The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community

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The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Amal Berry, Manager, Diversity and Inclusion, DTE Energy

Amal M. Berry is a Diversity and Performance Management Executive with solid experience and expertise of cultivating relationships, strategic planning, change and performance management, training and leadership development with a focus on diversity and inclusion; business development; public relations; and community building and outreach. Her specialties include cultivating relationships across all levels with an added advantage and expertise in working with diverse communities and individuals. Ms. Berry’s ability to build and navigate through relationships to create mutually beneficial outcomes is outstanding. She is a highly reputable leader in Michigan with strong relationships among corporate, community, and regional leaders in the state. Currently, Ms. Berry is the Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at DTE Energy. Her thorough understanding of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the region are an avenue to build successful key business relationships, support company growth, and significantly increase DTE’s awareness and strategies to deliver best practices to customers and the workforce throughout the state. She is also a primary member of Maktoub Strategies, LLC, an executive services company catered to provide support and services to non-profits organizations, school administrators and other entities to advance diversity and inclusion programs. Previously, Ms. Berry served as the Senior Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM). As part of the BCBSM executive team, Ms. Berry served as the Chief Diversity Executive responsible for enterprise wide diversity strategy, structure, and overall execution with BCBSM and Blue Care Network. Her efforts resulted in BCBSM receiving #1 (an 8 point increase from 2014) ranking by DiversityInc for Top 10 Regional Companies for Diversity and Inclusion for two consecutive years.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Gloria Lara, Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Gloria Lara is the Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, assuming this position in September 2016. Gloria most recently served for nearly six years as CEO of the Grand Rapids-based Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore which serves most of Michigan's west side and the northern lower peninsula areas.She is responsible for representing the interests of the state's nearly 20,000 Hispanic-owned businesses and management of day-to-day Michigan Hispanic Chamber operations. Gloria brings "top-level experience" in finance, marketing, sales and project management earned in executive positions over her career at Chrysler Corporation, TRW, United Technologies Automotive, Delphi, Jervis B. Webb, IBM, and, most recently, Girl Scouts. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Spectrum Health Hospital Group of Grand Rapids, MI, and also serves as chair of the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Committee. Gloria is a member of the Board of Directors of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MI. The West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce honored Gloria as the 2013 Hispanic Businessperson of the Year. Gloria earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting from California State University (Fullerton, CA), and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School (Boston, MA).

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Gail Perry-Mason, Vice President, Oppenheimer and Investments and Founder, Money Matters for Youth

Gail Perry-Mason, of Detroit, has come a long way, from foster care to caring for others. Gail is a respected authority in the financial industry. And now she can add bestselling author to her list of accomplishments. And it’s her years of experience coupled with her down to earth but also down to business style that has made her a sought after speaker and presenter. She regularly addresses capacity crowds educating people on financial literacy and has conducted financial training sessions and workshops for companies such as DaimlerChrysler, IBM and Wells Fargo. Her regular national speaking engagements include keynote addresses at the University of Notre Dame and at the NAACP Image Awards Women’s Reception. Gail’s wisdom also hits the airwaves and she co-hosted an award-winning talk show entitled “Building Wealth,” via radio broadcast on MIX 92.3 and a television broadcast on Comcast Cable. She has appeared on national outlets such as BET, Fox News, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR Radio. Gail was also recently a featured financial speaker at the 2014 Essence Women’s Festival. Ms. Perry-Mason is a prolific published writer and has written articles for local and national print media. She has been featured in many publications including: Ebony, Black Enterprise, On Wall Street, Research Magazine, Quick and Simple-Good Housekeeping Magazine, Essence, Jet, Free Press and Detroit News, Signature Magazine, Corp!, Washington Post and by the Associated Press. While juggling her demanding career in the financial industry and public appearances, Gail found the time to write and publish her first book, Money Matters for Families, which served as a manual for the employees at DaimlerChrysler on managing finances. The book is geared at families and focuses on the critical elements for building a strong financial foundation. It sold out of its original printing in the first year and is currently out of print. Gail’s second book, Girl, Make Your Money Grow, written with co-author Glinda Bridgforth was a national best seller. Glinda and the book were featured on Oprah’s Debt Diet.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Dr. Lisa Wicker, President and Chief Executive Officer, Linwick and Associates

