Shining Light Awards now accepting nominations

Nominations are being sought for the “Shining Light Regional Cooperation Awards,” sponsored by the Detroit Free Press and Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, to recognize people who have made important contributions to regional cooperation, progress, and understanding in metropolitan Detroit.

Nominations are open to the public and should be submitted by June 29, 2012.

The three awards are:

  • The “Neal Shine Award for Exemplary Regional Leadership,” which recognizes an individual in the public spotlight who is taking risks and demonstrating courage to improve regional cooperation, progress, and understanding.
  • The “Eleanor Josaitis ‘Unsung Hero’,” which recognizes an individual who may not have yet received the widespread recognition he or she deserves for longstanding efforts to further regional cooperation, progress, and understanding.
  • The “Dave Bing Future Leader,” which recognizes a young adult who is having a regional impact and is involved with enhancing regional understanding and cooperation within our metropolitan community.

Criteria and a new online nomination submission form can be found at Questions may be directed to or to Deb Scola at 313-222-6895.

“These prestigious awards honor individuals who have taken a leadership role in encouraging people and communities to work together to improve the Southeast Michigan region,” said Thomas Linn, immediate past chairman, Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, and principal and chairman emeritus, Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone, PLC.

“The specific area of cooperation is not restricted and may involve working across jurisdictional and sector boundaries on social, economic, environmental, or quality of life issues affecting the region,” Linn said.

Award winners will be selected by a panel of representatives of the Detroit Free Press and Metropolitan Affairs Coalition. The winners will be honored October 11, 2012, at a special breakfast ceremony and celebration at The Ford Conference & Event Center in Dearborn, Michigan, beginning at 8 a.m.

“It is more important than ever to recognize people who think and act regionally to help revitalize metro Detroit and make it more globally competitive,” said Debbie Dingell, chairperson, Metropolitan Affairs Coalition; President, D2 Strategies; and Chair, Manufacturing Initiative, American Automotive Policy Council.

The Detroit Free Press and Metropolitan Affairs Coalition launched the Shining Light Awards in 2007 to highlight the critical importance of regional cooperation to the success of Southeast Michigan.

“The awards honor the late Neal Shine, who promoted his love for Detroit and his vision for stronger ties among all metro communities during his 45-year career at the Detroit Free Press,” said Paul Anger, publisher and editor, Detroit Free Press.

The inaugural winners of the awards were Mike and Marian Ilitch for the Neal Shine Award for Exemplary Regional Leadership, and Eleanor Josaitis and Dave Bing for the awards named after them. Subsequent winners of the Dave Bing Future Leader Award were Kerry Doman (2008), Brittany Galisdorfer (2009), Jeanette Pierce (2010), and Brian Balasia (2011); of the Eleanor Josaitis “Unsung Hero” Award, Carol Goss (2008), Mariam Noland (2009), Vernice Davis Anthony and Ed Bagale (2010), and Susan Goodell and Louis Green (2011); of the Neal Shine Award for Exemplary Regional Leadership, Dr. David DiChiera (2008), Judge Damon Keith (2009), Ed Deeb (2010), and Paul Hillegonds (2011).

“To be competitive in today’s economy, regions need a cooperative spirit and good working relationships among all of their communities. A region that believes we are all in this together is more likely to establish the common vision essential to develop a vibrant community,” Anger said.

The Detroit Free Press has been, according to its motto, “On guard for 181 Years” – informing, engaging, and delighting readers for generations. A winner of three national Emmy awards and nine Pulitzers, the newspaper also operates, its interactive multimedia online edition, and, an online replica of the daily paper. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc., the Free Press has a combined print/online readership of 1.1 million Monday through Saturday and a combined print/online readership of more than 1.3 million on Sunday.

The Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, established in 1958, is a public/private partnership dedicated to improving greater Detroit’s quality of life and creating economic opportunity through regional cooperation.

Visit its Web site

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Source: PR Newswire (

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