Detroit 2016 Fellows

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Meet the 2016 Detroit Fellows

Lauren Bealore, Political Consultant

detroit-Bealore.jpgAs a Michigan State University Graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Relations and Policy, Lauren has set herself up to have a background that can flourish in multiple areas. While studying in the residential program James Madison College, Lauren took many pursuits to student leadership, including positions as President of the Case Black Caucus, Chair of the African American Celebratory, Treasurer for the Zonta International Golden Z Club, Member of the James Madison College Diversity Programming Committee, volunteering as a James Madison College Peer Assistant, Multicultural Director for the University Activities Board, and having the honorable pleasure of being on the selection committee for the MSU Teacher-Scholar Award. Lauren decided to utilize her degree to further pursue a Masters of Arts in Public Policy from The New England College. As an MAPP student, she has garnered much experience in the world of politics and policy, including working as a Fellow for the Millennial Mayors Congress Program through the Michigan Suburbs Alliance as well as campaign work for candidates within local government. Lauren continued her career in the Finance Department of political campaigns, beginning on the Congressional Campaign of the 14th District of Michigan as Assistant Finance Director and then on to being the Finance Director for a Democratic Nominee for the 39th District for the Michigan House of Representatives. In total, Lauren helped to raise $800,000 in campaign elections in 2014. More recently, Lauren continued her political experience as a political consultant working on a 2015 ballot initiative through Practical Political Consulting and also traveled out of state to help get more women elected by working on the special election for Pennsylvania’s 37th State Senate District. Lauren was also awarded the 2015 Young Democrat of the Year by the Oakland County Democratic Party. Additionally, Lauren was appointed as Commissioner for the City of Southfield's Total Living Commission and was elected First Vice Chair of the Commission. Recently, Lauren was featured on WDIV News for a featured segment with Live in the D as well as Detroit Speaks on WCHB to discuss her role as a Commissioner for the City of Southfield and plans for revitalization in the city.


Matthew Carter, Owner, The Carter Henry Group


Matthew Carter is a local businessman and entrepreneur in the Metro Detroit Area. He is the co-owner of a small public relations firm called The Carter Henry Group. The Carter Henry Group is a boutique public relations / consulting firm that specializes in Governmental Relations and campaign management. Through the CHG, he currently serves as Campaign Manager for multiple elected officials in the Metro Detroit Area. He also works full-time as a Sales Consultant at Tamaroff Honda. During his two years in this position, he has grossed over $1M in sales. He currently assists management in training new sales personnel. During his college years, Matthew testified in front of The State of Michigan Senate Appropriations Sub-Committee on Higher Education on behalf of 19,000 college students. He has also joined multiple organizations including: Public Relations Student Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators, and National Society of Leadership and Success.


Cory Connolly, Clean Energy Project Manager, Levin Energy Partners

detroit-Connolly.jpgCory Connolly is a Clean Energy Project Manager with Levin Energy Partners, a company developing innovative financing solutions for clean energy and energy efficiency projects in Michigan, specializing in Property Assessed Clean Energy. Previously, Cory was a Senior Research Associate at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC, where he helped with the implementation of Mexico's 2012 Climate Change Law and related goals, among other work. His work on energy, climate, and carbon markets has taken him to Argentina, Japan, and Mexico. In 2011, Cory helped plan and run the Green Economy Leadership Training program - an environmental and sustainability training program in Highland Park, Michigan. As an intern at the US Department of State in 2009, he tracked and researched US domestic energy and climate legislation, helping organize and execute an event that educated high-level government officials on climate change and renewable energy policy. In 2015, Cory was named as one of 10 young Midwestern clean energy professionals or "Clean Power Players" profiled by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and he was also named a 2015 Adams Entrepreneurial Fellow through Automation Alley. Cory was a member of the 2014 cohort of the Young Climate Leaders Network, a member of the 2011/2012 cohort of Roosevelt Fellows, and in 2012 Cory was named by Forbes Magazine to the 30 Under 30 list for Law and Policy. His writing has been published by the Environmental Law Forum, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Americans For Energy Leadership, the Roosevelt Institute's Next New Deal, and the Solar Mosaic blog, among others. As an undergraduate at Michigan State University, Cory was an active member of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network and remains involved in the Roosevelt Institute Alumni network. Cory graduated with honor from James Madison College at Michigan State University with a BA in International Relations and Specializations in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Environmental Economics and Policy. 


