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High Growth Happy Hour: A Stake in Our City

February 27, 2018 @ 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Join the New Economy Initiative and Model D for a High Growth Happy Hour talk featuring entrepreneurs who are helping to rebuild their city.

Carla Walker-Miller, Founder Walker-Miller Energy
As founder, president and CEO of Walker-Miller Energy Services, LLC (WMES), Carla Walker-Miller is an analytical and savvy businesswoman with over 20 years of energy industry experience. Established in 2000, the Detroit-based firm designs and implements energy efficiency solutions for utility, residential and commercial clients. The company offersinnovative energy waste reduction solutionsthat help decrease energy consumption, and contribute to occupant safety and comfort.

An engineer by degree, Ms. Walker-Miller ledWMES to double-digit growth after the recession, earning both local and national recognition as an innovative company. Over the past two years, WMES received several accolades, including selection by Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in America, the Michigan Habitat for Humanity Community Partner of the Year, the Michigan Chronicle Newsmaker of the Year and Crain’s Detroit Business Cool Places to Work in Michigan– Rank #18.

Adrienne Bennett, Founder Benkari

Adrienne Bennett, President & CEO, is a pioneer in America’s plumbing and construction industries. She is America’s first African-American female licensed Master Plumber, Plumbing Contractor, Plumbing Inspector, and Certified Medical Gas Inspector and Installer. She remains Michigan’s first and only female licensed Master Plumber and Plumbing Contractor. Adrienne served the City of Detroit as a Plumbing Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer. Adrienne is a licensed union plumber from Plumbers Local 98 and has held a litany of positions throughout her prolific career including: Chief Project Manager, Chief Space Analyst, Master Plumber, Plumbing Estimator, and Drain Layer Contractor.

Brian McKinney, Founder Gayanga

Brian McKinney is Gayanga’s Cofounder and CEO. McKinney supervises the Company’s day-to-day operations, supports its department heads and is responsible for business development.
A native Detroiter, McKinney has more than a decade of experience in the computer industry, including working with leading software engineering teams from Silicon Valley to the East Coast. In addition, he has significant experience in commercial construction project management and residential construction. McKinney is a licensed residential builder, a licensed contractor for both asbestos abatement and lead abatement, and a certified home inspector. McKinney is known for his energy and creativity at business startups, as well as being an outstanding spokesperson for Black Professionals, which includes recognition as one of 100 Diverse Men of Color by BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine.

6-6:30 p.m. – Networking & drinks
6:30-7pm – Casual chat and Q&A with entrepreneurs
7-8pm – Networking & drinks

Please RSVP on Eventbrite if you can join us. Space is very limited for this special event. Drink specials and light appetizers will be served.

This installment of NEI’s High Growth Happy Hour series is presented in partnership with Model D. The series brings together southeast Michigan’s aspiring entrepreneurs with founders who have successfully scaled companies.


February 27, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM


Griot Music Lounge
66 E. Forest
Detroit, MI 48201 United States