Founder & President – Calvin T. Mann
Calvin T. Mann, National Encourager is facilitator, talk show host (Daddy Talk), mentor, visionary, coach, author, community activist and proud father of 4. He continues to build boys and men in ways that change their trajectory. He has coordinated recreation and mentorship programs, led intervention strategies in detention centers, communities, families, and schools. Since 2004, a champion for the silenced voices of children slain to suicide and violence; Mann placed t-shirts with positive messages of encouragement at the sight of slain children to raise awareness of our responsibility to our children and their future. Mann’s passion and unique perspective exemplifies diversity, self-belief and love for his fellow man. Often serving on panels, creating intervention opportunities in schools, or speaking directly to students of all ages offering his enlightening words while captivating audiences. Offering practical solutions and perspectives of fatherhood, realizing your potential, mentorship, family connections, community impact, or sportsmanship his topics empower people toward real change. He has earned the respect and admiration of many including the City of Detroit who bestowed its highest honor The Spirit of Detroit award along with Wayne County and the State of Michigan both presenting powerful Resolutions naming April 6th EMIY National Respect Day to acknowledge the achievement, investment and role of Calvin T. Mann locally and throughout the country. Calvin is a Man[n] on the front line; encouraging boys and supporting fathers; changing families and our community one encouraging word at a time.
Executive Director – Heather Hetheru Miller, B.S., C.P.P.
For more than 25 years, Heather Hetheru has been advocating and developing the personal and professional growth of Metro Detroiters. She has trained, consulted, and coached more than 20,000 from ages 3 – 94 through a variety of training that includes entrepreneurship, professional development, and self-discovery. Additionally, she has coordinated training programs, workshops, and seminars for organizations, corporations, and individuals. Facilitator, Writer, Author, Consultant and Personal Change Coach; her contributions to economic, business, community, and personal development include facilitating more than 100 corporate training programs, serving as business consultant to more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, and coordinating more than 30 youth/senior employment programs; and building bridges to meet the inequity gaps for new, existing and seasoned entrepreneurs. Wife and mother, Heather Hetheru is at peace in any space she occupies. Inspired by her “burning bush” experience she continues to write books, blogs, articles as well as create lessons for the journey tools to bring about the restoration of families through advocacy, action and acumen.
Christopher Rutherford has dedicated over 30 years in Michigan helping young people from all community’s access opportunity. Chris is currently founder and CEO of Excelerate to Success an educational solutions provider dedicated to helping people from all communities attend college and graduate. Chris currently works for the Michigan College Access Network As director of community mobilization strategy, Chris develops, manages and delivers a suite of training and technical assistance services to statewide Local College Access Networks, utilizing the Collective Impact framework. In addition, this role oversees LCAN grant administration and has oversight of the community ambassador contracting efforts to increase engagement between communities without LCANs and MCAN.
Chris recently worked at the Campaign for Black Male Achievement where he co-led their national promise of place strategy as well as their High School Excellence initiative and fatherhood forum in the city of Detroit. Chris has served as a teacher in the Detroit Public Schools, Associate Director of Upward Bound at Eastern Michigan University, Program Manager at the Detroit Parent Network where he launched their Project Graduation program. In addition, he’s worked at The University of Michigan where he launched the College Advising Corps as part of a national effort to increase college access and success. Over the years Chris has worked in various capacities on the Wayne County Commission, Detroit City Council, and as an educational sales consultant for Houghton Mifflin Publishing. Chris also serves as Chairperson of the Board of Directors for Broadside Lotus Press which is the nation’s oldest African American owned publisher of African American poetry, whose catalog consists of the early poetry of Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonia Sanchez and others. Christopher has received several acknowledgements for his work including the BMe Community Leader Award (BMe), Dolphin Sales Award (Houghton Mifflin), Knight Foundation Community Arts Challenge (Knight Foundation), Presidents Volunteer Service Award(Corporation for National Community Service), Senator Hansen Clark Community Involvement Citation (Former State Senator Hansen Clark), Spirit of Detroit Award (Detroit City Council), Wayne County Commission Community Award (Wayne County Commission). Chris has a B.A in Journalism from Wayne State University, and an M.A. in Social Foundations of Education from Eastern Michigan University. He currently lives in Detroit and has one daughter.
