Our team of expert professionals are happy to serve your company and to help establish, sustain, and expand your business.
Our member resource team works tirelessly to deliver value and provide the network and facilitations to help businesses and the community thrive and grow.
We encourage all members, community stakeholders etc, to engage with the HPCC through gainful and collaborative brand building/marketing, strategies, real estate development, economic investment and public policy efforts.
...this our motto, and it permeates our vision, services and plans.
Thank you for your support.
Let's make great things happen together!
Chairman & CEO
Highland Park Chamber of Commerce
Rodger Penzabene, Jr. is the Chairman & CEO of the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce (“HPCC”). He founded the HPCC in May 2016 after identifying a void of available business support and advocacy service entities in Highland Park. Following his vision and after conducting research regarding the business needs in Highland Park, he began soliciting business, political, and community leaders to join the Board of Directors. By early 2017, Rodger had gathered the right team to serve on the Board, created an Advisory Board, and an Ex Officio Board. In March 2017, the Board began to meet and by the summer of 2017, Rodger was able to identify a building to serve as the HPCC’s headquarters, as well as broker a deal to have that building donated to the HPCC. It is his vision the HPCC will be the one-stop business support and advocacy shop for existing and future businesses in Highland Park.
Rodger is also the founder and owner of American Standard Property Management & Services, LLC. He is honored to also serve as an Executive Vice Chair and as a Precinct Delegate for the 14th Congressional District Democratic Party; Americanism Director and Public Relations Officer for the American Legion, Naomi Bell Post #70; and a member of several other fraternal and civic organizations. He is also an Honorably Discharged Veteran.
Rodger is the son of legendary Motown Writer, Rodger Penzabene, and Golden World Records Writer and Recording Artist, Helga Penzabene. He is the father of four wonderful children and one grandson. Rodger is a lifelong resident of the Detroit metropolitan area, who grew up in the Boston Edison historic district of Detroit.
Cylenthia LaToye Miller is the daughter of George B. Miller, Jr. and Sharon E. Bernard Miller, the first Black couple to graduate from the University of Arkansas Law School. In fact, her mother is the first Black woman lawyer in the history of the state of Arkansas. As the daughter of such trailblazers, Judge Miller was taught, at a very young age, the critical importance of service to the community, equal justice for all, and faith with works.
Judge Miller was appointed Judge of the 36th Judicial District Court on April 10, 2006, elected by the people of the city of Detroit in November 2006, & reelected in 2010 & 2016. Judge Miller is the Founding & Presiding Judge of Street Outreach Court Detroit, which assists Detroit's homeless population with clearing their driver's licenses and returning to self-sufficiency. www.streetdemocracy.org/socd. She is honored and humbled to serve on the largest district court in the state of Michigan and one of the busiest district courts in the country. Throughout her tenure as a Judge, she has presided over cases on all of the Court’s dockets. Currently, she serves on the Criminal Felony docket. Judge Miller has also worked as an Adjunct Professor at Baker College of Allen Park since August 2012 and at Baker College of Jackson since August 2018.
Judge Miller is the former Director of the Detroit Workforce Development Department, a Michigan Works! Agency. In her capacity as director, she supervised and directed the daily activities of the department and contractors. She also has extensive experience as a labor and employment attorney and has handled all phases of traditional labor and employment litigation matters while in private practice at Lewis & Munday, P.C. and at Dykema Gossett, PLLC. Judge Miller’s practice included AFSCME labor negotiations, school district & municipal arbitration hearings, administrative matters and cases involving harassment and discrimination based on race, gender, age, religion, and disability, breach of contract, ERISA benefits, and defamation of character.
She worked during high school, college, and law school, which she explains to persons who appear before her to encourage them to obtain employment and further, to understand that if she did it, so can they. Consequently, before becoming an attorney, Judge Miller was employed as an Intake Specialist and later, as a Crisis Line Counselor and Supervisor at Neighborhood Service Organization; a Regulatory Specialist at the Michigan Credit Union League; a Mediator of landlord/tenant disputes at Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services; a Law Librarian at the UAW Headquarters; a Legal Secretary at a local law firm; and a Police Cadet Supervisor & Payroll Assistant for the Detroit Police Department, among other positions. As a result, she brings skills and experience to the bench that uniquely qualify her to be a Judge.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Wayne State University in 1988 and attended the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). She received her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Michigan State University College of Law in 1996. Judge Miller was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 1996 and to the State Bar of Arkansas in 1997.
