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About the Awards
The Detroit Free Press and Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (MAC) partnered to create the Shining Light Regional Cooperation Awards.  To this distinctive collaboration, the Free Press brings its ability to spotlight exceptional people doing great work that uplifts the region, while MAC brings its long history and experience of responding to regional issues and developing initiatives that help to improve the quality of life in Southeast Michigan.   

The Shining Light Awards honor individuals who are making important contributions to regional cooperation, progress, and understanding in metropolitan Detroit.  Our purpose is to give broad exposure to people who are making difficult decisions to further regional cooperation and encourage others to follow in their footsteps. 

The Shining Light Awards were launched in 2007 in a special "naming ceremony" honoring individuals well known for their extraordinary contributions to metropolitan Detroit – Neal Shine, Mike and Marian Ilitch, Eleanor Josaitis, and Dave Bing.

Subsequent award winners were selected through a public nomination process. (For more information on honorees, click here.)

Why Recognize Current and Emerging Regional Leaders?
The Shining Light Awards highlight the critical importance of regional cooperation to the success of Southeast Michigan. To be truly competitive in today’s challenging global economy, a region needs a cooperative spirit and good working relationships among all of its people, institutions and governments. These awards are a powerful symbol of our potential as a region if we work together toward a common vision for a more cohesive and prosperous community.

Building cooperation and teamwork between communities and sectors can be a challenging and sometimes unrewarding task. Individuals who take risks, possibly jeopardizing their political futures, by thinking and acting regionally should be honored and rewarded for their courage and fortitude. In showcasing their leadership, these regional awards also promote role models who may encourage others to take the initiative to look beyond their own boundaries and act for the greater good.