"This organization is just one more reason that I have never, never been more optimistic about the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan."
- David T. Fischer
David T. Fischer, Chairman and CEO of The Suburban Collection, the 13th largest automotive group in the U.S., shared this message of rebound and recovery with 650 business and community leaders at JVS's 16th annual Strictly Business Networking and Awards luncheon June 12.
Watch event highlights »
The event is JVS's largest fundraiser and grossed nearly $280,000 to support the agency's programs and services. It was also the perfect venue to showcase our clients' success stories and honor others who are making a difference in our community. Three JVS clients were honored with the Employee of the Year award for overcoming personal and professional challenges to successfully find employment.
View their inspirational stories »
Business Leadership Award
The Business Leadership Award was presented to the Ideal Group, a Detroit-based company with five subsidiaries specializing in general contracting, steel fabrication, supply chain management, storage and sales. The company was founded by Frank Venegas Jr. after he bought a raffle ticket he could barely afford and won a Cadillac. He drove the car for a week, sold it, then used the proceeds as the initial capital investment to start his first company in 1979. Since then, Venegas has built a successful business with more than 250 by embracing our community, its diversity and giving non-traditional employees the chance to succeed in the workplace.
Rising Entrepreneur Award
Pam Turkin was honored with the Rising Entrepreneur Award. Turkin started making cupcakes in 2009 out of a rented retail kitchen and Just Baked was born. Her delicious, freshly baked cupcakes, with names such as the Chubby Hubby and Fat Elvis, became an instant hit and Turkin expanded from supplying cupcakes to small local stores to offering franchise opportunities to other entrepreneurs. Today, Just Baked cupcakes can be found at grocery store chains throughout Michigan or at 17 area franchise locations. Turkin’s future entrepreneurial endeavors include launching Just Topped, an ice cream featuring specialty toppings and “Let Them Eat Cake,” a charity that provides birthday cakes to underprivileged children.