Dr. Lisa Lindsay Wicker is an internationally recognized thought leader, human resources and career strategist. She is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, wife, mother and friend. With her dynamic approach to life and her signature style, she connects people across the world and finds her mission to be that of helping others to get the most out of their work lives and companies to create value. She shares contemporary relevant work life experiences and empowering principles with her clients as demonstrated in her books, The Winning Spirit and Power Play! Following prominent human resources careers with Fortune 500 Companies, Dr. Lisa established her Detroit, MI & Charlotte, NC firm, Linwick & Associates, LLC (LWA). LWA is a global human resources firm dedicated to creating organizational value through people. With more than 25 years’ experience creating organizational value and business results through people, Dr. Lisa has earned the reputation as a sought-after expert in the field of HR, change management, learning, and career development. She was voted “Ace Recruiter” and “One of the Most Successful Businesswomen in Detroit” by The Detroit News.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Cathy Nedd, Associate Publisher, Chief Operating Officer, The Michigan Chronicle

Cathy Nedd is a risk-taking entrepreneur at heart who appreciates intrapreneurially opportunities within an organization. An entrepreneur for more than 33 years, for the past three years, I have served as a consultant, then chief operating officer, then Associate Publisher of the Michigan Chronicle, the largest weekly African American owned and operated newspaper in the state of Michigan and one of the largest in the US. I have used my entrepreneurial skills and my hunger to win the deal to attract more than 1 million dollars in business to the company. I have also impacted our aesthetic and appeal resulting in a better product for the community. Lastly, I have grown our events to the point where we have to seek out larger venues to host a larger audiences and more nationally known talent. I look forward to further growth and increased responsibility and opportunity as news organizations like ours continue to expand into the digital arena informing and influencing the public beyond the greater metro Detroit area.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Grace Montero, Co-Founder, Social Sushi and Founder, Young Women’s Legacy Network

Grace Montero is co-founder of Social Sushi Detroit, a brand that represents entrepreneurship and social and community building. From networking events to social catering experiences, Social Sushi is slated to open a sushi lounge on Livernois Avenue between 6 mile and 7 mile in late 2017. Social Sushi will be a social collision lounge bringing a diverse group of Detroiters together for great sushi and a unique social and dining experience. Grace has a strong ethos aligned with her business and Social Sushi’s mission with the saying “Better Together”, which is seen in the committed support of local businesses from ingredients to design. As well, Social Sushi plans to hire young people, returning citizens, and local creatives in sharing a collective element of passion of community and collaboration. Social Sushi has been featured in Crain’s Detroit, Startup TV, The Huffington Post, Eater Detroit, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News and other nationwide media coverage and has won several awards, including A&E Startup, the Spirit of Detroit Award, the Motor City Match Grant and most recently the Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day 150k award. Grace is an active member of the InForum InGage Masterclass Cohort for 2017 which consists of a select group of second-stage women founders and entrepreneurs. Grace is an entrepreneur at heart as she is also Founder of the Young Women’s Legacy Network, an organization she started to help shape the legacy of ambitious and passionate young women through impactful online and offline networking interactions and experiences. She was Cofounder of PMEE Elite Events where she worked with notable entertainers and sports entertainers. She was also COO of where she was involved in organizing the Y-Rep Youth Roundtables in Detroit as part of Barack Obama’s Youth Progressive’s initiative. Grace holds a passion for community engagement as she was a Trustee with the Detroit Awesome News Taskforce from 2012-2014 that distributed micro-grants of $1000 monthly to local news related businesses. She was part of the Organizing Committee for Startup Weekend Detroit for Social Entrepreneurs and Startup Weekend for Youth in 2015. Grace was also part of the Planning Committee for the 2016 Freedom Youth Summit in association with the Amherstburg African American Museum.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Ivy Simmons, Vice President, Membership Services and Outreach, National Business League

Ivy Simmons is a collaborative bridge-builder whose strength lies in identifying and maximizing hidden opportunities, strategic planning, team building and relationship management/client cultivation strategies. She is a cum laude graduate of Spelman College having begun her career with the college as a student with the Office of Institutional Advancement where she began her fundraising, event marketing/event planning experience on the highest level executing events for private donors, galas and an inauguration that won an international CASE Award. As a former dancer, art informs her life. Connecting with other dancers, audiences, choreographers, etc is of tantamount importance to a dancer. One must be accessible and intuitive to what others need while remaining authentic and operating with the goal in mind. This is one of Ivy's formidable strengths. She is a dynamic leader and project manager that has worked within the corporate, non-profit, entertainment and environmental worlds seamlessly. Her sociological background provides excellent insight for client interface and planning. Her past clients range from apparel, alcohol and packaged goods companies to celebrities and major events. She was a contributor to a best-selling book. She has authored a proposal for a five year, $80 million dollar sustainable development project. She has developed curriculum and facilitated workshops for an organization teaching young people about renewable energy, local and seasonal food production and natural building technologies. A board member for the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA), she is also a Senior Fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program as well as Global Urban Development.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Juanita Moore, President and Chief Executive Officer, Charles H. Wright Museum