LaTrice Davis, Senior Associate, Develop Detroit


LaTrice Davis is a native Detroiter and Senior Associate with Develop Detroit – a high capacity, mission-driven real estate development company that executes significant housing and revitalization projects throughout the city of Detroit. LaTrice is graduate of Cass Technical High School and Michigan State University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising.   Passionate about driving diversity and equality for models of color in the fashion and entertainment industries, LaTrice launched her career in New York at two premier modeling agencies, Elite Models and IMG Models. She served as an Assistant Model Manager charged with uncovering new business development opportunities and assisted in the generation of over $2 million in revenue for advertising, editorial and runway bookings with major clients such as Vogue, Givenchy and Versace.   When exposed to the technology and startup ecosystems in Silicon Alley, LaTrice leveraged her skills into Operations, Business Development and Account Management roles at, AlleyNYC and Lean Startup Machine to sharpen her understanding of entrepreneurship and promote diversity within the technology sector. Now equipped with a diverse skill-set and global perspective, LaTrice has focused her talents on real estate and economic development to create sustainable and dynamic communities that promote economy stability and enhance the quality of life for Detroit’s residents.   In addition to being a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., LaTrice is an active volunteer with The Junior League of Detroit, an organization of women committed to harnessing the power of volunteerism, transforming our communities and training women to lead.


Aghogho Edevbie, Associate Attorney, Butzel Long


A proud native Detroiter, Aghogho Edevbie currently is an attorney in private practice. He will be joining the Wayne County Corporation Counsel’s office in January. He currently sits on the steering committee of the Jesuit Alumni and Friends of Detroit and on the Representative Assembly of the State Bar of Michigan. He is also an active member of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar and Wolverine Bar associations. Prior to becoming an attorney, Aghogho traveled to Tanzania, where he taught civics at St. Peter Claver High School in Dodoma and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. He also interned with the Michigan Supreme Court and with Judge Arthur Tarnow of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Aghogho is a proud alumnus of the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and the University of Michigan. At Michigan, he earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science in three years before receiving his law degree in 2012. While in college, Aghogho was actively involved in progressive causes. As a member of the executive board of the U of M College Democrats, he managed Get-Out-The-Vote efforts on campus during the 2006 Midterm elections, which resulted in a 32% increase in turnout from the 2002 cycle. He was also a member of the Detroit Partnership. As a member, he tutored children at Neinas Elementary in Southwest Detroit, helped plan a program that delivered over 1,400 bags of food and clothes to over 300 people in the Brightmoor community, and worked on logistics to bring 1000 students to Detroit for a day of service. In law school, Aghogho sat on the executive board of the school's Student Funded Fellowships, which provided grants to 57 first year law students who spent their summers working in unpaid or low-paying public interest jobs. He also worked as a student attorney with the University of Michigan Clinical Law Program and served as Chair of the school’s chapter of the Law School Democrats. In 2008, Aghogho worked on the campaign staffs of Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and now-President Barack Obama. An avid sports fan, Aghogho has traveled to Columbus, OH twice to cheer on his Michigan Wolverines in “The Game” against Ohio State. He also traveled to Boston to cheer on the Detroit Tigers in the 2013 American League Championship Series. Aghogho enjoys cycling, traveling, and has recently taken up running. In 2013, he backpacked across France and Italy, visiting 10 cities in two weeks.


