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Blair Evans

Blair Evans is the founder of Incite Focus, a "platform for community production," which demonstrates the revolutionary potential of applying permaculture principles in the context of Detroit's DIY maker culture.

Larry Simmons

Rev. Larry Simmons is the pastor at Baber Memorial A.M.E., a church in Brightmoor of about 112 congregants. 

Julia Putnam

Julia Putnam is the principal of the James And Grace Lee Boggs School, a school that takes a place-based approach to learning with the ultimate focus being the community surrounding the school.

Janet Jones

Janet Jones is the owner of Source Booksellers, an independent bookstore in Midtown that specializes in niche nonfiction titles. 

Frank McGhee

Frank McGhee is the Director of Neighborhood Service Organization's Youth Initiatives Project (NSO YIP), a youth leadership and advocacy training program focused on the prevention of violence and substance abuse.

Zana Smith

Zana Smith is the owner of Spectacles, selling fashionable and casual clothes with an edge along with accessories, books, and records in downtown Detroit. 

Tom Goddeeris

Tom Goddeeris is the executive director of the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation, a nonprofit, community-based organization working to preserve and improve the Grandmont Rosedale Neighborhoods of northwest Detroit.

Karen Brown

Karen Brown is the owner of Savvy Chic, a retail store that carries all the latest trends in fashion and furniture, located in Eastern Market. 

Thom and Diane Linn

Thom and Diane Linn are lifelong Detroiters and advocates for the city. They are also the proud parents of Andy, Emily, and Rob Linn, who are each following in their parents' footsteps to help build a better Detroit. 

Marsha Battle Philpot

Marsha Music, whose given name is Marsha Battle Philpot, is a writer, community organizer, and lifelong Detroit who has ideas on how Detroiters young and old, new and returning and never left, can work together to shape "new Detroit." 

Olayami Dabls

Olayami Dabls is the owner of the MBAD African Bead Museum, a major repository for African artifacts including sculptures, textiles, pottery, and bead works dating back hundreds of years, from countless cultures throughout Africa.

George N'Namdi

George N'Namdi is the founder of the N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enlightenment through the arts. He is one of the nation's leading art dealers, with some 30 years experience as a gallery owner.

Dell & Sharon Pryor

Mother and daughter Dell and Sharon Pryor, among Detroit's earliest art and cultural ambassadors, are the owners of Del Pryor Gallery and Tulani Rose, longtime art institutions located in Midtown.

John Corvino

John Corvino is a philosophy professor at Wayne State University and is probably best known as "The Gay Moralist" for his tireless work in marriage equality and other same sex social issues.

Antonio Cosme

Antonio Cosme is a young artist, activist, and social organizer in Southwest Detroit. He co-founded the Raiz Up, a neighborhood collective of Southwest Detroit residents using hip hop as a tool to create social awareness in their community through community dialog, artistic creation and collective action.

Michelle Srbinovich

Michelle Srbinovich is the Interim General Manager and Digital Director at WDET and co-founder of Girl Develop it Detroit. Girl Develop It empowers women of diverse backgrounds to learn how to develop software. GDI Detroit offers classes and events for female developers and women in the Metro Detroit region who want to learn code.

Joe Gaglio

Joe Gaglio is a principal in risk advisory practice for Deloitte, as well as a passionate social activist closely involved with at leads half a dozen area nonprofits working together for a better Detroit. If you're looking for the line that connects all the various dots of Detroit innovation, it's Joe Gaglio. 

Rashida Tlaib

Rashida Tlaib is a departing State Representative for Michigan's 6th Congressional District, the first Muslim woman to be elected to the state Legislature in Michigan, and only the second to have done so nationally. Recently she also helped secure funding for the Southwest Detroit Community Justice Center.

Veronika Scott

Veronika Scott is the founder of The Empowerment Plan, a humanitarian project to make and deliver coats that are self-heated, waterproof, and transform into sleeping bags at night for people living on the streets.

Devita Davison

Devita Davison is the Community Kitchen Coordinator of Detroit Kitchen Connect, a network of co-working spaces for the city's food entrepreneurs.

Clement Brown, Jr.

Clement Brown, Jr. is the owner of  FAME Shop, a community impact workshop that offers personal branding courses in the areas of fashion, art, music, and entertainment. 

Ryan Myers-Johnson

Ryan Myers-Johnson is the founder of Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts, an annual platform that allowed emerging experimental and alternative artists in Detroit to showcase their work in full view of the public.

Michael Evans

Michael Evans developed the 'blexting' app for Loveland Technologies and their Motor City Mapping project. He also teaches programming courses at Grand Circus and has his web-based technology show PishPosh.TV

Mark Covington

Mark Covington is the Founder and President of the Georgia Street Community Collective, a nonprofit organization located on Detroit's Eastside that reduces blight, addresses food security issues, and builds community through urban farming.

