Four exemplary area leaders were recognized at the 12th Annual Taste of Leadership Oakland event held last week at the Townsend Hotel, Birmingham. Each year, Leadership Oakland (LO) honors alumni who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in each of the organization’s areas of focus – personal, professional and public leadership. In addition, the special Pinnacle of Leadership Award was given this year for outstanding contributions to Leadership Oakland.

“The Leadership Oakland Cornerstone program opens up opportunities for participants to take their leadership to even higher levels of impact for our communities and region,” said Nancy Maurer, Leadership Oakland Executive Director. “The alumni we honored this year are inspirational leaders whom we can all learn from. Their dedication and generosity are changing lives and creating a stronger Southeast Michigan.”

This year’s honorees for the Leadership Oakland Leader of Leaders Awards are:

Jason Paulateer for his Personal Leadership. Nominated by his entire Leadership Oakland class, Jason Paulateer’s impact and generosity is felt by many. He and his wife, Chapri, are parents to 10 children, ages 1 through 19. After having three children of their own, they felt called to adopt and welcomed siblings into their home. They soon discovered there were more siblings from the same mother in foster care and have opened their hearts and homes to the entire family so they could stay together. Jason’s commitment to impacting lives continues with his work at PNC Bank as Vice President and Market Manager focusing on Community Development activities throughout the state. He is also an active volunteer in financial education and other community organizations including Samaritas Foundation.

Mary Mbiya for her Professional Leadership. Mary is described as having “a willingness to help and an overwhelming compassion for others.” As Vice President, Senior Branch Manager, with Flagstar Bank, she is committed to fostering financial well-being. With a dedication to financial literacy and self-sufficiency, Mary volunteers with the Pontiac Schools and Rochester Area Neighborhood House. She also helps advance business and community development through her role as Board Chair for the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tina Barton for her Public Leadership. Community service is at the core of Tina Barton. She has dedicated more than 26 years to public service throughout Oakland County, currently as clerk of the City of Rochester Hills. Under her leadership, the office has received all perfect scores on election audits over the last four years. Students and at-risk populations fuel her passion to change lives. She is a mentor for Women of Tomorrow, inspiring at-risk girls to live up to their potential, and is on the board at Crossroads for Youth where she has implemented volunteer efforts for landscaping, furniture replacement and the construction of a commercial kitchen.

Kevin Wisely, Pinnacle of Leadership Award. Kevin Wisely came to Leadership Oakland as a class member of Leadership Oakland 17 and since then has spent countless hours attending events in support of LO and serving on numerous committees, including Finance and Alumni Engagement. He also served on the Board of Directors for eight years, most recently as Chair, and his tenure ended last June. He continues to be a visible presence on committees and at events. After a 22 year career with Genisys Credit Union, Kevin recently took a position as Field Agent for the Knights of Columbus, Sneller Insurance Agency.