Meet our Facilitators

Delphia Simmons

Delphia Simmons is the founder of Thrive Detroit, L3C, and publisher of Thrive Detroit Street Newspaper. Thrive’s mission is to develop and facilitate micro-enterprise ownership for low-income individuals. She is on the administrative staff of Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS) serving as Director of Quality Assurance and also serves as chair of the Kiva Detroit advisory board. Delphia enjoys reading and travel; and is a big proponent of both entrepreneurship and micro-enterprise as vehicles to economic empowerment of households, communities, and cities.

Amanda Brewington

Amanda Brewington is the founder of Always Brewing Detroit, a community gathering space that also serves coffee. She is currently on the Steering Committee of Foodlab Detroit and an active board member for the Grandmont Rosedale Detroit SOUP. Amanda has two BAs from Michigan State University one in Communication with a specialization in Public Relations and a second degree in Telecommunication Information Studies and Media with an emphasis in audio production. With 10+ years in the hospitality business (catering, fine dining, barista and bartending) and 4+ years in project/production management and music supervision, Amanda brings her expertise in problem solving for other peoples’ businesses to her own business and now to Build.

Marcus D. Harris

Marcus D. Harris’ professional mission is to help urban-based non-profit organizations, small businesses, and social venture enterprises succeed and reach their full potential in order to maximize community sustainability. A life-long resident of Detroit, Harris holds both BBA and MBA degrees from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Currently, Harris is a doctoral student in the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program in the College of Management at Lawrence Technological University. His research interests include social innovation and entrepreneurship, microenterprise development and urban entrepreneurship, and nonprofit management and leadership.

Erin Bonahoom

Erin Bonahoom is the founding member of Canvas Legal, PLC, a Detroit-based law practice that focuses on serving startups, small business, and non-profits. Inspired by the energy an hard work of so many supporting the small business community, Erin took a leap of faith, leaving her corporate law firm to start her own practice and has not looked back. As a sort of accidental entrepreneur, Erin understands the realities of running a small business – good and bad – but remains passionate in her belief that small businesses are the foundation of strong communities and the economic redevelopment of cities like Detroit and Flint, where she is originally from.

April Anderson

April is the founded and opened Good Cakes and Bakes on Livernois in September 2013. April knew at the early age of 9 that she wanted to be a baker and started making treats for her family on a regular basis. As April’s curiosity grew and she began exploring more sophisticated recipes and started a home based baking business in 2008; this is also when April took her first Wilton’s Cake Decorating Class. In 2011 she attended Macomb Community College, Warren, MI to pursue her A.A.S in Pastry Arts. It was during this time that April knew that she wanted to open a bakery in the Detroit area and later became one of the graduates of the February 2013 D:hive BUILD class.

Jacquise Purifoy

Jacquise A. Purifoy, Esq. is the Entrepreneur in Residence and Build Institute Facilitator. She was sworn into the State Bar of Michigan in November 2010. Prior to private practice, on April 1, 2011 she was hired by U.S. House of Representative Hansen Clarke (MI-13) as his Chief Correspondent. In this role, she was solely responsible for orchestrating policy positions and legislative responses to constituents. Then as Clarke’s Community Grants Coordinator she worked directly with key federal and state business and civic leaders to identify small business and economic development initiatives in Southeastern Michigan. Jacquise wrote over 200 letters of support for businesses and non-profits in Metro Detroit securing over $9 million in funding. She also initiated a partnership with the Michigan Community Action Agency providing $84,000 in home weatherization upgrades to close the energy affordability gap for low-income households. Jacquise is a zealous advocate for people in her community and was profiled in Dbusiness Magazine’s 2014 Top Lawyers Edition. She was featured in Legal News’ Motion Magazine as a young lawyer with a sharp, energetic mind, and burgeoning talent committed to Detroit’s rejuvenation. B.L.A.C. Magazine recognized Jacquise as a local Hometown Hero. Jacquise’s most memorable professional moment is having the opportunity to visit the White House on behalf of the citizens of Detroit and to personally meet President Barack Obama twice!

Nicole Mangis

Nicole is dedicated to advancing social impact and change through local-level community and economic development efforts to educate and nurture entrepreneurship and innovation. She founded Launch Exchange as a way to manifest the social change she wanted to see in the world. She is a board member of the Social Enterprise Alliance Detroit Regional Chapter, is a Detroit Techstars Community Programs Leader hosting Startup Weekend, and founder of the Detroit Social Entrepreneurship Meetup group.