Detroit’s brightest upstarts honored at 40 under 40

Photo Nov 04-12
This year’s trailblazer winners spoke about their personal journey and success and were awarded special awards to kick-off the evening

Detroit’s brightest and most talented professionals were honored at the Michigan Chronicle’s 40 under 40 award ceremony.

“We are honored to celebrate the lives and work of so many of Detroit’s successful young professionals,” said Cathy Nedd, associate publisher and chief operating officer of the Michigan Chronicle.

The event was emceed by local radio personality Lola George.

This year, four individuals – Laurie Underwood, David Woods, Sean Anderson and Kelly Carter – were awarded with distinguished trailblazer awards for their contribution to the community.

“I remember being 16 years old and it was in the Michigan Chronicle – it was the first time I was in any publication,” said Underwood.  “I just want to thank the Chronicle and all of you for supporting me – recognizing my passion and talent will ultimately lead me to my purpose.”

Anderson, also known as award-winning rapper Big Sean, was the night’s special honoree. The Michigan Chronicle honored Anderson’s family foundation with a $5,000 check which was given to Anderson and his mom while on stage.

“I want to thank God and the Michigan Chronicle for this honor,” said Anderson. “We really control our own destinies and it is never too late to follow your dreams.”

Forty other individuals were awarded for their work in their respective industries.

City of Detroit councilwoman Mary Sheffield shared words with the attendees about the importance of their individual contribution to uplifting the Black community.

“I want to commend each awardee for the hard work they have put in to be recognized as distinguished role models for others,” said Sheffield, who is a former 40 under 40 award winner.

Each 40 under 40 winner were also awarded a Spirit of Detroit award from the council member.

The evening was sponsored by Humana, Remy Martin, Clora Funeral Home.

The complete list of this year’s winners can be read below:

Martell Anderson
Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch

Kyle Bartell
Co- Founder, Sit on it Detroit

Ron Bartell
Owner, Kuzzo’s Restaurant

Shawn Blanchard
Director of Youth Services, City of Detroit

Nikkiya Branch
Attorney, Perkins Law Group

Randal Brown
Chief Assistant, Wayne County Corporation Counsel

Major Clora
Founder & President, Clora Funeral Home

LaToya Cunningham
Founder & President, Posh PR & Events

Amina Daniels
Founder, Live Cycle Detroit

Lateshia Dowell
Founder, Flaky Bakes

Tesenga Sha’ Duncan Smith
Director of Diversity & Inclusion, University of Michigan

Bennie Jamal Earl Tolbert
Manager, City of Detroit’s Human Resources Department

Bryant L. George
Executive Director, Real Life 101 Scholarship Fund

Kyle Hall
Founder, Wild Oats Music

Jerrell Harris
Director of Restructuring and Transformation, City of Detroit

Sharon L. Harris
President and Founder, Lupus Detroit

LaToya Henry
Managing Partner, WardHill Omni Media

Sean Jackson
Founder/Chairman & CEO, Elderly Oral Health Care Consulting, Inc.

James Logan
CEO & Founder, Hire Level Coaching

Keiana Love
Manager of Field Mobility & Technology, Consumer’s Energy

Sheila Marable
Treasury Management Officer, PNC Bank

Michelle Matthews-Alexander
Diversity Marketing Team, General Motors

Collin Mays
District Director to Senator David Knezek, State of Michigan

Malcolm Miller
Energy Advisor, Walker Miller Energy Services

Matthew Miller
Marketing Manager, Walker Miller Energy Services

Dr. Cleamon Moorer Jr.
Dean of the School of Business, Madonna University

Loretta A. Morman
Author, Speaker & Therapist, Life Beyond the Norm

Erica Murphy
News Reporter and Anchor, WJR News Talk 760/WJBK Fox 2 News

Jackie Palmer
Founder, Goodlife Media

Monte Perkins
General Manager, Merollis Chevrolet Sales & Service

Ebony Rivers
Mobile Mammography Marketing Specialist, St. John Providence Health

Jasmen Sheffield-Sadler
Financial Analyst, Nissan

Andrea L. Smith
Clinical Practice Improvement Manager, Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority

Chanelle Smith
Founder, Pathway Living Network LLC

Lauren Stovall
Stylist and Owner, Hot Sam’s Clothier/Reminisce

Thomas Walker
Founder, Detroit vs. Everybody

Samantha White
Founder and Artistic Director, Shakespeare in Detroit

Doug Williams
Enterprise Account Technology Strategist, Microsoft Corporation

Essence Wilson
Co-Founder & Vice President, Communities First, Inc

Xavier A. Wilson
Director of Michigan League, University of Michigan

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