JUSTIN KIMPSON

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JUSTIN KIMPSON

Senior Director
Ford Resource and Engagement Center / Ford Men of Courage National Program Manager

I don’t look at obstacles as challenges but more like opportunities. I try to examine every aspect of the challenge and then ideate potential solutions to overcoming them. I come from the school of thought that you leave no stone unturned and exhausting all of my options.
— Justin Kimpson

Justin Kimpson is national manager of Ford Motor Company Fund’s Men of Courage program that since its start in 2015 has advanced positive narratives of black men through grassroots initiatives in communities throughout the United States.

He also serves as senior director of the Ford Resource & Engagement Center eastside location in Detroit where he oversees operations, program management, partnership development and food mobile distribution. He brings to his current position more than 15 years of diverse experience in the fields of philanthropy, education and workforce development. Justin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Morehouse College and a Masters of Education from Marygrove College.

He refined his leadership skills through participation in the Michigan Political Leadership Program and Leadership Detroit (Class XXXVI), two highly competitive fellowships sponsored by Michigan State University and the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce respectively.

An active community member, Justin has participated in a host of volunteer and mentorship roles. He has served as an executive board member for Detroit Young Professionals, an organization dedicated to the development of the next generation of metro Detroit leaders. He is currently a board member for Black Family Development.

DBusiness magazine recently recognized Mr. Kimpson as a “DBusiness Magazine 30 in their Thirties” honoree. He is passionate about making significant impacts through leadership, mentorship and philanthropy.


How Justin Gives Back:

  • Board Member, Black Family Development


Justin’s Blue Sky Goal:

My blue sky goal would be to selected to lead a major nonprofit or foundation that will provide me the opportunity to impact not just United States, but the world. Ultimately providing me with the opportunity to create significant change and develop the generation of leaders.


AARON FOLEY

AARON FOLEY

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Chief Storyteller
City of Detroit

Facebook: aaronkfoley

Instagram: aaronkfoley

Twitter: aaronkfoley

“Detroit is my hometown, and I owe so much to the city that has made me who I am. I'm hoping to show that Detroit's story is just as important to not only the region, but also the state.”

— Aaron Foley


Aaron Foley is the chief storyteller for the City of Detroit, a first-of-its-kind position in U.S. city government. Previously, he was editor of BLAC Detroit Magazine. He is the author of the 2015 "How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass" and editor of the 2017 anthology "The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook." In 2019, Aaron was awarded a John S. Knight journalism fellowship at Stanford University. Aaron is a Detroit native and resident.


How Aaron Gives Back:

  • National Association of Black Journalists - which promotes advocacy and career development for black journalists

  • Engaging Local Government Leaders -which helps government employees take their careers to the next level


Aaron’s Blue Sky Goal:

The standard we set in Detroit by creating a storytelling department at the city government should be a nationwide standard for every city. That's what I'd like to see.

COURTNEY SMITH

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COURTNEY SMITH

Founder & CEO
Detroit Phoenix Center

Facebook: detroitphoenixcenter
Instagram:
justicecourt

My ability to overcome limits with my leadership is continuing to be unapologetic, authentic and transparent in my journey, shedding light on wins and losses. I don’t ask for permission to do the right thing. I just do it, despite perceived obstacles.
— Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith, recently dubbed a “modern day history maker” by Essence Magazine; is a champion for youth, serving not only by choice, but by nature. Her undeniable tenacity birthed the Detroit Phoenix Center, a high-impact nonprofit organization that operates the first drop in facility meeting the critical, holistic & emergent needs of homeless and vulnerable youth. Her outstanding commitment to service has garnered recognition nationally including Comcast Newsmakers and the Steve Harvey Show.

In 2018, Courtney was named to Crain’s Detroit “Twenty in Their 20s” list. She is a recipient of the Detroit City Council’s Spirit of Detroit Award, Alice H. Parker Innovation Award, and the 2018 Community Champion of the Year by the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness. Courtney sits on the Board of Directors for Schoolhouse Connections and is a Senior Youth Advisor for the National Network for Youth. Courtney is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University.

Outside of being a dynamic civil servant, Courtney enjoys spending quality time with loved ones.


How Courtney Gives Back:

  • Board of Directors - Schoolhouse Connections

  • Senior Youth Advisor - National Network for Youth.

  • Youth Action Board, Advisor & Member - Detroit Task Force on Homelessness


Courtney’s Blue Sky Goal:

My hope is that the work we do at Detroit Phoenix Center serves as a model that other communities can use to tackle social ills and that my personal commitment to social justice inspires others to do the slow and humble work.

