Category: Business - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Senior Obama administration officials convened at the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce
second annual Urban Economic Conference
The Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce (MBCC) hosted its second annual Urban Economic Conference and the Inaugural Sankofa Awards Gala in Detroit on Thursday, Nov. 4. Senior Obama administration officials participated in the conference, which hosted more than 700 urban-based businesses.
Building on the MBCC’s Urban Economic Agenda, the conference connected the president’s economic vision and agenda, as well as regional and state resources, to the needs of urban entrepreneurs. In doing so, the conference demonstrated the MBCC’s ongoing commitment to supporting the success of urban-owned businesses and connecting area urban entrepreneurs to resources and networks that can help them grow and find employment.
The agenda included several important and thought-provoking sessions focused on Michigan’s underserved economy, diversity and inclusion in the urban marketplace. The purpose of these forums were to:
Connect urban entrepreneurs and business owners to the local, state, and national resources and networks they need to grow and develop strong hiring practices,
Shine a spotlight on the urban economic success stories and positive economic momentum in urban centers across the state of Michigan, and
Use these conventions as a way to encourage the commitment of more resources and attention to local urban entrepreneurs. To conclude the conference, the MBCC hosted the Inaugural Sankofa Awards Gala at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center. Over 700 Black businesses and supporters participated in one of the largest African-American sit-down business dinners in the country. Walter Douglas, chairman of Avis Ford, delivered the keynote address, and Dr. William F. Pickard, PhD, president/CEO of the Global Automotive Alliance, was honored during the evening with the Inaugural MBCC Lifetime Achievement Award. Presenting sponsors for this event included Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Google, GM, HAP, Microsoft and ChemicoMays. The MBCC partnered with Washington, D.C.-based Business Forward to develop the agenda. Business Forward is a four-year-old trade association supported by 50 of the country’s most respected companies and its mission is to help business leaders advise policymakers on how to create jobs and accelerate our economic recovery.
“The ability to focus resources towards Michigan’s underserved urban economy is crucial. Helping entrepreneurs to harness these resources effectively could result in significant job growth and capacity building for small businesses. The success of this year’s conference will be measured by the MBCC’s ability to implement a progressive urban economic agenda that helps entrepreneurs get from A to Z with the least amount of grey hair and stress,” said Ken Harris, president/CEO ,Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
White House participants included Don Graves, deputy assistant Secretary of the Treasury and executive director, President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and the administration’s point person on Detroit’s recovery; Sol Ross, director of Business Outreach, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Michael Block, senior advisor, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Capital Access; Heather Foster, White House Office of Public Engagement; Michael Masserman, executive director, Export Policy, Promotion and Strategy International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce; Joann Hill, chief for the Office of Business Development, Minority Business Development Agency, and Jim Doyle, Business Forward president/CEO and founder.
The Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce (MBCC) is Michigan’s first statewide Black chamber of commerce. With access to more than 79,000 Black-owned businesses in Michigan, the MBCC has become one of the largest and most influential chambers of commerce in the country, with chapters in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Detroit, Pontiac, Southfield, Flint, Ann Arbor, and Ypsilanti. For more information, visit http://www.michiganblackchamber.com/.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 15:00
Category: Business - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Shumake Global Foundation and MBCC to bring global trade and local aid to Motor City
businesses and 10K underserved citizens
Business mogul Robert Shumake envisioned a two-day Trade and Aid event to stimulate international business streams for local Detroit entrepreneurs and to build on his annual free community Backyard BBQ initiative. Day one, Saturday, Nov. 16, will feature Mildred Gaddis as the moderator for a free Global Opportunity Forum (GOF) at the Hotel St. Regis at 3017 W. Grand Blvd. from 12 to 5 pm, presented by Shumake Global Partners, LC3, in partnership with Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce.
The purpose of the GOF is to provide a platform where participating ambassadors from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will discuss how urban entrepreneurs can conduct business overseas and become successful in growing their companies globally.
Forum participants will learn high value lessons covering critical topics such as how to develop partnerships, access government resources, uncover trends, find financing and manage risk with access to CARICOM markets and countries. Identified top tier businesses will also be afforded the opportunity to connect directly with the ambassadors of each country.