Judge Miller was appointed to the Michigan Inter-Agency Council on Homelessness in 2018 and will serve as a Council member until 2022. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Michigan District Judges Association, where she serves as the Chairperson of the Communications Committee and the Representative to the State Bar of Michigan Limited Scope Representation Work Group. Always having had a special place for Highland Park, Michigan in her heart, she serves as the First Vice-President of the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce and as Vice-Chair of the Highland Park Centennial Celebration Team (appointed by Mayor Hubert Yopp). Judge Miller is a Past President of the Association of Black Judges of Michigan; Past Chair of the Women Lawyers Division of the National Bar Association; Past President of the Wolverine Bar Association; and Past President of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan.
She is also a member of St. Charles Lwanga Roman Catholic Church; a Golden Heritage Life Member of the NAACP; and a member of the Wolverine Bar Association; the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan; the Black Women Lawyers Association of Michigan; the State Bar of Michigan; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; the Democratic Party; the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW); and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History (former Board member).
Throughout her career, Judge Miller has received numerous awards and honors, including, but not limited to: “Community Esther” Award, Rising Sun Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Stars, 2018; Distinguished Service Award, Great Rising Star, Order of the Eastern Stars 2017; Appreciation Award, Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, Social Justice Ministry 2017 & 2016; Appreciation Award, Knights of Peter Claver 2015; Alvin L. Storrs Outstanding Mentoring Award 2011; Humanitarian of the Year Award, Michigan Business & Technical Institute, December 2009; Member of the Year, Association of Black Judges of Michigan, August 2009; President’s Award, National Bar Association, August 2009, 2006, & 2000; Certificate of Congressional Recognition, Cong. Sheila Jackson Lee, July 2008; Distinguished Service Award, Detroit City Council, February 2008; Sheroe Award, McKinney Elementary School, February 2008; Shining Star Award, Wolverine Bar Association, September 2005; Citizen Lawyer Award, State Bar of Michigan, August 2005; Distinguished Alumni Award, Wolverine Student Bar Association, April 2003; Top 5 Up & Coming Lawyer, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, August 2001; and Member of the Year, Wolverine Bar Association, June 2001. Judge Miller is also a published co-author of two articles regarding employment law.
London J. Bell is a native Detroiter, a lawyer, community organizer, activist, and humanitarian with specific educational training in international human rights law and policy and international business and trade law. London has focused her career advocating for policy changes on behalf of diverse communities. She is the Founder, President and CEO of Bell Global Justice Institute, a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Detroit focused on advancing and promoting the international human right to education for girls.
London is a member of the United Nations Association of the United States (UNA-USA) and serves as a 2018-2020 UNA-USA National Council Member (Great Lakes Region). In addition,London serves as the 2018-2020 National Chair for UNA Women, an affinity group for UNA-USA. In 2018, London was selected as one of fifteen UNA-USA Delegates to attend and observe the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. She is also the President of the Greater Detroit UNA Chapter.
London is also a volunteer with the ONE Campaign, an international non-governmental organization advocating for the elimination of extreme poverty, particularly in Africa. London has organized ONE meet-up events across metro Detroit, and she has advocated for global health programs and support for energy poverty in Africa on Capitol Hill.
London earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. She also earned her Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Law at DePaul University College of Law. She focused her Master of Law studies in International Human Rights Law & Policy & Criminal Justice. As a DePaul International Human Rights Law Institute Practicum Student, she researched and analyzed jurisprudence from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). She also travelled to Lima, Peru in January 2014 to meet with local Peruvian organizations and to gather information about trafficking in persons in Peru. She along with seven of her classmates and law professor co-authored an Alternative Report (Shadow Report) regarding human trafficking of women and girls in Peru. The report was submitted on June 18, 2014 to the United Nations CEDAW Committee for its 58th Session. The purpose of their report was to educate the Committee on whether Peru's domestic laws and policies were effective in combating the trafficking of women and girls in the Madre de Dios and Loretto regions along the Amazon.
