By Sherri Kolade

The 2023 Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence ladies are here.  

The 51 celebrants received their flowers during an Honoree Mixer on Thursday, February 23 at the International Banquet & Conference Center. The exclusive event, for current and former honorees, described as the “fun before the fun” precedes an induction on Wednesday, April 5 at the Motor City Casino & Hotel.  

The Michigan Chronicle endeavors each year to recognize African American women from all walks of life who inspire others via their leadership efforts in Detroit and elsewhere across a variety of career pathways.  

The Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence Awards celebrates local African American women who inspire others through their vision and leadership, exceptional achievements, and participation in community service. Each event attracts nearly 1,100 accomplished influencers, executives, heroines, and decision-makers.  

In 2023, the 16th year, we will induct a new class of honorees who are champions of economic empowerment and diversity, the backbone of religious and educational organizations, and driving forces in politics and community service into the exclusive society of 750-plus professional women who have previously received the distinction of Women of Excellence.  

The 16th annual Women of Excellence Award ceremony in Detroit, a bevy of upstanding women in the community, is the epitome of such leadership.   

The ceremony honors women who balance their many roles as community organizers, executives, business owners, and caretakers – always professionally personifying poise and grace and setting the standard for what success looks like. The ceremony this year will be the third in-return ceremony since COVID-19.  

“There’s a (lot of) very, very, very powerful women in this room and you all need to meet each other. I’m sure it will help you in your journey,” Cathy Nedd, president of the Real Times Media News Group, said during the event. We are so glad to have you.”  

Former WOE honorees nominate the current class, which is then selected at a later date.  

Denise Williams, vice president, HR Business Partner Sr. Huntington National Bank, told the Michigan Chronicle that she was “very surprised” because she simply goes about her business doing the work.  

“I don’t see myself in that light. … I just do my job,” the longtime leader said. “You know, you look at all these amazing women and what they’ve done and their backgrounds. … But what was more humbling though, is somebody else saw that light.”  

Williams said that she works with a servant’s heart.  

“I believe that is what I was put on this earth for. I believe that’s what God has called me to do,” she said adding that being authentic goes a long way. “Be bold, be confident. And no matter what everybody else is saying what everybody else is doing. Be yourself. Make sure that you’re honoring yourself (while) you’re serving others.”  

Michelle White, senior managing director of Educator Development & Strategic Initiatives for Teach for America Detroit told the Michigan Chronicle during the event that as a 25-year-plus educator, most of her career has been spent here in the city of Detroit, after getting her start in Brooklyn, New York.   

White, a previous principal, teacher, and “all things education” said that she too aspires to improve the lives of others.  

“Something I’ve done in my entire career is ensuring that I’m helping other particularly young Black women go into leadership,” White said. “It’s really important to me to empower young people to be an example for them. “  

White defines a woman of excellence as someone persistent in doing all that can to improve herself and the conditions for others.   

“And just always having a spirit of gratitude for the opportunity,” she said.  

Tati Amare, co-host, LIVE In The D, WDIV-Local 4, knows about gratitude. During the event she spoke about how being recognized means the world to her.  

“To say that I’m honored is an understatement. It really is. It really is. I was just overwhelmed thinking of the history and legacy of the Michigan Chronicle to be recognized by such an esteemed publication as a Black woman that just feels incredible,” Amare said.   

Amare added that getting to where she is today took “tremendous perseverance” and “scratching” her way out to get to where she is now.   

“A lot of sacrifices, hard work,” she said. “When I look back, that entire journey … nothing was wasted.” 

Sherri Kolade, Author at The Michigan Chronicle

This article is republished from Michigan Chronicle under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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