What is your company and title?
Church of the Messiah/BLVD Harambee Assistant Pastor and Director of Operations
Tell us why you’re best for the Structure and Operations committee!
As a former tech business owner (GCI), Assistant Director of E-911 operations for Michigan Bell / Ameritech, and Executive Assistant to the former President of the National Progressive Baptist Convention (2.9) million members I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with groups responsible for maintaining and facilitating the use and practices that promote and encourage results in a manner that is equitable and allows everyone to operate at a successful level utilizing their gift, skill, or abilities which promotes a wonderful working environment.
Tell us why you’re best for the Devices and Connectivity committee!
Due to my extensive background in all types of infrastructure/network design and implementation I have acquired the ability to communicate (TECH) with a diverse demographic of individuals and groups. Serving as the Assistant Pastor of The Church of the Messiah as well as Director of Operations for the BLVD Harambee Empowerment Center which includes PM for The Islandview EII (Equitable Internet Initiative) I find our values are very similar. Being a lifelong Detroit resident and having the opportunity to work with groups from all over the State and Nation I have always been concerned about the lack of emphasis on tech in our community.
Why are you interested in serving on a Connect 313 Committee? What do you hope to gain from the experience?
I understand the importance of closing the digital divide in the city of Detroit. I have been involved with technology for over 30 years and been involved in ministry most of my adult life. My last position with SBC / Ameritech was assistant Director of E911 (Enhanced 911) for the State of Michigan and Northern Ohio. I also owned and Operated a tech company (GCI) from 2000 – 2009) I am currently leading the EII (Equitable Internet Initative} on the eastside of Detroit. I currently serve as the Assistant Pastor at The Church of the Messiah and Director of Operations for the BLVD Harambee Empowerment Center. I have served as the Project Manager for our EII for the past 3+ years. Our goal is to expand our network beyond our current redemptive stuff which is Mt. Elliot to the west, Vandyke to the east, the river to the south, and Mack Ave to the north. We will eventually reach as far east as Grosse Point, North to I-94, west to I-75, and Belle Isle to the South.
What is your vision for bridging the digital divide in Detroit?
We have been actively providing free High – Speed internet on the east side for over 2 years now. My vision is to provide this service for free to all low to moderate-income households on the east side of Detroit and beyond.
Please share your current community activities and/or volunteer work.
Businesses created and or incubated by Church of the Messiah include:
Church of the Messiah also created the community organization 5-Alive in 2013. 5-Alive meets monthly and brings together the major stakeholders in Islandview.
Please share any of your current committee or Board memberships.
Too many to mention!
Please share any skills, experience, or interests that you may have.
Public Relations / Marketing / Communications
Outreach / Advocacy
Education / Training
Empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of others)
Relationship Building + Management
Leadership / Coaching Skills