Scholarships presented, new chair welcomed

 The Annual Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council’s Chairman’s  Scholarship Gala was recently held at the historic Colony House in Detroit. This year’s spectacular event not only celebrated the scholarship awardees, it also served as a springboard  for the organization’s fundraising efforts for 2016.

The MMSDC charity event raises money for the Chairman’s Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to outstanding minority college students in the S.T.E.M. and business fields of study.  Another key element of the highly-anticipated annual gala was the official “Passing of the Gavel” from outgoing chairman Steven Kiefer of GM to incoming chairman, Hau Thai-Tang of Ford Motor Company.

“This event was a magnificent celebration of academic and corporate excellence and commitment–to our students, our members and the community at-large” said Michelle Sourie Robinson, MMSDC President/CEO. “It is a true reflection of our on-going support and mentoring of minority students to ensure their preparation for successful corporate and entrepreneurial careers.”
MMSDC awarded twelve $2,500 scholarships, including four donated by FCA Foundation. Awardees included: Madalyn Rodriguez  (MichiganState);  Tannia Rodriguez (Wayne State); Angelique Ratkov (Michigan State); Lauren Wiley (Michigan State); Ashia Davis (North Farmington High School); Raven Boone (Kalamazoo Valley Community College); James A. Murray III (University of Michigan); Aubrey Perry (Michigan State); Morgan Bates (Michigan State); Navya Devarasetty (Michigan State);  Aaron C. McClendon (Western Michigan) and Jacqueline Mills (Kalamazoo College).

A live auction offering one-on-one meetings with top corporate decision makers raised more than $40,000 for the 2016 scholarship fund.  Winning bidders — who in some cases paid as much as $10,000 to win meetings with Carrie Uhl – Magna; Robert Young — Toyota; India Randerson – HFHS; Tom Lake – Honda; Burt Jordan — Ford, and outgoing MMSDC Chairman Steve Kiefer — GM.

Rhonda Walker of WDIV-TV4 served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the event, which more than 250 people attended.

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