2018 Recipients of Woman of Impact Award Announced


ANN ARBOR, MI, March 12, 2018 – The Joyce Ivy Foundation today announced the 2018 recipients of the Women of Impact award. This award recognizes the achievements of rising female leaders who have demonstrated professional talent and a commitment to improving their communities.

The 2018 Women of Impact award recipients are Nia Batts & Katherine Cockrel, Co-Founders, Detroit Blows; Cynthia Shih, Management Consultant & Performing Songwriter, McKinsey & Co; and Tiffany Taylor, Vice President, Deputy Chief People Officer, Teach For America.

“The Women of Impact award celebrates female leaders early in their career” said Emily Taylor, a member of the Joyce Ivy Foundation Board of Directors and Women of Impact Selection Committee. “We are honored to celebrate this impressive cohort of women which includes entrepreneurs, artists, educators, and activists. Each one of them has created noteworthy impact in their communities, and we are excited to elevate their stories of success.”

Nia Batts is currently the Co-Founder & CEO of Detroit Blows, a non-toxic blow dry salon in Detroit. She is also the Chair of its affiliated philanthropic arm, Detroit Grows, which makes microgrants to Detroit-based female entrepreneurs, and to programs helping women enter or reenter the workforce. Previously she was the Senior Director of Social Innovation and Strategic Partnerships at Viacom, Inc. In her position, she worked with all of the Viacom brands on division priorities and cross-promotional, marketing and pro-social campaigns for key corporate, non-profit and talent partners including: General Motors, AT&T, Capital One, Taco Bell, The White House, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The United Way, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Mariska Hargitay, LeBron James, Kelly Clarkson, and Sophia Bush. Nia earned a B.A. in Film Studies from Columbia University, an Executive Education Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from Harvard Business School, and a professional certificate in Film Producing from New York University. She continues to produce content and manage partnerships at the intersection of entertainment and impact.

Katy Cockrel serves as a co-founder of Detroit Blows. Along with partner and co-founder, Nia Batts, Cockrel developed the concept for the city’s first-ever single service, dual process, socially conscious blowdry salon. She also helms integrated communications efforts for the business, taking the lead on PR and marketing efforts designed to garner awareness and drive traffic to the salon’s downtown Detroit storefront. In addition to her role at Detroit Blows, she currently serves as a vice president at Finn Partners, a New York-headquartered agency with a Detroit-based office. In her role, Katy oversees communication strategy and day-to-day account management for clients including but not limited to Olympia Development of Michigan, Develop Detroit, City Year Detroit. Prior to joining Finn Partners, she was the Director of Strategic Communications at Ignition Media Group (IMG), a boutique integrated marketing agency in downtown Detroit. She holds a dual B.A. in political science and public relations from Wayne State University where she was a member of the David Mackenzie Honors Society. In October 2015, the university named Katy its 2015 Recent Alumni award recipient.

Cynthia is a management consultant at McKinsey & Company’s Social Initiative where she focuses on sustainable cities and cleantech. Outside of McKinsey, Cynthia is a performing songwriter and has released five studio albums over 12 years, independently and with Virt Records, Zoë/Rounder Records and Decca Records/Concord Music Group. She composed score for The Fourth Messenger, an original musical theatre production and has performed 1,000+ concerts in the US and Europe. In addition, Cynthia produced, released and marketed two live concert recordings, and her original music has been licensed for use in film and TV. Cynthia received a BS in Computer Science from Stanford University and an MBA/MS from the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Sustainable Enterprise.

Tiffany C. Taylor currently serves as the Deputy, Chief People Officer for Teach For America. She has served as the Executive Director of Teach For America –Detroit where she set a compelling vision and direction for the region, expanded the regional fundraising base, and ran a sophisticated and sustainable operation. Tiffany joined TFA in 2004 as a sixth grade special education teacher and advocated for underrepresented communities through her work as a community planner and housing development officer for Prince George’s County Planning Department and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. She then took her talents to the nation’s capital, as an Educational Policy Consultant with the 21st Century School Fund and as a Project Manager with The Community Builders Inc. Tiffany graduated from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Afro-American and African Studies. She also earned a Master’s degree in education from St. Joseph’s University and a Masters’ degree in Urban Planning from the University of Maryland. Most recently, she was inducted into the Crain’s 2015 40 under 40 class.​

“Our Women of Impact serve as inspiring models of leadership, success, and ambition,” said Brittany Carlson, Executive Director of the Joyce Ivy Foundation. “We are excited for our Scholars to connect with them and be empowered by their personal and professional stories.”

The 2018 Women of Impact Recipients will be honored at the 13th annual Summer Scholars Gala on May 12 at the Marriott Eagle Crest in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The Gala also honors the Joyce Ivy Foundation Leader of the Year, Dr. Janet Reid, CEO of BRBS World, who will address the group of 2018 Summer Scholars and Gala guests.​

Past Women of Impact award recipients include: Veronica Scott, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, the Empowerment Plan; Linzie Venegas, Vice President, Ideal Group; Tiffany Brown, Communications Director, Mission Flint Office; and Allyson Carpenter, President of Student Government, Howard University.