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Contents What’s Inside 6 Lifting Up


Telling the Story

40 Years of NAEA Scholarships

Author Doug Smith Pens Local Alpha History


Michigan Men on the Move

Dennis Archer


From Cassopolis to the Courtroom


Meet the Pastor


Billionaire Roundtable

Rev. Michael T. Scott


Achieving the Dream

Volume 01, Issue 07

When I hear the word, dream, I often think of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose bold meekness provided leadership during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. In this issue, you will read of those who have benefited from the dream King had of a more racially just society, country, and world. Those featured also had a responsibility to do their part to uplift the next generation and, by example, showing them how to make their mark in the world. By reading these stories, I hope you are inspired to continue towards a journey of endless possibilities and think about your purpose and how you can make a difference in the lives of those in your family, community, country, and world.

See you Online! Sonya Bernard-Hollins Editor-In-Chief

Community Voices is published quarterly by Season Press LLC, in Kalamazoo, Mich. Free issues are available throughout West Michigan. Subscriptions are available. No parts of this magazine may be reproduced without permission.

Founders Arlene & James Washington (2005-2010) Your Community, Your Vo Publisher Season Press LLC (2010-) Editor-In-Chief Sonya Bernard-Hollins Graphic Design Fortitude Graphic Design Webmaster Geoffrey Brege Contributing Writer Buddy Hannah Contributing Photographer Sean Hollins For more information visit write: Community Voices P.O. Box 51042 Kalamazoo, MI 49005 or call: 269-365-4019 Cover Photo: Dennis Archer, former mayor of Detroit.

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by Buddy Hannah Today I offer a few things for you to think about. You don’t have to agree with them, just think about them. Here goes. Sometimes we get so caught up in all the negativity surrounding African- American men until we forget that there are black men who are good role models for our young people. There are black men who are a positive force in their communities, and are making positive contributions. We forget that there are black men who are good fathers, husbands, and good citizens. It’s easy to dwell on the negative and sometimes overlook the positive. To all those positive black men, I’d like to say, you do all black men proud. There are so many things we need in so many of our African-American communities, but one, is for more of us to set aside our differences, check our egos, and focus more on the issues, and problems that are affecting all of us. In order to solve many of our problems and bring about the changes that are needed, it will take the effort of all of us working together for a common cause. You do understand that, don’t you? Here’s a thought for you. When it comes to educating our children, we cannot and should not leave that process entirely up to the teachers, principles, and other school administrators. We must be actively involved as well. Our child’s education should start at home. We must be our child’s first teacher. We must set high expectations for our children and then provide them with the necessary support, guidance, and encouragement it will take to reach these expectations. We must provide our children with a home atmosphere that is geared toward learning. We must be involved in our children’s educational process, so that we can challenge all inadequate school systems that fail to provide our children with a quality education. The educating of our children is a full-time job and we must be a full-time participants. And remember, we say our children are our future and this is true. But keep in mind, they may be our future, but we are their present, and it’s the things we do for them now that will help shape their future as well as ours. Good day, Deona and Iyana. Buddy Hannah is an author, poet, column writer for Community Voices, and radio host of 1560 The Touch Radio’s Talk it Up show in Kalamazoo.     4

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Mikael Lott was first drawn to Kalamazoo College for its academic prestige. Now a junior, Mikael says he’s earning more than a degree. “I’ve had the opportunity to expand my academic horizon both inside and outside of the classroom,” says the Business major from Lake Orion. A wide receiver for K’s football team, Mikael studied abroad in Costa Rica as a sophomore. He later landed a corporate internship in marketing. After graduation, he plans to pursue an MBA. “I’ve matured. I’m more openminded and adaptable to other people and beliefs,” he says. “Coming to K is more than just a college decision, it’s a life choice.”

