Meet our Facilitators
Aaron W. Jackson
Aaron W. Jackson is dedicated to financial inclusion through entrepreneurship and professional development. With 13+ years of experience in community and economic development, he connects businesses with resources and job candidates to foster neighborhood growth. Currently, as the Michigan Good Food Fund Director at Fair Food Network, Aaron leads a statewide loan fund supporting food businesses that promote healthy food access, job creation, environmental sustainability, and local sourcing. He emphasizes racial and social equity in financing, food, jobs, and ownership. Aaron manages the fund’s investments, collaborates with stakeholders, and ensures accountability to the community.
Christa Stephens, CEO of a renowned graphic design and marketing agency bearing her name, is a Detroit native and Wayne State University alumna with a Geology degree. Leveraging her scientific and technological acumen, she provides innovative business solutions and consulting services to enhance online presence and audience reach. Holding ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 certifications, she excels in environmental management and quality control, distinguishing her as a leading industry figure. Christa’s leadership fosters a culture of innovation and collaboration, driving her agency’s reputation for excellence and success. Her diverse expertise and dedication make her a sought-after industry consultant and speaker, creating positive change.
Dr. Marcus D. Harris
Dr. Marcus Harris, a full-time Lecturer at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, specializes in social entrepreneurship, urban entrepreneurship, and nonprofit management. He has 14 years of teaching experience at various institutions and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship. Beyond academia, Dr. Harris mentors students and trains entrepreneurs in inner-city Detroit. He is a partner member of the Detroit Community Development Financial Institutions Coalition and has 20+ years of professional experience in IT management, nonprofit management, and small business consulting. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration degree from Lawrence Technological University and lives in Detroit with his daughter, Violet, actively engaging in community volunteering and sports enthusiasm.