18th Annual Urban Wheel Award Co-Host, Morris Chestnut and Maria Costa, Photo Credit: AJ Williams
A number of celebrities and local media personalities gathered Sunday to honor minorities from across the country for their contributions to the automotive industry at the 18th Annual Urban Wheel Awards.
There were a number of significant figures in the automotive industry honored during this award show, including the Executive of the Year award given to Jose Munoz, Nissan Executive Vice President and Chairman, North American Region.
The event was hosted by actor Morris Chestnut best know currently for his role in the 2013 film “Best Man Holiday” and actress and comedian Maria Costa a Detroit talent that is currently making a name for herself on a national and worldwide platform.
“Automotive manufacturing supports one out of every ten jobs in the US” said Chestnut during the event on Sunday evening.
The Pioneer of the year award recipient was Leon C. Richardson, President of Chemico Mays. Richardson was presented with the award by his two daughters Sha and Lauren.
The event was opened with words from newly elected Mayor Mike Duggan with respect to the Urban Wheel Awards and its connection to the Auto show.
“This is a great celebration of diversity and accomplishment and a wonderful way to start off the North American International Auto Show. To everyone that had a role in the industry’s recovery, I just want to say that the city of Detroit is so proud of you. We will work every day so that in just a few years you can be just as proud of Detroit, as Detroit is of you” said Duggan during his opening remarks.
Dorian Boyland, President of Boyland Auto group won the award for African American Dealer of the Year. Rahim Hassanally President of Momentum Auto Group won the award for Asian Dealer of the year and Manuel Gonzalez President of Sterling Auto Group followed with the award for Hispanic Dealer of the year.
“Tonight mom you can be proud of your son, you are the mother of the 2014 Urban Wheels Awards Dealer of the year” said Boyland, after accepting his award Sunday evening.
The 2014 Suppliers of the year awards went to Nu Tek Steel, The Ideal Group, Inc., and NYX Inc.
“Success for me is a way of life, not a specialty and the word no is not in my vocabulary. People often list the reasons why something cannot be done and I like to think of one reason something can be done ” said Hassanally during the acceptance of his Asian dealer of the year award.
The Company of the year award was awarded to Toyota. James Colon, Vice President African American Business Strategy North America, accepted the award.
Auto Show Chairman Bob Shuman was also in attendance and he shared a moment of words with the audience regarding the history of the auto show and what is to be expected this year.
“Of course the show has a much stronger history starting in 1907 down the street at Riverview Park as a regional event with just a few employees. Since those days we have ridden the ups and downs of our city and our industry and we are proud to say we are still standing strong in Detroit with our fellow Detroiters” said Shuman.
The Urban Wheel Awards, hosted by Decisive Media presented an Urban Pick award using votes from the award shows Facebook page. The winner of this award was the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe.
The Urban Truck of the Year award went to the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and the Urban Green Vehicle award went to the BMW i3.
The Urban Car of the Year award went to the Mercedes Benz CLA. The presentation of this award was enhanced by the entrance of Tommy Shi, Corporate Development and Transformation Officer for Mercedes when he was driven up on stage in the award winning vehicle.