2019 M.I.C Honorees
Distinguished Legacy Honoree: Congressman Elijah E. Cummings
( January 1951 - October 2019 )
Honorable Cummings was born on January 18, 1951 in Baltimore, the son of Ruth Elma (née Cochran) and Robert Cummings. He was the third child of seven. Cummings graduated with honors from the Baltimore City College high school in 1969. He later attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he served in the student government as sophomore class president, student government treasurer and later student government president. He became a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science.
Cummings graduated from law school at the University of Maryland School of Law, receiving his J.D. in 1976, and was admitted to the Maryland Bar later that year. He practiced law for 19 years before first being elected to the House in the 1996 elections.
Cummings received 12 honorary doctoral degrees from universities across America, most recently an honorary doctorate of public service from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2017.
For 14 years, Cummings served in the Maryland House of Delegates. In the Maryland General Assembly, he served as Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and was the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore, the second highest position in the House of Delegates.
Cummings also served on several boards and commissions, both in and out of Baltimore. Those include SEED Schools of Maryland Board of Directors and the University of Maryland Board of Advisors.
The Legacy Honoree: Prof. Kwame Ansah-Brew
KWAME ANSAH-BREW (1967 – 2019)
Kwame Ansah-Brew was a college professor, early education specialist, actor/singer/storyteller, percussionist and instrumentalist (saxophone, flute, gorje), band leader, director, dance instructor, founder of artistic institutions, devoted husband and father, and cherished member of the Agape Life Ministries Church. Kwame was both a dedicated family man, and a man of the world. Known for his open, outgoing, friendly personality, he touched the hearts of many by sharing the traditional music, dance, and storytelling of Ghana, as well as contemporary jazz fusion music with gospel-infused afro-beats.
In addition to his performance artistry, Kwame held many educational credentials. He earned a Master of Arts in Dance and Africana Studies from the State University of New York (SUNY) Brockport (2003). He received a Diploma in Theater Arts from the School of Performing Arts University of Ghana, Legon (1994). He obtained a Teacher Certificate ‘A’ from University of Cape Coast, Presbyterian Training College, Akropong, Ghana. (1991).
Kwame was the Founder and President of the non-profit organization the Performing Arts Center for African Cultures, Inc. (PACAC), which he founded in 2014.
In 2006, Kwame established the Fritete Afro Jazz Band, which he led; the band was a fusion of African instruments accessing the pulse-beats of the most ancient African nations with the instruments of European society. Kwame recorded several fusion albums with his jazz band, playing his sax to explore an ambitious and eclectic Afro-Jazz aesthetic with a repertoire offering praise and worship to the Creator
Kwame also was the Founder and Artistic Director of Fritete African Drum and Dance Ensemble (1997-2019) which was engaged as the Royal Drummers of the Asante King, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II during his visit to the United States in 2001.
Kwame was co-director, with fellow musical artist and actor Kofi Dennis, of Anansegromma of Ghana (1994-2019), founded to impart the African heritage through African dance, drumming, folk songs, games and creative dramatics.
Kwame performed at many iconic Washington institutions including Kennedy Center (2003, 2005) and Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater (2001, 2002, and 2003) and Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (1998 - 2004) among others.
Kwame’s work with at-risk youth highlights his desire to better the world through the arts. He was a Resident Artist at Montgomery County Jail (2007-2019), where he offered drumming lessons for juvenile offenders once a week. Kwame was the Presenter in the Choice Program drum workshops for at-risk teens enrolled in the University of Maryland Baltimore County Choice Program (2006-2012).
His performances garnering an international audience included playing the royal drums for Secretary- General Kofi Annan at the United Nations (2018). His international career highlights include performing at festivals and cultural celebrations at St. Croix Virgin Island (1996, 2006, 2018), and he made an appearance on television in his native Ghana in 2009.
Kwame was presented with numerous awards during his career, including the Human Rights Community Award presented by the United Nations Association of the National Capitol Area (1998); Maryland Arts Council Traditional Master drummer-Apprentice Award (2005); Certificate of Appreciation presented by the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies (1997); Grand-Marshall Award (2003) and Best Entertainment/Creative Float Award (2005) at the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia. More recently, he received a Master Award through the Maryland Traditions program.