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Congratulations to the Northside Association for Educational Advancement for 40 years of giving back to lift up students! The Northside Association for Educational Advancement has helped provide scholarships for African-American students for the past 40 years. The hundreds of thousands of dollars it has provided over the years has assisted students in their pursuit of higher education and successful careers. The scholarship was created through the efforts of: James Jackson, Arthur Walker, Richard Williams, James Warner, Bernard Sims, Moses Walker, and Junius DeGroat. These gentlemen (five of whom worked at the Upjohn Company, currently Pfizer, Inc.) went to the Upjohn Company for financial support of the scholarship to support economically deserving African American students. Over the years other companies joined in the effort. rthside Associ a No




Established 1971

vanceme nt l Ad na

r Educa n Fo tio tio

Recipients Include:



1972: John Echols, Elizabeth Moorehead, Kenneth Rowell, Vivian Sudduth, Elise Yeager 1973: Michael Blackmon, Dwight Boykins, Rochelle McCracklin, Magnolia Mlambo, Vickie Walker, Howard Wolford 1974: Nancy Arnold, Charlene Buchannan, Michael Crawford, Crystal Moncrief, Alcyon Ollie, Vanessa Rancifer, Frank Smith, Jake Smith Jr., Roy Spencer, Dorothy Spurlock


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1975: George Brown, Victor Cooper, Charles Rawls, Julie Rickmon, Robin Lockett Robinson, Dana Simpson 1976: Barry Harris, Steve Joiner, Sheri Palm, Bernard Townsell 1977: Arva Barnes, James Bufford, Robert Dunigan, George Gordon, Needa Moore 1978: Lyle Baker, Annette Crews, Kevin Ezell, Vechine Glenn, Marcia Jones, Narda McClendon, Lavonda Ozier

1979: Veronica Ampey, Bernice Bell, Shelia Gardner, Gregory Jones, Regina McCray 1980: Tommy Jennings, Thea Kelly, Lori Ledbetter, Patricia McMillon, Rosalynn Moss, Heather Philbert 1981: Mark Brasher, Candy Buchanan, Bobby Johnson, Leslie Jones, Stephanie Moss, Leon Sims 1982: Jacqueline Clayton, Edward Donaldson, Eileen Ewell, Brenda Jennings, James Reid, Wonda

Weatherspoon, Zion Williams 1983: Melanie Brown, Blanche Johnson, Zilda Moore, Emery Smith, Adrian White 1984: Tracie Hall, Stephanie Lipsey, Desmond Mitchell, Natalie Taylor, Kevin Timmons, 1985: Patty Arnold, Atinna Smith, Daeon Smith, Vanessa White, Whitni White, Tracey Williams 1986: Tammy Clopton, Ennis Dunning, David Hurtt, Sandra Kelley, Tonee Mitchell 1987: Angela Baker, Samantha Hoskin, Nicole Jasper, David Saunders, Patricia Walker 1988: Keith Franks, Curtis Ivy Jr., Shaunna Miller, Benita McAllister, Bettina Nichols, Constance Sykes 1989: Leona Allen, Makela Jordan, Sheila Lipsey, Timothy Moore, Lemoyen McWilliams 1990: Florence Bigby, Gabrielle Bodley, Ivy Fields, Michael Harper, Daryl Roberson, Bill Robertson, Damond Timmerman 1991: Ryan Johnson, Tonya Matthews, Kimberly Parker, Demecka Richardson, Sherri Williams 1992: Latoya Bernard, Willard Horne, Tyreka Jennings, Donald Kennedy, Josie Raines, Stacey Singleton, YaSheema Williams 1993: Nailah Abdullah, LaKeysha Ivy, Valerie Jones-Taylor, Jennifer Moore, Fatimah Muhammad, Stephanie Smith, Anthony Woodruff 1994: Tausha Drain, Terica Henton, Kristy Jones, Kelley Kellis, DeShon Taylor, Edward Udetok, Lela Whitley

