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Press Release | A Roster of Metro Detroit Newsmakers: Compelling and Motivating Business Success Stories

January 8, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                           Media Contact: Delora Hall Tyler
December 15, 2023                                                                                                            248.354.8705                      

A Roster of Metro Detroit Newsmakers: Compelling and Motivating Business Success Stories

Full Range of Women Entrepreneurs Completing the MentorWE Program Honored at Alumnae Event

LIVONIA, MICH. – MentorWE is a program of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council that pairs certified Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) with more advanced certified Women Business Enterprises (WBEs). The recent inaugural MentorWE Alumnae Breakfast brought more than 80 of these mentors, partners, and mentees together to celebrate the impact of the program and honor the most recent cohort, while celebrating the program’s winning formula.

The women entrepreneurs come from a variety of “non-traditional” careers, including construction, trucking, moving services, manufacturing logistics, food service, digital commerce, and digital marketing. As media outlets build year-end lists of newsmakers to interview, the women in this mentoring program are stellar examples of change-makers whose voices should be heard.

“Those who spoke at the MentorWE Alumnae Breakfast inspired and energized, giving the women entrepreneurs in attendance a renewed commitment and determination to achieve their business goals. They also forged even more relationships to enhance their entrepreneurial journey,” said Great Lakes Women’s Business Council Executive Director Michelle Richards.

The MentorWE program launched in 2019 with the help of Great Lakes WBC Board Member Angela Henderson, then Ford Motor Company Senior Purchasing Manager for Supplier Diversity Development. MentorWE is an initiative of the Women’s Business Center, funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership. Corporate members of Great Lakes WBC are partners, providing resources that include professional mentors. The organization also partners with government supplier diversity and procurement professionals as well as banking partners to address the unique needs of emerging and established business owners.

Participating mentors include Citizens Bank Vice President and Relationship Manager Beth Arroyo, Ford Motor Company Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager LaTara Brown, Stellantis Supplier Diversity Program Manager Marcia Hunter and others.

The MentorWE network consists of metro Detroit and Indiana-based entrepreneurs, including Rachel Blatt who boldly bills herself as the “Empire Builder” of Royalty Logistics auto transportation company. Deana Neely, CEO of Detroit Voltage electrical contracting and supply, says her inspiring success story is a reminder of how Great Lakes WBC fills the gaps, empowering women to build successful businesses.

Mentee feedback endorses MentorWE’s ability to help entrepreneurs strategize to find solutions to business challenges, develop relationships with corporate executives and successful woman-owned businesses in their industries, expand into new areas, learn best practices, and enhance their marketing materials. Media exposure would alert women to this opportunity. There is no charge for Women Business Enterprises to participate in the program. Applications open this month for the next cohort which begins in February 2024. Interested entrepreneurs can contact Lori Wesby, who manages the MentorWE Program, at

For 40 years the nonprofit Great Lakes Women’s Business Council has been a champion for women and minority businesses, providing access to capital, certification for women-owned businesses, corporate contracting opportunities, and small business educational support. These supports create leveraged growth for small businesses.

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