Kwame is survived by his devoted wife Josephine and three children—son Kofi, and daughters Akosua and Ofosua.
The Distinguished Leadership Honoree: Rev. Dr. George E. Holmes
Recipient of the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award by President Barack Obama,
Contributor to the highly-acclaimed book, “Mr. President”,
Member of the National Clergy Leadership Network &
Chaplain and Chair of the Religious Council of the DC Democratic State Committee
The Philanthropy Honoree: Rev. Michael S. Mattar, Sr
Rev. Mattar was born in Harper City, Cape Palmas, Maryland County, Republic of Liberia -West Africa. He relocated to the United States in 1980 after the eruption of a civil war in Liberia. He has been married to his lovely wife, Lucretia, for 33 years and has been blessed with 3 wonderful children.
For twelve years, he served as Sr. Pastor for Christian Baptist Church (CBC) while working full time as a Customer Advocacy Manager in the Regulatory Affairs Department at Qwest Communications, eight of those years.
He is very active in the Liberian Community of the Washington Metro Area through proclamation of the Gospel and community outreach which includes; Immigration consultation services, funeral services rendered to members of the community without a home church, offering premarital counseling and performing weddings.
Currently, he is a church planter and Sr. Pastor of Hope Fellowship Church, a multi ethnic/multi-cultural church located in Sterling, Virginia. He currently serves as a Board Member for Hindsfeet Ministry, a U.S. based ministry equipping children in Liberia.
Rev. Mattar also serves with the Montgomery Baptist Association part-time, as the Language Church Missionary, focusing on enhancing and developing MBA’s relationship with language mission churches.
He serves part-time with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) on the Church Multiplication Team as an African Church Planting Consultant.
Rev. Mattar attended Washington Bible College located in Lanham, MD., where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Pastoral Ministries. He also attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for the first year of his Master’s program, completing his Master’s degree in Religion and Biblical Counseling at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary; Lynchburg, Virginia, in May 2010. He is exploring opportunities for Doctoral studies at the moment
The Rising Star Honoree: Jerell King
Jerell King is rising 12th grade scholar in the Academy of Engineering at Friendship Technology Preparatory Academy in Southeast Washington, DC. He currently has a 4.083 GPA; which places him as the top ranked scholar in the school. He takes dual enrollment classes at University of District of Columbia, Granite State and Arizona State University.
As an aspiring computer science engineer, Jerrell noticed that many of his peers did not have personal computers and sought to design a solution. Thus, he created the “Insta-laptop” which allows students to place their smartphone inside of an amplifier and they then connect smartphone to a Bluetooth keyboard. The device functions like a personal computer and has the equivalent functionality. He has since updated this device to be compatible with both Apple and Android devices. Thus, the updated device is the “Insta-Laptop 2.0”
This device is designed to address the barriers to access for low- income residents; as the device costs less than $50. It utilizes the research that states that many low-income homes do not have access to personal computers and internet, but they do have smartphones.
Jerrell submitted this invention into the Google Science Fair and has won first place in the state competition for Washington, DC. He has also previously won at the DC STEM Fair.
Never short on participating in amazing opportunities, Jerrell also spent part of his summer at the Apple Engineering Summer Camp in Cupertino, California.
In addition to his academic endeavors, Jerrell is also a plays trumpet in the Marching Titans Band, Kappa League Mentoring program, National Society of Engineers Jr. Club.
Jerrell King is an exceptional scholar who will graduate with 30 college credits, plans to attend an Ivy League university and major in computer science. Jerrell King is leading the charge to move “Friendship Forward” and his truly a young man impacting change.
The Leadership Honoree: Nyandusi Ayako Nyachae (Coach Dus)
Nyandusi Ayako Nyachae also known as “Coach Dus” is a sought after thought leader, professional speaker, coach, trainer, mentor and Full Time Lecturer at the State University of New York College at Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo State College). He is an award-winning leader and educator who has been considered by many as trailblazer for this generation of up and coming leaders. Although over the last 10 years Coach Dus has had the privilege of inspiring, and equipping, and empowering several groups of individuals from high school and college students, entrepreneurs, professionals, leaders and those in the faith community amongst others, his life beforehand was not one of great promise.