Sebastian Jackson

Sebastian Jackson is the owner of Social Club Grooming Co., which provides environmentally friendly grooming services as well as health and beauty education to the metropolitan Detroit community through socially responsible practices.

Amy Elliott Bragg

Amy Elliott Bragg is president of Preservation Detroit, co-founder of the Detroit Drunken Historical Society, author of the book Hidden History of Detroit, founder of the Night Train (a local history blog), tour guide and all-around Detroit history aficionado.

Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert

Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert are the founders of Power House Productions, what started as a somewhat experimental community-development-slash-art project and has evolved into a catalyst for neighborhood development and a cornerstone of the burgeoning "Banglatown" arts community of national renown. 

Jeff Aronoff

Jeff Aronoff is the Executive Director of D:hive, a nonproft that has served as a sort of all-encompassing welcome point for anyone looking to live, work, learn about or do business in Detroit.

Satori Shakoor

Satori Shakoor is the founder of The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers, a monthly storytelling series held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Greg Holman

Greg Holman is Data and Assets Manager of the Detroit Land Bank Authority, analyzing available data, allocating resources, and orchestrating the massive undertaking of ridding Detroit of thousands of blighted residential structures by April 2015.

Anna Clark

Anna Clark is the editor of A Detroit Anthology and a founding member of Literary Detroit, an organization whose mission is to cultivate the city's literary community.

Chad Dickinson

Chad Dickinson is the owner of sustainable furniture company Dickinson by Design and Detroit property and business development company, I'm Here.

Afa Dworkin

Afa Dworkin is the Executive and Artistic Director of the Sphinx Organization, a nonprofit organization that seeks to transform lives through the power of diversity in the arts.


Sintex is a Detroit artist known for his graffiti work, and co-founder of transformative art project Grand River Creative Corridor

Maggie DeSantis

Maggie DeSantis is Executive Director of the Warren/Conner Development Coalition, the first modern community development group to service Detroit's Lower Eastside. 

Curtis Lipscomb

Curtis Lipscomb is Executive Director and founder of KICK!, an organization which supports and advocates for African American gays and lesbians.

Tatiana Grant

Tatiana Grant is the owner of Infused PR, a metro Detroit public/media relations and event planning company that counts Mayor Mike Duggan among their clients. 

Nicholas Mukhtar

Nicholas Mukhtar is the co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit Healthy Detroit, a nonprofit public health organization dedicated to building a culture of healthy, active living in the city of Detroit.

Chad Rochkind

Chad Rochkind is the Executive Director of Urban Social Assembly, which works to empower entrepreneurs and social innovators in the city of Detroit.

Barbara Barefield

Barbara Barefield, along with her husband Spencer, is one of the driving forces behind community engagement efforts in the historic Palmer Woods neighborhood, having launched the Palmer Woods Music in Homes concert series and being in a leadership role with the prominent community organization People for Palmer Park,

Justin Mast

Justin Mast is the co-founder of Practice Space, a multi-purpose company that provides physical space, resources, networking opportunities, and guidance to entrepreneurs who aren’t fully prepared to go at it alone just yet.

Jenny Lee

Jenny Lee is the Executive Director of Allied Media Projects, the host organization of the Allied Media Conference, a collaborative laboratory of media-based organizing strategies for transforming our world, held every summer in Detroit.

Jeff Klein

Jeff Klein is the co-owner of Detroit Farm and Garden, a retail store in Southwest Detroit that provides quality gardening, farming and landscape resources to Detroit’s communities.

Pashon Murray

Pashon Murray is the owner and co-founder of composting business Detroit Dirt, which takes food scraps from restaurants, corporate cafeterias, and even animal feces from the Detroit Zoo and composts it all into nutrient-rich dirt. She is also the star of that one Ford commercial.

Ned Staebler

Ned Staebler is Vice President of Economic Development at Wayne State University, and has been one of the most significant driving forces behind Midtown's rapid redevelopment. 

Graem Whyte and Faina Lerman

Graem Whyte and Faina Lerman are the founders of Popps Packing, a home, studio, and experimental arts venue aimed at promoting dialogue and cultural exchange between the local, national and international communities through exhibitions, performances, workshops and artist residencies.

Tom Derry

Tom Derry is the driving force behind Navin Field Grounds Crew, a volunteer organization that maintains the historic ballfield at Michigan and Trumbull. 

April Boyle

April Boyle is the Director of Small Business Initiatives at D:hive, where small-time entrepreneurs can find the resources they need to get started.

Chris Blauvelt

Chris Blauvelt is the founder of Patronicity, a Detroit-based crowdfunding platform that tailors its platform to local and civic-minded endeavors.

Veronica Grandison and Leah Johnson

Veronica Grandison and Leah Johnson are the co-founders of ColorBlind Magazine, an e-zine that centers on women and minorities, providing stories that encourage cultural awareness and raise pride among minority groups.

