November 1, 2021


Since 1991, Crain’s has recognized the young leaders taking our region to new heights. This  cohort of luminaries — now numbering about 1200 people — has a pretty stellar track record, if we say so ourselves, with governors, mayors,  titans of industry, newsmakers, changemakers, lawmakers and at least two of Michigan’s richest people on the honor rolls.

We expect members of our 30th annual 40 Under 40 class to make headlines for years to come — if they haven’t already. They have all risen to the continued challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, but their accomplishments would be worth celebrating even in more normal times. From real estate, law and banking to mobility, electrification and data privacy to diversity, equity and inclusion, these young leaders are making bold moves in the world of Detroit business — and beyond. 

Michelle Busuito

Assistant General Counsel | Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan 

Age: 39

Career trajectory: Passion has led Busuito on her path. “My dad always said when we were little, ‘You work too much to not enjoy what you do.’ That’s one thing that’s always been consistent.” 

The Kalamazoo College and University of Detroit Mercy School of Law graduate clerked for Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway before joining the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation as assistant general counsel in 2013. Later, as counsel at Schiff Harden, she worked with Ford Motor Co. on mobility initiatives and emerging issues around data usage. 

Since joining BCBS in 2019, Busuito has honed in on data, a groundbreaking area of the law with new regulations taking shape. “You’ve already seen this in Europe, you’re starting to see it in the States,” Busuito said about data use regulations. “But I think it’s most regulated in health care, and we’re only going to see more regulation around data privacy. It’s fascinating to be in it now, and to be part of this change.”  

Proudest achievement: Her companywide work at BCBS implementing the CMS Interoperability rule — “a significant rule in the data privacy space,” Busuito said, which aims to empower consumers by allowing them to access and own their data. 

She’s also proud of her volunteer and pro bono work, most notably as an organizer of the Enough SAID initiative to process and prosecute over 10,000 untested rape kits in Wayne County. That work is still underway.  

What’s next: “My goal is to be a data privacy expert. You can’t really do it yet, because the landscape isn’t fully formed yet.”

Words of wisdom: Be open to opportunity, Busuito said. Also: “If you’re passionate about something, I think that is where you succeed. If you don’t have that passion in what you're doing, it’s probably not the right thing.”

— Amy Elliott Bragg

To read more about Crain’s 2021 40 under 40 class, please click here.

Reprinted with permission from Crain's Detroit Business. © 2021 Crain Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
Further duplication without permission is prohibited. Visit CD1651