Black and White ProsperUs Full Team Photo

ProsperUs Team

Our team prides itself on being radically supportive and helpful. We are dedicated to building connection and trust with entrepreneurs and their communities.

MEET OUR TEAM

Chanell Scott Contreras, Website Photo

“Entrepreneurship is simultaneously a tool for self-determination and community well-being, and it is incredibly inspiring to see entrepreneurs of color manifesting their dreams while catalyzing opportunities for our future generations. At ProsperUs, we strive for excellence as we serve these entrepreneurs because of our belief in the power of their leadership and the transformative nature of their solutions. My commitment to this is also personal — walking and riding through neighborhoods and exploring outdoors brings me and my family so many moments of joy.”

Joanna Dueweke-Pérez, Website Photo

“At its root entrepreneurship is simultaneously building culture and preserving it, especially in the immense creativity shared by neighborhood entrepreneurs. As our team works to advance racial, social, and economic equity, I’m constantly inspired by how being radically supportive and helpful manifests in supporting entrepreneurs (and my teammates) to realize their dreams. As an avid adventurer, I’m always up to explore a new business or travel to new places, whether that’s in reality or through my ever-growing reading list.”

Shakir Bralock, Website Photo

“The freedom of ownership that being an entrepreneur offers to individuals and their families will transcend a nation here and abroad. Advancing racial, social, and economic equity motivates me because I know it will create an opportunity for a generation to pull their family out of poverty. When I’m not doing ProsperUs work I enjoy bike riding and traveling with my wife and two daughters.”

“All those willing and motivated ought to have the opportunity to unleash their entrepreneurial talents– imagine if Jackie Robinson had never been gifted a baseball and glove or Miles Davis a trumpet or Ralph Ellison a pen and paper — would their talents ever have been fully realized? As we continuously strive for excellence at ProsperUs Detroit, it is critical that we are staunch in our commitment to radically support and help those aspiring to realize their entrepreneurial dreams. When I’m not working to bolster the advancements of ProsperUs entrepreneurs, I enjoy building cool things and traveling to cool places.”

Charlene Donelson, Programs Director

“Entrepreneurs play a vital role in ensuring the accessibility of products and services in the communities they serve. As a small business owner, I recognize the value of ProsperUs’ work as it aids entrepreneurs in birthing new business, generating income, creating social change, and ultimately building community. Building community, connection, and trust are what make my time at ProsperUs enjoyable and impactful. When I’m not working with entrepreneurs to build community, I enjoy traveling, exploring new restaurants, listening to live music, and creating memories with my family.”

Emeric Dongmo, Website Photo

“What makes my work at ProsperUs Detroit unique is the feeling of belonging that flows from the entrepreneurial approach guiding the solutions we are constantly crafting and the support we receive from the community we serve, the colleagues, and the board. Out of my working hours I enjoy family life and faith-building activities.”

Shannon Warren, Training Manager

“Entrepreneurship represents ownership, innovation, perseverance, community, pride, innovation, empowerment, and creating a legacy. The best aspect of my role is conducting interview days for the training program where I meet so many brilliant creative minds, some nervous as they speak with such passion about their vision. We hear about what the program teaches them following graduation, however, they may not realize that they are truly inspiring with the desire to embrace learning and it motivates me to continuously improve. I enjoy cooking, being creative, music, and my little family when I’m not doing ProsperUs work.”

“Entrepreneurship is where hope and determination meet, the heart of business success and growth. At ProsperUs, we embrace an entrepreneurial approach to implementing solutions to complete this full circle of striving for excellence as we serve the community. When I’m not supporting entrepreneurs, I love to read and make memorable moments with my family all while continuously sending peace and light to all!”

Emily Sioma, Website Photo

“Entrepreneurship is for everyone and we do it every day—using creativity to find solutions to problems we are faced with. I’m proud to be part of a team that is dedicated to the work it takes to build personal relationships and instill trust in all our partners, entrepreneurs, and community members as we work together to move from creative ideas to impactful solutions. Outside of my role at ProsperUs, I’m in my sewing studio mending clothing or creating a new piece of clothing out of vintage or thrifted material and connecting with others at vintage pop-ups and concerts across the city.”

“Entrepreneurship has empowered not only myself but my family and neighbors for many years by giving us something to own, something that brings us together and something that allows us to indulge in our ideas. This is why entrepreneurship matters to me. ProsperUs has the value of ’embracing learning and continuous improvement’ this means everything to me, because I never want to stop learning. At one point in my life I read a minimum of three books each month with the goal of gaining a new skill, understanding something new about history, or improving my self. ProsperUs Detroit never discourages you from asking the ‘dumb’ questions, or taking a chance on yourself/community/family to learn something new.

When I’m not doing work with ProsperUs Detroit, I am #EnjoyingDetroit! Whether that be shopping at small businesses, exploring Eastern Market, riding a MoGo bike around my neighborhood or something else I love Detroit! That is what I like to do when I am not doing the important work we do at ProsperUs Detroit.”

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Steven Kosuda, Chair
    Retired, Commercial Lending
  • Pierre Batton, Vice-Chair
    Vice President and Program Officer, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Kimberly Faison, Secretary
    Director of Community and Economic Development, Detroit Future City
  • Steve Tobocman, Treasurer
    Managing Partner, New Solutions Group and Executive Director, Global Detroit
  • Hector Hernandez, Director
    Executive Director, Southwest Economic Solutions
  • Richmond Hawkins, Director
    Senior Commercial Lender, Detroit Development Fund
  • Don Jones, Director
    Retired, Community Economic Development and Philanthropy
  • John Schoeniger, Director
    Loan Fund Manager, Detroit Development Fund
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