Emerging Enterprise Group CEO - Lawrence F. Jackson
Lawrence F. Jackson is a respected advisor and business advocate. He has worked with both profit and nonprofit businesses. His strength is the development and implementation of strategic action plans created by analyzing the financial profiles of the enterprise. His experience is the basis for his in-depth knowledge and expertise in: Commercial and Retail Banking Products; Analysis and Problem Solving; and the Presentation of seminars and workshops. Lawrence’s approach to enhance Customer Support is to develop collaborative relationships, to meet varied business needs. Implicit in his success is the ability to listen, address each need and communicate.
Mr. Jackson is a Certified Business Consultant and Certified Fast Trac Facilitator. He Holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Wayne State University and a MBA from Davenport University. Mr. Jackson has assisted and coached 100’s of businesses through his Consulting Firm Emerging Enterprise Group which focuses on Financial Strategies and Strategic Planning. The mission of the Emerging Enterprise Group is to develop the Business Intelligence of Entrepreneurs to Change the economy from the Bottom up. (Notable: Featured Speaker for Start-Up Week 2018 “Accounting Blind Spots”, Developed Cash Flow Training for TechTown Detroit 2020 Covid 19 313 Strong Response team)
Jewel Chapman is a Detroit area education and business leader, serving as Focus: HOPE’s current director of Workforce Development and Education. In her role, she has bolstered Metro Detroit’s workforce with thousands of the region’s most deserving and previously untapped talents. A key leader of Focus: HOPE’s half-century strategic plan implementation, she has overseen dramatic increase in student enrollments and job placement as well as the securing of $4.7 million in new funding. Her resourcefulness and fiscal sensitivity has significantly reduced financial burdens on the overall organization.
In 2006, Jewel joined Focus: HOPE as a contractor working on projects related to records improvement and academic research. In 2007, she became the Resource and Externship Coordinator for the Center for Advanced Technologies – which was one of Focus: HOPE’s capstone postsecondary engineering education programs. From this position, Jewel transitioned into an Organizational Development Manager role in 2014, and then became Focus: HOPE’s Business Development Manager in 2017.
Jewel is a devoted contributor to her family, community, work and culture. She is genuinely approachable and consistently exemplifies care for people. As a director, she is thorough and innovative, accepting new and changing tasks with enthusiasm, professionalism and confidence. She motivates others, drawing out the best in them to meet and exceed expectations. Her team praises her leadership and has shared that her leadership style is defined by one object; an umbrella as she operates in the vein of ultimate coverage and protection for the division, its people, the work of the organization and the unique people that we serve.
Jewel has been recognized for her leadership skills, project management abilities, and volunteerism within the roles that she has occupied in the non-profit arena for the last fourteen years. Most recently, The Michigan Chronicle, a historical African American media outlet, announced Jewel as one of their 2020 40 under 40 Honorees. This distinction adds Jewel to a group comprised of her area’s most influential young professionals and community leaders. Chapman is also a member of the Detroit Workforce System Leadership Development Academy Class of 2020, which is part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network; a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Additionally, she sits on the Board of Directors for Encourage Me I’m Young (EMIY), Inc.
Jewel holds an MA in Education from Central Michigan University, a BS in Business Administration from Wayne State University, and an executive education certificate from Yale’s School of Management. She is also a certified Global Career Development Facilitator.
Jamie C. Gabriel, MBA
Jamie C. Gabriel, proud wife and mother of three, focuses on building a legacy for her family by strengthening the communities in which they live through supporting everyday people doing extraordinary things in their lives. Her dedication to pushing herself beyond her limits and using her faults as a lens to see the greatness that resides within is what has fueled her passion and drive over the years and resonates with everyone she encounters. Jamie grew up in the metro Detroit area and as a young mother at the age of seventeen, she knew that there was more she needed to provide to her son and the world, so she kept pushing forward.
