Delta Gamma Xi was a fraternity (?) then maybe Dick belonged to it, because somehow that name sticks in my memory.

I remember the night we went on a hayride at Ten Mile and Beck Road. It started about 9:30, in late April, and we were out sooo late, we joked about it being May when we got home! Ha

Another date we both enjoyed was put on by the Redford Male Glee Club, called MUSIC and MIRTH. Jerry Fenby was of course, part of it, and I also remember our very own Dwight Rogers being the always entertaining magician too.

Dick was one old friend I'd have looked hard to find at our 50th reunion. But now, I'll look forward to my second opportunity in Heaven, where I believe he is.

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