Our Board of Directors
PASTRY CHEF AND CO-OWNER // Good Cakes and Bakes
From the early age of 9, April Anderson knew she wanted to be a baker and started making treats for her family on a regular basis. As April’s curiosity grew she began exploring more sophisticated recipes and started a home-based baking business in 2008 while also taking her first Wilton’s Cake Decorating Class.
In 2010 April attended Macomb Community College for Pastry Arts, gaining knowledge on Pastry Techniques, Artisan Breads, French Pastries and Recipe Development. It was during this time that April knew that she wanted to open a bakery in Detroit, discovered D:hive and graduated from the organization’s February 2013 BUILD class – a business and project planning class for aspiring entrepreneurs. In September 2013, April along with partner, Michelle Anderson, opened their first bakery in Detroit on the historic Avenue of Fashion.
Incorporated in 2013, Good Cakes and Bakes’ mission is to provide quality baked goods that are wholesome and organic in nature; and to provide baked goods in an environment that is positive, creative, educational and friendly to employees and the community.
In 2015 April, along with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Kresge Foundation President Rip Rapson and former President Bill Clinton, participated in the Clinton Global Initiative America’s closing plenary session Comeback Cities which explored Detroit and highlighted its local businesses.
A native Detroiter, April Anderson is a graduate of Chadsey High School and holds both a Bachelors of Science from Spelman College and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. April has baked for Oprah Winfrey and President Bill Clinton.
Dr. Jeffrey Stoltman
Director // Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programs Associate Professor of Marketing Wayne State University
Jeff Stoltman has been the Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programs at the Mike Ilitch School of Business since the position was created in 2016. Jeff led the development of a new curriculum which forms the basis for an MBA Concentration as well as a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He has served on the Wayne State University Administrative Patent Committee since 2012 and has served the Office of Technology Commercialization in an advisory capacity since 2001.
Jeff joined Wayne State as a member of the Marketing faculty in 1988, having previously served on the faculty of the University of Nebraska and as an instructor at Syracuse University. He is former Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs in the School of Business of Wayne State University (2008-2011), and former Vice President for Marketing and Communication (1997-2001; 2006-2007). Jeff teaches in the areas of new venture marketing, customer research, marketing strategy and retailing.
Jeff is an active consultant, having worked with over 150 organizations, in areas such as strategy development and strategic planning, organizational design and change, market analysis, customer research and product development, and promotion strategy.
Stefanie Appiah, Esq.
Sr. Vice President // Property Management Bedrock Detroit
Currently a Senior Vice President of Property Management, Stephanie Appiah joined Bedrock Detroit in 2019. In her current role, she oversees a portfolio of over 15 million square feet, 110 buildings, and a team of over 250 engineering, janitorial, and property management team members. She actively supports the planning, development, tracking and execution of key strategic initiatives related to expense and asset management.
Prior to this, Stephanie supported the Chief Executive Officer in the articulation and facilitation of strategic and operational projects. She functioned as the Chief of Staff and Strategic Planning Director, facilitating public-private partnerships and supporting minority and women owned businesses in Detroit.
Prior to this, Stephanie served as the Senior Strategic Operations Manager/Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice President of Operations at JACK Entertainment. She was a lead project manager for strategic initiatives in functional area: design and construction, operations, finance, human resources, and information technology.
Stephanie has a bachelor’s in Spanish and Political Science from Swarthmore College, as well as a Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration from the College of William and Mary. She is a licensed attorney and a member of the Oakland County Bar and the Michigan State Bar.
Notably, Stephanie spent several years in a chief of staff position (called a Presidents’ Associate) at Caesars Entertainment. She is a startup co-founder, having served as the Director of Development for Soapbox LLC from 2010-2012. Stephanie is a native of Richmond, Virginia and is passionate about community engagement, economic development and start up incubation
Principal Tribe // Retail Development
President // Pearl Planning
As a financial planner and partner at a metro Detroit wealth management firm, Melissa dreamed of starting a new financial planning venture someday. In 2018, she took the leap to make her entrepreneurial dreams come true with the launch of Pearl Planning. With locations in Dexter and Grosse Pointe, Michigan, Pearl Planning offers financial planning for real life.
A graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Melissa has spent her entire adult life in southeastern Michigan. She is passionate about supporting women as investors, business owners, and especially encouraging females to pursue careers in financial fields. Melissa has been recognized as a Top Working Mother Magazine as a Top Wealth Advisor Mom and named on Investopedia’s Top 100 Most Influential Advisors in 2020. Melissa lives in Dexter with her husband, Jeff, and their two school-age children, Josie and Gus.
Camille Walker Banks
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR // LISC Detroit
Camille is a Detroit native with deep roots in the business, nonprofit and philanthropic communities. She is a seasoned, growth-minded leader who has built a successful career across corporate and government sectors. She recently led the highest performing site in the United States for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative at Wayne State University. Camille is now leading the expansion of NPower to the Detroit/Southeast Michigan market at an ideal time as the demand for tech talent and lack of supply creates a real opportunity for the Detroit region’s young adults.
Her rapidly rising career trajectory coupled with increased community responsibilities as a thought-leader in entrepreneurship education, and business growth strategy has won numerous professional plaudits, including a citation in the Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence, MichBusiness Women Thrive honoree, the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council’s Partner of the Year, Award of Appreciation from City of Highland Park, Global Treasure Award from the International School/Cyber Education Center, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s CEO of Excellence Award. She serves on a number of boards, has worked to establish and sustain incubators and accelerators in the SE-Michigan region since 2007, and is internationally sought for speaking engagements serving to empower young adults and inspire entrepreneurs.
Camille implemented key state and local initiatives around economic development and community revitalization resulting in over $5.5B in new capital investment and over 5,000 new jobs created during her tenure with the MEDC in underserved communities. Camille’s 20-year career has a strong foundation in business growth and development, process improvement, and capital access that spans across industries including technology, service, manufacturing, philanthropy. Her ability to build consensus among various groups and interests, develop leaders and strong teams, and manage client relationships are her strengths.
Camille holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Urban/Regional Planning with economic development focus from Wayne State University.
J. Mathew Yohannan
Founder/Managing Member // Brown Oak Media
J. Mathew Yohannan brings 20+ years of experience in sourcing, structuring, investing and raising capital across industries, geographies and asset classes. He has completed 60+ transactions, raising and investing over $3 billion in capital. Most recently, he spearheaded the Origination & Investments efforts at ShareNett – a family office investment platform founded by Jim Pallotta (Raptor Group).
Matty founded Brown Oak Media, an investment and advisory company with a focus on the Entertainment, Media, Consumer & Technology space. He serves as an Advisor to several companies, entrepreneurs, athletes/celebrities and family offices.
Matty invested in and produced the film “Newlyweeds” which was selected to and sold at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Currently, he serves as an Investor/Advisor to: Quantified Culture, Innervation Finance, Roasting Plant Coffee, Roxi and Salido, among others.
Prior to 2016, Matty spent over 12 years in the investment management industry with a focus on Tech/Media/Telecoms (TMT). He was part of the Founding Investment Team and TMT Sector Head at Charter Bridge Capital – a long/short equity fund that he helped grow from $25M to over $300M in less than two years.
While pursuing his MBA, Matty worked for Caxton Associates and Olympius Capital, an alternative asset management firm started by Ronnie Lott and Joe Montana. Prior to business school, Matty was a Senior Associate with Robertson Stephens, focusing on investing/raising capital for early-to-mezzanine stage VC- and PE-backed companies.
Matty earned his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business with a Certificate in Public Management & Social Innovation, and graduated magna cum laude with a BS in Finance & Economics from the Stern School of Business at NYU. He is an Alumnus of the SEO Career Program, a Toigo Foundation Fellow, a Finalist for the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans and a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10k Small Businesses Program in Detroit.