1995: Shannon Atkins, Carmen Coleman, Rhanda Fields, Troy Gilleylen, Jennifer Owens, Israil Umm Khanum Steen, Deliah Underwood 1996: Ariane Berry, Steven Berry, Sharika Crawford, Christiana Davis, Thomas Shaffer, Davon Woodard, Sarah Wright 1997: Alicia Curry, Shedrick Harrell, Sheree Holmes, William Johnson, Ryan Lewis, Alicia Nelson, Jerome Whitley 1998: Akesha Caper, Tonia Cobb, David Magotti, Jay Melton, Damian Smith, Takeshia Thompson, Nikia Walker, Jewvar Walker 1999: Darryl Boyd, Artella Cohn, LaCresha Harrell, Heath Johnson, Hosea Magotti, Alisa Parker, Maria Smith 2000: Frederick L’Ouveture Ford, Valyncia Jennings, Terecita Lockett-Allen, Jennifer Mayberry, Derrick Payne Jr., Tiffany Shelton, Taj Thomas

2001: Montrell Baker, Shannon Franklin, Darius Johnson, Lilly Johnson, Nicole Lindsey, Lola Long, Melissa Plair, Dwayne Powell Jr., Garen Robinson 2002: Celeste Elechi, LaKeisha Ferguson, Phillip Fisher, David Harrell, Alexis Plair, Ricky Thrash, Eric Townes, Natasha Willis, Melissa Zackery 2003: Teresa Berry, Michael Burton, Crystal Cooper, Travis Lewis, Robhi Magotti, Latrice Murray, Rudy McPherson Jr., Dana Plair, Timasha Woods 2004: Ervin Armstrong, Lauren Carney, Christopher Davis, Kevin Hicks, Shayla Jackson, Randy McPherson, Jennifer Norman, Krystal Perry, Cierra Petties, Tracy Phillips 2005: Gbobleah Angba, Adrienne Chambers, Destiny Eanes, Chris McKinney, Lawrence Matthews, Talanda Ollie, Nicole Parker, Cristina Smith, Brittany Warfield, Biana Willis.

A celebration to honor the past recipients will be held: 6 p.m. Saturday, October 27, 2012 at Galilee Baptist Church. The event will include student recognition and addresses, entertainment by Gospelfest, and a tribute to long-time supporter Vera Owens. For more information regarding this event, contact Dorothy Young, president, 269-344-3582; or Josie Wyne, 269-382-1530.

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Men On The Move Calvin Williams

one of the Alpha Phi Alpha Epsilon Xi founding members at WMU, retired as an associate vice president of Student Services from Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Mich. Williams entered WMU in 1959 at age 15, and graduated from WMU in 1963 at age 19. The track star earned a Bachelor of Arts in French and History. After graduation, he visited France with the French Club, of which he was president, and remained there several months to study the French language and linguistics at the University of Grenoble, and attended lectures at the University of Paris, Sorbonne. The experience in France prepared him to teach French at Southwestern High School in Flint, Mich. He left secondary education to serve as a social worker for the Urban League where he earned an Urban League Fellowship in French at Atlanta University in 1964. He later earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of Michigan as a Carnegie Foundation Fellow, and a Ph.D. in Education Psychology from U of M. Williams joined the staff of WCC in 1969 and retired in 2006.

Jonathan Blakley

has served as a producer on National Public Radio’s Foreign Desk since 2007. His work has allowed him to report internationally from such places as Baghdad where he helped manage one of the network’s larger bureaus. Since coming to NPR in 2001 he has helped produce some of NPR’s coverage of the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and Libya, as well as stories from Haiti and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Before coming to NPR he worked at the AP Broadcast Center in Washington, ABC Radio in New York, and CBS-owned WWJ in Detroit. In 2002, he was a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Ghana-Legon teaching broadcast journalism. He has earned a number of awards, including a Gabriel Award and a Unity Media Award in 1997, and a handful of awards from the National Association of Black Journalists. Blakley is a native of Detroit and a 1991 graduate of Western Michigan University (School of Communications) and 2000 graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit. He is a 2012 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University where he studies history, politics and social media in sub-Saharan Africa. He also examines the domestic media environment in the United States on the cusp of the 2012 presidential election.

