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Oakland County Executive L Brooks Patterson Announces Scholarship To Honor the Life and Work of Dennis Toffolo

Public Date: 2/3/2010 12:00 AM
Contact: OCC Foundation Director Cynthia Tanner
Phone Number: 248-341-2137

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson today announced the establishment of a scholarship fund at Oakland Community College in memory of Deputy Oakland Executive Dennis Toffolo. 

Patterson made the announcement during his State of the County address.  Toffolo, 62, died unexpectedly on May 20, 2009.

“Dennis Toffolo was a wonderful advocate for the residents of Michigan and Oakland County,” Patterson said.  “He was passionate about the region and the ability of its people to thrive.  He was a respected and skilled businessman and economic developer.  But even more than that, he was a good person and a close friend. I miss him terribly.”

To honor Toffolo’s life and memory friends and colleagues have established the Dennis Toffolo Endowed Scholarship at Oakland Community College.  The first leadership gift of $10,000 was provided by ITC Holdings Corp. of Novi and its president and CEO, Joseph Welch, on Dec.17, 2009.

“My sincere gratitude goes to Joe Welch and the good people of ITC,” Patterson said.  “They are one of our good corporate citizens who always step up to support important causes like this.  Dennis always believed that everyone should have a chance to go to college.  This will help ensure that legacy lives on.”

A former president of the J. L. Hudson Department Stores, Toffolo was brought onto Patterson’s executive team as director of the Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.  He was soon promoted to deputy county executive and put in charge of the county’s Emerging Sectors business attraction and retention efforts.  In five years the program attracted more than $1.4 billion in investments and created or retained more than 28,000 jobs.

Toffolo also oversaw such other programs as the county’s Medical Main Street initiative to brand Oakland County as a life science center, Main Street Oakland County and the Oakland County Business Roundtable.  He was also instrumental in the creation and launch of the Economic Growth Alliance between Oakland, Genesee, Livingston and St. Clair counties.

Patterson noted that Toffolo’s impressive business background made him a natural as Oakland County’s top businessman. 

The Dennis Toffolo Endowed Scholarship will recognize scholastic achievement and provide financial assistance to students at Oakland Community College pursuing such emerging sector fields as:

  • Advanced Electronics and Controls
  • Advanced Materials and Chemicals
  • Alternative Energy and Power Generation
  • Automotive Research and Development
  • Biotechnology
  • Communications and Information Technology
  • Homeland Security
  • Medical Devices and Instrumentation
  • Micro technology/Nanotechnology
  • Robotics and Automation
  • Film Industry Training Program

"Mr. Toffolo was a strong supporter of community colleges.  It is fitting that this scholarship has been endowed in his memory to advance the cause that was so important to him,” said OCC Chancellor Tim Meyer.

Donations for the Dennis Toffolo Endowed Scholarship may be sent to the OCC Foundation at 2480 Opdyke Rd., Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304 or online at   Scholarships will be available for the fall, 2010 semester.  The scholarship application deadline will be early this summer.

For more detailed information about the scholarship call OCC Foundation Director Cynthia Tanner at (248) 341-2137 (email:

For more information about ITC Holdings Corp., call Robert J. Darmanin, Senior Communications Specialist, ITC Holdings Corp. at (248) 946-3493 (email:

Related Image for Media Use:
 Dennis Toffolo