Coach Dus was born in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa, into a prominent family politically and financially. Although this was the case, he grew up a very insecure child with very low self-confidence. Growing up he experienced bullying in high school and was considered by a number of educators and adults an individual who was always going to be a failure for the rest of his life. Coach Dus failed High School in 2001 while attending a Private British School in Kenya. Although this was the case, his father who always believed in his abilities, found an opportunity to help him continue his education in the United States at Buffalo State College in Buffalo NY. While at Buffalo State College, Coach Dus attained a Bachelors Degree in Business Management in 2007 and a Masters Degree in Student Personnel Administration in 2010 at the same institution.
In 2011 Coach Dus launched his personal and leadership development company Dus Speaks International. During this time has invested much of his time helping individuals find their identity, recognize their value, discover their life purpose and develop their leadership skills personally, professionally and spiritually. Aside from speaking, coaching, training, and writing his up and coming books, Coach Dus also invests heavily in students at his Alma Mater Buffalo State College where he also teaches full time in the School of education.
While being an educator, Coach Dus has also received numerous awards such as 3 X Most Inspiring Faculty at Buffalo State College recognized by student organizations, as well as The Muriel A. Howard Presidential Award for promoting equity and diversity on the college campus. He also continues mentor and coach several students at the institution outside of his teaching hours. He is also the founder of a college personal, professional & leadership development at Buffalo State College known as “The Success Zone.” Coach Dus is also a faculty advisor at the institution for 3 organizations; The United Student Government (USG) which oversees an over $1 Million budget, The Pan African Student Organization (PASO) and CRU (Campus Crusade For Christ).
Within the community of Buffalo Coach Dus was also recognized as an honoree of the Changemakers 30 Under 30 Award. Coach Dus also served in the Executive Board of a young professional organization known as the Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals, as the Civics and Economics Chair. Coach Dus is also recognized as an independently certified professional speaker, coach and trainer under the #1 Leadership Coaching Company in the world owned by the #1 Leadership Expert and New York Times Best Selling Author Dr. John C. Maxwell. Coach Dus is also a certified facilitator for the globally recognized leadership company Franklin Covey.
Coach Dus believes that life is bigger than himself and everyday thrives to serve those he encounters. He currently lives in Buffalo and is happily married to his bride Tiffany Nyachae.
The Leadership Honoree: Maurice Blanding
At age 45, Maurice has been giving back to his community for over 25 years. Donating clothing, feeding needy families and volunteering in his community. He has also volunteered abroad while playing professional basketball in Europe and South America, coaching young boys/girls on basketball skills.
More recently Maurice was appointed to the Mayor’s Office of African American Male Engagement Department. He assists with providing job resources/training. He also assists with referring men/women to mental health & substance abuse awareness/treatment. In the department, they have a cohort that assists with the growth of young men ages 16-24, teaching life skills and job readiness. Although they are intentionally attempting to save the men they are not exclusive and also assist with helping women as well.
Maurice recently received the Governors Citation for outstanding work in the state of Maryland.
The Leadership Honoree: Mwaura Mwangi
Mwaura Mwangi is an Independent Certified Coach, Teacher, Trainer and speaker with The John Maxwell Team and a Licensed Professional Counselor (TX).
Mwaura currently serves as an associate pastor at Neema Gospel Church in Dallas, TX. He oversees the children, students and couples ministries at Neema. He speaks on topics including but not limited to Leadership, Personal Development, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Teen Suicides, Marriage & Family.
Mwaura holds a B.Sc (Computer Science) from Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya & a M.Sc ( Counseling and Psychological Services) from Salem State, Salem, MA.
Mwaura is married to Eva, and they are blessed with four children.
The Entrepreneurship Honoree: Dr. Charles Wheeler
Dr. Wheeler grew up in Maryland where he attended Kettering Elementary and Pullen Junior High School. Subsequently, his family relocated to the Bay Area in Northern California, where he graduated with honors from high school and received college scholarships prior to entering the United States Air Force.
As an Aircraft Crew Chief in the United States Air Force, Dr. Wheelers’ keen interest and expertise in computer science launched a career in Information Technology and subsequently a career with Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. In 1997, he secured venture capital and subsequently launched a few successful startups in Silicon Valley and ultimately his own consulting companies: Ross-Wheeler & Associates and Charles Wheeler Consulting, LLC.