Latonya Garth, High School Representative, Education Management Corporation


Motivated to “encourage the lives of people who desire change”, Latonya’s objective is to help people save their own lives. Her core beliefs focus on opportunity, commitment, leadership, integrity, and education. Latonya received her Bachelor's degree in Communication and Master's degree in Higher Education from Michigan State University. She is a true advocate for higher education and works as a High School Representative for Education Management Corporation (EDMC) in addition to serving as the Founder and Director of a non-profit organization; The Imagine Mentoring Program of Michigan. She strives to encourage teenagers and adult learners about the importance of education, increasing their self-esteem and living life to the fullest. In addition to her roles in higher education and mentoring, Latonya is a business consultant, life coach and teaches hip-hop dance and confidence building dance classes to youth and adult women on behalf of her business Motown Dancer, LLC. Latonya is also very committed to working to advance the knowledge and transform the lives of others in the Metro-Detroit area. She is very committed in her involvement in the community and partners with I AM A PRIORITY Women's Organization, National Heritage Academies, Detroit Public Schools, The Detroit Job Corps Center, Wayne County Community College and other successful women, men and organizations to break the barriers of low self-esteem and to help young ladies become better at the way they carry themselves, with the intention that they can take all they have learned and help someone else along the way. Specialties: Motivational Speaking, Mentoring, Branding and Marketing, Dance, Business Consulting, City Liaison, Business Planning, and Personal Coaching


Marva Goodson, Research Assistant, Michigan State University


Marva Goodson is a doctoral student at Michigan State University in the School of Criminal Justice. Her research focuses on the identity development of court-involved girls, with particular interest in the construction and attainment of positive possible identities. She is also interested in juvenile justice reform and program implementation. After earning her BA in psychology from MSU in 2011, she co-founded Youth Advancement Through Athletics (YATA). YATA is a multifaceted youth development program providing students who attend a court-run high school with a strength-based mentorship, athletic programming, career-driven activities, and community engagement. The program strives to reduce risk of recidivism, increase academic achievement and improve school attendance, through targeted interventions. As the director of the program, she has written multiple grants to provide participating youth with shoes, clothing, and vouchers for community resources. After completing her masters in criminal justice, Marva interned at the National Science Foundation in the Office of the Inspector General. In addition to aiding in the investigation of institutions’ misuse of government funding, she presented a project to the department which investigated the processes and outcomes of investigations; specifically, emphasis was placed on differences in entry and outcomes for institutions that served larger minority populations and proposing solutions for the management of funds. Marva is currently a research assistant on a project designed to understand the needs and circumstances of women on probation or parole in Michigan. As an interviewer, she has spent the last four years talking to women in Detroit about their neighborhood conditions, employment opportunities, and perceptions of the criminal justice system. She is determined to make meaningful contributions to the literature on women’s pathways to crime and identify clear policy implications.


Russell Harris Jr., Principal, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy


Russell Harris currently serves as the Principal at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy on the northwest side of Detroit. Russell has spent his last two years at serving as the Dean of Students Culture and the Summer School Principal at the academy. With over 6 years of secondary education experience, he has been a catalyst for educating urban youth while pursuing his own education. Russell recently completed studies at the Harvard Principals’ Center and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Summer Institute for General Management (SIGM). Overcoming many obstacles in his own life, from being homeless, to growing up in a single parent household of eight children, Russell was the first male in his family to graduate with a high school diploma, undergraduate degree, and master’s degrees. Russell believes that all children can learn and is dedicated to helping scholars achieve their goals through education. Russell has used the motto, “All problems have solutions, figure it out”, in his quest to serve as a mentor and example for urban youth. He has already found success in his current role as Principal having graduated over 90 percent of the academy’s inaugural class. His creed on maximizing the hand we are dealt, allows him to aid others to find their vocation without allowing their past to prohibit their future. Russell is on a mission to ensure Detroit is known as one of the highest educated cities in the country.