Shawn Blanchard

Shawn Blanchard is co-founder of Networkingout, a Detroit-based fitness and social organization with the goal of creating and strengthening communities of professionals committed to living healthier lifestyles through collaborative effort, fitness, education and information sharing. 

Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan is the coordinator of the Social Innovation Lab for the Institute for Population Health (IPH), a nonprofit social enterprise that promotes health and wellness among residents of Detroit by providing health services and conducting research that is intended to inform policy.

Todd Scott

Todd Scott is the Detroit Greenways Coordinator for the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, a nonprofit organization that fosters and facilitates the creation of an interconnected statewide system of trails and greenways for recreation, health, transportation, economic development and environmental/cultural preservation purposes.

Piper Carter

Piper Carter is a partner in 5e Gallery, an alternative multidisciplinary arts organization that presents and supports contemporary artists and their work, facilitates the creation of new work, and creatively engages, builds, and informs audiences and communities. 

Mike Ferlito

Mike Ferlito of the Ferlito Group has led two new communtiy- and liveability-minded developments in the past year, Bamboo Detroit in Brush Park and Anytime Fitness downtown.

Kelly Guillory

Kelly Guillory is a Detroit-based comic book artist who has released Blood Money: The Road to Detroit through her own publishing company, Ashur Collective.

Tyson Gersh

Tyson Gersh is co-founder of Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, a nonprofit organization that seeks to engage members of the Michigan community in sustainable agriculture.

Fiona Ruddy

Fiona Ruddy is Eastern Market's Director of Food Access, and is shepherding new ideas at the old market. 

Jacob Corvidae

Jacob Corvidae is interim executive director of EcoWorks (formerly WARM Training Center), a Detroit-based nonprofit organization that aims at creating a more sustainable community - in more ways than one. 

Yisrael Pinson

Rabbi Yisrael Pinson is leading Detroit's first Chabad House, a center for metro Detroit's Jewish population in Midtown. 

Kalia Keith

Kalia Keith is the Community Arts Development Coordinator at Community + Public Arts: Detroit (C+PAD), a program of the College for Creative Studies that brings Detroiters and artists together to create community-driven public art projects in neighborhoods across the city.

Andrea Perkins

Andrea Perkins is the Community Engagement Manager of Benevolent Detroit, a philanthropic crowd-funding website that spotlights low-income individuals by placing their stories online, listing what they need, why they need it, and how much it will cost to get it, then connecting nonprofits, their clients, and small donors who want to give to others. 

Courtney Hurtt

Courtney Hurtt is the co-founder of Detroit Grams, a digital magazine that tells the stories of everyday Detroiters through words and images.

Abir Ali and Andre Sandifer

Abir Ali and Andre Sandifer are the owners and crafters behind acclaimed hand-made furniture house Ali Sandifer Studio.

Francis Grunow

Francis Grunow has been a Detroit advocate since long before being a Detroit advocate was trendy or cool. He helped form Detroit Synergy, was a driving force behind Declare Detroit, and most recently formed the Corridors Alliance. But his trendiest and coolest effort to date has been the revival of the Marche du Nain Rouge, the annual parade driving out the red dwarf that torments Detroit in the Cass Corridor's answer to Mardi Gras. 

Bradford Frost

Bradford Frost has been behind the transformation of the DIA's Kresge Court into the Cultural Living Room, the amateur photography exhibition Reveal Your Detroit held at the DIA, and is now director of the Detroit Corridor Initiative, an organization that aims to take the work they accomplished in the Woodward corridor as the Woodward Corridor Initiative and spread it to other parts of the city.

James Feagin

James Feagin is the co-founder of Imagine Detroit Together, a grassroots community group that seeks to bridge the gap between Old and New Detroit. 

Linzie Venegas

Linzie Venegas is chief marketing officer and business unit manager for Ideal Shield, a subsidiary company of Southwest Detroit-based, family-owned, and community-oriented Ideal Group

Anne Duncan

Anne Duncan is the founder of The DAD Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which provides all types of advocacy and social services for the deaf and hard of hearing community. 

Alessandra Carreon

Alessandra Carreon is a co-founder of Better Block Detroit, an effort to raise awareness of complete streets, placemaking methods, and the potential for healthy, vibrant neighborhoods in the city.

Vittoria Katanski

Vittoria Katanski is the Executive Director of Hatch Detroit, a small business grant contest that gives others the opportunity to have a role in the redevelopment of Detroit.

Steve Tobocman

Steve Tobocman is the founder of New Solutions Group LLC, a for-profit public policy consulting business.

Jenny Feterovich

Jenny Feterovitch is an internationally-known DJ, a film and television producer, and will soon open her own ftiness studio in Corktown. She's definitely never bored.

Damien Rocchi

Damien Rocchi is co-founder of Grand Circus, a new company that aims to increase the size of Detroit's technology industry by addressing a dearth of tech talent in the city through classes, workshops and networking opportunities.

