Local residents, businesses honored at Salute to Excellence

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 7, 2015

 Rickey Shackelford, Roseville’s Student of the Year, shakes hands with his principal, Pete Hedemark, during the dinner at Eastpointe Manor.

Rickey Shackelford, Roseville’s Student of the Year, shakes hands with his principal, Pete Hedemark, during the dinner at Eastpointe Manor.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


EASTPOINTE — Police officers, firefighters, teachers, students, businesses and other residents received Salute to Excellence awards during the annual Eastpointe-Roseville Chamber of Commerce awards dinner Sept. 28.

were nominated by other members of the community, or in the case of police and fire officers of the year, by their peers in their respective departments. The winners were announced earlier in September before receiving their awards at the dinner, which took place at Eastpointe Manor.

Joseph DeFelice was named the Eastpointe-Roseville Citizen of the Year for his efforts to help people in both communities. Eastpointe City Manager Steve Duchane, who introduced the award, said DeFelice had been helping the Roseville Community Schools for years before being elected to its Board of Education in 2011.

DeFelice has supported city projects and helped bring back the Roseville fireworks, supported scholarship and arts programs for students, backed the MiDog dog park in Eastpointe, installed water lines and donated money to the Eastpointe Community Garden, helped out Eastside Teen Outreach, and has assisted, sponsored or donated to events in both cities for years, Duchane said.

“This is the first time a single individual has received so many nominations within both communities,” Duchane said.

DeFelice said he was shocked when he heard the news, and he thanked everyone for the nomination, saying that it was really the people from the organizations he helped who deserved the award.

East Detroit High School senior Messiah Williams and Roseville High School junior Rickey Shackelford were their schools’ respective Student of the Year winners, and Ian Dicerbo was named Eastpointe’s Youth of the Year for his efforts in improving the city’s children’s garden with new benches and garden boxes.

Teachers Michelle Kado, Jennifer Muscillo and Sarah Loop were named the East Detroit Public Schools Educators of the Year, while Stacey Ellis, Danielle Zimmerman and Christine Anderson took those awards for Roseville Community Schools.

Officer Joseph Madonia was named Eastpointe’s Police Officer of the Year for his years of experience as a patrolman, evidence tech, field trainer and detective, according to Deputy Police Chief Eric Kaiser.

Roseville Police Chief James Berlin announced that Detective Brad McKenzie was the winner of Roseville’s Police Officer of the Year award. Berlin said McKenzie was the lead officer investigating the body of an infant found at a Roseville recycling facility in January, and that McKenzie literally searched dumpsters for clues in an investigation that took him across the state before a suspect from Eastpointe was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

“I thank God for our officers, that we have men and women like Detective McKenzie willing to take on these cases and the emotional toll it takes on them and their family,” Berlin said. “Without them, I don’t know where we’d be.”

Joel Higuchi was named Roseville’s Firefighter of the Year for his work as a paramedic and his efforts raising money for community organizations, training more paramedics and doing other off-duty work.

The Eastpointe Fire Department’s Jason Frattini took the Firefighter of the Year award for Eastpointe for his help in promoting the Fire Department during the runup to the public safety millage earlier this year, and his help training new firefighters while others were out injured.

Clovers Collision & Mechanical Repair took the Eastpointe Business of the Year award, and Macomb Mall won the Roseville Business of the Year award.

Macomb Mall also took one of Roseville’s Capital Improvement awards, alongside LA Fitness. Eastpointe honored Michigan First Credit Union and Drew’s Garden with its Capital Improvement awards. Roseville also gave Old School Deli its annual “You’ve Made a Difference” award.

Roseville’s Pioneer awards went to National Coney Island and Cheryl Kowalczyk State Farm Insurance Agency, and Eastpointe’s went to DeRonne True Value Hardware and Fairway Drugs.