Harveen is currently a Managing Partner at SK Universal Tax & Consulting CPA PLLC. The expert team at SKU has over 22 years of experience in public accounting, working with Big 4 accounting firms and Fortune 500 companies. Consequently, the team members have been extensively exposed to complex tax and accounting issues arising out of complicated business transactions, whether it is mergers and acquisitions or restructurings to small start –up company and routine issues. In addition, SKU also provides the full suite of CPA services, along with implementations in sophisticated ERP packages, e.g., SAP, Governance Risk etc.
Pamela E. Alexander, MUP, MSA, NCAC II, CADC, ICADC, is the Deputy Director at the Ruth Ellis Center, an LGBTQ Youth and Young Adult specific program located in Highland Park, Michigan. In December of 2014, when the opportunity presented itself for Pamela to consider working at the Ruth Ellis Center, Pamela expressed her deepest gratitude and honor in serving at-risk LGBTQ young people. Pamela suggested she saw the move as an exciting opportunity to work with dedicated staffs that are making a difference in the lives of LGBTQ young people. Pamela’s professional career has focused on more than 30 years of experience in working in the human service field and more particularly working with youth from at-risk homes. Pamela recently led Ruth Ellis Center’s effort to become nationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) of which the Center received a three-year accreditation in October 2018.
Pamela has an extensive management/administrative background in program development and compliance and she is credentialed in the field of substance use disorders at the state, national and international level. Pamela has a long history as an activist in the LGBTQ community and she was one of the founding members and President of the Detroit Regional LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, before stepping down in July 2015. Overall, Pamela feels at home at the Ruth Ellis Center and she is highly optimistic in planning, managing and executing current and future program services.
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Tim’s career in the construction industry spans over 40 years and with his experience and capacity working as a Construction Manager, he has established himself over the years working with Union Labor forces helping to build Detroit and the surrounding area and will bring a unique commitment as Director of Labor and Trades for the HPCC.
Tim has been responsible and involved in the construction of many projects over the course of his career in the construction industry. Working in many diverse areas of construction including Healthcare, Industrial, Education, Automotive, and Government.
Tim has been involved in the successful completion of projects such as, The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI, Youthville Detroit, Beckham Academy, Detroit, MI, The VA Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI, TACOM, Warren, MI, The Garden City Post Office, Garden City, MI in addition to working on projects with The Army Corp of Engineers, Tim brings experience in project administration and field coordination. Estimating, preparing and assisting in the general contract and subcontract documents, quality control procedures, shop drawing processing & approvals, budget maintenance, and subcontractor supervision.
Dr. Paula Whittaker Watkins is an education and business professional with more than 30 years experience in teaching, leadership and corporate environments. Over the years, she has engaged in teaching and education/corporate training, strategic planning, organizational assessment and development, change management, instructional design and planning, business development, project management, and client/customer relations negotiations. Additionally, she served as a literacy coach for Wayne and Genesee Counties, as assistant professor of Education at Marygrove College, adjunct professor of Education at Wayne State and Oakland Universities and graduated from Oakland University with the doctoral degree from the School of Education and Human Resources. Married to husband, G. Wayne Watkins for 30 plus years; they are proud parents of three.
Heather Dell is from Wayne County and grew up on Detroit’s West side. She graduated from Michigan State University in 1992 with a BA, and earned a post-baccalaureate certificate from Christie’s Auction House in 1995 in New York City. Heather worked closely with real estate appraisers while specializing in fine and decorative art valuations for individuals, corporations and estates. She has an extensive background in design, architecture and strong hands on ties to community development in New York and the Greater Metro Detroit area. She is a member of the National Association of Realtors and GMAR. She works out of Keller Williams Domain in Birmingham-
Traoney Harris, CCUFC is a Banking Branch Manager and Lending Officer with 10 plus years of financial industry experience. He has an extensive background in all aspects of retail consumer banking and business banking operations, as well as lending and federal regulatory compliance. He has committed his career to serving in financial leadership roles associated with promoting the financial well-being of consumers. In addition, he is a certified financial counselor and financial success coach.
