Ahmad Chebbani

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Ahmad I. Chebbani
أحمد شباني
Ahmad Chebbani Headshot.png
CitizenshipUnited States, Lebanon
Alma materEastern Michigan University
OccupationEntrepreneur, Public Accountant, Community Advocate

Ahmad I. Chebbani (Template:Lang-ar) is an entrepreneur and community advocate in the city of Dearborn, Michigan. He is known for his contributions to the Arab-American community and his efforts to build and maintain stable international relationships between the United States and MENA nations. Chebbani immigrated to the United States from Lebanon in 1979 during the Lebanese Civil War. After his arrival, Chebbani became a naturalized US citizen and attended Eastern Michigan University, going on to become a prominent business and community leader in the Metro Detroit area.

Professional career[edit | hide all | hide | edit source]

After graduating from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Corporate Finance,[2] Ahmad Chebbani joined the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) in Dearborn and worked as a Fiscal Officer while also founding an ACCESS program which offers free tax assistance for low-income families and senior citizens.[3] In 1987, Chebbani established OMNEX Accounting & Tax Services with the goal of providing tax solutions to families and businesses in Metro-Detroit, primarily focused on Arab-Americans and new immigrants.[4]

In 1992, Chebbani co-founded the American Arab Chamber of Commerce to further empower other Arab-American businesses. Chebbani serves as the Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.[5] Currently, the American Arab Chamber of Commerce has over 1,200 member companies ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations.[6]

In 1999, Chebbani ventured into the print media business as a founder and publisher of Arabica Magazine,[7] a monthly Arab-American magazine with a readership of over 100,000.[8]

Since 2002, Chebbani has been regularly featured as a guest on the PBS show “Small Business School”, a nationally syndicated weekly program which focuses on entrepreneurship and sustainable, responsible business practices.[9]

Chebbani laid the groundwork for the Council of Ethnic Chambers of Commerce in 2011, pooling together the resources of ten Michigan-based but nationally reaching ethnic chambers.[10] The Council meets regularly to discuss promotional, political, and business strategies that can benefit the cooperative group of minorities it represents.[11] Chebbani currently serves as Chairman of the Council.[12]

Most recently, Chebbani founded the Tejara Global Business Development Center. The Tejara Center is a business incubator and accelerator which focuses primarily on Metro-Detroit’s ethnic entrepreneurs and aids in both business development and the promotion of Michigan businesses’ export potential.[13]

International Involvement[edit | hide | edit source]

Chebbani is the Chairman and co-founder of the American Middle East Economic Affairs Committee. As Chairman, Chebbani was invited by Secretary-General of the Arab League Amre Moussa to address the Arab League Council of Foreign Ministers on the promotion of dialogue between the United States and the Middle East.[14] Chebbani’s visit with Secretary-General Moussa led him, along with the Committee, to organize three US-Arab Economic Forums in 2003, 2006, and 2008,[15] which were attended by high-profile business and political leaders from over 35 countries.[16]

Additionally, Chebbani initiated a delegation of Detroit political and business leaders to Dubai in 2002 in an effort to create a sister cities relationship. Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick signed the sister-city commercial relationship in 2003, under Chebbani’s leadership, solidifying Detroit as a significant hub of US trade with the Middle East.[17]

Furthermore, as Chairman of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce, Chebbani forged collaborative partnerships with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2004 and with the American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan in 2005.[18]

Chebbani continues to host international visitors as a representative of the Michigan business community, and encourages further economic partnerships between the state and other nations.[19]

Political Appointments[edit | hide | edit source]

  • Advised US Vice President Al Gore on Middle East Peace Policy and Arab American Civil Rights (2000)[20]
  • Advisor to Wayne County, Michigan Executive Robert Ficano’s Transition Team (2003)[21]
  • Appointed by US Secretary of State Colin Powell to the Iraqi Private Sector Development Advisory Group (2003)[22]
  • Appointed to Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s Council of Economic Advisors (2003)[23]
  • Member of Governor Granholm’s Commission on Arab and Chaldean Affairs (2004)[24]
  • Advisor to Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s Transitional Team (2005)[25]

Awards and Honors[edit | hide | edit source]

Personal life[edit | hide | edit source]

Chebbani currently resides in Dearborn, Michigan with his wife, Michelle, and their three daughters.

References[edit | hide | edit source]

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  8. "Arabica magazine Subscriber Profile", Profile Data, John Zogby International, client report, October 2000
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  10. Shine, Kim North. "Ethnic Chambers of Commerce Unite". Metromode Media. Metromode. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
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  12. Shine, Kim North. "Ethnic Chambers of Commerce Unite". Metromode Media. Metromode. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
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  14. Beydoun, Nasser M. (2012). The Glass Palace: Illusions of Freedom and Democracy in Qatar. New York: Algora Publishing. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-87586-954-4. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
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  30. Booth, J. D. (1 October 2009). "Celebrating the Differences". Corp! Magazine. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  31. "Michiganians of the Year, since 1978". The Detroit News. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015.