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.
ATTORNEY // Miller Canfield
Jeff Aronoff is an attorney at Miller Canfield in Detroit, specializing in public finance and economic development law. He also serves as director of Wayne State Law School’s Detroit Collaborative Law Project, which links the law school’s resources with community entrepreneurs in Detroit.
Jeff has been practicing law with Miller Canfield since 2004, but from 2012-2015 he took a “sabbatical” to serve as executive director of D:hive, a connection point and welcome center for people looking to live, work, engage and build businesses in Detroit—which also turned out to be the incubator for BUILD Institute.
Jeff also created Sidewalk Ventures, a project that helped local entrepreneurs raise capital from community-based investors.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY INNOVATION // FORWARD CITIES
Hassan Bazzi serves as Director of Community Innovation at Forward Cities, a national nonprofit that equips communities and regions to grow and sustain more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems. In this role he leads ecosystem capacity-building engagements to assess the health of a city’s equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem, identify barriers to entrepreneurial engagement, and design and implement community fed solutions in communities across its national network of cities. Prior to joining Forward Cities, Hassan served in Detroit’s non-profit sector in a number of roles including mission based business lending, cross-sector community and economic development initiatives, talent pipeline development, and small business development initiatives aimed at catalyzing neighborhood-based businesses and under-resourced entrepreneurs. Hassan is a lifelong entrepreneur and ecosystem builder, serves as a Kauffman Foundation ESHIP Champion,and is an alum of Leadership Detroit.
Toni Beaubien is a finance professional, business owner and investor. She currently works as a fractional advisor to entrepreneurs focusing in areas of finance, accounting and operations.
Over the past two years, she has been the Director of Finance for two Detroit start-ups, Floyd and Bloomscape. She was responsible for organizing the accounting, finance and administrative functions of those companies to accommodate significant growth.
Prior to that, her experience included 13 years as Chief Financial Officer and Co-Owner at Halo Group, a regional IT staffing firm. At Halo, Toni was responsible for all things finance, accounting and operations related. Halo Group grew from a local IT staffing start up in 2004 to a $40 million national firm, through organic and acquisition growth. Halo was acquired in 2017 by Global Employment Solutions.
Toni has also held positions as the Director of Accounting and Finance at Etkin Equities, Divisional Controller of LogicaCMG, formerly known as Great Lakes Technologies Group. Her experience also includes several years in commercial banking for ABN AMRO (Bank of America) in Troy Michigan and BMO Harris Bank in Chicago Illinois. She started her career in public accounting working initially for BDO Seidman in Troy Michigan and then to Deloitte & Touche in Chicago Illinois.
Toni is a registered CPA and received a Bachelors in Business Administration with a Major in Accounting from the University of Detroit in 1989. She lives in Huntington Woods with her husband Chuck, and has two amazing young adults, Annie and Louie.
FOUNDER // Canvas Legal, PLC
Erin Bonahoom is the founder of Canvas Legal, PLC, a law practice based in Detroit that is dedicated to providing comprehensive legal services to established businesses, startups, and nonprofits in Southeast Michigan. Erin advises nonprofit organizations and businesses from a variety of different industries with formation, governance, employment, general operations, commercial real estate, construction, intellectual property, and contracts.
She works with business owners on the challenges and opportunities they encounter, which she understands firsthand as a business owner. Erin partners with a number of organizations in the City of Detroit to provide free and low-cost legal education workshops to assist small business owners and nonprofits with the legal foundations necessary to operate their business.
Erin is a Build Institute facilitator and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors.
MANAGING PARTNER // Zingerman's Bakehouse
Amy grew up in a family-owned wholesale grocery business and was aware of the benefits locally-owned businesses can bring to a community. She was also always interested in food – its roots, how to cook and bake, and the positive impact food could have when it was shared.
Amy studied American social movements at Harvard College. She is interested in understanding what makes some movements successful and others not and how radical social change happens.
In 1992, Amy joined Zingerman’s Community of Businesses as one of the original bakers at Zingerman’s Bakehouse. Here she could combine her interest in food, business and community. In Zingerman’s, Amy found a group of people who wanted to use business to have a positive impact on a community while making full-flavored traditional food. She personally benefited from Zingerman’s interest in giving staff the opportunity to grow, develop, and start their own ventures. Amy became a part-owner of Zingerman’s Bakehouse in 2000.
Amy attended L’École de Gastronomie Française Ritz-Escoffier cooking school in Paris in 1991 and received an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York City in 2000. She is now well-versed in managing the operational aspects of a dynamic business. Her greatest business lessons have come from participating in the nuts and bolts growth of Zingerman’s Bakehouse from an eight person, one customer wholesale bread bakery to a 150 person bakery selling to over 100 customers, with a retail store, a baking school for home bakers, and a positive contributor to the not-for-profit community in southeastern Michigan.
Amy is also the co-author of the cookbook Zingerman’s Bakehouse.
FOUNDER, FINANCIAL PLANNER // 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 // NPOWER
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.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR // Washtenaw Contractors Association
Kimberly has more than 30 years of experience in sales and relationship building at large and small for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Her expertise includes non-profit leadership, fundraising, marketing, communications, program management, and board development.
After beginning her career with Marriott Hotels, Kimberly transitioned to the nonprofit world and has contributed to the fundraising and alumni relations programs at some of the region’s most respected educational and cultural institutions, including the Detroit Zoological Society, Cranbrook Educational Community, the College for Creative Studies, Case Western Reserve University, and the Cleveland Institute of Art and is currently responsible for leading the strategy and programs that engage and support members of the Washtenaw Contractors Association, a professional association of commercial contractors.
Kimberly is also a Build Institute graduate (BUILD Social cohort 3). As an entrepreneur and maker, her company, Owen & Abbey, creates furniture and home goods using wood salvaged from abandoned homes in Detroit.
In addition to serving on the Build Institute Advisory Council, she contributes her time and talent as a member of the National Advisory Council for Central College (Pella IA) and as President of the Research Lofts Association (Detroit MI).
Kimberly earned a B.A. in Business Management from Central College in Pella, Iowa. She also completed some graduate level studies toward an M.B.A. from Case Western Reserve 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.