In 2003, Dr. Wheeler returned to Maryland and began working in Washington, D.C. for the Environmental Protection Agency. As a certified Project Management Professional, Dr. Wheeler has consulted on behalf of the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of State, U.S Department of Commerce and other DoD Federal Agencies. In addition, Charles has consulted independently on projects for Google, Apple, Amazon, NASA, Washington Hospital Center, NGEN, Marriott, HUGO BOSS, CareFirst (BlueCross/BlueShield), Amtrak, WMATA, Deloitte and Artex Fine Art Services.
Dr. Wheeler is a forward-thinking entrepreneur that is always focused on leadership development, continuous improvement, new business and economic empowerment for minorities; to foster global expansion for the next generation of young leaders.
In 2013, Dr. Wheeler and his wife Melony launched Five Star Consulting Group in Maryland which currently supports clients in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Northern California. Five Star Consulting Group (FSCG) is a Management Consulting Enterprise focused on providing Information Technology subject matter expertise in Program/Project Management for Agile or Waterfall (SDLC) Systems Development Life-Cycle for the development of Software Applications.
Dr. Wheeler and his wife Melony are the very proud parents of two sons. He currently serves as an At-Large Board Member for 100 Black Men Prince George’s County Chapter, INC. In addition, Charles serves on the Technology Oversight and Resource Development Committees on behalf of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
The Philanthropy Honoree: Wesley Hawkins
Born on February 10, 1986 to Nolita Smith and Wesley Hawkins, Wesley D. Hawkins has overcome and accomplished notable feats. At the young age of 33, Wesley is already a retired correctional officer, a property manager, an author, the CEO of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, The Nolita Project, a mentor to underprivileged youth in the Baltimore community, a University of Baltimore graduate, Cum Laude, with Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice as well as the fulltime single parent of his recently adopted younger brother, Elijah. He is also an inducted member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. While his credentials are impressive; his character is even more admirable. His dedication to bettering himself and the community in the face of adversity, is nothing short of amazing and inspirational to anyone who hears his story. Mr. Hawkins has an undeniable gift of leadership; whether he is speaking greatness into existence in a public forum or leading by example. His influence and impact are the seeds that empower the next generation.
Wesley is an author, entrepreneur, a motivational speaker, a former public school teacher, mentor, & the CEO of his own youth centered nonprofit, The Nolita Project, and most importantly, he is a young man with an amazing success story.
At a very young Wesley struggled through a life of hardship, while looking after & providing for his younger siblings. As a result of drug addiction, both his mother & father were unable to care for him & his siblings, or provide a stable home; which forced them to squat in abandoned homes, or live on the streets. This experience really put a lot of things in perspective for Wesley, and after a lot of hard work & determination, he was able to obtain his Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Baltimore, with Honors, and will be receiving his Master’s Degree in Education from Trinity Washington University. He now uses his difficult life experiences to set an example for others facing similar hardship, by motivating them to seek help, overcome addiction, and create long lasting to solutions to poverty, institutional racism, and inequality.
Wesley currently serves as a Community Liaison for the Baltimore City Police Department’s Consent Decree Implementation Unit, and he works tirelessly every single day to advocate for people of color in low income communities. He serves as the beacon of hope in his community and additionally seeks to improve the quality of education within the Baltimore City Public School System through his daily personal efforts, as well as the efforts of his nonprofit. He has also served at the Regional Strategist for Baltimoreans for Educational Equity, and a Grade Level Reading Work Group Member.
The Nolita Project is a nonprofit organization founded in Baltimore, Maryland. It is founded on the principles of the importance of education for youth and generating strong community ties in support of youth prosperity and success. The Nolita Project was created by Wesley Hawkins in remembrance of his mother, the late Nolita Smith. It is Nolita’s legacy of struggle and strength that has inspired The Nolita Project’s concept of educating and inspiring the youth.
The Entrepreneurship Honoree: Vincent Mongare
Vincent Mongare who now lives in Texas is a previous resident of Baltimore Maryland.
He is the Senior Vice President of InVida Financial Network.
Vincent is engaged in community services educating people about finance and insurance and in particular empowering ,training and inspiring young people to prosperity.
Vincent sits in various board of directors of many charity organizations.
Vincent is married to Bethzali and they have been blessed with three children.