Jereshia Hawk, Transmission Enhancement Deliverability Engineer, Consumers Energy


Jereshia Hawk is a Transmission Enhancement Deliverability Engineer for Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest electric and natural gas utility. She served in a variety of engineering roles since May 2014, including metering & regulation, transmission pipeline engineering, and damage prevention public safety outreach, enhancing the quality of life for over 6 million Michigan residents. While serving as an engineer, she has been dedicated to creating a more engaged workforce whose diversity enables best-in-class performance by co-chairing a multigenerational employee resource group, co-coordinating the gas engineering intern program and by being an overall diversity champion. She served from 2011 to 2014 as product specialist for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. She served from 2012 to 2014 as chief executive officer of Love Struck LLC, an online women’s boutique, providing high quality products to customers in over 20 countries. In April 2014, she graduated from Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. Ms. Hawk is a woman who lives beyond the expected and through her actions, aims to inspire others to do the same. She is dedicated to assisting others in living a more intentional life through EmpowerYou Daily, a center of inspiration for those who want to discover the vast amount of untapped potential inside of themselves. As she progresses through her career, she is committed to addressing the underrepresentation of females and minorities in high level leadership positions in business, government, and nonprofit organizations by establishing more robust and sustainable pipelines geared for the development of diverse leaders.


Keith Jones, Business and Community Liaison, City of Detroit


KEITH J. JONES, a lifelong Detroit resident and community activist has worked tirelessly over the years to be an agent of change in the Detroit community he so loves. A graduate of Detroit Martin Luther King Jr. High School (MSAT), Jones has been very active in reshaping his community. After graduating from Martin Luther King High School, Jones went on to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Merchandising and Business Management from Michigan State University in 2004. Jones later attended graduate school where he earned a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix Southfield Campus. Throughout his years of earning an education, Jones understood the importance of hard work and has employed an earnest work effort throughout his career, from managing political campaigns to working for city government. Jones, in his spare time along with his friends have been working for several years to develop a system that connect low wage workers to employment opportunities through transportation. The system will be live in 2016. Politics has always been a part of Jones’ livelihood, barely clenching 1 of 4 At-Large seat on the Detroit Board of Education during the 2005 general election; with just over 75,000 votes. Jones at the time was the youngest candidate to run for the Detroit School Board. Keith also has serviced on many board of directors for organizations, is currently a board member for a local school district and works in the community to support grassroots efforts to transform the landscape of communities in the inner neighborhoods of Detroit. Jones currently works as the Business and Community Liaison for Detroit City Council member Andre L. Spivey, District 4. Having a desire to continue his education, Keith is exploring the opportunity to attend law school and maintains his residency in the City of Detroit.


Kamilia Landrum, Program and Member Services Director, Detroit Branch NAACP

detroit-Landrum.jpgKamilia Landrum, is currently the Program & Member Services Director for the Detroit Branch NAACP. She oversees programming for their strategic priorities in the areas of civic engagement, criminal justice, economic sustainability, education and health, and is responsible for membership engagement. She is a member emeritus of the NAACP National Board of Directors serving on the Audit, Finance, Image Awards and Youth Works Committees. In her local chapter she serves as Advisor to the Youth Council, Chair of the Young Adult Committee, and 3rd Vice President to the Michigan State Conference. In addition to her social justice work and community involvement she is a Managing Partner for The GlassDrum LLC, a venture started in 2014 to provide expert event management, conference planning and entertainment services. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University followed by her Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Policy and Management from Wayne State University.  During her studies she was heavily involved in the Student Government Association where she managed all disbursements of Activity and Service Fee Funds through a special allocation process and the annual budget.  She also managed and accessed the validity of all proposed legislation to amend the Constitution and By-Laws and ensured that they were in accordance with the Florida State Statues regarding Student Government Association Management Policies. Additionally she served as Chair of the Fight for Freedom Fund Banquet for the FAMU Chapter of the NAACP, and Treasurer of the Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her involvement in these organizations required managing nearly $6.5 million over a period of 3 years and has led to her expertise in managing, developing, and providing financial accountability standards that increase organizational stability and structure. She was recently named one of the Michigan Chronicle’s 40 under 40 and serves as a community advisory council member for Health Alliance Plan and the Detroit Sports Zone. She guides her life by the scripture, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jer. 29:11.