Juanita Moore is the President & CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (Detroit, MI), the largest museum of its kind in the nation. Prior to assuming her current post, she served as Executive Director of the American Jazz Museum and the Gem Theater located in the 18th & Vine Historic District (Kansas City, MO). Ms. Moore served as founding Executive Director of the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN). In that capacity, Ms. Moore oversaw the construction and opening of the museum located at the Lorraine Motel, the site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prior to Memphis, Ms. Moore spent several years planning and subsequently opening the National African American Museum and Cultural Center (Wilberforce, OH). As a senior member of the planning team, she was pivotal in developing a strategy and concept for building a nationally donated collection. Ms. Moore began her career with the Ohio Historical Society, where she served as the first African American curator. She also served as Director of the Kuumba Na Nia Dance and Theatre Company. In 2014, the Association of African American Museums presented Juanita Moore with the Dr. John E. Fleming Award for lifetime achievement.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Joni Thrower, Chief Executive Officer, Jamjomar Inc.

Joni M. Thrower is a businesswoman, lawyer and author. She is extremely proud to be a Second Generation McDonald’s Owner Operator of four McDonald’s Restaurant in the Metro Detroit Area. She is also General Counsel and Managing Partner of Jamjomar, Inc., d/b/a McDonald’s. This is the managing company for 29 McDonald’s locations in the Southeastern Michigan and Louisiana markets. In 2012, she created Pages of Grace, the publishing company for her Christian children’s books: Nana’s Prayer Buddy, Pink Green and Generosity and The Amazing Crimson and Crème Quilt. Formerly, she was a Senior Attorney and the Diversity Director at the law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone, PLC. She has extensive experience representing financial institutions in negotiating syndicated, secured and unsecured, first-lien and second-lien transactions, transactions involving letters of credit in support of tax-exempt financing, Export-Import Bank of the United States financings, charter school financings, and ESOP (employee stock option) financings. As Diversity Director, she implemented and executed strategic diversity and inclusion initiatives both internally to bolster minority attorney retention efforts and externally to enhance minority attorney recruitment efforts. Joni received her law degree from Emory University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan. Licensed to practice law in the states of California and Michigan, she is a member of the National Bar Association. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Kamilia Landrum, Program and Membership Services Director, NAACP Detroit Branch

Kamilia Landrum is currently the Program and Member Services Director for the Detroit Branch NAACP. She oversees programming for five of the Detroit Branch NAACP’s key development areas which are education, economic sustainability, criminal justice, civic engagement and health and heath care access. She also manages strategic partnerships for the organization and all membership services for the Branch’s 20,000 members. She is a member emeritus of the National Board of Directors for the NAACP serving as Vice Chair of the National Youth Work Committee, Vice Chair of the Image Awards Committee and a member of the Finance and Audit Committees respectively. In her local chapter, she serves as Advisor to the Detroit NAACP Youth Council and Chair of the Detroit Branch NAACP Young Adult Committee. She was recently elected as 3rd Vice President for the Michigan State Conference NAACP. Ms. Landrum graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration in the Spring of 2012 from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and completed her Masters of Public Administration with a focus in Nonprofit Policy and Management at Wayne State University in May 2015. Her career goals are to work in public affairs for a fortune 500 corporation. She is a current member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Health Alliance Plan Community Advisory Council, Detroit Sports Zone Advisory Board, M1-Rail Community Advisory Council, and New Leaders Council Detroit. She is the proud and only daughter of songwriter and playwright, Apostle Dr. Thomas I. Butler, and songwriter and gospel recording artist, Pastor Kim Butler. She guides her life by the scripture, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jer. 29:11.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Kuhu Saha, Executive Director, Give Merit Inc.

