There are thousands of African American men in the region who exemplify the aforementioned definition of excellence. They go about their professional and personal lives with diligence, distinction and respectfulness. They rarely seek awards and recognition for doing something to empower their families, communities, businesses/organizations, churches, schools, elected offices or other entities.
The Michigan Chronicle will once again honor 56 outstanding African American men. On Friday, July 10, the 2015 “Men of Excellence” ceremony will take place at the MGM Grand Detroit, 1777 Third St. in downtown Detroit.
Several of the men who will be honored convened recently at the Roberts Riverwalk Hotel for a photo shoot. As they prepared for the scheduled session, many reflected on excellence.
“I maintain excellence by always standing on principle,” said Brian White, chief of staff, for Detroit City Council member Mary Sheffield. “Righteousness is also of the utmost importance. I also have a sense of history about our people. When you know the history of our people and that they had to overcome immeasurable odds, it motivates me to do everything with excellence.”
Kirk Mayes, CEO, Forgotten Harvest added, “In order to be excellence, there first must be a mentality that one should adopt. A person must have integrity, character and the focus to work every day to improve themselves and the lives of others.”
Dr. E.L. Branch, senior pastor of Third New Hope Baptist Church on the city’s west side, said, “Excellence is having a high standard that bespeaks respect and honor and responsibility. It’s reaching to be the best of oneself for the highest good of others.”
Branch, who leads one of the city’s largest and most progressive churches with three campuses, believes excellence takes on an expansive meaning as a pastor. “Excellence definitely takes on an expanded meaning, because we (pastors) are forced to think broader when the results will impact so many people,” he said. “We have to live broader and not allow ourselves to make selfish decisions. Therefore, the standard of excellence, and the quality of that excellence, are heightened to greater levels.”
The Men of Excellence honorees represent individuals from many sectors of society, including faith-based, health care, community activism, education, law enforcement, finance/banking, sports, marketing/public relations, city/county/state/civic officials and administrators and many others. “We are privileged to recognize men who’ve paved a way as mentors, role models, and as distinguished contributors in Southeastern Michigan,” said Hiram E. Jackson, publisher, Michigan Chronicle. “The Men of Excellence Awards are our way of saying thank you to these dedicated men.”
The “Men of Excellent” honorees:
Christopher Allen, Vice President Health Plan Administration & Finance, Chief Financial Officer, Detroit Medical Center/Harbor Health Plan; John Barnwell Sr., MD Chief of General Surgery, Detroit Medical Center/Sinai Grace; Charlie Beckham Group Executive- Neighborhoods & Administration, City of Detroit; Dr. E.L. Branch, Senior Pastor, Third New Hope Baptist Church; Reginald Braxton, Senior Sales Executive, McGraw Hill Education; N.Z. Bryant, President & Chief Executive Officer Patterson- Bryant, Inc.; Forest Bryson, Vice President of Store Delivery, Faygo Beverage Co.; Michael Cheatham, Vice President /Michigan Community Reinvestment Act Manager, Comerica; Dr. Frank M. Clark, Co-Owner, Alsan Medical Clinic; Scott Alan Davis, Program Manager, Business Energy Consultation Program, SEEL LLC; Jamaine Dickens, Principal, DMC Strategies; Dr. Galen R. Duncan, Director of Player Development, Detroit Lions; Darnell Earley, Emergency Manager, Detroit Public Schools, Terrence Edmonson, President, Exclusive Reality; Roger Foster, Photographer, Roger Williams Foster Freelance Photography; Rev. Kenneth Giles, Pastor, Greater St. Mark Baptist Church; Daryl Gilliam, Agent, State Farm Insurance; Calvin Hart, Lieutenant, Michigan State Police Department; Reginald Hartsfield, President & Co-Owner, Advantage Management Group; John Henry Sheard, Bishop Greater Mitchell COGIC, Rudy Hobbs, Chief of Staff, Wayne County Executive Office.
Lloyd Jackson, Director of Communications, Wayne County; Rev. Alvin E. Jackson Sr., Senior Pastor, Wings of Love Missionary Baptist Church; Rev. Larry Jordan, Founding Pastor, International Third World Leadership Association, Family Victory Fellowship; Dr. Darnell Kaigler Jr., Associate of Dentistry and Co-Owner, Kaigler and Associates; Harold Lasenby, Chief Executive Officer, Managing Member, Infinite Technologies, LLC; Reginald Lee, FPHL, Regional Chief Executive, Vibra Healthcare LLC; Ronald R. Lockett, Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director, Northwest Community Programs, Inc.; Bertram L. Marks, Esq., Litigation Associations and Pastors, First Community Baptist Church; Kirk Mayes, Chief Executive Officer, Forgotten Harvest: Richard McKay, Global Sr. Purchasing Manager, Renault Nissan North America; Minister Victor Saadiq Abdul Muhammad, Director of Prison Reform Ministry, Nation of Islam/ Michigan Chapter; Warren Morgan, Assistant Vice President / Financial Center Manager, Fifth Third Bank; Ray Paige, Attorney at Law, City of Detroit; Michael G. Perkins, Corporate Sale Manager, Wayne State University/WDET Public Radio; Quentin Perry, Chief Executive Officer/Founder, Taurus Productions; Dr. Glenn R. Plummer, Founder CTN, Senior Pastor, WLPC TV 40 Detroit/Comcast 397, Ambassador for Christ Church; Joseph Rochester, MPH, Director/Market Community Relations, HAP Midwest; Dr. John Sealey, DO FACOS Osteopathic, Cardio Thoracic Surgeon, Detroit Medical Center; Bishop J. Drew Sheard, Bishop, Greater Emmanuel COGIC
Dr. Alton G. Smith, MD, Diagnostic Radiologist, William Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe & Associates; Kevin Sweeney, Market Director, Urban Partnership Bank; Jason Tinsley, Executive Director; JP Morgan Private Bank; Raymond Waller, Director, Brighton Hospital, St. John Providence Health System; Alvin Ward, Executive Director Athletics, Detroit Public Schools; Franklin D. Warren, Vice President, Fossil Generation – DTE Electric; Dr. David Wash, Medical Director, Professional Medical Center; Brian White, Chief of Staff, City of Detroit – Council Member Mary Sheffield; Dr. Kevin Whitlow, MD, Internal Medicine, Henry Ford Health System; Maurice Wiggins, Owner, Chief Executive Office, Addison Eatery, International Hospitality Group; Horatio Williams, Founder, Horatio Williams Foundation; James Williamson Jr., Owner, JKW Insurance Agency; Danton Wilson, Attorney, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office; Jason Q. Wilson, President, Managing Partner, Wilson Law Group, St. Regis Hotel; and Shawn Wilson, Multicultural Community Engagement Manager, Ford Motor Company.
“The Men of Excellence honorees represent individuals from many sectors of society, including faith-based, health care, community activism, education, law enforcement, finance/banking, sports, marketing/public relations, city/county/state/civic officials and administrators and many others.”
“Excellence is a talent or quality which far supersedes ordinary expectations. It is used as a high standard of performance that is pursued through continuous actions of integrity and purpose.”