Khalilah Gaston

Khalilah Gaston is the Executive Director of Vanguard Community Development Coporation. The Vanguard mission is to facilitate the revitalization of the physical, social, and economic fabric of the North End and to increase expectations and expand the possibilities envisioned for the neighborhood after decades of disinvestment.

Paul Savage

Paul Savage is CEO of Nextek Power Systems, which makes and sells DC microgrid systems.

Dan Pitera

Dan Pitera is the director of The Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC), a multi-disciplinary, nonprofit architecture and urban design firm at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture dedicated to creating sustainable spaces and communities through quality design and the collaborative process.

Jay Rayford

Jay Rayford is the co-founder of Social Sushi Detroit, a unique social catering company created to impact Detroit by way of fundraising and networking events.

Jeanette Pierce

Jeanette Pierce is the co-founder of and Director of Community Relations for D:hive, a major access point for information, contacts, and connections about things happening the city.

Raquel Castaneda-Lopez

Raquel Castaneda-Lopez is the first person ever to represent District Six on Detroit City Council, and she is the first Latina ever elected to Detroit City Council.

Leslie Smith

Leslie Smith is President and CEO of TechTown, Detroit’s business growth center.

Sarida Scott Montgomery

Sarida Scott Montgomery is the Executive Director of Community Development Advocates of Detroit, the trade association for community development and neighborhood improvement organizations, working to support them through technical assistance, information, public policy advocacy and capacity building.

Jon Koller

Jon Koller is president of Friends of Spaulding Court, a historic twenty unit North Corktown complex that is transforming into a community asset. 

Steve Kahn

Steve Kahn is the founder of WSU's Math Corps, which stands on the belief that all children have a unique and special greatness within them, and that through hard work, a commitment to excellence, and a dedication to learning, combined with the support of a caring community, this greatness can be realized. It is the mission of the WSU Math Corps, using Mathematics as its tool, to help as many children in Detroit as possible realize their own particular greatness.

Asia Newson

Asia Newson is Detroit’s Youngest Entrepreneur, making and selling candles under the name Super Business Girl

Joe Rashid

Joe Rashid is the Outreach Director for Restore the 'Moor, a community-driven plan that is being developed by and for community members in Brightmoor.

Rachel Lutz

Rachel Lutz is the owner of Peacock Room, a women's apparel and accessory boutique, and Emerald, a gift shop and men's haberdashery, both inside the Park Shelton in Midtown.

Riet Schumack

Riet Schumack is one of the co-founders of Neighbors Building Brightmoor, a non-profit organization composed of a group of neighbors "dedicated to mobilizing, equipping, and helping each other to create a beautiful, healthy and sustainable community for ourselves and our children."

Kyle Smitley

Kyle Smitley is the founder and Executive Director of the Detroit Achievement Academy, a brand-new nonprofit charter school in Grandmont-Rosedale.

Kurt Spieles

Kurt Spieles is the owner of Spielhaus Toys, a 2013 Hatch Detroit finalist now popping up on Woodward through the holidays with sights set on a permanent location in the future. 

Susan Mosey

Susan Mosey is President of Midtown Detroit Inc., the neighborhood development organization that has been working on revitalizing the former "Cass Corridor" and "Culutral Center" since 1976. 

Ritchie Harrison

Ritchie Harrison is the Economic Development Director for Jefferson East, Inc., a development organization that focuses on the revitalization of neighborhoods along the East Jefferson corridor.

Amy Peterson

Amy Peterson is co-founder of Rebel Nell, a jewelry company with a purpose: one that will hire disadvantaged women in the city, train them how to make the already-popular jewelry line, and help them transition from a life of dependence into one of self-reliance and self-empowerment.

Greg Willerer

Greg Willerer is the owner of Brother Nature Produce, a successful urban farm in Corktown. 

Elias Khalil

Elias Khalil is the co-owner of La Feria, an authentic Spanish tapas restaurant opening soon in Midtown. 

Lauren Hood

Lauren Hood is the co-founder of Deep Dive Detroit, an organization that aims to create a safe space for uncomfortable conversations between disparate groups.

Wytrice Harris

Wytrice Harris is the Network Coordinator at the newly formed Osborn College Access Network (OCAN), with the mission of dramatically increasing the college awareness, admission and completion rates in the Osborn community among students and adults.

Timothy Bryan

Timothy Bryan made national headlines when he opened up a location of his corporation GalaxE.Solutions in downtown Detroit. An outsider, Bryan has embraced his role as corporate citizen.

Kirsten Ussery Boyd and Erika Boyd

Kirsten Ussery Boyd and Erika Boyd are the owners and chefs of Detroit Vegan Soul, Detroit's only 100% plant-based foods restaurant which aims to promote healthful eating in the community. 

Charlie Wollborg

Charlie Wollborg is executive producer and curator of the annual TEDxDetroit conference, a daylong conference featuring engaging talks around technology, entertainment and design.