Meredith Loomis Quinlan, Director of Development and Strategic Initiatives, Michigan United


Meredith Loomis Quinlan is the Director of Development and Strategic Initiatives for Michigan United, a statewide organization fighting for racial, economic, and gender justice in Michigan through grassroots organizing. Michigan United's primary areas of work are fighting for comprehensive immigration reform, ending mass incarceration, promoting equitable development, and fighting for an economy that works for all of us. She has organized on campaigns to fight violence against women, increase affordable housing, clean up toxic waste in her local neighborhood, raise Michigan's minimum wage, and increase access to affordable, quality child care and long-term care. Meredith lives in Detroit and loves building campaigns to advance gender equity and women’s rights. She holds a B.A. from Kalamazoo College in Human Development and Social Relations, an interdisciplinary major in the social sciences. She lived and studied in Dakar, Senegal for six months and completed a project on HIV-prevention among at-risk Senegalese communities. She was published in the Journal of College and Character for a joint study, “‘Religion is not a Monolith’: Religious Experience at a Midwestern Liberal Arts College.” Meredith’s senior thesis was a documentary film on HIV-prevention in Detroit through a social determinants of health lens.


Quentin Love, Partner & Co-Founder, Growth Strats


Quentin G. Love has nearly two decades of strategic marketing and operational management experience as a professional and entrepreneur. Stints have included consulting, a digital startup, social enterprises, advertising, and sports & entertainment. Currently, Love manages a diverse portfolio of clients. Portfolio includes brokering a partnership between En Garde! Detroit and the Detroit Sport Commission that evolved into a successful bid for a national fencing tournament-Detroit’s first in over twenty years. This resulted in an estimated $2 million impact to the Detroit area economy. Quentin has also assembled and run experiential projects in various markets across the country. Some of the brands and clients include the NBA, McDonald’s, Chevy, USA Fencing, Walmart, Subway, NCAA® Basketball, White Castle and Pepsi. Prior to this, Love was selected to help lead the Blackstone LaunchPad program at Wayne State University, an incubator for student ventures funded by Blackstone’s Charitable Foundation. There, he helmed digital communications, cohort recruitment and advised early stage ventures – reporting to the Executive Director. Love served as a member of the Detroit 2009 NCAA® Men’s Final Four® Organizing Committee primarily responsible for community outreach. Love got his start as an advertising executive assigned to the McDonald’s account managing budgeting and strategic planning for diversity initiatives. During this time he worked on new and test product launches as well as identifying and executing strategic community partnerships. Quentin holds a B.A. in sports management and communications from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. from Wayne State University. Love is passionate about devoting time to organizations focused on improving the lives of youth and the underrepresented. He also enjoys mentoring young entrepreneurs and professionals and speaking to groups through programs such as ProsperUS Detroit at Vanguard CDC. When time permits, Love is enjoys traveling, never one to shy away from adventure or an opportunity to immerse himself in new experiences. His lifelong focus includes strengthening his faith, reading, music, keeping fit and returning to his hometown of Flint, MI to see family.


Matthew Miller, Outreach Manager, Walker-Miller Energy Services LLC


Matthew Robert Miller is the marketing manager at Walker-Miller Energy Services. A 2008 Graduate of the University of Detroit Jesuit High School, he holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management from Fisk University. His marketing career started at Scientific Games as a college intern. He went on to work with Miller Protection Services, holding various positions before joining Miller Protection Services. In 2014, he joined Walker- Miller Energy Services, where he has introduced data analytics to transform the marketing department. Matthew is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated. He volunteers with the Water Access Volunteer Effort (W.A.V.E.), DAPCEP and Habitat for Humanity. Matthew is also currently a mentor with Winning Futures, where he is able to interact with young people on a weekly basis. Matthew’s life has been blessed with extraordinary people who have humbly paved the way for him and others. He gives all thanks to God for the support of friends and family who have supported him in order for his career to progress he way it has.


