Why We Give Thanks: Reflections from Comerica and Our Community


The year was 1924. The location was our own Motor City. And the scenery included bands from Highland Park, Hamtramck and Northwestern high schools, ten floats, and giant-sized heads carried on the shoulders of marchers.

That is a thumbnail description of the first Michigan Thanksgiving Parade. And as the saying goes, the rest is history. Launched by former J.L. Hudson Company display manager Charles F. Wendel, Detroit’s annual Thanksgiving celebration, now known as America’s Thanksgiving Parade, is one of the nation’s oldest and most celebrated Thanksgiving parades.

During the 85 years since that first parade, Detroit has experienced enormous social, political and economic change. But through the city’s triumphs and challenges, the Thanksgiving Parade and the feeling of humanity the holiday promotes, continues to unify our region.

And in that spirit members of the Comerica family and the community have shared some of the reasons why they are thankful this Thanksgiving season. May their thoughts give us all a reason to reflect and give thanks in our own special ways.

Happy Thanksgiving!

“I am most thankful for hope. Hope that we as a nation will get through these difficult economic times; hope that we as a people can learn the truest form of acceptance and respect for others; and hope that others in the world share this hope.”

150pxAmal-Berry-Brown…….Amal Berry-Brown, Comerica Bank VP & National Arab & Chaldean American Business Affairs Manager

“In addition to my family and my health, I’m really thankful for the resolve that the people of our city, region and state have for our future during these challenging economic times. Some of the people who have suffered the most are picking themselves up, reinventing themselves and creating new opportunities for themselves and others. Having the inspiration of those who have positive resolve for the future is something that we all should be thankful for, because their example gives us all hope.”

150pxCaroline-Chambers……Caroline Chambers, Comerica Bank VP of Corporate Contributions

“I am thankful for my health and being employed in these economic times. Being employed allows me to assist those who may not be so fortunate.”
150pxFlorine-McKey-Hill.…Florine McKey-Hill, Compliance Risk Exam Officer, Comerica Bank

“Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the many blessings bestowed upon us. I am thankful this year as a business owner to have weathered the economic storm that has gripped metro Detroit and nation, closing many businesses, especially minority-owned businesses. Second, I believe as is written in the Bible, to whom much is given much is required. I am thankful that I am able to continue impacting people lives through employment, volunteering and service rendered to others. Finally, I am so blessed to have a wonderful support team of very positive people to continue to speak words of encouragement in my life, most especially my mother, wife, children, pastor and Men’s Ministry at my church. With many friends and family struggling daily, I am grateful more than ever for life, health and strength. Happy Thanksgiving to all!”
150pxHarold-Lasenby….Harold Lasenby, Executive Vice President, Infinite Technologies LLC

“I am very thankful for my family and friends. I have been blessed with a wonderful wife and two boys and some of the best friends a person could have.”
150pxKala-Gibson…….Kala Gibson, Comerica Senior VP & Group Manager, Small Business Banking

“Life, family and friends are the foundation of thoughts most thankful. While those elements are strong, I also find that I am thankful for the opportunity to teach and mentor those individuals who look forward to a bright future and are willing to look beyond their boundaries to pursue their dreams. It is not enough to want a good future for the next generation, you have to be willing to push, counsel and support the least resistant while painting a picture for those who cannot see the possibilities.”
150pxLee-Meadows…..…Lee Meadows, Professor of Management, Walsh College.

“First and foremost, I am thankful for my family and friends, and even people whom I don’t know very well, who have offered me love, encouragement and support as I, like all of us, try to navigate the many challenges that life puts before us each day. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the city I love. I am thankful for the smiles from so many. I am thankful for the children who give me hope every day. I am thankful for all the blessings God has bestowed on me in so many ways. I am thankful for being in Detroit at this most challenging time and have every confidence that working together, we will write a new and great chapter in our city’s history.
150pxLuther-Keith2…….Luther Keith, Executive Director, ARISE Detroit!

“Thanksgiving is a special time to reflect on the people in our lives, the heartfelt joy of being surrounded by close friends and family, memories of our youth and savoring every moment that we have here on earth. I am blessed to have a large family and close friends who give unconditionally to me year in and year out. For them I am thankful. This Thanksgiving I pray a special prayer for everyone who has lost a loved one, everyone who is in need — spiritually, physically or emotionally — and everyone who is alone. I ask that the burden on their hearts be lifted and that they feel the joy of the holidays in its place.”
150pxMiriam-Muley……..Miriam Muley, CEO, The 85% Niche, LLC

“I am grateful for the opportunities our country provides, the diversity that shapes this great nation and the sacrifices of those who protect our freedom and well-being.”
, Comerica Bank VP of Hispanic Business Affairs

“This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for so much. In Michigan, so many people are experiencing tough economic times and facing the circumstances that surround a recession, to the point that those that are privileged should envision Thanksgiving every day.”
150pxRhonda-Dunigan……..Rhonda Dunigan, Comerica Bank, Business Affairs Department

“Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I am so thankful for so many things. Every night I’m thankful that my kids and I are home safe and I know where they are. I’m thankful we have a warm home and cozy beds, food on the table, clothes on our backs, good schools and a job to report to. I don’t take any of that for granted. And for the relatives that are no longer with me, I am so grateful for the time I have had them in my life. Though my heart aches from their missing presence, my heart also embraces the loving memories as we begin new traditions for the next generation.”
150pxSharon-Mosley……Sharon Mosley, Comerica Bank Lending Assistant

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