Conservancy Board

Dennis Archer Jr.

CEO of Ignition Media Group/Founding partner of Archer Corporate Services (ACS)

Dennis W. Archer Jr. is the CEO of Ignition Media Group and founding partner of Archer Corporate Services (ACS). Archer is the majority owner of Central Kitchen + Bar, named as one of Detroit’s “2016 top new restaurants of the year” by the Detroit Free Press.

Leveraging his background in marketing and advertising, Archer has created a portfolio of companies, each creating niches for themselves. Ignition Media Group, a leading integrated marketing agency, has significantly grown its leadership team in the last decade, carrying a large network of local contacts in the media, business, political and philanthropic communities. Under his leadership, ACS has also grown into one of the nation’s leading marketing fulfillment services firms, under his leadership, serving clients such as General Motors Co., Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Michelin.

Archer serves on a number of civic and philanthropic boards and foundations, including the Detroit Regional Chamber Board of Directors. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Charles Beckham

Mr. Charles Beckham is a retired “Municipalist” who has served at an executive level for six mayoral administrations in the City of Detroit over the last 45 years. During this time, Beckham has also run his own management consulting firm, held numerous engineering management positions in a successful career at General Motors Corporation, and co-founded and served as Executive Director of the African American Associations of Businesses and Contractors (A3BC). During his tenure, the organization formed the genesis of the Michigan Black Chamber, formally the Detroit Black Chamber of Commerce, where Beckham currently serves as Chairman.

Mr. Beckham served the administrations of Mayors Young, Archer, Kilpatrick, Cockrel, Bing and Duggan in various appointive positions including the Director of Public Lighting, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Group Executive of Operations, and Group Executive of Neighborhoods. Beckham also served in the General Services, Recreation, and Water/Sewage departments. Over the years, Beckham has run more city departments than any mayor appointees in the last 40+ years. In 2008-09, Charlie served as Campaign Manager for Dave Bing for Mayor, winning four elections in fifteen months. In 2013, Mr. Beckham served as Sr. Advisor for the Duggan for Mayor campaign.

Mr. Beckham has also served his community by serving with numerous organizations including the Detroit Alliance for Fair Banking (Chair); Detroit Neighborhood & Family Initiative (Chair); Engineering Society of Detroit (Young Engineer of the Year, 81’); Business Development & Review Committee – DPS (Chair); UM African American Alumni Council (Chair); UM Alumni Association (Board Member); The Fairlane Club (Board Member); Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce (Chair); Detroit Transportation Corporation (Chair); Black Family Development (Board Secretary); Detroit Promise Zone Authority (Chair); Paradise Valley Conservancy (Co-Chair); and DDP Business Improvement Zone (Board Member).

Charles Beckham received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1969. He is a 62-year resident of Detroit and currently resides in Lafayette Park.

Hiram E. Jackson

CEO, Real Times Media

Hiram Eric Jackson is an entrepreneur philanthropist with a 30-year track record of success in business and community activism. Jackson currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Real Times Media (RTM), a multimedia company headquartered in Detroit MI. Through his vision and leadership, RTM has evolved from a traditional newspaper publisher into one of the country’s leading creators of African American content across multiple platforms.

Jackson is also the founder and chairman of Catalyst Detroit, a nonprofit enterprise that focuses on projects and investments that advance black entrepreneurship, social innovation, and economic development. Jackson also serves on numerous Detroit area and National boards including the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, The NAACP, The Automotive Hall of Fame, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

Rainy Hamilton

President, Owner, Principal-in-charge-of-Architecture, Hamilton Anderson Associates

Rainy Hamilton, Jr. is a native Detroiter and graduate of the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Architecture. Rainy has a comprehensive understanding of the design industry and has built a national practice that has created award winning designs in the areas of entertainment/hospitality, higher education, residential and recreational facilities. He has a keen ability to quickly develop design solutions, organize and solve complex issues and craft solutions that are environmentally responsible and financially feasible.