Kuhu Saha has been a part of the Merit Team since its inception, involved in all aspects of the company’s development and growth, including operations, product development, employee management, and logistics. The part of the job that is most personally meaningful to her is her role furthering the organization’s community impact through Merit's nonprofit arm, Give Merit. As Executive Director, Kuhu, and founder, David Merritt, have developed the FATE Program, an educational enrichment program for Detroit-area high school students. Working closely with community partners, the school, and families, Kuhu leads the effort in creating and implementing programming for FATE. She also oversees organizational operations, manages program evaluation, and facilitates fundraising and donor engagement. Kuhu brings with her a deep and valuable understanding of the inner workings of the non-profit world. Before coming to Merit full-time, she spent four years at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and worked with high-school youth on civic engagement and philanthropy projects as part of Americorps VISTA. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan in American Culture and Sociology, with a focus on social inequality.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Robin Kinnie, Founder, Motor City Woman Radio

Robin Kinnie is a devoted wife and momma. She has dedicated her life to helping others achieve their full potential with numerous positions within the nonprofit sector. As an avid talk radio listener, she was surprised at the lack of programming focused on the support of women. So, she created the Motor City Woman Radio Show in 2015. What began as a weekly show quickly grew to a movement and the Motor City Woman Radio Network was born. Motor City Woman Radio Network is a platform for inspiration, motivation and information that helps women lead more fulfilling lives. The 24/7 internet-based station features an array of shows with expert guests, discussion on issues women care about and resources for growth in all areas of life. In addition to the radio network, Motor City Woman collaborates regularly with women-centered initiatives, groups and organizations. Robin stays true to her God-given purpose with the motto "Live in the Light" which encourages all of us to seek the positive, concentrate on strength and celebrate the moment.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Pam Lewis, President, New Economy Initiative

Pamela Lewis was named director of the New Economy Initiative in January 2016. Since joining NEI in 2011, Lewis has served as a senior program officer and deputy team leader and was responsible for helping to build a network of high technology commercialization and business acceleration services within Southeast Michigan. She has a special emphasis on evaluation and impact reporting. Previously, a consultant to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Lewis was responsible for developing asset maps and overseeing data reporting for Kauffman funded programs in Detroit. An engineer by training, she brings over 20 years of experience as a process improvement and program management professional in addition to her experience in the energy and economic development sectors.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Nikki Pardo, President, Global Alliance Solutions

Nikki Pardo is the owner of Global Alliance Solutions, a consulting company that offers customized diversity training to management, staff, and law enforcement. She has dedicated 21 years of her professional career to the corporate, government sectors, and served as an Executive Director for a non-profit agency. She is also a nationally certified Global Career Development Facilitator, a member of the National Career Development Association, and the National Diversity Council. Nikki has been featured in several online publications such as Crain Detroit Business, Michiprenuer, Model D, Recruit/Detroit, and on talk radio shows regarding the subject of diversity and inclusion. She has served on numerous boards, however, currently serves on Birmingham’s Race Relations and Diversity Task Force (RRDTF) Board, and the Board of the Hispanic Police Officer Association – Michigan Chapter. Nikki is an avid researcher and earned a Master of Business Administration degree in Management/Leadership, a Master of Science in Administration degree with a concentration in International Administration, and a Bachelor of Science degree.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Nailah Ellis-Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Ellis Infinity Beverage Company

Nailah Ellis-Brown is the founder of Ellis Infinity, LLC., maker of Ellis Island Tea. She is young Detroit, one of a growing group of entrepreneurs calling the city home. The 29-year- old Nailah was born, raised and educated in the Motor City. Now, she’s putting her efforts back into her beloved city, providing jobs and boosting the economy. Her business was inspired by a family recipe for Jamaican Sweet Tea that has been passed down from her immigrant great-grandfather who came to America through Ellis Island and was a master chef for Marcus Garvey’s Black Star Line. Nailah began her business selling bottles of tea from a cooler in the trunk of her car back in 2008. By 2014, she had opened her first beverage production and co-packaging facility in Detroit and had numerous commercial accounts. Today, Ellis Island Tea is sold around the country in more than 500 stores and niche markets, such as Whole Foods, Sam’s Club, Meijer and Kroger, in high-traffic airports nationwide and online. Nailah is married to Rob Brown, a Detroit school teacher and gifted singer. She is the mother of one daughter, Aaliyah, born in 2014.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Monica Wheat, Director, Detroit Startup Week and Founder, Parallel Ventures

