Category: People On The Move Written by Amber Bogins
Dara Munson, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit, is being honored as the Eastern Michigan University Black Alumni Association, 2013 Distinguished Alumna of the Year, an accolade bestowed on alumni who have demonstrated leadership and civic excellence through their professional and community involvement.
Recently appointed to the Eastern Michigan University Board Foundation Board of Trustees, Dara is a seasoned nonprofit executive whose career has focused on the needs of at-risk children. Dara is passionate about serving youth and lives her passion through her professional endeavors and civic projects. She has been a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2005.She is a past member of the State of Michigan Board of Social Work and served on the board of directors for Alternative for Girls. Other civic memberships include the Michigan Women's Foundation, The Hospice of Michigan, S.E. Michigan Regional Advisory Board and the Open Arms Grieving Children's Program. 2010 Michigan Chronicle Woman of Excellence and a recipient of the 2010 Eastern Michigan University Alumni Association Achievement Award, Dara was a 2009 honoree of Crain's Detroit Business 40 Under 40.
"Dara continues to embody the definition of true leadership and provokes positive change in the lives of youth in Metropolitan Detroit," shared Dale Kirk, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit Board Chairman. "We are proud of the hard work and dedication she displays and congratulate her on this tremendous honor from EMU."
Each year the members of the EMU Black Alumni Association nominate and vote for a Distinguished Alumna/nus to be recognized and honored. Dara will receive her Distinguished Alumna award at the 4th Annual Evening of Elegance, hosted by the Southeast Michigan Coalition of Alumni Associations (SEMCAA); the presiding event of the 2013 Black Alumni Weekend in Detroit, beginning July 26th. The collaborative effort of the alumni associations from Eastern Michigan University, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University will offer a host of engaging, reminiscent, and exciting activities and events for African-American alumni from SEMCAA universities.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 July 2013 11:35
Category: People On The Move Written by Princess Hayes
In 1996 Virgiles successfully opened her first McDonald’s, while raising her daughter, Dominique, who was 9 years old at the time.
“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony,” words that are a true reflection of the everyday life of McDonald’s owner-operator Deborah Virgiles. Though the world is now full of women entrepreneurs striving to achieve business success and mothers working hard to provide their kids with the necessities of life, there are many who seek to find the happy medium between the two, a task that Virgiles prides herself in having mastered over the past 17 years. “I have never had a bad experience being a mother and owner-operator because I made time to balance my personal and business life.”
In 1996 Virgiles successfully opened her first McDonald’s, while raising her daughter, Dominique, who was 9 years old at the time. “I started working with McDonald’s in 1972 under the leadership of Dr. William Pickard, right out of high school, so by that time I had plenty of experience being a working mother even before becoming a business owner.” A woman determined to succeed in both of these multifaceted aspects of her life, Virgiles made it a point to make sure that both businesswoman and mom were equally part of her everyday lifestyle. “It is not work when it is part of your everyday living and you’re doing something you love to do.”
Now what you can call a veteran in both the world of business and motherhood, Virgiles has the pleasure of sharing her lessons of triumph and perseverance with her daughter, Dominique, who currently oversees operations for both of her stores. And more importantly than being able to work side by side with her daughter, Virgiles says that “watching my daughter blossom and grow into the wonderful, responsible young lady she is today by far has been my greatest achievement in being a mom.”
When she’s not in her restaurants greeting customers and pitching in to help crew or in mom mode, Virgiles loves spending time shopping, decorating her home, gardening, traveling and last but certainly not least, volunteering and giving back to the community. Virgiles is the president of Ronald McDonald House of Detroit and actively works with organizations like the Women’s Informal Network, NAACP, National Association of Professional Women and the Deaconess Club of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, among many others. It’s evident that Virgiles has a strong presence within her local community and when asked what attracted her to McDonald’s the answer was simple: “The McDonald’s brand and its community involvement is unlike any other. McDonald’s has always branched out to the African American community by nourishing it with valuable programs and opportunities for children and families, 365 days a year.”
Committed, dedicated, giving and honest are all adjectives that could be used to describe the businesswoman and mom that Virgiles has crafted herself to be, but the description she sees more fitting is “a mom and businesswoman with a good work ethic, a commitment to professional excellence and a dedication to the community, her crew and her family.”
Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 14:25
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