Leader of Leaders Awards
The Leader of Leader Awards are intended to identify outstanding Alumni Association members with impressive achievements personally, professionally, and/or in their public lives. Three winners are chosen each year because of their exemplary leadership contributions specifically to this region.
Awards are presented each year at the Taste of Leadership Oakland networking event, which takes place in late March.
PERSONAL LEADERSHIP: Melissa Parks
Melissa Parks, LOXXVI - Melissa is the founder of Art&Soul of Oakland County, AKA Art&Soul Dreams, a non-profit dedicated to helping 3,000+ children in Michigan’s foster care system in need of adoption. This traveling photography exhibit features portraits of children between the ages of 11-17 taken by award-winning Michigan photographers, all who donate their time and talent. The genesis for Art&Soul came from Melissa’s professional development experience in 2016 with Leadership Oakland. She is also the Curriculum Coordinator for the Arts from Pre-K through 12th Grade for all of Detroit Country Day School in addition to acting as the Elementary Visual Arts Educator at the Lower School Campus. For these accomplishments and more, we are proud to honor Melissa Parks for excellence in PERSONAL LEADERSHIP.
PROFESSIONAL LEADERSHIP: Michelle Crockett
Michelle Crockett, LOXVI - Michelle Crockett for excellence in Professional Leadership. Michelle is the Hiring, Diversity & Development Principal for the law firm Miller Canfield, Paddock & Stone, P.L.C. She leads the firm’s hiring of all attorneys; recruitment, diversity & inclusion initiatives; mentoring programs; professional development; and continuing education initiatives. Michelle is an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan’s Law School, where she teaches Race in the Law, and K-12 Education Law. She was recently named by Crain’s as one of the Notable Women Lawyers in Michigan. Michelle is the current Board Chair for Alternatives for Girls and former Board Chair of Leadership Oakland. For these accomplishments and much more, we honor Michelle Crockett for excellence in PROFESSIONAL LEADERSHIP.
PROFESSIONAL LEADERSHIP: Clarence Dass
Clarence Dass, LOXXVII - Clarence founded The Dass Law Firm in 2016 after nearly five years serving as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Oakland County. There, he prosecuted thousands of crimes and quickly rose to the ranks of the Special Victims Unit. As a special prosecutor, he handled some of the most complex and serious crimes, ranging from child and elder abuse to sexual assault, domestic violence and murder. Dedicated to advocating for those who may not have a strong voice, Clarence received the 2017 Leon Hubbard Award for Community Service from the Oakland County Bar Association. These are just a few of the many reasons we are proud to recognize Clarence Dass for excellence in PUBLIC LEADERSHIP.