21st annual Strictly Business Luncheon Honors Inspirational Leaders and Achievers

More than 600 business and community leaders attended JVS’s 2018 Strictly Business Networking and Awards Luncheon, marking the event’s 21st year. Mark Reuss, GM’s executive vice president of global products development, purchasing and supply chain, headlined the event and served as honorary chair. In his keynote address, Reuss talked about Detroit’s talent and workforce development, with emphasis on tapping the valuable skillset of older workers.

JVS presented its 2018 Business Leadership Award to Broder & Sachse, a real estate development company based in Detroit.

“Broder & Sachse’s reputation for excellence, commitment to employees, and passion for this community are deserving of recognition with this year’s Business Leadership Award,” said Beth Gotthelf, JVS board member and co-chair of Strictly Business. “They’ve also been a great friend and supporter of JVS. Since 2008, they have partnered with JVS for janitorial services, providing competitive employment opportunities for people with disabilities.”

Attendees also heard from Samantha Friedman, the 2018 JVS Rising Entrepreneur Award recipient. Friedman leveraged her extensive Fortune 500 marketing expertise to muscle her way into the fitness industry – launching two Fuse45 studios in Royal Oak and West Bloomfield.

“Samantha’s company also collaborates with JVS to provide exercise classes for people living with autism and other developmental challenges,” said Bob Canvasser, JVS board member and event co-chair. “Participants enjoy the camaraderie of working out with others.”

JVS also honored the success of three people who JVS has helped to overcome obstacles to employment including Gabby Gibson of St. Clair Shores, Blanca Fauble of Bloomfield Hills and Mark Linear of Detroit. Gibson maintains an independent job, Fauble overcame a layoff to reinvent herself, and Linear conquered homelessness. All three received JVS’s Employee of the Year awards.

“When I lost my job, I felt alone and lost,” said Fauble. “I knew I needed to reinvent myself. JVS helped me. It’s more than a job for them, it’s a mission.”