SMSBF is a channel to connect with community stakeholders, discover sustainable business practices, and learn from each other in Detroit and SE Michigan.

SMSBF produces relevant and timely content created to shape and advance the local, sustainable business movement. Our readers and subscribers have access to live and virtual events, workshops, webinars, newsletters, podcasts, and videos. We work with local, national, and international subject matter experts to deliver insights that lead to change. Our content helps organizations advance social, environmental, and economic justice in Detroit and SE Michigan.

Our Philosophy

SMSBF operates under the philosophy that small, local businesses can be most effective by working together. We believe a grassroots movement of local businesses and community stakeholders, working in partnership, will “level the playing field” and lead to the transformations we so desperately need.


SMSBF envisions a local, diverse, resilient, just, and democratically led triple bottom line business community and economy in Detroit and SE Michigan.


SMSBF’s mission is to deliver valuable content that locally owned, small businesses and community stakeholders can use to implement strategies and practices that lead to a diverse, resilient, just, democratic, and triple bottom line economy in Detroit and the SE Michigan region.

Our Team


Tawnya Clark

Board Member

Tawnya Clark is currently a graduate student at Wayne State University’s Mike Illitch School of Business. Her concentrations include Entrepreneurship & Innovation and People Operations (Human Resource Management) with a minor in Organizational Psychology. Tawnya currently works with the Green Garage community in support of its retail operations.

As a Board member of the Southeast Michigan Sustainable Business Forum (SMSBF) Tawnya brings her expertise in business concept ideation (for-profit, non-profit, social); brainstorming techniques, business model canvas, start-up and early growth, and sustainable business planning.

Tawnya is part of the City of Detroit’s renaissance. Her career goals include creating and managing a consulting firm that provides triple-bottom-line business strategies to start-up and early growth food-based businesses.


Dylan J. DuVall

Past Chairperson

Dylan is a partner at Hubbell DuVall, PLLC where he focuses on business law, estate planning and probate, social security disability, and worker’s compensation assisting clients with their transactional work and litigation needs. During law school, Dylan interned for the National Wildlife Federation at the Great Lakes Regional Center in Ann Arbor, MI where he was first introduced to sustainability and had the opportunity to work on the Great Lakes Water Compact.

Dylan lives in Canton, MI with his wife Julia and two children. He enjoys hunting, fishing, and habitat management as well as spinning (yes, on a spinning wheel) and weaving. He is a fan of the Celtic Soccer Club where his son plays and looks forward to his daughter playing with the club as well.


Natalie Jakub


Natalie is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University where she holds a B.A degree with a concentration in Marketing and a Master’s degree in Social Foundations – Eco-Justice Education. After completing her education, Natalie started as a Volunteer Coordinator at Green Living Science through the AmeriCorps VISTA program.

Natalie now serves as Green Living Science’s Executive Director. She is a certified TRUE Advisor, helping facilities achieve zero waste. Natalie has also worked on helping businesses reduce waste and establishing sustainable recycling programs. Natalie also serves as the chair of the Recycling and Waste Reduction subcommittee with Detroit City Council’s Green Task Force. Natalie is an alumnus of the MSU Extension Great Lakes Leadership Academy - Leadership Advancement Program and a current participant of the Environmental Leadership Program.

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Andraya Lee


Andraya is a graduate of Oakland university with a BA in Finance and Minor in Marketing. Her current role is as an Analyst in Business Risk and Internal Control for Consumer Finance and Indirect Lending at Flagstar Bank. She focuses on reducing risk and developing proactive solutions to ensure all compliance regulations are met. Prior to Flagstar, Andraya worked as a Budget Coordinator at Volkswagen Group of America and as a leader with a non profit organization that assists young people in obtaining higher education.

Andraya lives in Warren where she purchased her first home. She enjoys helping others, comedies, Broadway plays, and just staying in with a good movie and a nice snack.

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Ana Otero

Board Member

Ana holds a Masters in Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility from the UNED-Universitat Jaume I and a Bachelors in Business Management and Administration from the University of the Basque Country, Spain. She has experience in a number of different sectors, most notably retail and international trade. For the past 15 years, Ana has worked in the global automotive industry, focusing mainly on strategy, planning, and reporting. She is a member of the Diversity Advocacy Council and Women Resources Group with her current employer.

Her interest in sustainability started in college during an internship at IHOBE, the environmental management agency of the Basque Government.

Ana is excited to work with SMSBF in promoting sustainability within the small and medium enterprises in the region.


Mike Shesterkin

Executive Director

Mike has a degree in chemistry and brings more than thirty years of industrial experience to SMSBF. In his last corporate role, Mike was instrumental in developing sustainable business strategies for the collision repair industry.

After leaving the corporate world, Mike has dedicated himself to advancing social, economic, and environmental justice through business. Mike considers business to be a word for the way in which we organize work. He’s convinced the solutions to the wicked problems of our day will emerge when we work together -- locally and in community -- to radically change the way we organize work.

Mike is married to Lisa and enjoys being outside, whether that means on the streets of Detroit or on some desolate acreage in the UP.


Karen Tyler-Ruiz


Karen Tyler-Ruiz serves as the second Executive Director of the Center for Community-Based Enterprise, Inc. (C2BE). C2BE supports the creation of people-centered businesses, cooperatives, and worker-owned enterprises, that are owned and run by their members, who have an equal say in what their organization does and how it generates and uses profits. Tyler-Ruiz has spent the last 20 years of her career building practical frameworks and strategies in support of Detroiters and Metro Detroiters working and earning with dignity to support a quality life for ourselves, our family, and local community.

Tyler-Ruiz holds a B.A. from Grinnell College and completed the Landmark Curriculum for Living in 2020. She is a 2017 Crain’s Leadership Academy Alumnus and holds a Housing Finance Professional certification from the National Development Council.

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