Question: Can you tell me a little bit more about how you started your career and how you ended up at Build Institute?
Answer: I studied marketing and international business at Xavier University in Ohio. I started out doing HR and marketing for about 6 months and didn’t enjoy it. It wasn’t for me. I then applied to the Detroit Regional Chamber, a non-profit where I worked in small business development. In 2010, I joined the Michigan Black Chamber Commerce as a consultant. After this great experience I joined Ponyride. All these jobs have focused on community development. April (the founder and director of Build Institute) then contacted me and here I am at Build today!
Question: What is your most memorable moment at Build Institute?
Answer: Oh that’s a hard one! There are so many! A recent amazing memory was during the Quicken Loans Demo Day. You could actually see the impact Build Institute has made. Out of the 15 finalists, 8 were Build graduates. It is so great to be able to help people and see them becoming successful business owners.
Question: What is your definition of social entrepreneurship?
Answer: For me social entrepreneurship has to do with helping the community. Working towards making neighborhoods a better place. It’s a lot about social responsibility. This type of entrepreneurship seems very different from the one you can find in Silicon Valley. There it’s more about making quick profit. In Detroit it’s more about having a positive impact on the community.
Question: Can you describe Detroit in one small sentence?
Answer: Detroit Hustles Harder.
Question: What is your favorite thing about Detroit?
Answer: I think there are so many great and unique things about Detroit. I think Detroit has been a place of innovation. A place where a lot of things “happened first” whether that is in music or the automotive industry. Detroit really has a rich culture.
Question: Where do you think Detroit could do better?
Answer: I believe Detroit could do better job at learning from its mistakes in the past. I think sometimes Detroit focuses a lot on its previous achievements but in order to improve you need to look at want went wrong. By doing this you can properly adjust.
Question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Answer: Tough one. I see myself still in Detroit. I love it here. I also see myself in the same industry. However, I want to live more. I want to cross out things from my bucket list and explore the world.