The Philanthropy Honoree: Liberatus Mwang'ombe
Liberatus Mwang’ombe is a Reparatory Care Practitioner (RCP), Neonatal/Pediatric Specialty (NPS), and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT). Mr. Mwang’ombe works at Suburban Hospital-Johns Hopkins Medicine where he is a Respiratory Care Practitioner Leader at Suburban Hospital- Johns Hopkins Medicine. Prior, Mr. Mwang’ombe completed his internship at Children Hospital and Center for Disease and Control (CDC)
on the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS).
Mr. Mwang’ombe graduated from Shenandoah University with Bachelor of Science in 2009, specialized in Respiratory Care (BSRC or BScRC), and a degree in Master of Public Health (MPH) from Argosy University in 2014. In 2018, Mr. Mwang’ombe has completed a certificate program in Leadership Cohort at the Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland.
In 2014, Mr. Mwang’ombe volunteered his time in Tanzania and taught primary school English and Mathematics subjects. He has also helped to distribute free school supplies in Tanzania. Mr. Mwang’ombe has donated equipment to hospital facilities in Tanzania and provided a free seminar to Tanzanians healthcare Professionals. In 2014, Mr. Mwang’ombe traveled to Tanzania with specialist physicians from USA and during that medical tour, they successful offered a free seminar that covered Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) to healthcare providers at Aga Khan hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
In 2018, Mr. Mwang’ombe and colleagues from Maryland and Washington DC formed a non- profit organization, that is, Swahili Society USA (SSUSA).Mr. Mwang’ombe hs led that process as chair. SSUSA core mission is to bring Swahili speaking people and friends together to address socio-economic disparities and embrace the Swahili culture.
This year, 2019, Tanzania Day Committees Board of Trustees in Dallas, Texas has recognized SSUSA for playing a supportive role to the Tanzania Day events for two consecutive years.
Mr. Mwang’ombe has helped raise funds that have been used to cover medical expenses for Tanzanian political activists as well as to cover transportation for deceased community members.
In 2015, Mr. Mwang’ombe contested for the Member of Parliament seat in Tanzania where he emerged second.
The Philanthropy Honoree: Damion J. Cooper,M.Th.
Damion uses his startling life’s story of being shot an inch above the heart at point blank range by one of two gunmen to teach lessons of forgiveness, self-control, discipline and redemption via mentorship. While mentoring a young man in prison during his years in Seminary, he discovered that his mentee was the assailant who shot him years earlier. This inspired him to create Project Pneuma; a holistic program focused on forgiveness and curbing impulse actions in young African American males by teaching them yoga, mindfulness, breathing techniques and martial arts. Project Pneuma also partners with the Baltimore City Police Department so that the young men and new officers can build bonds of trust, respect and cultural competencies.
Damion currently serves as the Director of Neighborhood Relations for the City Council President.
He is charged with building relationships and bridging the gap with City Government, Communities, Faith-Based Institutions, City Schools and Colleges, bringing forth new initiatives and potential legislation that would better the communities in Baltimore. Damion is a certified Gang Awareness and Intervention Trainer through the Department of Juvenile Justice and trains competitively with the Warlord’s Academy of Martial Arts. He is a 2014 BMe Leadership Award Recipient, 2016 Maryland Out of School Time (MOST) Emerging Leader, 2016 Presidential Volunteer Service Recipient, 2017 Champion of Courage Recipient and 2017 Warnock Foundation Social Innovation Fellow. Damion also serves as a participant for a national Civil Rights Initiative with the University of Chicago’s Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture; which is to promote future- oriented and evidence-based approaches to addressing inequalities that impact historically marginalized groups in urban and metropolitan areas.
Damion and his children reside in Northwest Baltimore.
The Education Honoree: Dr. Patrick Nhigula
Dr. Patrick Nhigula is a Lecturer at University of South Carolina (USC), Department of Management Science, Darla Moore School of Business and his also an assistant professor at South University(SU) in Columbia, South Carolina where he focuses on teaching management science, healthcare management, health science, and information technology courses. Dr. Nhigula also serves as an advisor in healthcare management programs in the same institution.
Prior to joining University of South Carolina and South University, he worked for the Blue Cross Shield of South Carolina as a technical analyst where he coordinated Medicare and Medicaid contracts for the health insurance firm between 2006 and 2011.
