The 15th annual 10 Over the Next Ten Awards were held on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at the Graduate Hotel in East Lansing. This event recognizes Greater Lansing’s top 10 young professionals who are expected to contribute significantly to our community over the next ten years. The event was presented by Independent Bank and co-hosted by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) and Lansing 5:01.
The 2021 10 Over the Next Ten Award recipients include:
MiChaela Barker is the community action network coordinator for the Ingham County Health Department. In 2017, she became an entrepreneur and started her own company, Melanin in Medicine, which focuses on providing representation for the BIPOC community within healthcare via apparel, accessories, and mental health dream journals. Her firm has given out multiple small business grants and helped create the Greater Lansing Black Business Directory. MiChaela has continuously poured back into the community. She has served through Les Meres et Debutantes of Greater Lansing, Jack and Jill Greater Lansing Chapter, Chi Epsilon Omega of Alpha Kappa Alpha, and the Melanated Business Alliance of Greater Lansing. MiChaela has a Master of Public Health: Healthcare Management from Yale University.
Elvin Caldwell serves as a legislative affairs consultant, closely monitoring, researching, and assisting clients in developing public policy strategies. His most fulfilling professional accomplishment came when he worked as an educator and helped middle school students successfully launch a water drive. He empowered students and taught them to be proactive and engage the business and at-large communities. Elvin is also the owner of the Umbrella Sock Company, a Lansing apparel company that has provided thousands of dollars to organizations in the community. Elvin is an executive board member of the Capital Area Housing Partnership and the recipient of the Lansing Champion award and Lansing Boys and Girls Club Coach’s award. He has a bachelor’s in history from Kalamazoo College.
Brian Daniels is the founder of emPOWer Lansing, a boxing and fitness studio. He is a U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient, having been injured in an IED attack in Iraq. A Lansing native and graduate of Grand Ledge High School, Brian is driven by a desire to help people find their strength and become the best versions of themselves. Brian says emPOWer Lansing is not just a fitness studio, but a movement. They do more than teach classes. They preach, promote, and provide an environment of equality, and unity in the community. Opening emPOWer on Lansing’s eastside also allowed Brian to be part of the resurgence of Michigan Avenue. His passion for the community led him to become a member of the Lansing Parks Board of Directors. Through volunteer work at emPOWer, Brian has also worked with victims of assault and trafficking. His dream is to use his community service to help Lansing become the best version of itself. He also hopes to run for public office.
Mallory DePrekel serves as CEO/state director of Communities in Schools of Michigan. This non-profit organization aims to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Under her leadership, CIS of Michigan has grown from two full-time employees and four contractors to 55 full time staff members in just 3 years. She is active with the Junior League of Lansing, Michigan Afterschool Association, and a graduate of the Leadership Lansing program. Mallory has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, a master’s in public service management from DePaul University, and is currently attending Harvard Kennedy School, seeking an executive certificate in non-profit leadership.
Justin Hewson works as the business services manager of loan operations for MSU Federal Credit Union. During the Covid pandemic, Justin was tasked with leading his commercial lending team while working remotely, implementing, and delivering the Paycheck Protection Program and implementing a new loan origination software. Justin is active in the community, currently serving as board chair and member of the philanthropy committee of the mid-Michigan Chapter of the American Red Cross. He also serves as vice-chair of East Lansing’s Downtown Management Board. Justin is a graduate of Okemos High School, Lansing Community College, and Michigan State University.
Nate Kirk is the assistant vice president, mortgage loan officer for the mid-Michigan Market of Commercial Bank. Nate has risen from a part-time position as a bank teller and customer service representative to his current role in just seven years. He feels a deep sense of fulfillment at being able to help individuals and families realize their dream of homeownership. Nate also takes great pride in his role as a volunteer, currently serving as a board member and housing educator for the Capital Area Housing Partnership. He is also currently serving as a board member and vice president of the Meridian Area Business Association. He has also served as a board member and treasurer of the Women’s Council of Realtors – Lansing network and enjoys another of his passions as a volunteer youth football coach. Nate has a bachelor’s in political science and a bachelor’s in philosophy from Albion College.
Quincie McCalla is a registered financial representative with Modern Woodmen of America. In her first year at Modern Woodmen, she reached all four stages of MWA’s Sure Start Awards. She also qualified for the 2021 National Sales Conference, took seven licensing tests, and received her Fraternal Insurance Counselor Designation. This past May, she finished in the top ten of life writers in the country. Quincie enjoys giving back to the community and has served with Sisters of Service through which she has volunteered at the City Rescue Mission and assembled face shields for first responders. She is currently the vice president and incoming president for the National Association of Career Women, trustee for the Sundried Music festival, and a committee member for Impression 5 Science Center’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. Quincie has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Olivet Nazarene University.
Breina Pugh serves as the community relations manager for the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL). In that role, Breina works with community, neighborhood, and non-profit leaders on issues important to BWL. Among the projects she has led at BWL were overseeing the installation of community art at the new central substation and leading the 2019 Chili Cook-off. Breina has served on the Eaton County Humane Society board and has been involved with Junior Achievement. Currently, she serves on the board of directors for the Old Town Commercial Association, where she leads all social media/communications efforts. She is also a member of the ATHENA WIN board. Breina has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Alma College.
Brian Sapita is the director of government affairs for the Michigan Pharmacists Association. Among his professional accomplishments, Brian worked in partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to create a “Naloxone Weekend” where pharmacies across the state could give away free doses of Naloxone to any patient who requested it. Naloxone is a drug that counteracts the effects of an overdose and getting into the hands of the community will save countless lives. He is a member and benefactor of the Capital Area Rugby Foundation, which hosts youth rugby clinics for children 6-11 years old, has a yearly park clean-up event and supports men’s and women’s teams in mid-Michigan. Brian graduated from Grand Valley State with a degree in political science.
Kirstyn Waldron serves as corporate philanthropy manager for Jackson National Life Insurance Company. Kirstyn has a passion for giving back and helping those in need. In her role, she leads the employee volunteer program, Jackson in Action, and directs corporate contributions within the Lansing community. Kirstyn led an internal fundraiser at Jackson in support of the Jackson Volunteer Center at the new Greater Lansing Food Bank Warehouse. She is also a graduate of the Leadership Lansing program. Kirstyn volunteers her time by co-chairing the Junior Achievement Bowling Committee, serving on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake Committee and the Ele’s Race Committee. Kirstyn possess a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University.