Who We Are

We love Detroit, so we are investing in it.

If you are interested in becoming a trustee, email detroit@awesomefoundation.org and introduce yourself. Attend monthly meetings, vote on projects, contribute the $100/month, and be the voice of Awesome Detroit.



Marc Hudson


Marc Hudson is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rocket Fiber, a game-changing Detroit-based company launching a high-speed Internet service that’s up to 100 times faster than the current residential average.  Rocket Fiber is going to put Detroit among only a handful of cities in the country with this type of Internet.

Prior to Rocket Fiber, Marc was a User Interface Engineer with Quicken Loans where he designed and built software that managed complex data sets used by the Capital Markets team.


Amanda Lewan


Amanda Lewan is an entrepreneur and award-winning writer. She is Co-founder of Bamboo Detroit, the city's largest co-working community. She is Founder and Editor of Michipreneur, a regional digital publication on entrepreneurship and innovation.

Amanda is inspired to build inclusive creative communities. She received a Bachelor's in Professional Writing from Michigan State University and a Master's in English from Wayne State University.


Ellen Lyle


Ellen is the owner of Pink Elephant Products. Pink Elephant Products is a community-driven company that provides clean products for whole house and body.  They handcraft cosmetics, cleaning, garden, and personal care products and carry organic, undiluted essential oils and clean living accessories - all which reduce your carbon footprint.  Their products are free of synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, hormone disruptors, phthalates, and parabens. Ellen is a very active supporter of entrepreneurship and community.

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Joe McClure


Joe is the co-owner of McClure's Pickles. Joe oversees large-scale production, Midwest distribution and sales, and a number of other major stuff, including the McClure's production facility. He has lived in Hawaii and Tennessee - which makes for an interesting accent, is a classical musician, enjoys running, using a pizza stone, tuning into Ira Glass and the boys and girls from Radio Lab, and he's a huge fan of NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts.


Jerry Paffendorf


Jerry is the co-founder and CEO of LOVELAND Technology, a venture dedicated to putting America online parcel by parcel. Detroit has become an endless education and influence for Jerry in thinking about how information systems can help improve the function of cities, the agency of residents, and the use of physical space. He likes reading books and watching documentaries about all kinds of things, road tripping, running around in circles, and growing LOVELAND into something more and more meaningful all the time.

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Paul Pangaro


Paul Pangaro’s career spans research, consulting, startups, and education. He relocated to Detroit in April 2015 to become Associate Professor & Chair of the MFA Interaction Design at College for Creative Studies (CCS). He has taught systems and cybernetics for design at School for Visual Arts, New York, and at Stanford University in Terry Winograd’s Human-Computer Interface program. 


Thane Richard


Thane Richard re-started the Detroit chapter of the Awesome Foundation in late 2016. Thane is a Data Journalist at StockX, which means he writes both prose and code. He also teaches High School Marine Science in the Fall aboard the schooner Roseway with the World Ocean School and Proctor Academy.


Michelle Srbinovich


Michelle Srbinovich leads WDET 101.9FM, Detroit’s NPR affiliate, at Wayne State University. She is currently the youngest general manager of a major market public radio station. Michelle has earned national recognition for her commitment to diversity, innovation, community engagement and the development of new audiences for public media. A lifelong resident of Metro Detroit and a catalyst for change, Michelle co-founded the Detroit chapter of Girl Develop It and the Belle Isle Conservancy's Emerging Patrons Council. She is also a founding member of the United Way of Southeast Michigan’s Emerging Philanthropists.  She enjoys traveling, reading, binge watching, Balkan folk music, and dancing with her cat. 

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Paul Thomas


Paul Thomas, MD practices family medicine via Plum Health DPC, the first Direct Primary Care clinic in Detroit and Wayne County. He's a graduate of Wayne State University School of Medicine in 2013 and a regular volunteer at Cass Clinic and the Student Run Free Clinic.