Leadership Advice from Detroit Vanguard WinnersBy Yvelette Stines on October 26th, 2016 /
Earlier this month Detroit Young Professionals hosted the 6th Annual Vanguard Awards. This ceremony and celebration is an event that is known as the preeminent peer selected awards ceremony for emerging leaders in Metro-Detroit. The awards highlight and profile the extraordinary efforts of young professionals and entrepreneurs that are walking in their purpose and excelling professionally and personally.
The theme this year was “Leaders in Motion.” With the excitement of the award ceremony some of the winners took time to reflect and share their influences, words of wisdom, and how they will honor their responsibility of being a leader with Michiprenuer.
Founder and CEO of QStride, Inc.
- What does winning this award mean to you?
Winning the Vanguard award is a great validation of what I worked so hard for and sacrificed to date. It is recognition that I am on the right path of not only success but significance. I feel very proud to be able to set an example and to inspire others that no matter what obstacles, where you came from or adversity you have to overcome, being passionate about what you do and never giving up will lead to success.
- What/who is your greatest influence and why?
There are a number of people that have influenced me into who I am today. The greatest influence is my wife. She always holds a strong willed character, trying to guide and nurture me into a greater person and encourages me to do my best in all aspects of my life, both professionally and personally.
- Advice for those would like to work in your industry? In a super competitive services industry like Information Technology consulting and staffing, standing apart from the competition needs to be your number one focus. Do things your competitors don’t do. Look for ways to be creative, innovative, and build relationships.
- As a young leader in your profession/city what will you do to continue to make a difference and create positive change? Many people believe that they don’t have what it takes to make a difference to the world. The truth is every one of us is put in this world to contribute and make a difference in our own unique way. It does not need to be anything major. It just needs to be something you do with the intention of doing good. I will continue to make a difference by leading the way, serving others, giving, and empowering other people.
Founder and CEO of Love Consulting Group, LLC
- What does winning this award mean to you? With the DYP as an organization that is dedicated to growing and connecting young professionals in Metro Detroit, it’s an honor to be recognized by my peers as someone who is making strides to better our community and the industry that I’ve worked hard to excel in. I am humbled to be recognized by such an esteemed group of leaders and to join the previous recipients of the Vanguard and Rising CEO awards. These awards are more than just plaques to hang on the wall but also serve as a reminder to hold myself accountable and keep the heart of Detroit in all that I do.
- What/who is your greatest influence and why? This is the inaugural year of the DeNeatra Love Advertising Scholarship and between reading the essays of possible awardees to the thought of helping advance someone’s career, my scholarship recipients are the ones who influence me the most. Mentorship and education were two of the pillars that helped me achieve all that I have thus far. It only felt right to make a way to give back and share that same feeling of guidance and support that I felt coming into the advertising world as a Black woman through the founding of the my annual scholarship. My scholarship recipients – both past and prospective – are the future of the advertising world and that influences and inspires me.
- Advice for those would like to work in your industry? The advertising industry has always been difficult to break into. Advertising and marketing agencies have heard it all and it’s important to stand out in a crowd full of aspiring young professionals. Identify what makes you unique and own it. Learn to brand yourself early in your career. Find out what’s important to you and never fold. Those morals will become your brand values to mimic throughout your career.
- As a young leader in your profession/city what will you do to continue to make a difference and create positive change? I will continue to strive and be a connection between aspiring advertising professionals in Metro Detroit and the industry. I truly believe young people mimic what they see, for that reason it is important for me to continue the speaking engagements at metro Detroit area high schools.
Organizer for the Hillary Clinton Campaign ensuring residents are registered to vote and equipped with the resources needed to vote. Currently on leave from the Wayne County Executive Office as an Executive Assistant.
- What does winning this award mean to you? I’m taking this award as a sign that I’m doing what needs to be done and that my work is not for nothing. Our communities matter and we need more community champions.
- What/who is your greatest influence and why? My mother. I’m strong and outspoken today because I saw my mother struggle raising me and my brother. She focused on her work, income, and providing us the best education possible. She taught me to be independent, and to solely focus on educating myself, work hard, and be kind to others. This led me to do just that and came across many amazing mentors along the way. I didn’t know it, but since middle school I was guided by adults who knew I cared about others and our planet and that immediately guided me to opportunities.
- Advice for those would like to work in your industry? Work hard. Stay humble. No, you’re not always right, and that’s okay. Learn best practices, then practice them and make them better. Be grateful for everything.
- As a young leader in your profession/city what will you do to continue to make a difference and create positive change? I’m going to continue waking up every day with the intention of learning something new, sharing new experiences and ideas with others, and continue to work on ways to inspire and engage future leaders in helping me create real sustainable change.
The Full List of Winners
Gabriela Santiago – Romero
Congratulations to all of the winners!