Traoney currently serves as a Board Member and Director of Banking & Finance for the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce where he is committed to bringing and sustaining financial success to the community residents and business.
Harris currently resides in the metro Detroit area.
Dr. Miller absolutely loves delivering babies! In her 23-year career, she has had the pleasure of delivering approximately 4500 newborns. In 2008, she also had the distinct pleasure of delivering the very first baby ever born in the then, brand-new Providence Park Hospital in Novi. Of all the babies Sharon has delivered, she is most proud of giving birth to her three sons, who are now 27, 20, and 16. She is also thrilled, along with their elder sister, to be raising their little sister who is only 13, although she “inherited” her, so it was an easy delivery.
Sharon is very passionate about traveling around the world. She has enjoyed visiting London, Paris, San Tropez, Nice, Barcelona, Madrid, Ibiza, Athens, the Greek Islands, Rome, the Vatican, the Amalfi coast, Sicily, and Dubai. In January 2017, she went on a medical mission trip to India, where she visited Mumbai, New Delhi and the Taj Mahal. Currently, she is planning future mission trips to other countries, including Kenya in March 2018.
She is also thrilled to be an Assistant Clinical Professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. That position affords her an opportunity to teach medical students and residents on a weekly basis in the hospital. She also enjoys sharing her knowledge and skills with nurse practitioner students in the office setting. Sharon finds teaching to be truly rewarding, especially when the students have an "ah-ha" moment.
Her areas of special interest are uterine fibroids and bleeding disorders. Adolescent gynecology is particularly important to her, as well. Specifically, she strives to empower young women to carry their own condoms to prevent sexually-transmitted infections. She also strongly encourages the use of birth control in an effort to lower the 43% unplanned pregnancy rate. On the Obstetrics side, she advocates for early and consistent prenatal care with the hope of decreasing pre-term births.
She is excited to be a part of The Wellness Plan, where she is available for same day and urgent appointments, as needed. Sharon enjoys working out of all three locations and serving her diverse population of patients.
Sharon is a 1985 graduate of Purdue University where she received her B.S. degree in Biology. She earned her M.D. from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 1990 and completed her residency at Sinai Hospital in 1994.
Phillip Brown is Founder / CEO & Managing Partner with CYBOC (Cyber Operations Capabilities), a Detroit based Cyber Security and Managed IT Services firm. Prior to launching CYBOC, Phillip served as Dean of Information Technology and Project Manager for IT & Advanced Manufacturing Training Programs at Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD). Executing these responsibilities afforded Mr. Brown the opportunity to establish relationships with CXO personnel of the technology companies that are transforming Metro-Detroit. Phillip has also interfaced with Cyber leaders from the SANS Institute, GIAC, DHS, FBI, NSA, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Facebook, Time Warner, Inc. and Sony Corporation of America to name a few.
Phillip is a proud alumn of the well regarded University of Detroit-Jesuit High School and Michigan State University. He maintains a passion for creating opportunities through workforce training and education in the Cyber Security sector.
Dorian is a licensed real estate broker and founder of AfricanTown Business Association, who currently serves as president of The Detroit Association of Realtors (DAR). This role allows Dorian to do what he has always aspired to do and that is: give back.
With over 28 years experience selling residential and commercial real estate in the state of Michigan, Dorian has dedicated the remainder of his career to creating opportunities for those who have been denied access to markets and economic resources.
Dorian is a highly motivated visionary and self-starter who launched small businesses that directly impacted his community and several foreign markets. Often the solutions/services he has created returned very little profit and
offered minimum fanfare but helped stabilize neighborhoods keeping families from becoming homeless. As the managing member of ShortSalesMadeSimple LLC, Dorian prospected on foreign investors encouraging them to purchase homes in Detroit that were owned by borrowers who suffered from family hardships due to loss of jobs, illness and/or death. Dorian was able to connect foreign investors to delinquent borrowers and helped the homeowners avoid foreclosure. Investors earned a return on their investment and occupants reduced their monthly payments and maintenance expenses drastically, allowing them to comfortably stay in their homes or save money to move. A win for all involved. All of this was accomplished during the “Great” recession of 2008- 2015 inside the worst real estate and employment market in the country: Detroit Michigan.
