CEDAM Awards 2021 Leader of the Year Award to Chanell Scott Contreras of ProsperUs

The Leader of the Year Award honors an exemplary CEDAM member engaged in innovative and impactful programming 

September 15, 2021—The Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) is pleased to announce our 2021 Leader of the Year winner, Chanell Scott Contreras. Chanell serves as the executive director of ProsperUS, one of the first Black-led Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) in Michigan. 

Annually, CEDAM recognizes a Leader of the Year: a member who has engaged in creative programming, been involved in an exciting new development or has generally proved to be a leader in the field. 

“Chanell has demonstrated remarkable vision as she led PropserUs to become an independent organization and successfully earn CDFI status,” said Luke Forrest, executive director of CEDAM. “Under her leadership, ProsperUs is uncovering a variety of opportunities for entrepreneurs of color and directly meeting the needs of moderate- to low-income communities in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park.”

Among her many accomplishments, Chanell has mobilized community development partnerships, created public-private coalitions, secured funds from national donors, and tripled the organization’s operating budget during this historic pandemic. Since its inception, the organization has delivered microloans of up to $50,000.

“Channel is the type of person that brings out the best in you and your organization,” said Paul Jones, business support network director at Invest Detroit. “There are people who make an impact directly on others and their community in the here and now. But there are others that you know are going to be long lasting.”

CEDAM will recognize Chanell September 15 at our annual Developing Vibrant Communities virtual conference. 



Contact: Emily Reyst, Director of Communications & Training

emily@cedamichigan.org | 517-485-3588 ext. 1941