DETROIT (WWJ) – A huge honor for a Detroit banking legend. The “Don Davis Legacy Foundation Awards and Tribute Gala” took place Thursday night at the Music Hall in downtown Detroit.
Davis, a Grammy Award winning music producer turned bank mogul, purchased First Independence Bank in 1980, which is minority owned and headquartered in Detroit. Davis chaired the bank until his death in 2014.
Davis’ widow, Kiko Davis, is now the bank’s majority shareholder — making her only the second African American female bank owner.
“We started the foundation to help carry on his legacy and help bring the community together and support one another and honor him at the same time while doing so,” Kiko Davis told WWJ’s Terri Lee, who was on the red carpet and also attended the ceremony. Davis also said the foundation assists the community through scholarships, education and grants.
Former Motown artist and city councilwoman Martha Reeves was among the hundreds of attendees. She had personal reasons to celebrate Davis’ legacy.
“Donald Davis had a big part of the change in Detroit,” Reeves said. “He was the first black bank owner here, and he’s also my cousin.”
The attendees who were honored include Dr. Karl D. Gregory, who retired in 1996 as a distinguished professor emeritus in the School of Business Administration at Oakland University; TV “Shark” Daymond John, who initially burst onto the business scene as the entrepreneur and branding expert behind the FUBU clothing line; and Vivian Pickard, longtime president of the General Motors Foundation and Director of Corporate Relations (now retired).
Live entertainment was provided by Kierra “KiKi” Sheard, hip-hop legend Doug E. Fresh and R&B hit maker Johnny Gill, who brought the house down with his long list of hits. Detroit native Keith Washington also charmed the crowd when he joined Gill onstage for a mini duet.
Actress/Producer/Entrepreneur Vivica A. Fox and Actor Laz Alonso served as co-hosts.
Editor’s Note: Photos courtesy of Going Pro LLC