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Walsh College Will Honor Four Business and Community Leaders at Annual Leadership Awards Dinner at MGM Grand in Detroit

Walsh College will honor the achievements of four business and community leaders at its annual 2015 Leadership Awards Dinner on Saturday evening, November 21, 2015 at the MGM Grand Hotel, Detroit.

The honorees are:

Lori Blaker, owner and CEO, TTi Global, Rochester Hills

William F. Jones, Jr., CEO, Focus:HOPE Detroit, recipients of the Jeffery W. Barry Award for Educational Excellence and Community Service

Rebecca Sorensen, senior vice president, wealth management and institutional consultant, UBS Financial Services, Birmingham, recipient of the Walsh College Distinguished Alumna Award

Brian Pilarski, sales leader, Brown & Brown of Detroit, Sterling Heights, recipient of the Walsh College Distinguished Graduate of the Last Decade Award.

“We will recognize four exceptional people who make extraordinary contributions every day to their firms, to the community, and to Walsh College,” said Stephanie Bergeron, president and CEO, Walsh College. “Through their example, they inspire excellence and bring energy to important initiatives in the southeast Michigan community and beyond.”

Individual tickets for the event are $250. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Under Lori Blaker’s leadership, TTi Global, a provider of business performance solutions based in Rochester Hills, Mich., has grown worldwide with offices in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

It is one of the top 25 woman-run businesses in the U.S. as recognized by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (2008 and 2009). Blaker and TTi Global have also been the recipients of numerous local and national business awards.

The company has also succeeded in diversifying its client base from mostly automotive companies to include retail, hospitality, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and industrial products.

William Jones became chief executive officer in 2009 of Focus: HOPE, a Detroit-based, non-denominational, non-profit organization which provides education and training for underrepresented minorities and others, after an extensive career with Chrysler and Chrysler Financial.

Under Jones’ leadership, Focus: HOPE has expanded services to the community through its three primary areas of emphasis: a food program, education and training programs, and community development initiatives.

Jones has placed a high priority on excellence in education and, in particular, supported academic achievement and opportunities for children growing up in the neighborhoods around Focus: HOPE.

A native of Hampton, Virginia, Jones is a member of the Walsh College Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the Governor’s Talent Investment Board, and the boards of directors for the Detroit Regional Chamber, Forgotten Harvest, and Eastern Market.

Rebecca Sorensen is based in UBS’ Birmingham, Mich. office. She earned her a bachelor of accountancy degree from Walsh College in 1985. With more than 25 years of investment industry experience, she is a CPA, Certified Financial Planner, and Certified Investment Management Analyst. Additionally, she has completed the Wharton School’s IMCA program on Alternative Investments.

In 2001, Leadership Oakland recognized Sorensen as one of its 2001 Distinguished Leadership Award recipients in the individual category. She is also a recipient of the 2003 State of Michigan Governor’s Award for Volunteerism for her work with Lighthouse PATH.

Most recently, Sorensen has received the national distinction of being named a member of the 2014 Financial Times Top 100 Women Financial Advisers.

Brian Pilarski was recently promoted to sales leader at Brown & Brown of Detroit, based on his history as a top performer in commercial insurance brokerage. He has won numerous national Brown & Brown Insurance awards for his high performance, including the Million Dollar Club and “Top Gun” of the entire company. He is a Certified Insurance Counselor, property and casualty agent and counselor, and a life and health insurance agent.

Beginning this fall, Pilarski has been accepted into Class XXXVII of Leadership Detroit. He is actively involved in many community organizations, including Forgotten Harvest, Cornerstone Schools, and the American Polish Cultural Society.

He earned his Master of Science in Management degree from Walsh College in 2007. He also graduated cum laude from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree. His support of Walsh College includes current service as the youngest director of the College’s Foundation Board. Pilarski was also president of the Walsh College Alumni Association for two terms.

For more information on the event, contact Andrea Richards, Development Office, 248-823-1204. For more information on the Leadership Awards or Walsh College, visit