DETROIT (WWJ) — WWJ Newsradio 950 City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas, a newly-crowned recipient of the 2015 Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence Award, says she is proud to have been selected for the honor in ceremony that was held at the MGM Grand Detroit Casino on Friday.

“We do the work because we love the work,” Thomas said. “I’m just blessed to be able to do what I love to do. And, to be honored by the Michigan Chronicle as a Woman of Excellence is just the icing on the cake. I really thank them for recognizing women who might not otherwise be recognized for the work that they do in our community.

“I’m thrilled. I’m happy. I’m excited. And I’m just honored to be among such distinguished women,” Thomas said.

Of the over 400 women nominated, only over 50 were selected for the award. Those women include State Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, 8th District.

“She just won election. She’s a firecracker,” Thomas said. “Already fighting for public education.”

Other Women of Excellence honorees included Wayne County Judges Vonda Evans and Wanda Evans, Southfield City Council President Sylvia Jordan, Detroit Deputy Police Chief U. Renee’ Hall and the first African-American Miss U.S.A. Carol Gist. U.S. Representative Brenda Lawrence was also honored among the more than 50 Women of Excellence award recipients.

Thomas has won numerous local and national awards in the more than 20 years she has worked in the WWJ newsroom where she has covered countless stories. But, among those indelibly etched into her memory are the Oklahoma City bombing and the visit of South African President Nelson Mandela and his then wife Winnie Mandela to Detroit.

“It was really amazing,” Thomas said, “to cover something like that at the start of my career — from Mandela’s speech at Tiger Stadium all the way to the news conference at the Marriott — that’s something that I’ll never, ever, ever forget.”

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