The Great Futures Gala is the premiere event of the year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan. This event celebrates the year of furthering our mission of providing a positive environment that enables its members to become responsible, self-reliant, caring adults. With eight locations, we help youth pursue three essential outcomes that lead to lifelong success: academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
6:00 pm cocktail hour
7:00 pm dinner & program
1114 Washington Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226
Valet parking – Business attire – Live music
2018 Great Futures Honoree
Matthew P. Cullen
Chief Executive Officer, JACK Entertainment
Principal, Rock Ventures
Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan is proud to recognize native Detroiter Matthew Cullen, CEO of Jack Entertainment, as our 2018 Great Futures honoree. The Detroit-based urban gaming company he leads generates more than $1.2 billion in revenues and focuses on developing gaming facilities to maximize connectivity and economic impact in the local areas where they reside.
Cullen also is a principal of Rock Ventures LLC, where he helps lead efforts to revitalize Detroit, including the investment of more than $5.6 billion in real estate in the city’s urban core since 2010.
He is also a 29-year veteran of General Motors (GM), where he was general manager of economic development and enterprise services. Since 2003 Cullen has helped oversee the billion dollar redevelopment of the city’s international riverfront as the founding chairman of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.
He also serves as volunteer president and CEO of the M-1 RAIL Streetcar initiative, which developed the new 6.6 mile QLINE. Cullen is a leader in many other area organizations, including chairman of Invest Detroit; vice chairman of the Downtown Detroit Partnership; and the Detroit Zoological Society.
For more than 10 years, Cullen served as the governor-appointed chairman of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation executive committee. He resides with his wife and family in the Detroit area.
2018 Great Futures Emcee
WDIV – TV Local 4 News
Rhonda Walker has been helping Detroiters get motivated and ready for the day with her incredible energy, enthusiasm, impeccable style, and passion for her hometown for the past 20 years. A confessed morning person, this award winning talented and versatile journalist starts her day at 2:00 am to co-anchor the weekday morning newscast at WDIV-Local 4 News. A position she’s held since 2003. But for those of you who only know Rhonda Walker the Anchor Person, there is so much more.
Throughout her life, Rhonda has been committed to serving the Detroit community. Rhonda’s passion for giving back and uplifting others is shown by the nearly 100 appearances she makes throughout the year in support of charitable efforts, establishing herself as not only a leader in her profession but also for service to the greater Detroit Community.
Over the past 8 years Rhonda has been recognized by her peers, and received awards and honors from nearly 50 different community, corporate, and professional organizations, including:
- 14 times for her Community Service including honored nationally with the –
2018 National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Angelo B. Henderson Community Service Award
- 8 times for her work related to empowering youth and mentoring
- 17 times for leadership and distinguished service; and
- 10 times for professional media related awards
Her scores of awards and numerous accolades include honors from the NAACP, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, News/Talk WJR 760am, YWCA, NAWBO, Michigan Women’s Foundation, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, Art Van Award of Hope and 5 consecutive years of “Best News Anchor Awards” from Hour Detroit Magazine (2014-2018). And Best News Anchor Awards from the Michigan Chronicle in 2017 and 2018 and Ambassador Magazine.
Rhonda is also the founder and president of the Rhonda Walker Foundation, now in its 15th year. To date the foundations comprehensive five-year Girls into Women education, career and personal development, mentoring and college prep programming has resulted in 100% high school graduation and college enrollment rates among the inner city teen girls that complete the program. Rhonda helped launch the foundations comprehensive college prep initiative that provides year-round tutoring in all subjects and ACT/SAT test prep courses and helped launch the award winning Give and Get Fit program in 2011 to promote healthy lifestyles among the RWF teens and families and raise community awareness about health, fitness and nutrition. For more information about the foundation visit http://rhondawalkerfoundation.org/
Born in Detroit and raised in Lansing, Rhonda holds a degree in Communications from Michigan State University. In her spare time Rhonda is an avid golfer and loves to travel, shop, dine out, enjoy Michigan summers, volunteer and spend quality time with friends and family.
Sponsorship & Tickets
2018 Sponsors to Date
We are grateful for the generous support of all of this year’s sponsors!
Jennifer & David Fischer
American Axle & Manufacturing
James Group International
Robert S. Taubman
The Skillman Foundation