Smith: These are women who lead

Paul W. Smith

Our Relentless Positive Radio campaign every morning has included a wonderful and special day each of the past six years called the “Women Who Lead” honoree breakfast.

I’m not sure any of us, including WJR executive producer Ann Thomas (the one who came up with the idea and does all of the heavy lifting), could have ever imagined just how big this would become.

We filled an entire dining room of Joe Muer Seafood in the Renaissance Center, as Joe and Rosalie Vicari opened their doors extra early for WJR to host our breakfast and broadcast.

Congratulations to: Rose Bellanca, president, Washtenaw Community College; Gretchen Carhartt Valade, the woman who saved and still carries the Detroit Jazz Festival and owns the Dirty Dog Jazz Café and Morning Glory coffee shop, both in Grosse Pointe; Tonya Allen, president and CEO, Skillman Foundation; Dr. Susan Smyth, chief scientist for global manufacturing at GM; Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free-Press columnist; Kelly Rossman-McKinney, CEO of Truscott Rossman; Lisa Dancsok, vice president of marketing and communications of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan; Amy Tattrie Loepp, owner of Tattrie Strategies and the co-founder and treasurer of Impact100 Oakland County; Dr. Carole Kowalczyk, founder of the Michigan Center for Fertility & Women’s Health; Tammy Carnrike, the chief operation officer of the Detroit Regional Chamber; Patti Poppe, president and CEO of CMS Energy Corp. and Consumers Energy Co.; and Terry Merritt, senior vice president at Walbridge.

Congratulations to the 2016 class and to their support team, family members and friends who have cheered them on.

“The Paul W. Smith Show” is on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.