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Capt. Donald Davenport

is a KC-135T instructor pilot with the 171st Air Refueling Squadron, stationed at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich. In addition to his flying obligation, Davenport is responsible for Plans & Aircrew Recruiting. The Detroit native graduated from Ben O. Davis Jr. Aerospace Technical High School in 1996 and was awarded the WMU, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Women and Minorities in Aviation scholarship to attended Western Michigan University as an Aviation Flight Science major. He graduated in 2001 and was hired by the Michigan Air National Guard, 171st Airlift Squadron in August 2001, to fly the C-130 Hercules. Since receiving his wings, Davenport has flown the C-130E and the KC-135R/T all over the world, in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn. He is a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Detroit Chapter, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Airlift and Tanker Association and the National Guard Association of the United States and Michigan. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. initiated into the Epsilon Xi chapter in the spring of 1999.

E d g a r B.Watson Frank Ligon is the owner of Ligon Engineering Consultant Service located in Detroit. Prior to starting his own company he was director of Service Engineering Operations at Ford Motor Company. Ligon earned a Bachelors of Science degree from WMU before going on to further his education at Oxford Brookes University and Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. He also earned an MBA from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad Graduate School of Management. Ligon is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Epsilon Xi Chapter. 10

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is retired as an educator and administrator after 33 years. He earned a Bachelors of Science degree in 1971 from Western Michigan University, and in 2002, completed a Masters of Education degree at Grand Valley State University in Educational Leadership. While living in Kalamazoo he worked at Upjohn, Mattawan Research and Development Corporation, and for the State of Michigan. In 1976, he returned to his hometown of Muskegon, Mich., and worked with the school system of Muskegon Heights as a teacher, adult education administrator, Article 3 Coordinator, an elementary school principal, and coach. In 1984, his track team won the Girl’s Class B State Championship and he was named Coach of the Year in Class B. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, a board member of the Muskegon Heights Housing Commission, the Muskegon Civic Theatre, and the LifeCircles Pace Program.

Dennis W. Archer is Chairman and CEO of Dennis W. Archer PLLC and Chairman Emeritus of Dickinson Wright PLLC, a Detroit-based law firm. The firm has more than 270 attorneys, with five offices in Michigan; an office in Toronto, Canada; Nashville, Tenn.; Phoenix, Az.; Las Vegas, Nev.; and Washington, D.C. He also sits on the corporate boards of Johnson Controls Inc., Compuware Corporation and Masco Corporation. The graduate of Cassopolis High School in Michigan, has a long list of accomplishments, which include being mayor of the City of Detroit (1994-2001), an Associate Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court (1985-90), the first person of color elected president of the American Bar Association (2003-2004) as well as the State Bar of Michigan, and also served as president of the Wolverine Bar Association and the National Bar Association. He also serves a chair of the Board of Trustees at his alma mater, Western Michigan University. Nationally-distributed magazines have recognized him as: Public Official of the Year by Governing magazine (2000), Newsmaker of the Year by Engineering News-Record magazine (a sister publication of Business Week) (1998), one of the 100 Most Influential Black Americans by Ebony magazine; and one of the 100 Most Powerful Attorneys in the United States by the National Law Journal. Archer was named one of the 25 Most Dynamic Mayors in America by Newsweek magazine, and named the most respected judge in Michigan by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Western Michigan University where he was active as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. After graduation, he taught learning disabled students in the Detroit Public Schools while working toward his Juris Doctor which he received from Detroit College of Law in 1970. He began working as a trial lawyer and a partner in several Detroit firms, serving as associate professor of the Detroit College of Law and adjunct professor at Wayne State University Law School. He received his first of 21 honorary degrees from WMU where he is a Distinguished Alumni, and has been honored with a campus street named, Archer Way.