In celebration of National Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week, and as a part of the philanthropic outreach during the Global Opportunity Forum weekend, Shumake Global Foundation and MBCC will partner with several local community organizations to feed homeless and hungry in the metropolitan Detroit area on Sunday, Nov. 17, at the “Trade & Aid: Detroit Red Carpet Backyard BBQ” event.
The ambassadors from CARICOM will also be a part of this phenomenal community endeavor by volunteering as servers to those in need.
Akin to last year’s success of this annual event, they anticipate serving up to 10,000 homeless and low-income citizens.
Shumake said, “As a businessman I have always been about the double bottom line; to make a profit, but to also make a difference. I grew up in city of Detroit, its teachers, coaches and leaders motivated me and this Trade & Aid tour is my way of giving back to the community that molded me.”
For day two, Shumake Global Foundation, in conjunction with CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors, Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, Abayomi Community Development Corporation, UAW FORD, Senator Burt Johnson, Geometry Foundation, Radio One, Rolling Out and other area gracious sponsors will partner with prominent local community organizations to feed 10,000 homeless and hungry throughout the Motor City on Saturday, Nov. 17, at the aforementioned“Trade & Aid: Detroit’s Red Carpet Backyard BBQ” at Bert’s Marketplace Complex, 2739 Russell Street from 11 am to 5 pm in honor of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. All meals and groceries are free and the event is open to public.
In its second year “Detroit’s Red Carpet Backyard BBQ” will provide warm meals and grocery give-aways for thousands of homeless and hungry citizens throughout metro-area communities by partnering with local service groups such as; Coalition On Temporary Shelter (COTS), Transforming Life Group and Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM).
In addition to having celebrity chef Toney at the helm of the food preparation team, distinguished Ambassadors from the Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM) will be a part of this community endeavor by volunteering as servers to those in need.
The Backyard BBQ will include fresh, healthy, hot cooked meals, DJ and live entertainment including nationally acclaimed recording artists Larry Callahan and Selected of God, promotional give-aways, food pantry resources, transportation and complimentary vision, blood pressure, height, and weight screenings provided by Project Healthy Living.
Local volunteers are still needed.
Trade & Aid: “Detroit’s Red Carpet Backyard BBQ” is presented by Shumake Global Foundation, in conjunction with CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors, Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, Abayomi Community Development Corporation (Nonprofit Fiduciary), UAW FORD (Gold Sponsor), Senator Burt Johnson (Silver Sponsor), Geometry Foundation (Silver Sponsor), Radio One (Presenting Media Sponsor).
Additional sponsors include; NAACP Detroit Branch, Forgotten Harvest, Rolling Out, Coral Meadows Assisted Living, COTS, Trea Day PR, Chef Toney Catering, LLC, Twisted Water, Dunamis Clean Energy Partners, Elmhurst Home, Inc., Detroit Gospel Promo, Sanderson Farms, Sherwood Food Distributors, Project Healthy Living, Bert’s Marketplace, Transforming Life Group, Larry WIlliams, & Trade Source.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 14:56
Category: Business - Original Written by Donald James
After a rewarding 30-year career as an executive for General Motors (GM), no one would have blamed Thomas (Tom) E. Kimble if he had just drifted into the sunset to enjoy the freedoms associated with retirement. Yet, for Kimble, his retirement actually meant having more time and freedom to help empower people and communities throughout Michigan.
Kimble now serves as state president of AARP Michigan. In this capacity, he is the lead volunteer in the state for the 1.4 million members. Nationwide, AARP has more than 37 million members.
Kimble is the key spokesperson for the state’s organization and serves as chair of AARP’s State Executive Council, an all-volunteer panel of leaders from various regions throughout Michigan. He, along with Jacqueline Morrison, AARP Michigan state director, takes on pertinent issues and initiatives that impact members in Michigan.