Monica Wheat is a Strategist, Educator, and Venture Developer. She is the Lead for Detroit Startup Week, the past Co-Founder and Partner of Pixel DSi, a digital strategy consultancy and Parallel Ventures, a corporate incubator focused on branded innovation partnerships and startup ecosystem development. Ms. Wheat is also the Founder and Executive Director of Digerati Girls, Inc. / Digerati Kids, a non-profit that has helped over 5,500 Detroit-area students gain skills and an introduction to digital technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Most importantly, Ms. Wheat is extremely invested in the Detroit tech startup community including Curator for Startup Digest Detroit/Ann Arbor, Director of Startup Next Detroit (Now Startup Boost Detroit), Facilitator/Organizer of Startup Weekend Detroit and fmr. Co-Lead of Women 2.0 Detroit. She regularly speaks at corporations & conferences on topics of digital innovation, global social media and women in technology.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Melissa Butler, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Lip Bar, LLC

Melissa Butler is a Detroit native who has skillfully and strategically launched a start-up beauty brand, The Lip Bar, into a nationwide phenomenon. Butler obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Finance from Florida A & M University before going on to work on Wall Street as a licensed stock broker. Her journey from stocks and bonds to beauty is one that she describes as natural not because she loved makeup, but because she was frustrated with the industry and therefore created a solution. Her goal was to empower women everywhere and of all ages to be confident in their own skin by challenging traditional beauty standards. As so she began making vegan and natural lipstick in her kitchen and The Lip Bar was born.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Shamayim “Mama Shu” Harris, Visionary, Avalon Village

Shamayim ‘Mama Shu’ Harris is a mother, a community activist, a former school administrator, and the founder and CEO of Avalon Village in Highland Park. Her dream of building this urban oasis arose after the tragic loss of her son, Jakobi RA, who was killed by a hit and run driver in 2007 at the age of two. Rather than fall into despair, Shu chose to heal and honor Jakobi’s memory by transforming blight to beauty and creating something wonderful for the people of Highland Park, MI. She assembled a team of engineers, futurists, artists, urban farmers, volunteers and donors from around the world who are helping to build Avalon Village, a sustainable eco-village on Avalon Street between Woodward and Second. The village currently owns 29 parcels of land and 4 houses with plans to acquire more property. These vacant, blighted lots and structures are being brought back to life as the Homework House (an after school learning and activity center for neighborhood children), the Goddess Marketplace (an economic development initiative for women entrepreneurs), the Healing House (a center for holistic healing), a healthy cafe, activity courts, greenhouses, a micro library and more.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Taylor Renee Aldridge, Assistant Curator, Detroit Institute of Arts

Taylor Renee Aldridge is a Detroit based writer and curator. She received her M.L.A from Harvard University with a concentration in Museum Studies and a B.A from Howard University with a concentration in Art History. In 2015 she co-founded ARTS.BLACK, a journal of art criticism from Black perspectives. Taylor is currently the assistant curator of contemporary art at the Detroit Institute of Arts. She has worked for the N’Namdi Center

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Tiffany Douglas, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Bank of America

Tiffany S. Douglas is Market Manager for Michigan at Bank of America, helping to deliver the company’s Environment, Social and Governance platform initiatives in the department of Enterprise Business and Community Engagement. Supporting two Market Presidents, foundation and community outreach activities and initiatives, Tiffany helps to deliver business integration results, public relations activities and drives more than $3+ million of investments that help to respond to economic mobility for individuals and families and the communities in which we work and live. A native of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, Tiffany earned a BA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She and her husband, Mark have two children and are proud to make their home in Detroit, Michigan.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Tosha Tabron, Vice President, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase

Tosha Tabron is the vice president and relationship manager for global philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co. She is responsible for leading the firm’s philanthropy mission in Michigan across the firm’s priority areas: affordable housing, financial capability, economic growth and workforce readiness. Tabron previously worked for Bank of America Charitable Foundation, where her grant-making focused on preserving neighborhoods, educating the workforce for 21st century jobs, and addressing critical needs. Tabron serves on the board of directors for the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, Community Development Advocates of Detroit, Bank On Detroit, and is a member of The Detroit Regional Workforce Fund steering committee. She earned a master’s degree in urban planning from Wayne State University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Grand Valley State University.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Natasha Lee-Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer, Make Your Dreams Come True Corp.