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Doug Smith graduated from Flint Central High School in 1957, and that fall, enrolled at Flint Junior College. There he earned all A’s in his accounting classes as he worked toward a the goal to become an accountant for Ford Motor Company. His dream seemed shattered when his academic advisor, who was white, told him, “a black man would never be hired as an accountant for an auto company.” Smith graduated from Flint Junior College and entered Western Michigan University in 1960 where he met other young African American men with dreams of success. Together, they formed a bond and vowed to reestablish the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity chapter on WMU’s campus, and go on toward great success in their chosen fields. Many of them were first-generation college students whose families were praying, and sacrificing for their college education. Together, the men not only graduated, but went on to phenomenal success in their careers. Smith’s book, “A Mutual Destiny: Achieving the Dream, Together,” released as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Epsilon Xi Chapter during WMU’s 2012 Homecoming celebration. The book was created as an historical record of the men who from 1959-1963, worked toward their quest to become an official fraternity. Dennis Archer, who also was an Alpha at WMU at the time, contributed the afterword for the book. Today many of their members have become multimillionaires, mayors, CEOs, and leaders in higher education. Smith, who has held various positions as CEO, did in fact work at one time as a cost Ford Motor Co.

Books are now available online at:

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From left: Bro. Doug Smith, Calvin Williams and Charles Wells reflect on their years as students at WMU. Inset photo caption: Front Row from left: Edgar Davis, Calvin Williams, Sherman Johnson, Bill Mangana, Ron Hall, Earl McNeal, and Don Warfield; Back from left: William Pickard, Gaylon Barham, Joe Moore, Douglas Smith, Ray Snowden, Dennis Wright, Jim Casey, Robert Temple, Charles Warfield, Gilbert Bradley; Not pictured: George Brantly, Richard Evans, Dennis McGee, Fred Nickerson, Harold Mason, Joel Johnson, John Garland, Hosie Hall, Willie Thompson, and George Archer.

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oug Smith remembers the bowling alley once located on the lower level of the University Center (Bernhard Center), and registering for classes by standing in long lines at Read Fieldhouse. That was in 1960. Today, he and other founders of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Epsilon Xi Chapter, return to the campus of Western Michigan University during Homecoming to find state-of-the-art computer labs, a grand Waldo Library, and a remodeled Sangren Hall. They return not only to reminisce, but to inspire other students and those in the community to dream. During their years on campus there were less than 50 African American students living on campus. The country was experiencing turmoil and triumphs related to the civil rights movement. The racial inequality that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought against, Smith and others were experiencing, even in the North. Through the leadership of Martha Warfield, PhD, vice president for Diversity and Inclusion at WMU, events such as a speaker’s series, Billionaire Roundtable, and Dennis Archer luncheon, provided opportunities to hear the stories of the fraternity’s founders. Other WMU Alphas who have gone on to establish themselves as leaders in their communities, also shared how in their lives, much of King’s Dream for equal educational opportunities has become a reality. Many of their stories are featured in this issue. Above: The late William Boards Jr., one of the chapter’s founders, became vice mayor of Battle Creek, Mich., and a highly honored member of his community. Right: Drs. Charles and Martha Warfield met on the campus of WMU where “Chuck” was a founding member of the Alpha chapter. Both remained a part of WMU as educators.


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TO MY HEART. Something wasn’t right. But like many women, I downplayed my symptoms and assumed the stress of my job was getting to me. Or maybe I wasn’t getting enough sleep. Turns out, I had a bad heart valve. And it was only a matter of time before it would give out. That’s when I turned to Bronson. Their cardiac services are rated best in the region, according to HealthGrades® (2012).

