Art of Achievement Awards 2023 ‘And the nominees are…’

(FLINT, Mich., Nov. 3, 2023) The nominations are in for the Flint & Genesee Group’s Art of Achievement Awards. More than 80 businesses and organizations and 120 individuals are contenders for 14 awards that will be presented Thursday, Nov. 9, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., at the FIM Capitol Theatre in downtown Flint.

Now in its ninth year, the annual awards celebration will also include the presentation of three special honors, including the Art Hurand Award, Charles Stewart Mott Award, and Economic Development Project of the Year.

“Art of Achievement shines a spotlight on some of the people and organizations that are making a real difference in Flint & Genesee,” said Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Group. “We invite everyone to join us for an evening that celebrates the excellence, dedication, and vibrant spirit of our community.”

Red carpet arrival will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the awards program at 7 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now for $10 and may be purchased online by visiting

The following individuals and companies are nominees in the business category:

Business Impact Award – Recognizes a company with 50 or more employees working to have a positive impact in Flint & Genesee.

  • Fessler & Bowman
  • Insight Health Group
  • LaFontaine Automotive Group
  • Mass Transportation Authority (MTA)

Claire M. White Award – Honors a woman working for the betterment of Flint & Genesee in community, career, or someone else’s life.

  • Lennetta Coney
  • Nancy Edwards, CTA
  • Deborah Hamilton
  • Claudnyse Holloman
  • Angela Hood-Beaugard
  • Adriana Lanice
  • Michele Leclaire
  • Jashell Mitchell
  • Anna Owens-Wolfe
  • Shearese Stapleton
  • Mary Stevenson

Diversity, Inclusion & Equity (DEI) Award – Recognizes a business or organization that has demonstrated leadership in their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to help make Flint & Genesee a place of opportunity and inclusion for those who live and work in the county, no matter their background or where they reside.

  • The DM Burr Group
  • Flint Social Club
  • Financial Plus Credit Union
  • Huntington Bank
  • The Loft
  • McLaren Flint
  • Peckham
  • University of Michigan-Flint
  • What’s Up Downtown

Minority-Owned Business Award – Recognizes a minority-owned business working to have a positive impact in Flint & Genesee.

  • Breads & Threads Handmade
  • Comma Bookstore & Social Hub
  • Drinks of Essence Bartending School
  • Harris Family Health
  • Prince Gourmet
  • Prestige Promotions
  • Robella Haynie’s Catering
  • Yevettes Gourmet Tacos

Nonprofit Impact Award – Recognizes a charity, church, or nonprofit making great strides to positively impact any facet of the Flint & Genesee community.

  • Back to the Bricks
  • Beauty for Ashes
  • Catholic Charities of Shiawassee & Genesee Counties
  • Center for Higher Educational Achievement
  • Communities First, Inc.
  • Crime Stoppers of Flint & Genesee County
  • The Disability Network
  • Fathering Together
  • Fenton Center of Hope
  • Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church
  • Hand of Hope – FLM
  • Invisible Giants Legacy & Leadership Foundation
  • Junior League of Flint
  • Mothers of Joy Institute for Parenting and Family Wellness, Inc
  • Serenity House Communities
  • Sloan Museum of Discovery
  • Whaley Children’s Center

Small Business Award – Recognizes a company with fewer than 50 employees working to have a positive impact in Flint & Genesee.

  • The Agitated Grape
  • Blackstone’s Smokehouse
  • Brandon’s Tire Service
  • Breads & Threads Handmade
  • Buff City Soap
  • Churchill’s Food & Spirits
  • Comma Bookstore & Social Hub
  • Great Harvest Bread Company
  • The Loft
  • Peerless Mattress Co.
  • Robella Haynie’s Catering
  • SAGEncy
  • Special Occasions
  • Storage of America
  • Tenacity Brewing
  • Vehicle City Onsite Fleet Services
  • Walker Electric, Inc.

Young Professional Leader Award – Recognizes a young professional 40 or younger making great strides to benefit their company and/or the community.

  • Joel Arnold
  • Domonique Clemons, CTA
  • Emily Doerr
  • Ashnee Dunning
  • Lauren Goslee
  • Bre’Asia Hamlin
  • Adriana Lanice
  • Kathryn Linehan
  • Morgan Neeley
  • Brandon Peabody
  • Jerin Sage, CTA
  • Brittany Wilson
  • Emma Ziraldo

The following companies and individuals are nominees in the hospitality category:

Attraction of the Year – Recognizes a venue or attraction that continues to raise the bar, offering top notch entertainment or programming to the community and visitors.

  • The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren
  • Back to the Bricks
  • Buckham Gallery/Buckham Fine Arts Project
  • Flint Alley Fest
  • Flint Drop Fest
  • Flint Firebirds
  • Flint Horror Collective
  • Genesee County Fair
  • The Machine Shop Concert Lounge
  • Really Cool Comic Con
  • Sloan Museum of Discovery

CTA of the Year – Recognizes a Flint & Genesee Certified Tourism Ambassador who exemplifies excellence in hospitality and customer service.

