The first African American deputy mayor of Indianapolis, the managing partner of Ernst and Young LLP, and the founder and artistic director at the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra along with 13 additional award recipients were honored at the Center For Leadership Development’s 37th Annual Minority Achievers Awards & Scholarship Gala.

2017 S. Henry Bundles, Jr. Award for Service to the Center for Leadership Development – Joseph A. Slash, Founding Member and Secretary, CLD Board of Directors (1977–2014)
Slash is a founding board member of the Center For Leadership Development and served on the CLD board of directors until 2014 and has remained involved with the organization since departing. He made history as Indianapolis’ first African American deputy mayor under Bill Hudnut in 1989. Slash transitioned to vice president with Indianapolis Power & Light for 13 years and served as president of the Indianapolis Urban League for 12 years, retiring in 2014. In addition to serving on CLD’s board, Slash has served on the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Merit Board, the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee and remains a prominent community servant-leader.

2017 Accomplished Achievement Award – Derrick Burks, Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
Burks is managing partner of Ernst & Young’s Indianapolis Office. Prior to joining the firm in 2002, he spent 24 years with the Indianapolis office of Arthur Andersen. Burks graduated with distinction from Indiana University with a degree in accounting and was the first African-American promoted to partner by one of the big CPA firms in the State of Indiana.

2017 Mme. C. J. Walker (Outstanding Woman of the Year) Award – Betty Perry, Founder/Artistic Director, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
At the age of 12, Perry received a scholarship to study viola at Third Street Music School Settlement in New York City. Since then, she has dedicated her life to providing positive, community-building, musical experiences for young people and their families. In 1995, Betty founded the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, a development program that serves at-risk students and families in the most challenged Indianapolis neighborhoods through music education, mentoring and supportive services. The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra welcomes family participation, the only youth orchestra in the country that invites adult family members to learn to play an instrument alongside their child.

2017 CLD Distinguished Alumni Award – The CLD Alumni Association will award its 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award to Joy Mason (‘83), a graduate of CLD’s flagship program, the Self-Discovery/Career Exploration Project. Currently, she is a Quality Consultant for the Global Quality Laboratories at Eli Lilly and Co. She is being recognized for her remarkable and unwavering commitment to youth, making a positive impact in her community, and giving back to CLD.

Twelve additional awards were presented to select individuals for achievement in categories: Arts & Entertainment, Business & Industry, Communications/PR/Advertising, Education, K-12 and Postsecondary, Entrepreneurship, Financial Services, Professions, Public & Community Service, Science & Technical Disciplines, “Up & Coming” Achiever, and Human Achievement.

Since 2004, CLD has been in partnership with various colleges and universities throughout the state of Indiana that see the value of CLD’s programming. More than $16.3 million in scholarships have been awarded to CLD students since 2004. At the 2016 Achievers Gala, $2.8 million was leveraged to 46 students.

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