In the early hours on June 16th, attendees of the Southwest Detroit Business Association’s Community Investment Breakfast (CIB) presented by MotorCity Casino Hotel’s Sound Board started filling in. Attendees wasted no time before breakfast was served to take advantage of the many networking opportunities as well as catching up with colleagues and friends. The Mexican Folklorico dancers from the Center of Music & Performing Arts-Southwest (COMPAS) kicked off the event with a lively and colorful performance. Another special addition to this year’s Breakfast was a live auctioning of photographs from local artists Lisa Luevanos and Erik Howard.
As people began to find their seats, a warm welcome was given by the Emcee of the event, Lead Anchor, Fox 2 Detroit WJBK Huel Perkins. After a blessing from Pastor Kevin Casillas, Vice Board Chair Steve Weiner, welcomed the attendees and introduced President Kathy Wendler to give her opening remarks on SDBA’s 60th Anniversary Celebration. She was welcomed by cheers and applause as attendees celebrated Kathy’s last Community Investment Breakfast as President of SDBA.
After recognition to Kathy from the SDBA Board Members, it was time to give out the awards to the honorees. This year’s awards were custom made by The Glass Academy and were molds of storm drain covers with “Detroit” framing the top. This year’s honorees were recognized in three categories: Trailblazer, Spirit of Southwest Detroit, and Legacy Leader. Those were followed by the coveted, Kathy Wendler Award that was given to Carmen Munoz.
The 2017 CIB Trailblazers were Geroge Azar of Flowers of Vietnam, Jason Ghannam of Paul’s Pizza, and Alana Rodriguez of Mama Coo’s Boutique. The Spirit of Southwest Honorees were Charles Danto of Danto’s Furniture and Jim Saucedo of State Farm. The Legacy Leader awards went to Ben Fienman of E&L Supermercado, Sylvia Gucken of Ideal Steel, and Omar Hernandez of Mexicantown Bakery and Armando’s Restaurant.
The Southwest Detroit Business Association would like to thank all those who attended and the wonderful volunteers who helped out. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at the 2018 Community Investment Breakfast.