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Who We Are

The Detroit Business Hub Group is a fast track to help new business owners and newly established businesses (5 years or less) quickly accelerate (especially disadvantaged minorities) their competitiveness in the marketplace. DBHG is a full-service LLC company offering services for business plans, business structure, legal, real estate, human resources, retirement planning, insurance, marketing, and small business banking.

Membership Benefits

All members receive a free copy of Fire Your Job! be Your Own Boss!

Business Plan/Entity Assistance – Members receive a free overview and critique of their business plan. They may also purchase a starter package if they require a business plan for lending or other purposes. 

Starter and Master Courses – Members receive starter and master courses as part of their membership. There is an accreditation course in its development stage.     

Access to Capital – DBHG works with lending institutions to provide members with up to date information on available funding sources and  gives members the opportunity to network with lenders. 

Bi-monthly Mentorship Call – This bi-monthly call is for start-up business owners and business owners five years and younger.

Speaking Opportunities – Members have opportunities to speak to live audiences, on podcasts, or video.

Networking opportunities – Members have opportunities to network at DBHG monthly and quarterly live and virtual events.

Referrals – Many of the members buy each other’s products or services. Members recycle dollars in the DBHG business community.

MEMBERS

Nancy O'Neale, Director

Nancy O’Neale is a teacher, author, and business consultant. She founded the Detroit Business Hub Group in 2019. Detroit Business Hub Group, LLC, is a fast track to help minority business owners jump start their businesses. It has been accredited with an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. As the Executive Director of the Women who Inspire 501 (c) (3) organization, she helped women start their own businesses. She is also the author of Fire Your Job! Be Your Own Boss! a self-help guide to motivate prospective owners stuck in dead end careers start their own businesses. With 10 years sales experience, she joined the elite circle of licensed insurance agents as a Championship Qualifier in 2014 and was at the top of the company’s growth model for multiple years. Nancy is also a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). She earned her MA in Communications from Wayne State University, MA in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University, and BA in Journalism and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Nancy’s speaking engagements include The Detroit Business Hub Group Podcast (2020),  The Roundtable Podcast (2020), The Business Beauty Network Podcast (2020), Women who Inspire (2012-2016), Michigan Minority Contractors Association (2014, 2016), University District Security Patrol (2014), Black Mother’s Breastfeeding Association (2014), New Hope Community Development Association (2008, 2009), and Lighthouse of Oakland County (2008-2009). Her TV/Internet guest appearances include: Making it Work on the Three Angels Broadcasting Network (2013) and The Barbara Gentry Pugh Show (2014) on the Women’s Internet Gospel Network. Click here for services and speaking opportunities.

Dichondra Johnson, Advisor

DRJ & Associates, LLC founder, Dichondra R. Johnson, MBA, MPA, CBSP, has an over 20-year accomplished career and experience in the business, education and government sectors. Johnson recently was a Business Development Manager with Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), with a primary focus on business expansion, retention and growth in Wayne County, MI. Prior to joining the MEDC, Johnson was Michigan’s first Lead Education & Strategy Analyst with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA), established in 2013 by Executive Order to oversee operations to connect veterans to services and benefits in Michigan.

Earlier in her career, Johnson worked with St. John Providence Health Systems (SJPHS) in marketing, community & physician relations, and communication capacities. She was the lead sponsorship coordinator for Metro Detroit Go Red for Women Campaign on behalf of SJPHS, Providence Hospital. She began her career in the performing arts sector in 2000, where she served as Education and Audience Development Manager at University of Michigan’s University Musical Society. Throughout her early career she has worked in sales, marketing, event development, and government and community affairs capacities for COBO Center, The Arab American National Museum, and as an independent marketing and events consultant in Metro Detroit.

