Black Philanthropic Community Gathers to Kick-Off Who's Who in Black Detroit

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More than 70 influential business and community leaders joined Who's Who Publishing at the Detroit Athletic Club to help kick-off preparation for the fifth anniversary edition of Who's Who in Black Detroit. The small intimate gathering allowed some of Detroit's powerbrokers to come together to celebrate a publication that will for the first time highlight African American philanthropy in Detroit.

Carol Goss, president and CEO, The Skillman Foundation speaks at Who's Who Kick-Off

"There are more people who are engaged in philanthropy from the black community in Detroit than we know about," said Carol Goss. "That's why it's important to do a publication like Who's Who in Black Detroit that highlights black philanthropy."

More than 70 influential business and community leaders joined Who's Who Publishing last Friday at the Detroit Athletic Club to help kick-off preparation for the fifth anniversary edition of Who's Who in Black Detroit. The small, intimate gathering allowed some of Detroit's powerbrokers to come together to celebrate a publication that will for the first time highlight African American philanthropy in Detroit.

Philanthropy has always been an important endeavor for the city, and the fifth edition of Who’s Who in Black Detroit will shine a much-deserved spotlight on those who have given of their time, energy and resources.

Associate publisher Cathy Nedd said it is a long overdue tribute.

"The generosity in Detroit needs to be celebrated," she said. "I've worked with many people in this city who have opened their personal checkbooks to give $10,000, $25,000, even $50,000 of their own money to charitable organizations that help the community."

Jon E. Barfield, president and chairman of The Bartech Group, is slated to write the foreword to the fifth edition. Linda Forte, senior vice president at Comerica Bank is writing the introduction.
Barfield, who was highlighted in the second edition of Who's Who in Black Detroit in 2007, shared his thoughts on the importance of philanthropy in his life.

"I'm grateful that I learned early on from my parents the value of philanthropy, the value of giving back to others and reinvesting in the community," he said. "My dad made philanthropy a priority at our business when he founded Bartech more than 30 years ago."

Barfield also took a moment on Friday to acknowledge Roy Roberts and his wife Maureen for their recent seven-figure contribution to the Detroit Institute of Arts, as well as Mr. Roberts' new appointment as the emergency financial manager of the Detroit Public Schools.

"Giving back is clearly Roy's motivation for his new assignment leading the DPS," he said. Barfield even touched on why he and his wife, Vivian, chose to get involved in helping the DPS. "We decided it's not good enough to sit on the sidelines and leave DPS students on their own as the restructuring of the school system moves forward."

The Skillman Foundation has been moving things forward with its charitable giving since its inception in 1960. Carol Goss, the Foundation's president and CEO, believes that many individuals are involved in philanthropy in Detroit, but don't receive the recognition they deserve.

"There are more people who are engaged in philanthropy from the black community in Detroit than we know about," she said. "That's why it's important to do a publication like Who's Who in Black Detroit that highlights black philanthropy."

The crowd on Friday also paid tribute to one of Detroit's biggest philanthropists. Businessman Don Barden passed away last week after a long illness, and the audience honored his memory by pausing for a moment of silence.

The unveiling and fifth anniversary celebration for Who's Who in Black Detroit will take place on Wednesday, August 17th at the Motor City Casino Conference Center, Detroit, Michigan.

Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are still available. For more information, call Cathy Nedd, associate publisher, at (313) 963-8100 (Office); (313) 350-4241 (cell), or e-mail cnedd(at)realtimesmedia(dot)com.

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