Michigan Chronicle 40 Under 40 honorees mingle at Le Culture Cafe

The chicken and waffles, crab cakes, peach cobbler, and Remy Martin were flowing Monday night at Le Culture Café for the 2019 Michigan Chronicle 40 Under 40 mixer. The event gave this year’s honorees an opportunity to meet each other, relax, unwind, and network while indulging in delicious cuisine from one of the best restaurants in the City of Detroit.

Le Culture Café owner Drew Matthews is a 2019 40 Under 40 recipient and hosted the event. The restaurant opened a year ago in the area that used to be called Black Bottom, because it was one of the only neighborhoods Black people in Detroit could live in during the early 20thcentury. Now, it is one of a handful of Black-owned restaurants in the downtown area.

“I am grateful to be honored by the Michigan Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 Awards that celebrates local African American individuals who inspire others through vision and leadership, exceptional achievements, and participation in community service,” said Matthews. “As a restaurant owner, husband, and father, I am able to set a positive example for my newborn son, as well as young men in the communities we serve.”

2019 Michigan Chronicle 40 Under 40 honorees Dwanette Williams, Kiera Pack, and Amber Lewis. PHOTO: Kory Woods

The Michigan Chronicle 40 Under 40 Awards is in its 4th year and recognizes local African American professionals who inspire others through their vision, leadership, exceptional achievements, and participation in community service. They are individuals who exemplify extraordinary stature, poise and integrity and continue to break the mold and affect change in their professions and community.

Excelling in their careers as entrepreneurs, corporate executives, government leaders, journalist, non-profit pioneers and more, these young stars influence those around them to go beyond the norm and strive for greatness. They are champions of our economic empowerment and diversity, the backbone of our business, religious and educational organizations, and driving forces in politics and service.

Le Culture’s chicken and waffles were a hot item at the mixer. PHOTO: Kory Woods

One of those young stars is Asia Rawls, Director of Software Education and Training for Trumble Inc. In her role, she manages the delivery and utilization of real-time technology and mobile applications. Young black women are making waves in the field of technology – building a more inclusive and forward-thinking industry. But often times, they do not receive the proper recognition they deserve.

“In other publications, young Black professionals don’t get the proper spotlight,” said Rawls, as she enjoyed a bowl of seafood mac from Le Culture Café. “When I read other publications, it’s always white men or white women profiled. But I feel the Michigan Chronicle does a great job of showcasing the blackness that’s actually driving Detroit.”

Remy Martin provided the drinks for the 2019 Michigan Chronicle 40 Under 40 mixer. PHOTO: Kory Woods

Jessica Hayes-Stallings has created a name for herself in the beauty industry by taking her passion for skincare and founding the first facial bar and acne clinic in metro Detroit: Skinphorea. It is the new concept facial bar for the person on the go that has no time to disrobe and can get professional skin care services for $59 with no appointment needed. Skinphorea has over five thousand clients, 200 monthly VIP’s and a wait list for their popular 90-day acne boot camp. Like Matthews, she is operating a booming Black-owned business and was able to meet others just like her for the first time through the 40 Under 40 mixer.

“The event tonight was perfect and simple, getting everyone together in one room,” said Hayes-Stallings. “I appreciate Drew (Matthews) for opening his business up to us. I love to see what he has been able to do as a Black man in this community, because I can only imagine what it took for him to open this up and have it still have it successful a year later. When he wins, we win.”

The 2019 Michigan Chronicle 40 Under 40 ceremony is Thursday, October 10 from 6-9 p.m. at the International Banquet and Conference Center in the Greektown. The event is sold out!

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