Three outstanding regional leaders will be recognized at the 13th Annual Taste of Leadership Oakland event on March 22, 2018. Each year, Leadership Oakland honors alumni who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in each of the organization’s areas of focus – personal, professional and public leadership.
This year’s honorees for the Leadership Oakland Leader of Leaders Awards are:
Melissa T. Parks for excellence in Personal Leadership. 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.
Michelle P. 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.
Clarence M. Dass for excellence in Public Leadership. 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.
The awards will be presented at the Taste of Leadership Oakland event, March 22, 2018, 5:00-7:30 p.m. at the Townsend Hotel, Birmingham. Tickets are $40 each. Sponsorships are available. More information can be found at leadershipoakland.com.
Established in 1990, Leadership Oakland is a 501 (c)(3) organization focused on business and community leadership development. The organization provides a nine‐month community leadership Cornerstone Program to participants from businesses, organizations and governmental agencies that are selected based on an application process. Leadership Oakland graduates are key business and community leaders serving as catalysts on boards of various organizations throughout the region.