After being a patient, I can see why. I was able to go home a few days after having major heart surgery. And in no time, I was back at work and back to my self again. Although now, when my body tries to tell me something, I listen. BRO120016_WomensCardio_C 1

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5/9/12 1:37 PM

William Pickard

is Chairman and CEO, Global Automotive Alliance, a group of six manufacturing entities with eight facilities in the United States and Canada. He is recognized by the automotive industry for masterminding the first minority-owned group of tier-one and tier-two plastic parts suppliers to service the top three U.S. auto makers. He established Alliance in 1999 and by 2004 employed more than 1,200 people and generated more than $200 million in sales by leveraging joint ventures with larger companies. The WMU Distinguished Alumni, was born in La Grange, GA. He was first exposed to the automotive industry when his family relocated to Flint, Mich. where his parents, William and Victoria, worked on a General Motors assembly line. His quest to establish the automotive group began after a conversation with Henry Ford II, who informed Pickard of the need for black suppliers. The owner of six McDonald restaurants turned his investments towards minority-owned automotive parts manufacturers, and gained majority ownership of six firms, which now comprise Global Automotive Alliance. The group of companies, which produces car interior, exterior, and under-the-hood parts such as automotive fuel systems, seat covers, and injection molded interior headliners, has appeared on the Black Enterprise magazine list of the top 100 Industrial/Service companies. Under Pickard’s leadership Global Automotive Alliance continues to exceed industry norms for minority hiring and minorities in management positions. Other companies guided by Dr. Pickard include VITEC, LLC and Bearwood Management Company, where he is chairman and CEO, and MGM Grand Detroit Casino where he is a partner. Pickard has also been chairman and CEO of Group Antolin - Wayne, ARD Logistics, LLC. President Ronald Reagan appointed him as the first chairman of the African Development Foundation in 1982. In 1991 President George Bush appointed him to the Federal Home Loan Bank Board - Indianapolis Bank in Indiana, and to The National Advisory Committee on Trade Policy Negotiations in March 1990. Pickard’s success and contributions have been recognized on numerous fronts. He has received various honorary doctorates, and teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan. He also sits on the board of directors for such companies and organizations as Asset Acceptance Capital Corporation, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Flagstar Bank, Standard Federal/LaSalle Bank, Michigan National Bank Corporation, and Detroit Investment Fund. He is also a Trustee at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, and a lifetime member of the NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He holds a doctorate degree from Ohio State University, a masters degree from the University of Michigan, a bachelors degree from Western Michigan University, and an associates degree from Mott Community College. Photo: William Pickard, left of Ronald McDonald, poses during a check presentation to an organization from his McDonald’s restaurants.

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Ron Hall

is sitting in the seat of luxury and helping others do the same. In 2011 the president and CEO of Bridgewater Interiors LLC, secured a $900 million contract to be the exclusive provider of seats for the Cadillac DeVille. He established Bridgewater Interior in 1998 as a minority joint venture between automotive interior supplier Johnson Controls and his Detroit-based Epsilon, LLC. Today, the company has four locations nationwide, servicing General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and Honda and has more than 1,500 employees. Since its inception in 1998, Bridgewater Interiors has grossed more than $1 billion in revenues and expanded its enterprise to incorporate a manufacturing firm in Warren, Mich. The company has been named 2011 Industrial/Service Company of the Year by Black Enterprise magazine, which reports the company went from a startup with one customer, to a billion-dollar business with four manufacturing facilities in a little more than a decade. Hall is recognized as founder of the nation’s second largest African American–owned enterprise. In addition, Hall is the president/CEO of Renaissance Capital Alliance, an equipment leasing company, chairman/CEO of New Center Stamping, an automotive service parts stamping facility, and CEO of Departure Travel Management. The former owner of two Bonanza restaurants in Michigan, is best known for turning the Michigan Minority Business Development Council (MMBDC) into one of the premier minority business organizations in the country. Under his leadership, MMBDC’s minority business and corporate membership more than doubled. Hall also was assistant vice president of Minority Business Development for New Detroit, Inc., the nation’s first urban coalition. He plays an active role in business and civic organizations across the State of Michigan, including Business Leaders for Michigan, The Greater Detroit Chamber of Commerce, Booker T. Washington Business Association, National Athletic Amateur Union (AAU) and a host of public and private entities. He also, served as past chairman of Southeastern Michigan Junior Achievement and the American diabetes Association of Michigan. Other past involvement includes Board of 100 black men and St. John’s Hospital of Michigan. Hall earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich., and a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Western Michigan University, where he pledged Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Epsilon Xi chapter, and is an Distinguished Alumni.

