In a strategic and future-oriented move, the College for Creative Studies (CCS) has appointed Olga Stella as its inaugural Vice President for Strategy and Communications. Since 2015, Stella has been leading Design Core Detroit, an economic initiative of CCS that works to position Detroit as a global source of creative talent by supporting the growth of the city’s design-driven businesses and their market opportunities. 

Headshot of Olga Stella

In Stella’s new role at the College, she will advance strategic initiatives and partnerships to ensure CCS’s long-term adaptability and relevance in the face of changing social and economic conditions. This position will organize CCS’s public presence and external partnerships in order to support internal stakeholders in advancing the College’s standing as a globally recognized art and design institution.

Stella will be an integral part of the College’s Leadership Team and will work closely with the Board of Trustees, senior administration, faculty and staff to help achieve CCS’s strategic goals. While she will continue to serve as Executive Director of Design Core, Stella will also oversee CCS’s Marketing and Communications, Community Arts Partnerships (CAP) and Corporate Relations teams. 

“CCS has an opportunity to break the mold in higher education, and Olga’s professional experience will help the institution become even more community-focused, entrepreneurial, and responsive to the demands of today’s economy,” said CCS President Don Tuski. “There is no time to waste, given the increased pressures from rising student debt, overall demographic trends and uncertainties caused by the pandemic.”

Stella has promoted Kate Lees to Director of Communications and Megan Mesack to Director of Marketing. Long-time leaders at the College, Lees and Mesack will work with Stella to strengthen CCS’s brand as a top college of art and design and expand marketing and communications initiatives for recruitment, fundraising, community programs and corporate relations.

Prior to joining the College for Creative Studies, Stella helped facilitate more than $200 million in investment in the City of Detroit through her work at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation where she served in multiple roles, most recently as Chief Operating Officer. Her political experience includes serving as Assistant to the Mayor for Economic Development to Mayor Dennis Archer and as Chief of Staff to former State Representative Steve Tobocman. Stella lives with her family in Detroit and is active in the community, serving on the boards of several nonprofit organizations.