Jamie earned her Associates Degree the same year her son graduated from high school. Jamie pressed forward to complete her Bachelor’s Degree five years later, often studying with her son, who graduated college early with full honors. Jamie accomplished all this while raising her family, helping others through leading a series of several local conferences, and building her career. Jamie completed her Master’s Degree in Business Management in the midst of the 2020 COVID Pandemic. Jamie currently holds a leadership position as a site manager for an international materials company.
Jamie’s goal is to use all the tools in her bag to give back to the community however she can. Whether it is by helping someone with foundational business skills, including a guest on her show, supporting a local charity, or just giving a listening ear to someone in need. Jamie knows and understands that her legacy will be fulfilled by her daily walk.
Angela has spent 30 years in education creating change in our education system; it is her life’s purpose and while she is no longer in the school setting, she is still fulfilling her mission by helping others make Educational Decisions to Lead, Inspire, Fuel and Empower their lives, throughout the country. She has worked in almost every capacity in her K-12 education professional career having taught grade K-Adult, ages five through sixty. She is the Visionary and Founder of EDLIFE Consulting Services and works with schools, universities, and districts across the United States to provide educational reviews to measure their organizational effectiveness, as well as provide support models for school improvement for their most critical schools.
Cornell Mann joined Cuonzo Martin’s coaching staff as an assistant coach in April 2017, traveling to Columbia, Missouri, with a wealth of championship basketball experience. He enters his fourth season at Mizzou, having reached the NCAA Tournament at five of six schools coached at, including Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Dayton, Iowa State and Mizzou.
Mann’s amassed 271 wins in his career, racking up 13 20-win seasons over his career, including 10 consecutive from 2007 to 2018. Mann has coached 12 teams to a postseason, including nine trips to the Big Dance. Previously at Iowa State from 2011-15, Mann was on staff at Oakland for the 2016-17 campaign. Mann brings NCAA Tournament coaching experience from five different schools to Martin’s staff, including a run of four consecutive NCAA berths with the Cyclones.
In first his first season at Mizzou, the Tigers qualified for their first NCAA Tournament since 2013, and recorded their first 20-win season in four years. Mann was the lead recruiter for First Team All-SEC guard Kassius Robertson, who led Mizzou in scoring in 2017-18. Mizzou battled to the 15-win mark in 2018-19 during an injury-riddled campaign, suffering just four losses to non-NCAA Tournament teams and two losses to teams who didn’t reach a postseason. In 2019-20, Mizzou’s squad featured one lone senior in Reed Nikko and battled injuries to starters Mark Smith and Jeremiah Tilmon to finish with seven SEC victories in SEC play and 15 overall, winning five of its final nine league games to close the season. The campaign was ended abruptly prior to the postseason due to COVID-19, but the Tigers saw several individuals make leaps with Mann’s help. Mizzou returns the oldest, most experienced team in the SEC in 2020-21 with 88 percent of its scoring back and with Mann leading the charge, inked a Top-40 recruiting class nationally in November of 2020.
In his time at Iowa State, Mann recruited and tutored one of the top point guards in college basketball in Flint, Michigan, native Monte Morris, who finished his Iowa State career with the best assist-to-turnover ratio in NCAA history (4.65-1). Morris remains the Cyclones’ all-time assists leader.
Mann was on staff at Dayton (2008-11) for three-straight postseason berths. In his first season with the Flyers, Mann helped coach Dayton to the second-most wins in school history (27) and a second round NCAA Tournament appearance.
Prior to Dayton, Mann served stints on coaching staffs at Western Michigan (2003-08) and Central Michigan (2001-03), with the Broncos making a Big Dance appearance in 2004 and the Chippewas advancing to the tournament in 2003.
A native of Royal Oak Township, Michigan, Mann earned a degree in family development from Akron in 1995, playing his final three seasons of eligibility for the Zips after starting his collegiate career at Colorado. He then earned his master’s degree at Iowa State in 2014. Mann has two children, a daughter, Cyncere, and a son, Maliq, who is a freshman on Purdue’s football team