During the city’s historic bankruptcy, Dorian formed HH Property Preservation LLC to assist client- investors in project managing rehabilitation and property repairs by utilizing local contractors and handymen. Once rehabs were completed, Dorian’s real estate brokerage firm of 17 agents then managed the rentals. Mr. Harvey secured investors from China, France, UK, Australia, Brazil, and the Gambia.
Dorian also founded D505, a movement to sell 500 houses while teaching wealth building through home ownership: to buy with equity. Currently, Mr. Harvey is committed to revitalizing urban neighborhoods by improving legislation that affects residential and commercial real estate in blighted areas.
Dorian can be heard as the host of a weekly podcast show, The Detroit Real Estate Show, soon to be renamed AfricanTown Talk Podcast, which will search for and expose, small businesses and entrepreneurs in urban America. Join him at www.detroittalkradio.com
· Successfully consulted and closed over 500 home buyers and sellers in his career of 27 years. He marketed, sold and leased residential properties.
· Marketed, leased, and sold commercial real estate, spurring the revitalization of downtown Detroit during Mayor Dennis Archer’s administration, 1994-2001.
· Personally prospected and recruited franchises into Southeast Michigan: Fuddruckers, Starbucks, Magic Johnson’s Star Theatre, Detroit’s first Thai restaurant, check cashing services and video rental stores (Blockbuster).
· Conceived and presented a mixed development to the cities of Detroit, Michigan and Conakry, Guinea West Africa, to create economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and jobs for local residents. The City of Detroit’s project was delayed; the Conakry, Guinea completed: African TownTM West Africa.
G. Wayne Watkins is an information system /project management and business professional with more than 30 years experience in education, leadership, and corporate environments. He taught at the community college level, engaged in systems development, business development, project management, and client/customer relations negotiations. Wayne worked on the EDS/General Motors account in Russelsheim, Germany as he and Paula lived with their 3 children in Wiesbaden, Germany. He has served as the CEO and CFO guiding educational organizations. Additionally, Wayne has experience in the banking, automotive supply and insurance industries. On a quick side note, in the late 1970s, he was an on-air radio personality in Tennessee, hosting his own radio show. Married to wife, Paula Whittaker Watkins for 30 plus years; they are proud parents of three.
On January 1, 2016, Mayor Hubert Yopp was sworn in as Mayor of the City of Highland Park, Michigan for a second non-consecutive four-year term. Mayor Yopp is one of Highland Parks most accomplished public servants, serving the Highland Park community for over 40 years.
Mayor Yopp has a varied background of experience with over forty years in the operation and administration of local government, serving in various positions in Highland Park, including Highland Park Police and Fire Manager for thirty-one years and Highland Park City Council for four years. In 2004 he was elected Highland Park City Councilman serving a four-year term. After serving a term in office, Yopp was elected Mayor of the City of Highland Park in 2008.
Mayor Hubert Yopp has been a relentless advocate for restoring the City of Highland Parks Water Plant, Educational System and the Library.
Mayor Yopp graduated from the University of Detroit, where he earned a BA in Science, then attended Eastern Michigan University and John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
A true Highland Parker, Mayor Yopp gradated Highland Park High School in 1962 then immediately began to serve his country by joining the United States Armyfrom 1962 to 1970 leaving with an honorable discharge.
Commissioner Martha G. Scott
Commissioner Martha G. Scott (D-Highland Park) was elected to the Wayne County Commission in November 2010 and is serving her fourth term representing Hamtramck, Highland Park and part of Detroit.
She began her public service career in 1972 as a precinct delegate. In 1977, she was appointed to the Wayne County Board of Commissioners and served until 1979, when she joined the Wayne County Civil Service Commission, of which she was vice-chair. From 1984 to '87, she was president of the Highland Park City Council and in 1988, she was elected as her hometown's first female mayor, also making her the first African-American woman to be elected mayor of a Michigan city.
In 1994, she was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives and was re-elected twice. She was elected to the Michigan Senate in 2000 and was re-elected in 2002 and 2006.
Scott is known to her constituents as an elected official who is readily available and willing to listen to their concerns. Scott has been a crusader in the fight for fair and affordable insurance rates, increased funding for public schools and adequate protections for vulnerable residents.