The D. Augustus Straker Bar Association's 11th Annual Dinner to recognize pioneers in the legal community will be held on Thursday, June 24th at the San Marino Club in Troy. The 2004 Trailblazer Award recipients are the Honorable Eric Lee Clay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and Roderick D. Gillum, the Vice President of Public Policy and Diversity Initiatives for General Motors Corporation.
A graduate of Yale Law School, Eric Clay was the first generation of his family to attend college. After graduation, he clerked for then U.S. District Court judge Damon Keith and then turned to private practice in 1973. He co-founded the Detroit law firm Lewis, White and Clay, P.C., currently Lewis and Munday P.C. In 1997, President Clinton appointed Judge Clay to the federal bench. Judge Clay is a member of many bar organizations and committees and is very involved with civic projects.
Roderick Gillum joined General Motors in 1979 where he has held several executive positions. He is also chairman of the board and president of Motor Enterprises Incorporated, a subsidiary of General Motors specializing in small business investment. A native of Detroit, Gillum is very committed to the city's economic growth and development and sits on various boards to facilitate this.
The theme of this year's dinner is "From Brown to University of Michigan: Affirmative Actions That Make A Difference." The D. Augustus Straker Bar Association was founded by a group of diverse Oakland County lawyers with the mission of promoting the interest and views of attorneys as well as providing public service activities.
The organization's president Angelique Strong Marks invites sponsors for the Trailblazer's Dinner as well as advertisers for the souvenir booklet. Sponsorship levels range from $1,000 to $5,000 and includes a dinner table for ten people, advertisements and special acknowledgment in the souvenir booklet. Individual tickets are priced at $50.