Dr. Patrick Nhigula serves as an Interim President and advisor for Association of Central and East African Diasporas, non-profit organization in Columbia, South Carolina. He helps to coordinating and planning the Refugees from DRC Congo who resettled in Columbia, South Carolina to navigate healthcare system, social services, and legal system. In addition, Dr. Nhigula coordinated this year 2019 back to school bash. This including distribution of school supplies for youth refugees in preparation for the 2019-2020 school term.
Dr. Nhigula has served two terms as a board member for South Carolina African American HIV/AIDS Council, a non-profit organization in Columbia, South Carolina. He has also served three terms as a board member for International Council of African Professionals, non-profit organization.
From 2018-Present, on the voluntarily bases Dr. Nhigula has been assisting the Congolese-Refugees in Columbia, South Carolina to navigate the South Carolina healthcare systems, Department of social services, Department of Motor Vehicles, and Office of Social Security (SSI). Dr. Nhigula has also facilitated to create an association for the Congolese-Refugees who are living in Columbia, South Carolina.
From 2015-Present, Dr. Nhigula has appeared at various radio and television programs as guest speaker for the Voice of America Washington Bureau (VOA-SWAHILI) and Deutsche Welle Radio (DW-Swahili) in German ,where he discusses topics on healthcare, education, economy, political, and social.
Dr. Nhigula has served five years as an advisor for School Improvement Council (SIC) for the Dutch Folk Elementary School and Cross Road Intermediate Middle School in Irmo, South Carolina. He helps to planning and coordinating the school policies and programs.
Between 2000 and 2006, as a Senior Network Support Analyst at Spirit Telecom, Dr. Nhigula coordinated and managed advanced telecommunication projects. He also served as a technical trainer for the same firm where he successfully coordinated training for clients. Prior to joining the telecommunication industry,
Dr. Nhigula worked at the South Carolina Department of Social Services as Technical Support where he helped to implement different advanced technology systems in both hardware and software.
Dr. Nhigula has participated as keynote speaker at the 2018 newly launched the Swahili Society USA in Washington D.C, where he spoke on significant important of Swahili-language and diaspora diplomacy as relate to economic buying power.
Dr. Nhigula has participated as guest speaker at various events including the 2014 convention of the Diaspora Council of Tanzanians in America, where he spoke on healthcare management system.
Dr. Patrick has a combined practical experience and background in both health science and information technology. He received his doctorate in public health with specialization in Epidemiology from Walden University. He has done work and research on various health programs at the community and national level. He also received Masters of Science in public Health from the same institution. Dr. Nhigula also holds a master degree in Information systems management from Webster University and a bachelor degree in Applied Mathematics from Allen University in South Carolina. He received different technology certifications and credentials in information technology including CISCO and Microsoft Certified Professional.
The Education Honoree: Rashad Lajuan Mills
Licensed therapist, broadcast journalist, radio host and motivational speaker who has a passion to speak on being broke but not broken. Born, Rashad Lajuan Mills on November 15, 1977, in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Mills desires to speak with at risk youth and re-direct them based on his life experiences of being shot, battling and overcoming alcoholism, and growing up in a single parent household. Mill’s persistence and determination has initiated his personal development of an unending self-education which has distinguished him as an authority on mental health. Rashad Mills’ passion to learn and his hunger to realize greatness in himself and others has helped him to achieve self-love.
The Entrepreneurship Honoree: Henok-Tesfaye
Henok Tesfaye is the founder of U Street Parking Inc. His dream to be a parking operator began on one of the most prestigious and historic streets in the country: U Street of Washington, DC. Known for its world-famous restaurants and vibrant culture, it suffered from a lack of functional parking solutions. Today, his successful company has grown to offer parking management, valet parking, and traffic consultant services.
Once he recognized the opportunity to serve his community, he embarked on a lifelong dream and incorporated his first asset in 1998. More than a decade later, he owns the leading minority-owned parking management firm in the nation. His company’s portfolio includes operation and ownership of surface parking lots, and the management of more than 50 valet parking locations for restaurants, night clubs, sports arenas, and entertainment venues.
The mission of his company is to serve as the country’s premier parking facility management firm, and to offer his VIP clients a wide range of first-class services. To work with his highly-trained, motivated, and engaged service professionals at affordable rates.