  • Launa Collins, CTA
  • Elizabeth Fernandes, CTA
  • Terry Pickard, CTA
  • Jerin Sage, CTA
  • Carol Van Buren, CTA

Frontline Ambassador of the Year – Recognizes outstanding customer service in the non-hotel areas of food service, bartender, transportation, business, etc.

  • Mark Bonto
  • Melanie Cieslinski
  • Collene Eller
  • Sheena Harrison
  • JackyMetcalfe, CTA
  • Gregg Outen
  • Marcus Randolph
  • Jack Russell
  • Jerin Sage, CTA
  • Zach Smithingell

Hotel of the Year – Recognizes a Genesee County hotel for its outstanding service, comfort, and attention to hotel guests, providing an excellent overall experience.

  • Best Western Plus Flint Airport Inn & Suites
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Flint Grand Blanc
  • Gateway Hotel and Convention Center Best Western Premier Collection
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Flint/Grand Blanc
  • Hilton Garden Inn Flint Downtown

Knob Hill Bed & Breakfast

Bryant “BB” Nolden Community Champion Award – Recognizes an individual or organization who improves Flint & Genesee through community collaboration, advocacy, and engagement.

  • James Avery, CTA
  • Ed Benning
  • Katie Curnow
  • Megan Heyza
  • Tarnesa Martin
  • Chad Schlosser
  • Jerin Sage, CTA
  • Marsay Wells-Strozier

Restaurant of the Year – Recognizes a Genesee County restaurant for their outstanding service, menu, and overall experience of the customer.

  • Blackstone’s Smokehouse
  • Blondie’s Food & Spirits
  • Cork on Saginaw
  • Gina’s Italian Restaurant
  • The Grafted Root Eatery
  • JT’s Country Kitchen
  • The Laundry
  • Roma’s Pizza
  • Sam’s Italian Restaurant
  • Sauce Italian American Kitchen
  • Soggy Bottom Bar
  • Spectacular Spudz
  • Sweet Peaces
  • Tees Plentiful Salads
  • Zippy Pizza Inc.

Hotel Ambassador of the Year – Recognizes a hospitality worker who provided outstanding service. This may include, but is not limited to front desk, host, hostess, housekeeper, guest services, hotel restaurant, and maintenance.

Best Western Plus Flint Airport Inn & Suites

  • Jeanette Anderson, CTA
  • Diana Baricska, CTA
  • Zachary Blackburn
  • Shaquita Bobo, CTA
  • Shawn Bourgeois
  • Karen Boyd, CTA
  • Devon Brown
  • Shuronda Brown, CTA
  • Selima Burney, CTA
  • Kinya Eldridge
  • Crystal Elliott
  • Rubicelia Garcia
  • Keniesha Harris, CTA
  • Matt Hensel, CTA
  • Andrea Jewell, CTA
  • Blake Johnson, CTA
  • Brooklyn Lemmon
  • Bryania Lemmon
  • Sam Muraeky
  • LaQuanta Murphy
  • Lucia Qazaha, CTA
  • Dominique Redmond, CTA
  • Issa Salem
  • Juanita Whittaker

Comfort Inn & Suites Grand Blanc  

  • Lazaro Aguila, CTA
  • Donna Marchbanks, CTA
  • Karri Whiteman, CTA

Fairfield Inn & Suites Flint Grand Blanc 

  • Jemima Biddinger
  • Michael Clinton
  • Darrell Hagy
  • Carl Hawkins
  • Trevon Johnson
  • Kamara Massey
  • Marissa McCollum
  • Elizabeth Morris, CTA
  • Genell Reeves
  • Olivia Rodgers
  • Toya Smith, CTA
  • Karla Turner, CTA
  • Emily Wright

Gateway Hotel and Convention Center Best Western Premier Collection

  • Gregory Ahejew, CTA
  • Todd Alton
  • Pete Clifton
  • Michelle Dunlap
  • Tammy Ranaldi
  • Theresa Sharpe
  • Baha Shihabi

Hampton Inn & Suites Flint/Grand Blanc

  • Yaeko Brodie
  • Melissa Clement
  • Lettie Lane
  • Melissa Mancour

Hilton Garden Inn Flint Downtown

  • Ellen Bailey
  • Sheryl Champine, CTA
  • Dwayne Corder
  • Briana Crane-Jackson
  • John Watson “JW” Creasey
  • Angie Esquivel
  • Daquavia Flowers
  • Kayla Harper
  • Kathryn Hinman
  • Christopher Inman
  • Ethan Irish
  • Melea Mitchell
  • Alex Price
  • Tammy Ranaldi
  • Brandi Starr
  • Dan Wright
  • James Young
  • Taryn Young

Home2 Suites by Hilton Grand Blanc Flint

  • Ashley Bradley, CTA
  • Andrea Cordero
  • Abbey Forrester
  • Emily Henry
  • Rena Klanseck
  • Frank Mata
  • Dana Neely, CTA

Hyatt Place Flint/Grand Blanc

  • Brittany McEachern
  • Kelly Rose
  • Omar Wooten
  • Christiana Wright

Knob Hill Bed & Breakfast  

  • Diana Phillips