3rd Annual “Thank You” Awards Recognized 50 Detroit Neighborhood Businesses

“Bringing Downtown, Midtown and Neighborhood Businesses Together”


The annual awards event was held on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 from 6:00 p.m.to 9:00 p.m. at the Gem theater located at 333 Madison, Detroit, MI. The “Thank You” Awards is a city-wide effort to say “Thank You’ to small business owners who have been a part of Detroit’s fabric helping to grow and stabilize Detroit’s economy. Some have been in business over 100 years; all rooted and vested in Detroit, staying the course through all of the challenging times. The goal is to bring together corporations, community leaders and city officials to meet, greet and say “Thank You” to businesses owners who have remained in the city through all of the rough economic conditions and made it possible for the development and resurgence that is now taking place in Detroit. Year to date, over 150 neighborhood businesses have been recognized to packed house and looking forward to the 4th annual Thank You Awards, next year.

Quicken Loans, DTE Energy Foundation, Detroit Development Fund and Detroit Smart Pages Newspaper hosted the 3nd Annual “Thank You” Awards Ceremony and Lauren Sanders, former WDIV anchor was the Mistress of Ceremony. In addition to being recognized and receiving an award, all honorees were given, a special “Spirit of Detroit” Award presented by Council President Brenda Jones. Other sponsors included: Fifth Third Bank, Heritage Optical Centers, NEIdeas, Goldman Sachs, 10,000 Small Businesses, Clark Hill, Voice Over Productions, Adwater Media, DEGC, 910AM Superstation, Radio One, and the Michigan Chronicle. Supporting sponsors were, Locostation, Best Practices Consulting Firm, and Women’s Informal Network.

Three special awards were also presented: The Fabric of Detroit Award – given to a business that has not only been in Detroit for a long time, but is an essential piece of the city by promoting it and making Detroit part of the company’s brand was presented to George Barnes, president of Heritage Optical Centers. The Community Engagement Award – given to a business or person who engages with the community far beyond their own business interests. This recipient may be involved with Detroit through work with community organizations and foundations and utilize their leadership skills to solve problems and make improvements in the city that all citizens can benefit from, was presented to Ray Waters, president of Detroit Development Fund. Two Lifetime Achievement Awards - given to a business whose longevity exceeded their own expectations in the same family for generations were presented to Richard Crabb, owner of Busy Bee Hardware for 100 years in business and Homer and William Waterman, owners of Waterman Printing for 101 years in business.

Award Presenters included Council President Brenda Jones, Charley Beckham, Group Director of Parks and Recreation, Ed Deeb, President Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation and founder of Metro Youth Day, Bill Ross, President of the Booker T. Washington Business Association, Paul Wasserman, owner of Henry The Hatter, Mia Mullen, Executive Assistant/Grants Manager, Detroit Development Fund, Laura Sigmon, president of Best Practices Consulting Firm, Camille Walker-Banks, Director Goldman Sachs 10,00 Small Businesses, Wayne State University, Ron Fournier, Editor/Publisher, Crain’s Detroit Business, and Warren Morgan, Branch Manager, Fifth Third Bank.

The audience was entertained by Mike Saxon Productions and a special performance by Ballet Detroit under the direction of Artistic Director and Ballet Master Sergey, Rayevskiy. For more information on Ballet Detroit, please visit www.balletdetroit.org.

Some of the businesses representing downtown, midtown and the neighborhoods included: City Market. Detroit, Capers Steak House Restaurant, Holbrook Auto Parts, dressed in Detroit, DeAngelos’s Soul food & Deli, Park Central Plaza, VMX International, Banks Vacuum, Jackets for Jobs, Milano Bakery, ABS Storage Supply Products, Mario’s Italian Restaurant, Detroit, Hamilton Anderson Associates, M&D Pharmacy, Peoples Brothers Bakery, P:arks Old Style Bar-B-Que, Louis Ace Hardware, Skills Ville, Motor City Soul Food, Golden Touch Beauty and Barber Salon, Bel Air Luxury Cinema, HeavyWeight Cuts, Livernois-Davison Florists, Buddy’s Pizza and many others.

For a complete list of honorees, photos, and videos, please go to www.thankyoudetroit.com. Photography by Eric Hobson, Photographer to the Stars.

A special thank you to all our sponsors, Chuck Stokes, Stefen Welch of Quicken Loans, Ray Waters, Lavonne Trent, Women’s Informal Network, Lauren Sanders and Gerald McBride and the entire staff at Voice Over Productions.