By Cryss Walker

(CBS DETROIT) – The 15th Annual Women of Excellence Awards was held Thursday in Downtown Detroit.

The Michigan Chronicle honored African American women trailblazing in their industries.

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Some of the highest honors were granted to Vanguard honorees, including Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield and president of DTE Gas, Joi Harris.

“Sometimes people are not going to believe in you, right, or see the vision that you may see for yourself, but I knew that I had been called and what God had called for me was for meant what God has called for you, is for you,” Sheffield said during her acceptance speech.

Carla Walker-Miller, CEO of Walker-Miller Energy Services, walked away with the Woman of the Year award.

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The biggest honor of the night was granted to Denise Lewis, senior partner, and board member of Honigman Law.

Lewis was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her decades of service.

“You know they talk about the opportunity to be in the room, where decisions are made and that is a privilege, but you also have an obligation. I felt that obligation very deeply,” Lewis said.

“That if you’re in that room, you need to speak up for somebody else. You need to ask for somebody else to get that promotion, to get that raise, get hired.”

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