A Night Of Empowerment At Inaugural ‘Minding My Black-Owned Business’ Event In Detroit | The Michigan Chronicle


  • Andre Ash, Digital Anchor

Real Times Media, Pitch Black, and the Michigan Chronicle, in partnership with the Detroit Regional Chamber, introduced a groundbreaking discussion series, “Minding My Black-Owned Business. The exclusive event was held Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the International Banquet & Conference in downtown Detroit and presented an unforgettable evening of inspiration and empowerment.

“Minding My Black-Owned Business” featured some of Detroit’s most influential business leaders, each with a unique story of accomplishment, triumph, challenge, and success.

“I believe having a succession plan is important,” said Greg Jackson, Chairman, President & CEO of Prestige Automotive Group. A respected figure in the automotive and development industries known for his leadership and commitment to delivering top-quality vehicles and services, Jackson was one of the featured guests and spoke about the importance of building and leaving a legacy.

“You can do well yourself in the generation in which you have your business where you make some money and receive notoriety, but if you don’t leave a legacy, something that carries forward, then you really haven’t built anything.”

Taking care of people ahead of you and not just yourself required a level of planning for the future, just some of the insight and wisdom shared amongst the room of influential Black leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs.

“It’s all about what do we do next. Building on the building block we’ve established and now I’m looking for them to take that foundation and do something greater with it,” Jackson shared.

He’s talking about his children, who now lead his company and stepped up just as he was attempting to sell some of the assets within his holding group.

The inaugural segment, titled “Leveled Up: Storied Accounts of Winning Big in Business,” and the debut of Real Times Media’s Realx Talks in Detroit, offered an authentic, unfiltered dialogue, dynamic discussions, and idea sharing before an invitation-only curated audience of Detroit business executives, entrepreneurs, and go-getters.

“I spent most of my life not self-actualizing as an entrepreneur,” said Sonya Mays, President & CEO of Develop Detroit. “In my head, I guess I always assumed entrepreneurs were born, but I’m a clear example of one that has been built.”

Mays finds humility in being able to share her story and journey from corporate life to business owner. Mays leads Develop Detroit, a mission-focused real estate company, building and renovating apartments along with building houses and commercial facilities with an aim to uplift and invest in Detroit’s neighborhoods. Her team collectively oversees over $250 million in real estate.

“The Detroit Regional Chamber is proud to sponsor the ‘Minding My Black-Owned Business’ series and the valuable platform it will provide for the Black-owned business community,” said Marnita Harris, Vice President of Racial Justice and Economic Equity at the Chamber. “With Detroit’s majority Black population, understanding this critical economic sector’s specific needs will help us better serve the business community and provide equitable opportunities for prosperity and success across the Region.”

Moderated by Nate Wallace, Head of Civic Partnerships at Michigan Central, in addition to Sonya Mays and Greg Jackson, the Realx Talks segment also featured Roderick Hardamon, CEO & Chief Strategist, URGE Imprint: A forward-thinking entrepreneur passionate about leveraging strategic insights to drive success in the creative and branding industry. The segment also welcomed Lisa Lunsford, Co-Founder & CEO of GS3 Global, An accomplished business leader who has demonstrated exceptional expertise in global supply chain solutions and logistics.

“Our passion is to identify, recognize, and celebrate African American achievement and we’ve done that well through our established branded events (Men of Excellence, Women of Excellence, 40 Under 40 Awards),” said Cathy Nedd, President of Real Times Media News Group. “Minding My Black-Owned Business gives us an opportunity to hear from those folks. We get to hear about what made them so great, their philosophy, and some of their passions.”

“Minding My Black-Owned Businesses: Level Up” provided invaluable insights into Detroit’s thriving Black-owned business community and the innovative solutions driving its remarkable success. Part two of the speaker series will take place in the same space on Nov. 29, 2023.

The evening was a perfect blend of networking, live discussions, and the taping of a web series, all aimed at addressing mid-stage and higher Black business challenges while activating groundbreaking solutions to elevate success.

“Minding My Black-Owned Businesses: Level Up” provided invaluable insights into Detroit’s thriving Black-owned business community and the innovative solutions driving its remarkable success.

About Post Author

Andre Ash, Digital Anchor

Digital storyteller, a follower of news, politics, and a lover of music!

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I’m a journalist, serious about the craft, and one who subscribes to a stomach-hurting laugh, often. So yeah, serious, but not too serious.

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