Akunna Olumba, Managing Partner, Mischief Managed PLC


I was born a Nigerian American in Detroit. Until recently, I was an urban real estate developer who focused on providing homes and consulting services to Detroit low-income population. I graduated from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor with a degree in Engineering. Having interned several years with General Motors, I decided against a career in engineering and started my own marketing and urban real estate development consulting company. As a developer and consultant I constructed and planned six real estate projects in Detroit, Michigan I completed by Juris Doctor at Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University – College of Law with honors in May 2013. In May 2014 I completed my LL.M in International Taxation at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, one of the top two LLM taxation schools in the country. I currently Managing partner of Mischief Managed PLC. A federal tax firm that specializes in domestic and foreign taxation, and intellectual property. I am a member in good standing of the Massachusetts Bar since November 2013, the United States Tax Court since 2015, and the Eastern District of Michigan and I am awaiting my admission to the New York Bar.


Julius Readus, Senior Financial Advisor, Assistant Vice President, Merrill Lynch


Julius is a lifetime resident of the Detroit-Metropolitan area. After attending Northwestern High School, he went on to attend Davenport University graduating with honors earning a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance. During his time at Davenport, Julius began to realize the importance of community outreach. Not only to inform, but to enable and empower. After completing his internship at the world headquarters of General Motors in January of 2000, Julius joined the Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management Group. In February of 2015, Julius became a principle in the Aubrey Lee, Jr, Readus, & Plowden Group. The delivers a highly personalized and disciplined wealth management approach dictated by the situations and aspirations of each client. True to his belief of enabling and empowering, Julius conducts Financial Literacy workshops throughout the Metropolitan-Detroit area. The educational workshops are held at venues that are easily accessible to inner-city residents such as, churches, public libraries, and community centers. With an emphasis on economic empowerment and taking ownership of personal finances, the workshops are of no cost to attendees. Julius has served on the Board Of Directors of several non-profit organizations and entities in the Metro-Detroit Area including the Southfield Public Library Board of Trusttes, The Children’s Center, Legacy Associates Foundation, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated.


Branden Snyder, Director of Organizing, Michigan United

detroit-Snyder.jpgAs a native of Detroit and a graduate of the University of Michigan, Branden has been involved in electoral and community organizing projects throughout the United States for over the last seven years. Currently, as the Director of Organizing for Michigan United – a coalition of faith, labor & civic organizations throughout Michigan – Branden is responsible for managing issue campaigns on Mass Incarceration, Prison Re-entry, Immigration and Equitable Development across Metro Detroit. Most recently, Branden was the Campaign Manager for the Rebecca Thompson for State Representative campaign in northeast Detroit and the State Director for the Michigan For All campaign in the fall of 2014. Prior to that, Branden was the Lead Organizer for the Indianapolis Congregation Action Network (IndyCAN), a member of the PICO National Network – the largest faith-based organizing network in the country – leading the local campaigns on violence reduction, restorative justice, and a victory on the investment in public transportation. His commitment to racial and economic justice is fueled in great part by his experience and that of others who have endured poverty and the criminal justice system. This year, Branden was fortunate enough to be selected to participate in the US-European Community Organizers Exchange Program, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, where he will travel to Eastern Europe and teach the tenets of Community Organizing to local organizations. He believes in the power is in organizing our communities to come together and being informed about the people that make decisions on our lives. 