Johnson has a life-long commitment to volunteerism and community service and is an active local Chamber of Commerce member. From 2006-2011, Johnson was Executive Board member with Travelers Aid Society of Metropolitan Detroit, serving as board first female and youngest chairperson in the organization’s over 80-year history from 2009-2011, and supported returning citizen employment and transitional housing via executive oversight over programming. In 2013, she was appointed Chairperson of the Michigan Political Leadership Program Alumni Network. She joined the McDowell Prep Academy
Detroit, School Board of Directors in 2013-2017, were she served as Board Secretary and chaired the Marketing and Community Relations Committee charged with developing innovative school growth and engagement strategies. Ms. Johnson was duly elected to serve as a Lansing Community College delegate for Michigan Education Association’s (MEA) Michigan Representative Assembly and the National Education Association’s (NEA) National Representative Assembly for 3 years.
In 2015, Johnson received the State of Michigan “Good Government” Award from the Executive Office of Gov. Rick Snyder and a military recognition coin from the Michigan National Guard Adjutant General for exceptional service in state government. In 2015 and 2017 Johnson received the MVAA Director’s Award for Exceptional Service to Michigan veterans.

Johnson is also a Certified Business Solution Professional by the Michigan Works! Association. She received a Master of Public Administration and Affairs from Western Michigan University; Master of Business Administration in Marketing & Global Business from Davenport University; and a Bachelor of Science in Arts Administration & Marketing from Eastern Michigan University. Johnson is a 2011 Fellow of the Michigan Political Leadership Program, Michigan State University.

Ellis Liddell, Advisor

Ellis Liddell, President of ELE Wealth Management, has been in the financial services industry since 1980. He formed his own company, Ellis Liddell Enterprises, in 1990 which formed the foundation for what is today ELE Wealth Management. From 1990 to the present, he has enjoyed lecturing as an inspirational speaker at many different events. Mr. Liddell presents complex financial information in layman’s terms and is very knowledgeable in the areas of retirement and income planning.

Mr. Liddell is a regular guest on 1200 AM’s “Inside Detroit” radio program hosted by Mildred Gaddis, and has appeared on television programs as an expert on investments. In Dallas, he gave financial tips on Fox 4’s Insight, and has appeared on CBS Channel 11. He has appeared in Detroit on Channel 7 Action News and on PBS television. He has also been featured in the Bermuda Times, as a contributing writer for The Dallas Weekly Newspaper, and has been quoted in the Detroit Free Press and the Michigan Chronicle.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Proclamation from both the City of Atlanta and Rutherford County in Tennessee, and has also received a key to the city of Greenville, South Carolina. In 2006 and 2007, Mr. Liddell became the first African-American to be named the top producer at a major investment firm.

Among his most recent accolades is the honor of being the recipient of the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award from the Alabama A&M University Alumni Association. In recognition of this honor, he also received:

• A Resolution from the Wayne County Commission, District 2,
• A Certificate of Tribute from Governor, Jennifer Granholm, and Lt. Governor, John Cherry, Jr.,
• A Certificate of Congressional Recognition from U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow,
• A Certificate of Appreciation from Mayor of Detroit, Dave Bing,
• A Letter of Acknowledgement from House of Representatives member, John Conyers, Jr.,
• The ‘Spirit of Detroit Award’ from the Detroit City Council.

Mr. Liddell earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Education from Mississippi College. His motto, “Wealth is our legacy, Pass it on” is at the forefront of his decision to serve the community and to create Wealth Management in everyone’s household. When not working with clients, he enjoys traveling, golf, reading and spending quality time with his family.

*Top producer criteria was based on individual representative gross dealer concession as of December 31st of 2006 and 2007 respectively for the award years of 2006 and 2007.

Brandi Shelton, BA/BM, MBA Advisor
Brandi C Shelton, also known as B, has dedicated her life to the development of the company Utilize Consulting Service and Management Group. Brandi is a native Detroiter, focused on being the developer of dreams. Since Brandi’s younger days she has always been driven to be different. Starting UTILIZE was something different. A graduate from University of Phoenix with a double Bachelor in Business Management and Administration and 15 years of active experience in a variety of professional settings that continue to add wealth and knowledge to her professional portfolio, Brandi has the knowledge and experience it takes to help professionals turn their dreams into realities. Over her professional career she has been blessed with the ability to use strategic initiatives to sharpen organizational focus, while capturing the competitive advantages of organizations. Brandi’s background offers a solid foundation in planning and executing team strategies that uses unified goals for true business development while boosting employee morale and organizational sustainability. She is known as a hands-on leader, with a skill set that encourages mentoring to enhance business infrastructures and retain employees by helping them achieve work/life balance. Brandi created the mantra “One Start, One Move, One Triumph,” a foundation that seeks to build relationships with small and big businesses– allowing owners and high level management to understand how to create business savings, long-term marketing strategies, and vendor relations to sustain business. She has continued to set her sights on the “unreachable,” while understanding the importance of prioritizing company protocols and utilizing quality metrics to outline company guidelines that grow businesses. Utilize Consulting Service and Management Group is a platform developed to help grow the dreams of sole proprietors and CEO’s by working side-by-side with them to understand and develop business tactics from a microscopic level. Over the last ten years, CEO, Brandi Shelton, has listened to and observed the obstacles that many new business owners have and has developed them.
Attorney David Soble Advisor