Ron Hall Sr., poses with his son, Hall Jr., Vice President and General Counsel. 20

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Dennis Wright

recently retired as vice president of Human Resources at Lenawee Health Alliance in Adrian, Mich., where he served as corporate officer of a seven-facility, 1,400 employee joint operating health alliance. He has more than 30 years experience of being a leader in diverse organizational settings. Wright, one of the founders of WMU’s Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s Epsilon Xi chapter, has experience in all key human resources functions. He has particular strength in labor relations, leadership development, employee empowerment, compensation and benefits plan design, TQM, Human Resources Information Systems, performance management and succession planning. Before his work in Adrian, he served as vice president of Human Resources for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). He was responsible, under the Rail Labor Act, for negotiation of 13 national railroad labor unions involving 26 collective bargaining agreements. He also has served as president of CSI Chicago, Inc. The Flint native was drafted into the U.S. Army during his college years, and served from 1964-66. He graduated from WMU in 1967 with a degree in education, and in 1972 from Cleveland State University with a Masters Degree in Urban Studies.

John Ambrose was appointed Dean of Students at Marygrove College and began managing a $1.7 million dollar departmental budget. A year later he joined Michigan State University as the associate director for Inclusion & Strategic Planning for the office of admissions; a position he still holds today. In this role he has helped MSU successfully expand their exposure across the nation and currently manages a team of 18 who helped bring in the largest class in the history of the university in the fall of 2012 (8,100 freshman students). The Detroit native graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1985 and went on to attend Western Michigan University, where he received his Bachelors of Science degree in printing management (1992). In 2004 he earned his Masters in Education with a concentration in Adult Learning from Marygrove College. He also is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, and an associate minister at Liberty Temple Baptist Church.

Ryan S. Smith began his professional career in 2007 with Macy’s Inc. as a sales manager in both the Detroit, and Chicago markets. He managed more than 200 associates and an annual sales volume of $20 million. He was promoted into the Human Resources field, first as a staffing manager, and then the Administrative Support Team manager in a suburb of Chicago. He currently is a Human Resources consultant with Manpower Group, a global leader in workforce solutions where he supports the Manpower line of business in the Midwest, Southwest and West Coast of the U.S., with responsibilities in Puerto Rico. Smith graduated from The University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 2002 and enrolled at Western Michigan University. In 2006, he received his Bachelors in Business Administration (Human Resource Management) with concentrations in political science and economics.

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The West African griot may be the most valuable person in a village. The griot, usually a male, was the keeper of the village oral history. The treasured storyteller also entertained through poetry, song, and music. Without the griot, much of a village’s history could be forgotten. For more than 20 years, Von Washington Sr., has served as a griot by sharing significant stories of the past as a playwright, actor, director, and producer of the stage. Von Washington Brings History to Life! Washington was recently commissioned to bring Doug’s Smith’s story of the Alpha Phi Alpha Epsilon Xi chapter to life, as part of the fraternity’s 50th anniversary.

21st Century Griot

Washington wants to tell as many stories related to African American history as he can. He wants the stories, and those who lived them, to enrich future generations. He recently retired from WMU as director of the Multicultural Theatre program after more than 20 years. Today, he and his wife, Fran, have dedicated themselves full time to their business, Washington Productions. Together, they go everywhere from classrooms to arenas, bringing the stories of those such as Sojourner Truth, and Rosa Parks, to life. His work has led to him receiving such awards as the States Arts Achievement Award, the Kalamazoo Community Medal of the Arts Award, and a day named for him in Southfield Michigan, among others. He was recently inducted into the WMU School of Communication’s Alumni Academy.

