About Us

Let's Go Detroit is a nonprofit entity which is focused on improving the City of Detroit via volunteering events, donation efforts, and educational ventures. Our events function to help children and those most in need.

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Vijay Virupannavar, CPA, CGMA, President

Vijay Virupannavar is a CPA and CGMA in the finance sector with Olympia Entertainment. On the side, he owns a real estate business. He was a 2018 Crain's 40 Under 40 selection and also sits on the Board of Directors for One Detroit Credit Union and the Western Michigan University Haworth College of Business Youth Advisory Board.


Vijay has a history of volunteering and non-profit work which began in high school as a mentor to elementary children, teaching elementary school classes, and helping at an assisted living facility. While at the University of Michigan, he volunteered in several groups, but none more important to him than K-Grams where he had the opportunity to help teach elementary school children in Detroit.


Subsequently, while completing his Masters of Accountancy at Western Michigan University, he was elected the Community Service Officer on the board of Beta Alpha Psi, an honors accounting fraternity. 


Since moving to the Detroit area in 2008, Vijay has been involved with Junior Achievement, Gleaners, Focus Hope, and Storehouse of Hope. He looks forward to using his skills to help Let's Go Detroit have an impact in the community.


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Danielle Smith-Fells, Vice President

Danielle Smith-Fells has worked and volunteered in many different capacities over the past decade; she is very well versed in the human services industry.  Her career originated as a youth worker with Spectrum Child & Family Services in 2010. After working in this position for a year she was promoted to Home Visitation Worker with a child abuse prevention pilot program, Children and Parents United. Once this program ended, she continued her career with Spectrum working as a Residential Foster Care Case Manager with their Teen Mom program. 


After working with youth was no longer a challenge, she was ready to explore other areas in the field. Danielle landed a position with Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries as a Transitional Housing Case Manager.  Conducting cognitive behavioral therapy groups and completing housing resources at their men's homeless shelter was an eye opening experience. After spending two years working in the men's facility, management felt her skills were needed elsewhere in the organization and she was transferred to the Teen Mom program as a Case Manager and Housing Specialist. 


Subsequently, when her journey at Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries was complete, she returned to her area of passion; working with abused and neglected children. She was fortunate enough to enter a new assignment with Judson Center in a family preservation program, Families Together Building Solutions.  This program provides in home parent education for Child Protective Services referred families. 


Danielle earned her Bachelors Degree from Eastern Michigan University in an Individual Studies Program with concentrations in Dimensions of Psychology, Theory of Gender and Clinical Education.  She has plans to begin Graduate School at Eastern Michigan University obtaining a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership. 

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Loren Braxton, Chief Marketing Officer

Loren is a life-long and proud Detroiter, having graduated from Detroit Martin Luther Jr. Senior High School and Focus: HOPE's Machinist Training Institute. 


He is a Mortgage Banker at Quicken Loans and is the sole proprietor of a custom t-shirt company which he has run for over 9 years. 


Loren has a genuine desire to help others in any manner possible, most evident in his being the architect of the annual Bowling for Turkeys charitable bowling event. He arrived at the idea in 2015, when he thought the best manner in which to celebrate his birthday was helping others; following this passion, he began Bowling for Turkeys to help feed people in need during the Thanksgiving season. The event has continued annually for the past 3 years and continues to help those in need while becoming the flagship event for Let's Go Detroit. 

Loren's desire to help others transcends Bowling for Turkeys - he has a history of mentoring others to help achieve their goals as well as donation of time and capital with such organizations as Alternatives For Girls, Focus: HOPE, and the Red Carpet Backyard BBQ. Loren plans to use his ingenuity, passion, and dedication to help Let's Go Detroit help those in need in his city.


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Christian Liner, Chief Financial Officer

 Christian Liner is an experienced Accounting and Auditing Professional, Philanthropist, and Advocate for educational reform in the Detroit area. 


He began his career in the Public Accounting sector working for Deloitte and Touché as an Auditor. Later, he briefly relocated to Cleveland, Ohio to work with Ernst & Young as a Senior Auditor.


 While he gained a wealth of knowledge working in Public Accounting, Christian yearned to gain exposure in the private sector, which led him to Flagstar Bank as a Financial Reporting Accountant. This position catapulted him into his next role with General Motors Financial as a Financial Reporting Accountant for the International Operations division. While operating in this role, he led the global monthly close call with 14 countries, initiated discussions of important business transactions for each country, and helped facilitate determination of appropriate next steps to ensure timeliness of the consolidation and close process.


He also help lead community projects for the controllership group which consisted of volunteering with Arts and Scraps and Forgotten Harvest. While Christian has had success in his professional ventures, his passion really lies in serving his community.


Christian’s passion for people is what led him to serve as a member on the Board of Directors for Storehouse of Hope since 2014. Christian recently became an Associate Board member for One Detroit Credit Union. He currently works for Matrix Human Services (a Detroit based non-profit focused on helping Detroit individuals) as a Senior Accountant where he continues to grow his skill set while also being an asset to his team.


 Christian’s true mission and passion is to empower, impact, and incite change for the city of Detroit. He continues to use his knowledge and skills to make Detroit the city that he knows it can be.
 

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Alton R. Williams II, Chief Operating Officer

Alton R. Williams II is a business professional with extensive experience in the real-estate and hospitality fields.

 

Born in Houston,  TX and raised in Detroit,  MI where he graduated high school, Alton went on to attend Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant,  MI and earned his Bachelor’s degree in 2007.     


Alton’s mission is to make the world a better place through helping those in need. By volunteering with organizations such as Don Bosco Hall and the City of Pontiac, Alton has a firm understanding of the importance of giving to the community and is dedicated to the task of making sure that people are afforded just opportunities to live productive and fulfilling lives.       


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Katie Ealy (Stam), Secretary

Katie Ealy (Stam) has been a resident of metro Detroit her whole life and has long been involved with charitable organizations such as First Step, The Michigan Foster Closet, and Snail Mail for Seniors. Katie's efforts to help span international borders as she has been an advocate of sponsoring children living in underdeveloped areas of other countries.


Katie is a successful hairstylist and a mother of three. Being a mother of an autistic son has also had a profound impact on Katie as the rights and opportunities for differently-abled children is of paramount importance to her. 


Katie has been an early and avid supporter of Let's Go Detroit since its inception. Prior to joining the Board, Katie supported the 3rd Annual Bowling for Turkeys, gathered and delivered donations for an affiliate soup kitchen on behalf of Let's Go Detroit, and requested donations to the Let's Go Detroit in lieu of wedding gifts when she was married in May 2018. 


After noticing Katie's dedication and desire to help others, the Board quickly invited Katie to join to help push the organization forward. Katie accepted the invitation as she was drawn to the multitude of needs the organization strives to address and the organizational focus on improving the lives of children. Katie looks forward to making a lasting and beneficial impact in her community through the efforts and opportunities of Let's Go Detroit.