Nadir Omowale

Nadir Omowale is a musician, owner of record label Distorted Soul, and co-founder of DetroitMusic.TV, an ever-expanding website that hosts the area's best music videos.

Le'Ticia Fisher

Le'Ticia Fisher is the founder of PHAT Magazinethe world's first pro-curve online and on-demand print fashion magazine.

Andrea Scobie

Andrea Scobie is the Director of Education at the Matrix Theatre Company in Southwest Detroit, which uses the transformative power of theatre to change lives, build community, and foster social justice.

Erika Carlson

Erika Carlson is co-founder of the Detroit chapter of Girl Develop It, an international organization dedicated to providing affordable programs for teaching women to learn how to code.

Marcell Copeland

Marcell Copeland is a dispatcher and office administrator for the MAN Network, collaborative effort of Churches in the Osborn community (Detroit North East) to create a network of men that will take a responsible role in the community to provide safety, structure, and support.

Monica Bowman

Monica Bowman is the founder of the contemporary art gallery the Butcher’s Daughter in Midtown. 

Yodit Mesfin-Johnson

Yodit Mesfin-Johnson is the founder of Lips & Hips, a forum for real talk led by REAL women; a place to DREAM. PLAN. and DO.

Randall Fogelman

Randall Fogelman is the Vice President of Business Development at Eastern Market Corporation, the nonprofit organization that manages the historic Eastern Market district, and owner of Detroit Spice Co

Kate Daughdrill

Kate Daughdrill is the founder of Burnside Farm just north of Hamtramck, a place where art and agriculture intersect. 

Ingrid LaFleur

Ingrid LaFleur is the owner of Maison LaFleur, an art space with the goal of providing access to and enhancing the experience of contemporary art.

Flaco Shalom

Flaco Shalom is the founder of Untitled Bottega, an art gallery and performance space with a policy of saying "yes."  

Rick Sperling

Rick Sperling founded the Mosaic Youth Theatre in 1992 after two years of visiting Detroit and Pontiac schoolchildren.

Jesse Cory and Dan Armand

Jesse Cory and Dan Armand are the founders of 1xRUN, an e-commerce company specializing in limited edition time-released prints from international artists, and Inner State Gallery, a fine art gallery on the edge of Eastern Market.

Shaka Senghor

Shaka Senghor is an author, activist, and mentor. His current project called the Atonement Project is a partnership between Senghor, The University of Michigan, Theater Department and MIT Media Lab.

Ralph Taylor

Ralph Taylor is the owner of Caribbean Mardi Gras Productions, designing elaborate, meticuliusly-detailed Trinidadian Carnival-styled costumes for balls and parades all over the world. 

Amanda Uhle

Amanda Uhle is the Executive Director of 826michigan, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students aged 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

Elizabeth Garlow

Elizabeth Garlow is the Executive Director of Michigan Corps, an organization that  connects michigan citizens globally to opportunities to help advance social innovation in the state.

Shamyle Nesfield

Shamyle Nesfield is the Interim CEO of Michigan Community Resources, which provides the legal, policy, education, outreach, planning and technical skills and resources community-based organizations and low-income communities need to revitalize and thrive.

Joel Peterson

Joel Peterson is the co-founder of Trinosophes, a cafe, performance venue, and art gallery that is constantly evolving.

Kevin Krease and Garret Koehler

Detroiters Kevin Krease and Garret Koehler have taken a bid for bringing the X Games to Detroit into the final round.

Audra Carson

Audra Carson is the founder of De-Tread, which provides solutions to tire blight with the result being clean, healthy and safe neighborhoods.

Kami Pothukuchi

Kami Pothukuchi is an Associate Professor of urban planning at Wayne State, founder of SEED Wayne, and director of the Wayne State Farmers Market. 

Monica and Adrienne Wheat

Monica and Adrienne Wheat are the Co-Founders of Digerati Girls, a nonprofit organization that  creates connections, programs, and experiential opportunities to increase the number of women and young girls in digital entrepreneurship and digital marketing careers. Read their full profile here.

Steve Nawara

Steve Nawara is founder of Beehive Recording Company, a nontraditional music label that records artists for free and provides free mp3 downloads of all music recorded to the public.

Monty Luke

Monty Luke is a DJ, producer, record label executive, and owner of small boutique label, Black Catalogue.

John Notarianni

John Notarianni is a band member and sometime leader of Detroit Party Marching Band, a guerilla street band. 

Cecelia Sharpe

Cecelia Sharpe is the founder of Urban Stringz II Youth Ensemble, a strong youth ensemble that develops and enhances students' musical talents and abilities in addition to exposing them to our culturally rich and diverse society.

Camilo Pardo

Camilo Pardo is an industrial designer, artist, and founder of Art & Development, a working studio and gallery located in the Bankle Building. 