Learn more at:

Portrait on the Spot!

When: 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 Where: Battle Creek Art Center, 265 East Emmett St., Battle Creek For more information on this or other portrait drawing events, call Jerome Washington at 517-630-6246, or visit


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Chemical Bank has been helping families get into the home of their dreams for over 90 years, and is committed to making home ownership a reality. Our Road to Home Program will provide you with a solid foundation of financial skills necessary to own your own home. To learn more about the program or the steps to becoming a homeowner, visit us online or stop by one of our 142 locations.


Meet the Pastor Dr. Michael T. Scott, Sr., - Senior Pastor The Galilee Baptist Church, Kalamazoo Age: 36 Favorite Scripture: “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”Phil. 4:13 Family: Wife: Min. Tamara T. Scott; three children: Trinity M. Scott, 11; Morgan T. Scott, 8; and Michael T. “Brother” Scott II, 5 Hometown: Dover, Delaware Education: Virginia Union University, Richmond, Bachelor of Arts in Religion & Philosophy and the Master of Divinity in 1998 and 2001, respectively. United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio-doctorate in homiletics & leadership Associate of Applied Science degree in Mortuary Science and is a Licensed Mortician in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Prior Ministry Service: 1999-2011- Senior Pastor, Jerusalem Baptist Church of Virginia’s Eastern Shore 1995-1999- Youth Minister, Grayland Baptist Church of Richmond, Vir. 1994-1995- Minister of Music/Organist, Fountain Baptist Church of Richmond, Vir. Author: The Leader Within: Seven Biblical Principles to Personal Leadership Development, Shape-Up: Strategies for Health Awareness through Preaching and Empowerment, and iPray: Maximizing Your Prayer Life in Today’s Busy World. Founder: Michael Thomas Scott Outreach Ministries Organized The Upper Room Church (2005) currently pastored by his mother, Elder Shirley E. Scott-Baker Board Service: Board of Directors for the YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo, The Gryphon Place, and is also president of the Northside Ministerial Alliance (NMA) of Kalamazoo. Fraternity: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Gamma Chapter (1995) (third oldest chapter of the fraternity) Virginia Union University. Mission: Dr. Scott hopes to bring to the Galilee ministry a strong vision of developing Kingdom-minded people to advance the Kingdom of God throughout the world. He hopes to attract young families to the church, strengthen marriages, empower singles, and “reach souls that other folk don’t, won’t deal with,” in addition to making the voice of the NMA as strong as it used to be when formed in the mid-1970s. 24

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DISCOVER DOWNTOWN’S CHEAPEST DATE. Friday Night Highlights Every Friday! October–May 269.373.7990 The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees

MONDAY OCTOBER 8 6:30–8:00 PM Speak with more than 90 college and university representatives 7:00 PM FINANCIAL AID WORKSHOP LOCATED AT Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Texas Township Campus

Michael N. GENERAL

For more information, call 269.488.4100 or visit

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Proof 1 Quarter Pg. 4C COMMUNITY VOICES MAGAZINE This advertisement prepared by Sawyer Miller Advertising 0612 | FALL WK 2012 26 CLIENT: KELLOGG FOUNDATION

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s l o o h c S c i l b u P o o z a m a Kal ! r e h g i h g n i h are reac ent m l l o r n e g n i s i r • 5 years of y r a t n e m e l e g in • 4 years of ris hool test scores and middle sc s l o o h c s d e t c u str • 2 newly con s t n e d u t s f o r mbe u n e h t e l b u o • D t n e m e c a l P d e taking Advanc st 3 years la e h t n i s e s r u o c l a t n e m n o r i v n • LEED Gold E t Prairie Ridge Certification a Elementary ® e s i m o r P o o z • The Kalama

Congratulations on 50 years of producing outstanding community leaders. We’re so proud to count the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha as valued members of the Western Michigan University community.


Community Voices - Fall 2012  

Fall 2012 edition of South West Michigan Community Voices

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