A veteran AARP volunteer, Kimble describes the organization as an outstanding nonprofit, nonpartisan entity that advocates on behalf of older individuals and communities by helping them navigate through issues such as health care, employment security and retirement planning. The organization also helps its members obtain high levels of products and services at discount prices. AARP has offices in all 50 states, including such other locations as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
For Kimble, it’s always about achieving the organization’s vision, mission and strategic priorities. “The key thing for me is to stay focused on AARP’s mission, which is to help people live with dignity and purpose as they age,” said Kimble, a Clarkston, Mich. resident who is eight months into a two-year term. “I feel that I was created for the sole purpose of better serving others and helping to empower them regardless of race, creed or color.”
Before retiring in the early 2000s, Kimble was vice chairman of the GM Foundation and director of the auto giant’s global philanthropic administration. He also held key positions with the corporation as a finance director and comptroller of several GM plants in the region. Kimble believes such executive positions helped prepare him for the success he enjoys with AARP. He points to such attributes as experience in leadership, visionary planning, overseeing fiscal operations, motivating people and building strong networks of people and organizations as major components of why he is able to empower others connected with AARP’s state membership. He also credits William (Bill) C. Brooks, former vice president at GM, with mentoring him and encouraging him to learn as much as possible about leadership.
Growing up in the projects of Dallas, Texas, Kimble never imagined that he would one day become a senior executive with a powerful corporation such as GM, or serve as president of a prominent advocacy organization. He grew up in the 1960s in a segregated community where he attended segregated schools. African-American role models representing major corporations were.
Yet, Kimble’s parents, members of the community, and his church instilled a “can do” mentality into the youth.
“I always had a great support system of people that saw great potential in me and gave me the values to excel even though I was raised in a low income inner-city community,” said Kimble. “My mother always told me to ‘live better best, never let it rest; make good better, and better best.’ So, I have always attempted to do better, even when I thought that I was doing pretty well.”
Initially, young Kimble had thoughts of becoming a minister because of the compassion he naturally had to help people. He later decided there were other ways in which to empower people to do better in life. After graduating from high school, he attended Bishop College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and financing. Subsequently, he went to UCLA where he received an MBA degree. While other companies showed great interest in hiring Kimble based on his education and potential as a professional, it was GM that offered him a career opportunity that he could not refuse. Thus, in 1972 Kimble joined GM as a junior accountant at its Pontiac truck division operations in Pontiac, Mich.
Now, 41 years later, Kimble continues to be a major force in Michigan. In addition to his presidency with AARP, he volunteers his time and talents with other organizations in the area. Over the years, he has served on several boards, inclusive of the Arts League of Michigan, Oakland Family Services, Hospice of Michigan, Oakland County Workforce Development, Baker College (Auburn Hills), and Oakland University College of Arts & Sciences.
While his work with AARP is with an older sector of the population, he often interfaces with young people, always ready to impart knowledge and wisdom.
“I tell all young people to work hard and have the tenacity to never give up,” said Kimble. “I tell them to never stop learning, never stop growing and to always be in control of their emotions.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 14:34
Category: Business - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Youth Development Commission announces new president, college readiness initiatives for Detroit kids
The Youth Development Commission (YDC), has named Donna Givens Williams, former managing partner of Visions Education, as their new president. Williams has many years of experience in both nonprofit management and youth development. She is charged with building new pathways of opportunity for young people in Detroit, including those who are otherwise not on track for college or career readiness.
Although she started at her new post several months ago, the board elected to wait to announce her appointment until their new offices in Midtown were near completion and the new brand campaign was launched.
The Youth Development Commission was formerly known as the Youth and Sports Recreation Commission. It was founded in 1995, as an initiative of the Skillman Foundation, to fund and build capacity of organizations that support activities for young people in Detroit. Today, The Youth Development Commission has evolved to provide direct services to young people in need of jobs, college and career direction, and out-of-school time support (OTS).
Only 2.3% of Detroit Public School students graduate college-ready, according to the Michigan Department of Education (2013). The American Community Survey (2011) indicates that 60% of youth ages 16 to 19 and 40% ages 20 to 24 are unemployed. There is also extensive evidence of a skills mismatch between the youth workforce and sustainable job opportunities.