Toby Barlow

Toby Barlow is Creative Director at Team Detroit, Ford Motor Company’s agency of record; co-owner of Nora, the Midtown design-focused retailer; co-owner of soon-to-open Corktown restaurant Gold Cash Gold; co-founder of Write-A-House, a Detroit writing residency program; and co-founder of Signal-Return, a traditional letter press design and print shop in Eastern Market. He has vision for Detroit he wants others to see.

Jim Geary

Jim Geary is the owner of the Woodbridge Pub, a neighborhood bar that serves affordable, hand-made food and serves as a community hub. 

Jennifer and Espy Thomas

Jennifer and Espy Thomas own Sweet Potato Sensations, a bakery that has been operating for 26 years and is now in its second generation of family owners on Detroit's Northwest side. To read their full profile, click here.

Erik Nordin

Erik Nordin, along with his brother Israel, is the co-owner and artist behind Detroit Design Center, a company of artists that create exquisite furniture pieces, accessories, sculptures, lights and more.

Hajj Flemings

Hajj Flemings is a businessman and entrepreneur. Among the various start-ups he has launched is Brand Camp University, a multi-faceted resource program that assists small business owners. 

Jerry Paffendorf

Jerry Paffendorf is co-founder of LOVELAND Technologies, a software company that does interactive city mapping and crowd sourcing.

Sean Emery

Sean Emery is one of the co-founders of Mindfield, a creative media company that specializes in video, shooting, editorial, motion design, 3-D, interactive, and mobile. For more about Mindfield, read their profile here.

Matthew Bode

Matthew Bode is the pastor at Spirit of Hope, a multidenominational congregation in Corktown.

Jason Hall

Jason Hall is one of the founders and organizers of Detroit Bike City, an annual expo held at COBO Center that gathers bicycle riders, makers, enthusiasts and tinkerers to explore all things cycling.

Nefertiti Harris

Nefertiti is the proprietor of Textures by Nefertiti, a full-service natural hair salon and spa, and the soon-to-open Tarot & Tea in West Village.

Barry Randolph

Barry Randolph is the pastor at Church of the Messiah, an open-door church that accepts everyone. 

Meghan McEwen

Meghan McEwen is the owner of Honor & Folly, a quaint two-bedroom bed and breakfast perched above Slows BBQ, in the unassumingly trendy Corktown neighborhood.

Alicia George

Alicia George is the owner of The Motor City Java House, a local coffee shop that anchors the redevelopment happening in Old Redford on Detroit's northwest side. 

Alok Sharma

Alok Sharma is the founder of Sharma Analytics, providing smart data collection and analysis services that connect information to relevant human stories. He also founded the technology-driven community projects Detroit Startup Drinks and Pain Pitch.

Sarah Lapinski

Sarah Lapinski is the owner of Motor City Sewing & Design, a commercial, residential, experimental, and wearable art company.

Torya Blanchard

Torya Blanchard is the owner of popular restaurants Rodin and Good Girls go to Paris Crepes in Midtown, and is a "serial entrepreneur" who is not afraid to take risks.

Tawnya Clark

Tawnya Clark is owner and operator of The Batata Shop, a small artisan food business that specializes in comfort foods made with sweet potatoes including waffles, pancakes, biscuits and more. 

Noam Kimelman

Noam Kimelman is co-founder of Fresh Corner Cafe, which brings fresh, healthy and nutritious foods to corner stores and gas stations throughout the city of Detroit. 

Michael Davis

Michael Davis is a co-founder of Hamtown Farms, a paw-paw farm in the city of Hamtramck.

Sharlonda Buckman

Sharlonda Buckman is the Executive Director of the Detroit Parent Network, a professional parent organizaiton that serves as a voice and advocate for children.

Leor Barak

Leor Barak is the primary driving force behind the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, which has a mission to connect people, Jew and non-Jew alike, to each other and to the city.

Ann Perrault

Ann Perrault is co-owner of Avalon Bakery, a hand-crafted baked goods business that emphasizes triple bottom line practice with the motto of "Eat Well, Do Good."

Rufus Bartell

Rufus Bartell is the owner of Simply Casual Clothing, a men's and women's boutique clothing store located on the historic Avenue of Fashion.

Brian Hurttienne

Brian Hurttienne is the Executive Director of The Villages CDC, a nonprofit community organization promoting stable community through business growth, housing stability, quality of life improvements and healthy lifestyles in The Villages of Detroit.

Joe Posch

Joe Posch is the owner of HUGH, Detroit's first pop-up retail store and the first-ever winner of Hatch Detroit, which recently opened in its permanent location inside of the Auburn Building in Midtown.

Eric Giles

Eric Giles is the owner and Executive Chef of The Sunday Dinner Company, a Southern comfort food-style restaurant in the East Jefferson corridor that is more social enterprise than mere restaurant.

Brad Whitaker

Brad Whitaker is the Chief Operating Officer of Alternatives for Girls, a multi-service agency that provides shelter as well as outreach and prevention programs to homeless, pregnant, and at-risk young women.