DAN NGOYI

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DAN NGOYI

Director of Talent Acquisition
Dan Gilbert Family of Companies (FOC)

Limitless leadership means empowerment! Effective leaders do not create followers, they teach and empower others to lead. My focus has always been on how can you identify potential in others, engage them meaningfully, then support them through the process of unlocking that potential.
— Dan Ngoyi

Dan joined Quicken Loans in February of 2013 and is a Director of Talent Acquisition. In his role, he leads a team that works on identifying, interviewing and placing a diverse slate of candidates within the Rock Family of Companies. His teams work on development of talent brand, strategy and execution for 30+ companies within the family. He also oversees the Rock Family of Companies Internship program, which hires over 1200 interns annually to live, work, and play across the country. Dan’s passion for talent stems from his unique cultural background and his lifelong mission to make an impact with others. Dan is also passionate about diversity and inclusion and has spoken at HR events nationwide to help bring incredible talent to Detroit. As a member of the Talent Acquisition team, Dan focuses on strategic recruiting efforts both internally and externally- with an emphasis on talent at college campuses and in community organizations. Dan is a Detroit native who is excited about the opportunity that exists within the city. He is also an avid golfer and reader who cites Steve Jamison’s “Wooden on Leadership” as one of his favorite books.


How Dan Gives Back:

  • Board Member- Talent Acquisition Leadership Keynotes Detroit


Dan’s Blue Sky Goal:

My blue sky goal is to successfully start and scale an organization focused on connecting talent and opportunity more equitably. The recruitment process has remained relatively stagnant for decades. The world is full of individuals who have skills, passions and talents- and organizations that are looking for these individuals. I believe that finding a way to effectively connect the two, and driving the foundational change of looking beyond the resume will shift how our talent ecosystem functions.

IAN CONYERS

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IAN CONYERS

Government Affairs Lead
Eaze Technologies

Twitter: @ianconyers

Instagram: @ianconyers

Facebook: SenatorIanConyers

 
Leadership belongs to those who can overcome the negative that appears from time to time. Overcoming both structural and mental hurdles also means surrounding yourself with a team that may at times be sharper but delegating to each members strength.
— Ian Conyers

Conyers was born in 1988 and raised in Detroit, Michigan. His father's family has lived there since his great-grandfather, John Conyers, Sr. moved there from rural Georgia as part of the Great Migration. His grandfather, William Conyers, was the younger brother of Congressman John Conyers, Jr., who retired in 2017 after setting a record for longevity in Congress.

Ian Conyers attended University of Detroit Jesuit High School. He graduated from Georgetown University, where he obtained a B.A. in government. While at Georgetown, Conyers played football and was a member of the fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi.

Conyers also earned a Master's degree in urban and regional planning from Georgetown. While in Washington, DC, he worked on the Anacostia waterfront redevelopment, a multi-year, public-private effort. Elected to represent Detroit in the State Senate at 27 in 2016.


How Ian Gives Back:

  • Kappa Alpha Psi


Ian’s Blue Sky Goal:

I will feel that I have been successful when there is not a question about the opportunities of the next generation to achieve a happy healthy family life here in the city in around our region. Whichever platform allows the greatest exposure is where I want to be.

KRISTIN SHAW

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KRISTIN SHAW

Manager of Digital & Social Media
TCF Center

Facebook: k5haw

Instagram: @detroitkristin

Twitter: @k5haw

Limitless leadership for me, is a combination of fearlessness, an appetite to learn and the ability to adapt. For me, saying “yes” before I was ready, has launched me into situations I couldn’t dream of. I often try to be present in my experiences and think about what I would say to my younger, struggling self.
— Kristin Shaw

Given the nickname "Marketing & Communications Swiss-Army-Knife" - Kristin Shaw works in various arenas in Detroit as a photographer, designer, artist, writer and marketing manager. In addition to this, she also works as a sustainability professional, advocating for waste diversion and environmental responsibility as the Recycling and Waste Reduction Co-Chair of the Detroit City Council's Green Task Force. Both directions of her work are visible in her role as the Manager of Digital and Social Media at TCF Center, where Shaw oversees the facility’s digital marketing presence as well as sustainability programs such as green building certifications, community engagement, beekeeping and donation program. A champion for people, places and the world around her, Shaw is committed to find a better way.


How Kristin Gives Back:

  • Detroit City Council, Green Task Force, Co-Chair, Recycling & Waste Reduction Subcommittee: lead the group on recycling/ waste reduction efforts in the city of Detroit.

  • Wayne State University, Guest Lecturer, Public Relations Program: Personal branding and public relations work.

  • USGBC, Detroit Region, Member, Marketing & Event Planning

  • Events Industry Council, Certified Sustainable Event Practitioner

  • Midtown Cultural Connections, Student Competition Awardee

  • Detroit Biodiversity Network, Marketing

  • Michigan Association of Planning, Member

  • Former: Association of Women in Communications, Advocacy Co-Chair

  • Current Volunteer: Southwest Solutions, LifeRemodeled, EuroPeds Foundation, Detroit Public Schools, North End Youth Improvement Council, MotorCity Makeover, Green Living Science, Michigan Urban Farming Initiative,


Kristin’s Blue Sky Goal:

I would love to steer the work in the journey of Detroit becoming a national leader in sustainable development. There is a unique opportunity here to redevelop the region in a responsible way that attracts visitors to spend their money and time here, and encourages residents to feel at home in Detroit. I'm hoping that integrating of sustainability in business helps change Detroit's narrative, but aids in maintaining the city's character.

