Arab American and Chaldean Council to honor local leaders at 35th annual gala in Detroit

The Arab American and Chaldean Council (ACC), a nonprofit human service organization serving southeast Michigan, will celebrate 35 years of service to the communities of southeast Michigan at its annual Civic and Humanitarian Awards Gala on Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.

The program, which will be presided over by WDIV-TV Anchor and Reporter Sandra Ali, will begin with a welcome by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. Next, ACC Chairman Abe Munkakh and President and CEO Dr. Haifa Fakhouri, will present awards to State Representative Klint Kesto – State Leadership Award. Kesto, the first Chaldean elected to serve in the Michigan House of Representatives and Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence – City Leadership Award. Lawrence was the first African American and woman to be selected for the Southfield mayor position.

Then the council will honor Salman Sesi, Esq. and Andrew Ansara for their lifetime achievements and contributions to the organization. Early pioneers in supporting local services to their respective communities, both honorees are credited for helping to make the ACC what it is today.

The program will culminate with a keynote presentation by Ron A. May, executive vice president of Major Enterprise Projects at DTE Energy. May is responsible for major generation construction and environmental projects at the company’s power plants and new nuclear power plant development.

A general reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by the program and dinner at 7:30 p.m. Funds raised through sponsorships, contributions and ticket sales at the black-tie optional event will provide the resources, education, training and services needed to empower the council’s clients. Dinner will follow the presentations and entertainment throughout the evening will be provided by Saxophonist Kamal Kareem and Mark Randisi and Quartet. To purchase tickets, call 248-559-1990. Visit

— Staff writer Kathy Blake