Shea Howell

Shea Howell is a founding member and board member of the Boggs Center, a space to nurture the development of visionary organizing rooted in place and history.

Liz Blondy

Liz Blondy is the owner of Canine To Five, a pet care facility located on Cass Avenue offering dog day care, grooming and cage-free attended overnight boarding. She is also one of the founders of Open City, a small business speaker series-cum-support group launched by Detroit-based independent merchants with the mission of assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs with education, insight and guidance. 

Jessica Care Moore

Jessica Care Moore is the founder of Black Women Rock! (BWR), an annual weekend-long cultural concert featuring female musicians of color.

Ajooni Sethi

Ajooni Sethi is the Community Engagement Manager for Wedge Detroit, a design firm which seeks to use design to add value to the already present infrastructure in the city. 

Adriel Thornton

Adriel Thornton is the owner of Fresh Media Group, which operates FreshCorp (an event production company specializing in electronic, hip hop and indie music events) and Wink Detroit (which creates experiences that promote queer culture in Detroit).

Dan Scarsella

Dan Scarsella is the owner of local brewery and pizzeria Motor City Brewing Works and also a founding member of People for Palmer Park, a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing the historic 296-acre urban park.

Wayne Ramocan

Wayne Ramocan is the Program Coordinator at the Osborn Neighborhood Alliance (ONA), part of The Skillman Good Neighborhoods Initiative which seeks to create neighborhoods where kids are safe, healthy, well-educated and prepared for adulthood.

Nick Gorga

Nick Gorga is Co-Founder of Hatch Detroit, an annual contest that awards $50,000 in start-up capital and additional support services to a winning business idea for a storefront retail operation in the city.

Grant Lancaster

Grant Lancaster is owner of City Wings Detroit, a slick restaurant in New Center where the food is made fresh using high-quality ingredients and where excellent customer service is emphasized. If cleanliness is next to godliness, City Wings is the Pantheon of wing joints. 

Ron Lee

Ronald Lee is a hip-hop producer and youth counselor, two widely varying professions he draws upon in equal turn as program coordinator of faith-based youth mentoring organization The Yuinon.

Kelli Kavanaugh

Kelli Kavanaugh is co-director of the 5,000-person-and-growing annual bike ride Tour de Troit (TdT), as well as co-owner of of retail bicycle shop Wheelhouse Detroit. She believes that non-motorized transportation is the future of the Motor City.

Mohammed Islam

Mohammed Islam is the owner of PLAN Engineering and Construction LLC and Halal Live Chicken, both in Hamtramck. Both businesses -- the former, a contracting company; the latter, a halal poultry slaughter facility and store -- serve the prominent Muslim and South Asian communities that call Hamtramck home.

Dan Varner

Dan Varner is the CEO of Excellent Schools Detroit, a coalition of various private and public entities committed to significantly impacting the success rate of Detroit Public Schools.

John Cummings

John Cummings is the pastor of Southwest Detroit's GRACE IN ACTION (GRACE), a Southwest Detroit-based Christian faith community working to engage youth and organize residents around key issues. 

Ben Falik

Ben Falik is co-founder of Summer In The City (SITC), a nonprofit volunteering and service organization that mobilizes volunteers around three initiative areas: paint, plant and play. 

Soh Suzuki

Soh Suzuki is the co-founder of The Detroit Asian Youth (DAY) Project, which educates youth about national and local Asian-American history using community projects and conversation to help them understand the connection between their heritage and the larger Detroit.

Nakesha Woods

Nakesha Woods and her sister Natrina Groce are the co-founders of Sisters Inspiring Sisters (SIS), which works with female high school students in the city of Detroit, offering them mentoring sessions in key life skill areas from relationships and domestic violence to college preparation and conflict resolution.

Rebecca Salminen Witt

Rebecca Salminen Witt is the President of The Greening of Detroit, a nonprofit whose mission is to guide and inspire others to create a greener Detroit through planting and educational programs, environmental leadership, advocacy, and community capacity-building.

Mary K Bazzi

Mary K Bazzi is the artist behind the Detroit Wallpaper Company, an exploration of art beyond the canvas, realized through murals on urban surfaces in public spaces.

Shayne O'Keefe

Shayne O'Keefe is owner of Hot Spokes, a lunch delivery service serving greater downtown Detroit by bicycle, and shop manager at The Hub of Detroit. He is also a musician and part owner of local record label Woodbridge Records.

Malik Yakini

Malik Yakini is the Executive Director and founding member of D-Town Farm and the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, a group of individuals and organizations dedicated to building food security and advocating for food justice for Detroit’s majority African-American community.

Vanita Mistry

Vanita Mistry is the founder of Detroit GreenCycle, a curbside recycling and compost pick-up service. For a nominal monthly fee, GreenCycle collects recycling from residents and businesses in the greater downtown area by bicycle, delivering recyclables to Recycle Here and compost to local gardens.