“We simply must ensure that Detroit’s emerging young adults are developing marketable job skills and are prepared to support their families and to participate in the economic growth of our region,” Williams said. “This means we have work to do, strengthening career awareness, remediation of basic skills, developing college and career pathways, and building knowledge and efficacy within the school and workplace environments.”
The Youth Development Commission’s current programs include Youth Employment Solutions (YES), a partnership with the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation and Michigan Works, and 21st Century After-School Programs, in partnership with Detroit Public Schools.
“YDC has also appointed three new board members: Sharon Jackson from The Clairmount Group, PLC, Carrie Clark from Henry Ford Health Systems and Tonya Heidelberg-Yopp from Linked Learning Detroit.
On Saturday, Dec. 7, the Youth Development Commission will hold an open house at their new location in Midtown Detroit at 30 E. Canfield on the second floor of the JVS building, from 5 to 9 pm during the 41st annual Noel Night, to educate youth and the public about the YDC programs and employment opportunities. The event will also feature caroling, games and refreshments. The event is free and open to the public.
The Youth Commission’ move will, bring new resources for youth and family support, as well as college and career preparation, to a central Detroit location. The new space will a computer lab, a teen center and a multipurpose training room.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 14:02
The Relationship Collection To Host Launch and Fundraiser Event In-Partnership With The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan
Category: Business - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
The Relationship Collection nail polish line founded by Detroit native, Tia Shavonne, will officially launch at the fundraiser soiree in-partnership with the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) November 30, 2013 at Hotel St. Regis in downtown Detroit from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tia developed the line as a dedication to her mother, Marilyn Robinson, who lost her battle with kidney disease in March of 2012. During the next year, 100 percent of the proceeds from the collection’s signature color, “My First Love”, will go to the NKFM in addition to the purchases from the launch. Tia selflessly donated 100 bottles of polish, which are priced at $7 each, for the potential to raise $700.
“Inspired by my mom, Marilyn Robinson, who battled kidney disease for over 25 years, I felt it was my gift to her and other families to give back and help spread awareness. More than 900,000 people in Michigan have chronic kidney disease and most of them don’t even know it,” said Tia Shavonne.
The highly anticipated collection features 12 vibrant colors that represent unique expressions of relationship statuses. The Relationship Collection nail polish line is made and manufactured in the U.S. The polishes are free of Toluene, Formaldehyde, DBP and Camphor, similar to today's popular brand, Essie. RC polishes are specially formulated to prevent chipping and cracking. New shades will be introduced each season to keep the line fresh and current with today's most popular trends.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Relationship Collection. It is our mission to prevent kidney disease and improve the quality of life for those living with it,” said Marcie Gerlach, Communications Manager, National Kidney Foundation of Michigan. “We're proud of what we're doing to fight these diseases and we're grateful to partner with the Relationship Collection and many worthy organizations, communities, and people on this quest.”
The Relationship Collection nail polish line features: “My First Love” (orange), “Love Me Some Him” (Tiffany blue), “He’s A Keeper” (dark blue), “Crazy “In Love” (red), “Fed Up” (black), “Secure” (purple), “Single & Satisfied” (brown), “Taken” (pink), “Boyfriend #2” (gold/brown), “It’s Complicated” (gray), “He Proposed” (white), and “The Boy Is Mine” (green). Apart from the launch, the polish is sold exclusively online. Each bottle of polish is $7 at www.relationshipcollectionllc.com (site launches November 30, 2013).
The soirée will feature complimentary hors d’oeuvres and refreshments provided by the newly renovated Hotel St. Regis. Guests will be privy to a complete sophisticated experience including: red carpet photos, complimentary manicures and make-up retouches from beauty sponsor, Paul Mitchell, door prizes, raffles, and exciting give-a-ways from Jay’s Jewelry, Nyla Motley, and celebrity make-up artist, George McKenney. Each guest will also take home a free copy of “StyleLine” magazine compliments of Detroit Media Partnership.
Relationship Collection Event and Fundraiser: November 30, 2013 at Hotel St. Regis, Detroit, MI. 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. To RSVP for the Relationship Collection Launch and Fundraiser, be sure to visit: www.therelationshipcollectionlaunch.eventbrite.com
Last Updated on Monday, 11 November 2013 08:41
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