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Women of Influence Summit celebrates with chat

In celebration of International Women’s Day on Thursday, some 300 women gathered at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel for the second annual Women of Influence Summit, presented by DTE and hosted by United Way. After breakfast, MGM Grand Detroit Senior Vice President Juliette Okotie-Eboh delivered a delightful and dynamic keynote speech sprinkled with advice from her new book, “10 Things I Know.” The event ended with a fireside chat, moderated by WDIV-TV anchor Sandra Ali, featuring Children’s Hospital CEO Luanne Ewald, 36th District Court Judge Robbie Archer and DTE Vice President JoAnn Chavez.

Advocates pair fashion with philanthropy for charity

A newcomer to Detroit, Jennifer Granger, wife of Chris Granger, newly appointed group president of Sports & Entertainment for Illitch Holdings, has partnered with community advocate Amanda Fisher to launch an exciting new venture, FASHION x PHILANTHROPY. Saks Fifth Avenue at Somerset Collection is the first to collaborate with FxP and will host a series of fashion events throughout the year benefiting several prominent local charities. “For me, there’s always been a strong connection between fashion and philanthropy,” explains Jennifer. “There’s so much for us to do. It just took Amanda and I to put our heads together, and then getting together with Ina Levinson from Saks. So let the magic begin.” FxP will foster unity between the fashion industry and the philanthropic sector to create impact in the community. The first FxP event will be a private gathering in April to benefit Music Hall.

Allee Willis now in the Songwriters Hall of Fame

Celebrated songwriter Allee Willis, a Detroit native, sent out an email the other day to her friends announcing — in her own, fun and quirky way — that she was just voted to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. “On June 14 I will enter the hallowed halls when I’m inducted in by Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire, who gave me my big break by writing with me and introducing me to his big brother, Maurice, with whom I started writing “September” within five minutes of meeting,” she explained in her letter. In 1985, Willis won a Grammy for Best Soundtrack for “Beverly Hills Cop.” Her songs have sold more than 50,000,000 records, including “September” and “Boogie Wonderland” by Earth, Wind & Fire; “Neutron Dance” by the Pointer Sisters; and “I’ll Be There For You” (the “Friends” theme), to mention a few. Willis will perform live in Detroit on May 18 and 19 at the City Theatre.

Chuck Bennett is the creator of TheSocialMetro.com and hosts “Chuck’s Closet” from 4-5 p.m. Saturdays on 910AM Superstation.

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