When you meet Natasha for the first time, you know you have encountered one of those people who will move mountains to help you achieve your dreams. She applies her expansive skill set and tireless work ethic to every project she sets out to conquer, whether personal, for the community, or for her clients. A creative professional and business enthusiast, Natasha Lee-Maxwell is a Business Consultant and CEO of MYDCT Corp, who has taken the business world by storm. She has been featured on such prominent media outlets such as: ABC, NBC, CBC, FOX News, Detroit News, Women Essence Magazine, Detroit CEO Magazine, Michigan Chronicle, Michigan Citizen, Crains Detroit, 9 & 10 News. Natasha attended Lawrence Tech University where she pursued a career in Computer Engineering with a minor in Business. She started Make Your Dreams Come True (MYDCT Corp) as a call center in 2006, at 23 and during a recession, after working in corporate America for nearly ten years, where she learned the value of embracing your passion and identifying the steps to achieving your dreams. Her first step was to create a company that would elevate every person who came into contact with it; be it an employee, a client, corporation, investor or a visitor with no prior knowledge of Natasha and her background. MYDCT embodies everything Natasha has learned, wants to share with the world, and most of all her zeal and persistence for excellence.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Danielle Hughes, Founder, Detroit Speaks Inc. and Dream Director, Future Project

As one of the nation’s most promising and emerging young leaders, Danielle D. Hughes, a native of Detroit, Michigan; has made it her mission to advocate on behalf of our youth to ensure the advancement of our future generations. In addition to her passion for advocating, she is also a social entrepreneur and journalist. In 2016, at 24 years old, she left a position as a news anchor for a CBS affiliate in Georgia. Danielle made the move back to Detroit to focus on cultivating young leaders through her organization, Detroit Speaks, Inc. Detroit Speaks, Inc. focuses on equipping youth in metro Detroit, ages 13-18, with the tools to increase their social awareness, their community involvement and achieve their dreams. As co-founder and COO, Danielle oversees their special projects and initiatives such as the award-winning “Emerging Leaders” mentorship program that enhances the leadership skills of youth in Detroit through a 3 month accelerator program focusing on professional and workforce development in an effort to retain young talent in the city of Detroit. Earlier this year, the organization partnered with the Detroit Public School system to implement the mentorship program into Renaissance High School year round. The organization is in the process of bringing a “Money Matters 101: Financial Literacy Basics” tour to the DPS system this fall. In 2015, she created the “Oh, the places you’ll go!” vision board series for youth ages 13-18 to define their goals and dreams, build a personal vision board and prepare for their future. Since it’s inception, the series has partnered with the Augusta-Richmond County Library to hold monthly workshops and was the headlining event for the world renowned Augusta Literary Festival this year. Danielle is also a contributor for Black Enterprise Magazine.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Corri L. Wofford, Detroit Regional Director, Office of U.S. Senator Gary Peters

Corri Wofford currently serves as the Regional Director for U.S. Senator Gary Peters office. She is responsible for civic engagement and acts as a policy advisor to the Senator as it pertains to issues effecting residents in the City of Detroit and its surrounding suburbs. Often seen as his “eyes and ears” in the community, she monitors developments, opinions and concerns across the region and updates the Senator accordingly. Corri fosters relationships with constituents and business leaders throughout Wayne County and she typically speaks on behalf of Senator Peters providing legislative updates. In her role, she is frequently called upon to stand in the gap giving remarks while Senator Peters is away in Washington D.C. Corri has a knack for making government appear to be friendlier and not so intimidating. She possess the ability to humanize the face of politics and government. Corri has been a member of Senator Peters staff dating back to his time as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives covering the 14th Congressional District. Prior to joining his team, she has worked for the Detroit City Council as a policy advisor and press secretary. In addition to her political roles, she has worked in the non-profit sector at the American Diabetes Association and the Detroit Regional Chamber. A native of Saginaw, Corri loves dining out, trying new recipes in the kitchen and discussing politics with family and friends.

The List: 25 Women Leading in the Detroit Community
Dr. Sherrell Hobbs, Principal, Golightly Education Center

Accomplished educational and business leader with a thorough understanding of how to analyze and develop strategies to support and promote positive change and growth efforts through planning and research. As a consultant who uses current methodologies, a complete analysis is conducted to assist with current business goals and objectives. Specialties: Educational consulting, data analysis, marketing and brand specialist, creative writer, staff management, mediator, professional staff observer and evaluator, professional development presenter and motivational speaker.

Walker’s Legacy is proud to host its Annual Power25 Award hosted by WeWork, a global company that provides small businesses, startups, freelancers, large enterprises, and everyone in between with the workspace, community, and services they need to make a life.

Recipients of the Walker’s Legacy Power25 Award are women who thrive in an array of industries including technology, media, corporate business, and education. The award celebrates our recipients’ dedication to improving and innovating the Detroit, MI community

Learn more about our 2017 award recipients by viewing the gallery and join us for an engaging evening of empowerment and networking by registering to attend here.

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