They had a vision and made it plain.
The 2020 Michigan Chronicle 40 under 40 Honorees did the thing time and time again last year and were recognized for their laudable works during one of the most difficult years that devastated the city, nation and world.
On Thursday, the Michigan Chronicle held a live virtual induction ceremony (moderated at Real Times Media’s Studio 1452) for the 2020 40 Under 40 class.
The nearly hour-long ceremony recognized these millennials who are impacting their slice of Southeast Michigan in meaningful ways and in a variety of fields spanning law and business to corporate work and finance and beyond.
Tamika Reeves, clinical therapist and founder of Transition Family Services shared during an earlier 40 under 40 celebratory event how she has navigated COVID-19 with her growing business.
“People have really enjoyed the convenience of being at home … it has brought a lot more people to the therapeutic experience,” she said of some clients who received therapy for the first time in the last year. “Clients (started their) therapy experience from the comfort of their home.”
Entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist William F. Pickard, executive chairman of GAA Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management, is a Flint native and longtime Detroit resident who congratulated this year’s honorees for their tenacity, grit, and success.
“Many of you are from the eastside, westside Detroit and I have a shout out for you — I believe strongly that anybody from anywhere can accomplish anything,” Pickard said adding that he read the honorees’ resumes. “I am impressed — your grandmamas and grandfathers are impressed.”
Pickard went on to say that as a “seasoned citizen” when he was 40 years old (decades earlier) in Detroit when Coleman A. Young was mayor, he recalls that Young had a simple philosophy: “50-50, baby, 50-50.”
“That was a cry that all of us should have an opportunity to participate in all aspects of greater Detroit and especially economic opportunities,” Pickard said. “I commend you because you have proven beyond a doubt you are ready and from the very best … you are more than prepared.”
In being prepared, Pickard said that now there are Black businesses that have billion-dollar companies and back in the day there weren’t those “kinds of symbols” when he was coming along.
“If we can do it you can do it,” he said, adding that these honorees are not just competing locally but around the world.
“You have to be more on your game even than we were — if He (God) gives you the vision He will give you the provision,” Pickard said.
Real Times Media (RTM) CEO Hiram Jackson also congratulated the honorees and told the Michigan Chronicle’s Digital Anchor Andre Ash in a recap conversation that the goal of RTM is to transform the company “to meet people where they are.”
“To embrace the technology people want us to have and tell amazing stories of amazing Black people,” Jackson said. “These 40 individuals we are recognizing today are a part of a larger community of professionals, executives, and community leaders.”
Jackson added that these latest honorees are in good company — along with other Michigan Chronicle’s winners from Women of Excellence and Men of Excellence, among others.
Jackson said that the honorees are a “deeper part of our family.”
“This is going to be a great year for us and (we are) not (going to) let COVID stop us,” he said.
Read the Michigan Chronicle’s 40 under 40 honorees list here.
Check out a recap of the virtual ceremony here.