Carlo Sweeney

Carlo (Khali) Sweeney is the founder of Downtown Boxing Gym. The Gym's youth program is committed to enhancing the lives of young Detroit men and women through physical training, academic tutoring and counseling, and community service opportunities.

Lisa Luevanos

Lisa Luevanos is an artist, teacher and officer of CLAVE (Community of Latino Artists, Visionaries and Educators). Founded in Southwest Detroit in 2008 to continue the work of Casa de Unidad, the organization advocates for cultural appreciation, using art to create community unity.

Sandra Yu

Sandra Yu is a program manager at Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ) coordinating green training programs and advocating for local capacity building. She is also a co-founder of Declare Detroit and the Detroit Facilitation Guild.

Charlie Cavell

Charlie Cavell is the founder of the Pay it Forward Initiative, a nonprofit that provides employment opportunities and job training to jobless Detroiters ages 18 to 24.

Kirk Mayes

Kirk Mayes is the director of the Brightmoor Alliance, a coalition of organizations dedicated to delivering social services to the Brightmoor community in Northwest Detroit. He is also a drafter of the Detroit Declaration, a member of the B.I.N.G. Institute Roundtable and a player on the Detroit City Futbol League's champion team.

Jordi Carbonell

Jordi Carbonell is the owner of Café Con Leche, a café in Southwest Detroit. The business was founded on the belief that strong communities need a central gathering place that reflects the diversity of the neighborhood.

Delphia Simmons

Delphia Simmons is the Founder of Thrive Detroit, a social venture offering vulnerably-housed citizens opportunities to launch micro-entrepreneurial projects.

Yusef Shakur

Yusef Bunchy Shakur is the founder of the Urban Network, a multi-purpose, community-centered business consisting of a bookstore, an entertainment company, and a publishing outfit. 

Bobby Smith

Bobby Smith is the Founder & CEO of En Garde! Detroit, a social enterprise providing inner-city youth access to the sport of fencing.

Amy Kaherl

Amy Kaherl is the organizer of Detroit SOUP, a monthly fundraising dinner to support local projects. She also orchestrates "shenanigans" for the Detroit City Futbol League and the Marche du Nain Rouge. And she spins as DJ Amy Dreamcatcher.

Matthew Naimi

Matthew Naimi is known around town as the "green guy." As founder of Recycle Here, Detroit's neighborhood recycling program, he's on a mission to make Detroit more sustainable.

Laura Hughes

Laura Hughes is the Executive Director of the Ruth Ellis Center, the only agency in the Midwest dedicated to at-risk lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

Erik Howard

Erik Howard is the co-founder of Young Nation, a non-profit organization that promotes holistic development of youth in urban settings through building relationships, community education, and passion-driven projects.

Jeff Sturges

Jeff Sturges leads the Mount Elliott Makerspace, a community workshop that serves as an environment for knowledge exchange and entrepreneurial experimentation through “making.” He is also a member of OmniCorpDetroit, a group of designers, artists, engineers, musicians, thinkers, do-ers and makers who collaborate to build new things.

Jessica Williams

Jessica Brooke Williams leads Young Adults/Artists/Activists of Heidelberg (YAH), a branch of the Heidelberg Project that engages young adults to become leaders in the community and gain professional development in Detroit's growing arts industry.

Jess Daniel

Jess Daniel is the founder of FoodLab Detroit, a group to support the development, growth, and cooperation of locally owned socially and environmentally responsible food enterprises.

Phil Jones

Phil Jones is the Manager and Executive Chef of COLORS, a social enterprise of the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan. Located in downtown Detroit, the restaurant uses local ingredients and trains local employees in collective entrepreneurship.

Sarah Sidelko

Sarah Sidelko is the founder of Fender Bender, a women and queer run bicycle collective in Detroit for cycling advocates, mechanics and bike enthusiasts.

Peggy Brennan

Peggy Brennan is a co-founder of the Green Garage, a community of people and businesses in Midtown dedicated to Detroit's sustainable future.

Phillip Cooley

Phillip Cooley is a co-owner of Slows BarBQ and the founder of Ponyride, a creative incubator for socially-conscious artists and entrepreneurs to share knowledge, resources and networks.

Deirdre Groves

Deirdre Greene Groves is the Executive Director of the Collaborative Group and coordinator of Challenge Detroit, an initiative to attract and retain young talent in an effort to develop and rejuvenate the city's core.

Citizens of Detroit

Sometimes, projects and movements are led by many people -- too many people to capture in one profile or photograph. Like the Detroit Declaration, for instance, which was drafted by dozens of individuals and signed by thousands. This is our profile page to represent the citizens of the City of Detroit.

Sean Mann

Sean Mann is the founder of the Detroit City Futbol League, a co-ed adult recreational soccer league with teams representing city neighborhoods, and a co-owner of Detroit City FC, a minor league soccer team.
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