For over 25 years David Soble has provided no nonsense legal advice to banks, lenders and consumers alike, in the areas of commercial and residential real estate, business and residential lending and contract matters.

His background is unique in that he has extensive practical experience and knowledge working with commercial, residential, and lending transactions. He has managed sizable loan portfolios ($500+ Million) consisting of commercial and residential real estate for national banks. He was managing attorney to several notable lending institutions and their default loan servicing portfolio. He is a licensed real estate broker and has authored numerous books and articles on issues related to real estate, contracts, foreclosure matters, loan negotiations, and creditor /debtor rights.

David Soble is a graduate of Michigan State University (’87) and The Ohio State University College of Law (’90). His focus has been on real estate law and lending law.

 

Greg Blackwell

Greg Blackwell owns and operates a Farmers Insurance Agency in Southfield and has been serving the Metro Detroit area for over 10 years now.

By focusing on the needs of his clients and providing “World Class Customer Service” his agency has become a frequent “Award Winning Agency”. Winning such awards as:

Farmers Topper Club (2)
Farmers Blue Vase (2)
Dumbroski Life Cup
District Agent of The Year
Because his goal is to provide the highest level of expertise to his clients, he continues to study his craft by taking courses within the field of insurance and financial services and has earned the following designations:
CSD – Consultative Sales Designee
FSCP – Financial Services Certified Professional

Melissa Davis

Melissa McClary Davis is the Founder and CEO of Wise Digital Marketing. Melissa has established herself as a
leading expert in the digital marketing industry with over 25 years of digital marketing experience with Fortune 500
companies in a diverse range of industries including Coca-Cola, AT&T, Ford, General Motors, Hallmark Cards, Lane
Bryant, Best Buy, Facebook and Instagram.In addition to serving the top corporate echelon, Melissa’s passion for problem-solving and teaching has also led her to provide top tier marketing consulting services to small
business owners to support them in successfully navigating digital marketing. As a result, her clients achieve noteworthy sales conversion and high ROI with marketing strategies that reach maximum market shares in the digital universe.

“Great Digital Marketing is hitting that sweet spot in the Venn diagram between proper
targeting of the audience, messaging of products or service and meeting key business objectives.”
Celebrated for her hands-on approach, ability to demystify the marketing process, talent in formulating innovative digital marketing solutions, and success in helping entrepreneurs scale their businesses online, Melissa is now expanding her offerings and sharing her signature Commerce Relief System to help other small business owners and motivated entrepreneurs amplify their brand identity, upgrade their systems to modern technologies, gain cutting-edge revenue-driving marketing strategies for sales leads and customer acquisition, scale their businesses, and maximize their community impact.
In her spare time, she enjoys having heated discussions on geeky, sci-fi topics with her husband, daughter, and son.

Dale Grant

Dale Grant is a CPA, QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor and Owner of Ashton Business Consulting, PLLC, an accounting firm that specializes in small business accounting, tax and advisory services. Dale’s knowledge and experience with small businesses is varied as it has been developed over the course of two separate career paths. After graduating from
Florida A&M University, he spent his time as sales representative servicing small business owners. During that time, he gained an appreciation of the hardworking nature of entrepreneurs. As a result of that experience, he began to understand that most operators take on all of the company’s responsibilities themselves and in order to grow they must delegate out tasks. In 2010 after graduating from Keller Graduate School of Management with a Master’s Degree in Accounting and Financial Management Dale earned his CPA. 