Mr. Hamilton established his own Detroit-based architectural firm as a solo practitioner in 1993. Since that time, Hamilton Anderson Associates (HAA) has grown to include over 50 full-time employees with an office in Atlanta, GA. Hamilton Anderson’s mission is to contribute to the positive evolution of urban environments and progressive social cultures. The firm has been active in the rebuilding of the economic and physical fabric of Detroit, working on such projects as City Modern, Little Caesars Arena, Elton Park Mixed Use Development, the Detroit / Wayne County Port Authority, MGM Grand Detroit Casino, the Detroit School of Arts, and the Hudson’s Redevelopment Project.

Rainy’s dedication to his profession is illustrated by his activities in the professional arena. In 2012, Rainy was elevated to Fellow by the American Institute of Architects, and in 2013 he received the AIA Detroit Gold Medal award. Rainy served as President of the Detroit Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2001, the first African American to serve in this position. Rainy has been active with the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), he spearheaded the formation of the Detroit chapter, serving as its President in 2012, and hosted the 40th National Conference and Expo.

Ismail Houmani

Owner – La Casa Cigar Lounges

Growing up, Ismail Houmani’s spent his summers amongst his cousins’ tobacco fields in Southern Lebanon. He was fascinated with the plantations, the growers, as well as the feel of dirt and tobacco leaves underfoot.

While these are some of his fondest memories, it wasn’t until 1996 that his passion for cigar began took root. He opened H&I Smokers in Canton, Michigan, and in the following years he traveled to far-flung tobacco-growing regions around the world to deepen his knowledge. At the same time, he created a one-of-a-kind luxury cigar lounge, La Casa, in Plymouth, Michigan, and then subsequently in Ann Arbor and Detroit.

Houmani’s desire to offer one-of-kind experiences drove him to create his 20 Minutes Cigar line, which he successfully launched in Detroit in 2011. Houmani launched his first Las Vegas store and lounge, in Tivoli Village in the Summerlin neighborhood in November 2012.

 

Roger Basmajian

Founder and President, Basco Inc.

roger headshot

Roger Basmajian, a graduate of the University of Michigan in architecture, is the founder and CEO of the Detroit-based real estate development and investment firm, Basco. With over 21 years of experience in creating walk-able communities, he understands how to bring a multitude of concepts and means together to ensure a successful development.

He is a firm believer in placemaking and applies this approach on all projects. Roger has over the years cultivated a vast network of relationships with industry and community leaders, both in the public and private sectors, as well as perfecting tools that take projects from conception to construction, and ultimately to delivery.

Among many of his accomplishments has been being the leading force in the transformation of Downtown Ferndale into one of the most vibrant hot spots of Metro Detroit.

Roger is currently focused on bringing that same success to Detroit with multiple projects underway and/or completed in and around Downtown Detroit.

Kenyetta Hairston-Bridges

Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Economic Development and Investment Services for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation

Kenyetta Hairston-Bridges is an accomplished leader serving as the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Economic Development and Investment Services for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, a catalyst for economic activity within the city of Detroit. In this role, Kenyetta expertly guides a team of economic development professionals to foster investments that generate business growth, create job opportunities, and optimize real estate development investments across various asset classes, including commercial, industrial and mixed-use.

With an impressive track record of over 18 years of experience in economic development, Kenyetta has played an integral role in facilitating major business investments on behalf of the DEGC. Her impressive achievements advancing prosperity for the City of Detroit, including notable examples such as District Detroit, the Stellantis Assembly Plant in Detroit, Ford’s Michigan Central Train Station, Detroit Pistons Headquarters and Practice Facility, Flex-n-Gate and redevelopment of the former Cadillac Stamping site for Lear Corporation.

Kenyetta’s hard work and dedication to supporting Detroit’s economic resurgence have earned her numerous accolades. She has been named one of Crain’s Detroit Business Notable Women in Real Estate and honored as a Women of Excellence in the Michigan Chronicle including being selected as a Vanguard recipient.

A proud native Detroiter, Kenyetta earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Central Michigan University. In addition to her professional accomplishments, she is deeply committed to her community, with more than 20 years of volunteer experience supporting Detroit youth.

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