2020 Recipients of the Woman of Impact Award Announced


ANN ARBOR, MI, February 17, 2020 – The Joyce Ivy Foundation today announced the 2020 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 2020 Women of Impact award recipients include Denise Fair, Chief Public Health Officer, City of Detroit – Detroit Health Department and Amy Peterson, Co-Founder and CEO, Rebel Nell.

“We are honored to celebrate Denise Fair and Amy Peterson as our 2020 Women of Impact,” said Emily Taylor, member of the Joyce Ivy Board of Directors and Awards Selection Committee. “The Woman of Impact award is exciting because it shows Scholars where they could be in fifteen years. Both Denise and Amy have followed their passions to make a difference in their communities. We look forward to our Scholars having the opportunity to connect with these impressive women.”

Denise Fair serves as chief public health officer for the Detroit Health Department, appointed by Mayor Mike Duggan. Prior to leading Detroit’s Health Department, Fair served as a group practice director at Henry Ford Health System, providing executive oversight for primary care clinics and multi-specialty medical centers. Prior to that she served as senior consultant and program administrator for Trinity Health System, managing a broad portfolio of operations including ambulatory clinics and urgent care facilities. Fair holds board positions on the Detroit Authority and the Detroit URC Board of Directors. She has also served as part of the Executive Committee for the Livonia Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives Board of Directors. Fair obtained a Master of Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. She is currently working to complete a Master of Business Administration in finance at the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University. Fair is also board certified in health care management from the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Amy Peterson’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for helping others lead her to cofounding one of her greatest accomplishments, Rebel Nell in 2013. Rebel Nell is a jewelry company with a purpose, that employs disadvantaged women in Detroit to help them transition from a life of dependence into one of self-reliance and self-empowerment. Rebel Nell pairs employment with financial literacy, business education, and a focus on life wellness to instill confidence on the path to success. Prior to taking over as CEO of Rebel Nell, she served as Vice President of Special Projects and General Counsel for the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) and as the Associate Counsel for the Detroit Tigers. She achieved her Bachelor of Arts in History from Kenyon College, her Juris Doctorate from New England School of Law, and her Masters of Business Administration from Suffolk University. Amy has been recognized for the impact she has had in the city of Detroit in Dbusiness Thirty in Their 30s Detroit’s Premier Business Journal, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year: 2016 Michigan and Northwest Ohio.

“Denise and Amy’s diverse backgrounds represent all that is possible for our Scholars,” said Brittany Knight, Executive Director of the Joyce Ivy Foundation. “We are delighted to elevate their stories of success and ambition.”

The 2020 Women of Impact recipients will be honored at the 15th annual Summer Scholars Gala on May 16th at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit, Michigan. The Gala also honors the Joyce Ivy Foundation Leader of the Year, Bridget McCormack, Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, who will address the 2020 Summer Scholars and Gala guests, and Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, Shirley Lightsey.

Past Women of Impact award recipients include:

2019: Anna Clark, Journalist and Author of The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy; Allison Drutchas, Policy and Product Counsel, Waymo; Dr. Asha Shajahan, Medical Director of Community Health, Beaumont Health; and Stella Safari, Director of gBETA Detroit.

2018: 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.

2017: 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.