Over the course of the next seven years, he gained experience in financial reporting, tax and audit. His experience ranges from auditing mid–sized companies throughout the state of Michigan in industries that include financial institutions, insurance companies, non-profits, and manufacturers to preparing tax returns for businesses and individuals as well as preparing financial statements and reports for public traded companies. During his time as a CPA with a large regional firm, he recognized that small businesses are an underserved community. From that experience, Ashton Business Consulting was born. The company began in 2015 by providing services to family and friends on nights and weekends. Now is the time for the next step by offering small business services full time. Ashton Business Consulting, PLLC, is a full service accounting firm designed specifically to meet the needs of small business owners throughout Southeastern Michigan. Proudly serving those hardworking entrepreneurs in this great region and proud to take part in this entrepreneurial renaissance.

Tylene Henry

Tylene Henry is an entrepreneur, powerful change agent, and staunch advocate for socioeconomicparity. Tylene believes that her faith, character, and mindset of abundance have been the foundation of her continued success. Tylene has been referred to as the “follow up queen” as a result of her “3 P’s” professionalism, patience, and persistence in developing relationships and access to resources necessary to create positive impact on the communities she serves. In addition to being a doting mother and aunt, Tylene owns and operates a professional financial services practice and a strategic business consulting
firm; she serves as President of the Detroit Area National Association of Black Women in Construction, serves on Congress Woman Brenda Lawrence’s Women’s Advisory Committee, is a long time mentor and volunteer with the Rhonda Walker Foundation, serves on the Board of Fresh Perspectives Seminars, and is a volunteer facilitator with Youth For Global Health and Social Justice. Tylene enjoys spending time with family, travel, and being of service in her community in her free time.

Francine Houston

Francine Houston is an award-winning author, lupus survivor, lupus advocate, fashion designer, and web/graphic designer. She is a multitalented individual who enjoys fashion, graphic/media, and writing. She is a graduate of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI with a bachelor’s degree in communication design. Francine also earned an associate’s degree in applied graphic design from Mott Community College in Flint, MI, and in fashion design from the International Academy of Design and Technology in Troy, MI. 

She is also the founder of two businesses: FH Designs, for which she is the principal fashion designer and Cineik Media. Francine was recognized for her accomplishments with the Excellence Award from Women of Distinction magazine in 2015.

Francine is also a member of Lupus Detroit and helps with their events as much as possible. As a lupus survivor, she wrote a book about her battle with the disease entitled Lupus Journey published in 2016. Its sequel, Life After Lupus, was released in 2018. She was featured in Lupus Now magazine’s Fall 2014 issue and graced the October 2018 cover of the periodical Discovering You. Her third book is Strength of a Woman: The last Journey, poetry and short-story book. Now she has written the self-care guide Everyday Heroes.

Mike Rizzo

Michael Rizzo, and his production company, RizzoRizzo Creative Services Company, creates business-to-business marketing videos across a variety of industries in the Metro Detroit area, and across the country. Over the course of his career Michael has created, managed, and executed creative messaging for brands that range from two hundred million dollar corporations to the local body shop. He’s a writer, producer, director, editor, and creative director with hands on every facet of corporate communication. For members of the Hub Group, that means creating short, polished company overview videos that help startups present who they are and what they do affordably.

Rosh Sillars

Rosh Media Group is located in Pleasant Ridge, MI. His agency specializes in Advertising, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Marketing Consulting, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO),  and Social Media Marketing.

LaSchell Steward

LaSchell is a long time member of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NARE). She is currently the Regional VIII Vice President over Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. She has been or currently is a member of the following real estate boards.

Region VIII Local Boards:
Indiana Realtist Association
Realtist Association of Northeast Indiana
The Greater Detroit Realtist Association
Washtenaw County Area Realtist Association
Akron Realtist Association
Cincinnati Realtist Association
Cleveland Realtist Association
Columbus Realtist Association
Greater Dayton Realtist Association
Ohio Realtist Association
Youngstown-Warren Association of Real Estate Brokers

She is a real estate broker of The Steward Team in Farmington Hills, MI.

Detroit Business Hub Group BBB Business Review