Elizabeth Taylor, Civil Rights Investigator, Michigan Department of Civil Rights


As servant leader for social and human rights, Elizabeth Taylor advocates for equal access and fair opportunities needed by individuals to achieve their full potential in life. Professionally, Elizabeth investigates and resolves statewide complaints of unlawful discrimination in employment, education, housing, public accommodation and other jurisdictional areas of civil rights law. Elizabeth also assists with outreach services to organizations providing information about civil rights laws, methodologies for promoting non-discrimination, and leadership for resolving or avoiding discrimination. Elizabeth previously was a Community Relations Specialist with Black Family Development, Inc. She built capacity and empowered Detroit Osborn community residents to create change. This was accomplished through building block clubs and community education that addressed crime, blight, and other quality of life issues. Elizabeth also supported Osborn-area schools’ development and implementation of a Local College Access Network and a Parent Mentor program. Elizabeth serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors at Pollack Academic Center of Excellence (P.A.C.E.) Academy. Through her governance role, she contributes to the education of Metro-Detroit youth. Internationally, she has worked on educational projects in Mexico and West Africa. Elizabeth earned a Master of Social Work degree in Organizational and Community Practice from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Family Studies from Central Michigan University. Margaret Mead states, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” This motivates Elizabeth to collaborate in efforts that address social issues within the Detroit community.


Thomas Turner, Associate, Miller Canfield


Tom is attorney at Miller Canfield in Detroit specializing in finance and banking and a board member at Sierra Club of Michigan. Tom was born in Detroit before moving with his family to Germany, England and then back to metro Detroit for high school. After graduating from high school, Tom attended Kalamazoo College majoring in History, Economics and Business and African Studies and completing a course in development economics at the University of Botswana in Gaborone that included public health work with Tebelopele, an HIV-AIDS organization in Gaborone. While at Kalamazoo College, Tom completed honors research on consumer confidence and its linkages to macroeconomics in times of economic crisis. Tom then moved to law school at the University of Michigan. While pursuing his JD, he worked with the United Nation in Geneva on issues international trade and sustainable global development. Tom’s practice with Miller Canfield focuses on structuring complex financing transactions for large national banks, located in Detroit and around the world, with a special focus on international financing. He values the opportunities the practice provides to pursue pro bono work as well, including work on behalf of low-incomer tax payers, felons seeking expungements, and non-profits seeking to creatively leverage financial expertise to benefit their communities. Tom also is involved in the Sierra Club’s political activities both in south east Michigan and across the state, believing sincerely that with only one earth, it is critical that we all pull together to save it. Tom is a board member at the Fort Street Presbyterian Church and lives on the City’s east side.


DeAndree Watson, Policy Analyst, Detroit City Council


DeAndree Watson is a highly ethical, principled and passionate servant leader dedicated to enhancing the quality of life and committed to preserving social justice and equality for all people. He graduated from Lewis Cass Technical High School in 2008 before attending the University of Michigan where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in 2012. During his time on campus, DeAndree proudly served as a member of the Michigan Research Community, the U.S. Army ROTC Wolverine Battalion, the College Democrats, the Black Student Union, the U-M Chapter of the NAACP, the Dean of Students Advisory Board, the Mustard Seed Campus Ministry of Second Baptist Church of Ann Arbor, and eventually as the first black male President of the Student Body in the U-M Central Student Government where he worked extensively on restructuring student government to promote transparency, reforming hate and bias response protocols to promote a culture of inclusiveness, civility, and respect throughout the campus and changing perceptions about diversity and inclusion. After graduation, DeAndree returned home to Detroit to serve as a policy analyst for former Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh and now serves in the same capacity for Councilman James Tate. As a policy analyst, his responsibilities include developing policy proposals, reviewing proposed legislation, resolving constituent concerns and advising the councilman on the merits of items proposed for legislative action, focusing primarily on matters of economic development, urban planning, risk management, civil litigation, human resources and historic preservation. DeAndree has aspirations for a fulfilling career in public service and plans to practice constitutional law after attending law school.