MARCOS BONAFEDE

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MARCOS BONAFEDE

Vice-President
HealthRise Solutions

Instagram: @mb.detroit

It’s funny: I don’t really see the limits. Challenges to me are like climbing a mountain, it’s one step in front of the other. As a leader, it is my job to forge the path and track the process (and my progress) so others can follow—I lead by example, always.
— Marcos Bonafede

Having moved to the States from Argentina at the tender age of 12, Marcos quickly discovered his innate ability to network and connect with his new American peers—despite an obvious language barrier and cultural divide. Marcos was also blessed with being raised by two strong entrepreneurial, immigrant parents which allowed him to witness first hand the life that was possible to attain and what could be accomplished with a little bit of hard work, perseverance, and willingness to learn from one’s own mistakes; he attributes his relentless personal drive, tenacious outlook and entrepreneurial spirit to his upbringing, his childhood, and his parents.


Marcos’s Blue Sky Goal:

To eventually become an entrepreneur in the healthcare space (or an adjacent industry) and to apply what I've learned from my experience at HealthRise and from my newly gained partners at Trinity Health to help evolve the healthcare industry as a whole while also bettering our community—and beyond!

MATT O'LAUGHLIN

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MATT O’LAUGHLIN

Managing Partner
Alexander Real Estate

Instagram: DowntownMattO

Facebook: DowntownMattO

It means stopping at nothing to achieve your, and your clients’ goals. Every day at ARE, I’m mentoring new agents, teaching them about the city, the ins and outs of working through a deal, etc.
— Matt O'Laughlin

Originally from Grosse Pointe, Matt O’Laughlin has developed a passion for the revitalization and continued growth of Detroit through his time managing and bartending at several notable restaurants in the area. O’Laughlin seeks to match clients with their perfect home, while educating them about the new neighborhood they are choosing. Outside of work, O’Laughlin enjoys spending time with his family, boating on Lake St. Clair, and playing tennis.


How Matt Gives Back:

  • Annual Belle Isle Cleanup

  • Sponsors the New Center Movie Night (with Midtown Inc.)

  • Supports the Michigan Humane Society

  • Looks to help in our communities and public spaces

  • Matt’s company are animal lovers, driving their current philanthropy activities


Matt’s Blue Sky Goal:

Sell a billion dollars in real estate in metro Detroit

PORTIA POWELL

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PORTIA POWELL

Vice President
Municipal Bank Operations

Instagram: ITSMEPORTIAP

Facebook: PORTIA POWELL

My Blue Sky goal would be to reach a high level of impact as opposed to success. It is my personal mission to empower and help as many people around me obtain their goals and build a better community for all not just a better life for myself.
— Portia Powell

Portia Powell is a lifelong Detroiter; born, raised and educated in the city of Detroit. As the daughter of a teenage single mom she learned firsthand the benefits of resiliency, hard work and commitment as she watched my mother defy stereotypes and overcome adversity to succeed in life. As a result she has spent her entire adult life in the financial services industry serving Metro Detroit with commitment and dedication. She is a Certified Public Funds Investment Manager and currently serves as a VP of Chemical Bank overseeing the operations of the multi-billion dollar Municipal Banking department. Portia takes tremendous pride in being an example for young Detroiters and showing them that with hard work and dedication there are no limitations. Aside from her career she has owned and operated several small business in Metro Detroit and is a strong advocate of entrepreneurship. She is very active and engaged in the community and serve on numerous boards and committees throughout Southeast Michigan. Last year her civic engagement helped her become the proud recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Detroit City Council for her volunteerism in the community.


How Portia Gives Back:

  • Mother Honestly - Board Member

  • Fierce Empowerment - Board Member

  • Autistic Play Place - Board Member




Portia’s Blue Sky Goal:

My Blue Sky goal would be to reach a high level of impact as opposed to success. It is my personal mission to empower and help as many people around me obtain their goals and build a better community for all not just a better life for myself.


YASMIN TEKYI-MENSAH

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YASMIN TEKYI-MENSAH

Account Supervisor
FleishmanHillard

It’s all about mindset. Challenges aren’t obstacles. They’re opportunities to learn, evolve, and inevitably get smarter for the next time. What you put out into the world is what will be returned. When you genuinely give of yourself, it’s bound to be returned.
— Yasmin Tekyi-Mensah

Yasmin has found her passion as a social media practitioner, helping clients and their executives achieve business objectives while communicating authentically and transparently online.Today, Yasmin leads content development for General Motors, an initiative guided by CEO, Mary Barra. Her work in social media has elevated its impact in transforming General Motors corporate reputation and gaining support from the C-suite.


How Yasmin Gives Back:

  • Inforum - Member