Event Details

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Location

Location: Detroit Marriott - Renaissance Ballroom

Date: Sunday, January 12, 2014

VIP Reception - 5:30pm
General Reception - 5:30pm
Awards - 7:00pm
AfterGlow - 8:30pm

Tickets and Travel

Order Tickets Online

Tickets Available Online!


Marriott Renaissance
400 Renaissance Dr W
Detroit, MI 48243

Urban Wheel Awards
Marriott offering special UWA rate:
Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center

EDEF Scholarship Program

Program Book


Contact Us

UWA Contact Information

For Event & Sponsorship Information:
Rosiland Triche (707) 645-0965

For Program Book Ad Information:
Call (707) 645-0965

For Media Information:
Call (301) 390-1823
Or (707) 645-0965

Seeing Business and Community as One

Seeing Business and Community as One How B Corporations can Benefit the Economy
Multimedia company Decisive Media has always considered business as a venue to aid communities and the disadvantaged youth. In 1998, it launched Emerging Diversity Education Fund or EDEF, a non-profit organization that has raised $500,000 in scholarships and trained over 300 young people.

Decisive also assisted multicultural consumers in the automotive industry by releasing national automotive magazines to educate and introduce industry career opportunities. Plus, Decisive established the annual Urban Wheel Awards together with the North American International Auto Show, known as America’s largest revenue event, to benefit its non-profit endeavor. Read More

18th Annual Urban Wheel Awards

The 18th Annual Urban Wheel Awards is the "Official Multicultural Event" of the North American International Auto Show

The Urban Wheel Awards (UWA) has become a global marketing initiative that promotes awareness in all segments of the auto industry:
  • Auto shows
  • New vehicles
  • Technology
  • Community service
  • Suppliers
  • Dealers
  • Aftermarket
  • Finance
  • Customer Service
  • Motorsports

The UWA serves as a networking event for hundreds of media, businesses, politicians, celebrities, and community and trade organizations during the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), as well as, promoting participation during the auto shows showcase of activities.

Co-Hosted By Morris Chestnut

Morris Chestnut is in high demand for leading roles in major motion pictures, having starred in films such as "Think Like A Man" (Kevin Hart), "Not Easily Broken" (Taraji Henson), "The Game Plan" (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) and "Ladder 49" (with John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix).

Born in Cerritos, California, the athletic actor grew up playing sports and attended college at Cal State Los Angeles before entering the film business in 1990 with a small role in "Freddy's Nightmares." This led him to a memorable co-starring role as high school football player, Ricky Baker, in director John Singleton's acclaimed "Boyz n the Hood," a part that brought the actor into mainstream Hollywood stardom.

Among his many credits are the films "The Cave," "Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid," "Like Mike," "The Last Boy Scout," "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory," "G.I. Jane," "The Best Man," "The Brothers," "Breaking All the Rules," "Confidence," "Two Can Play That Game," "G.I. Jane," "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory," and "The Inkwell."

Recent theatrical releases for Morris Chestnut include "Identity Thief" (Melissa McCarthy and Jason Batemen) and "The Call" (Halle Berry). An upcoming theatrical release includes the highly anticipated sequel to his starring role in "The Best Man" entitled "The Best Man Holiday." Television-wise he stars in the recent and upcoming season of Showtime's critically-acclaimed "Nurse Jackie."

He has also appeared on numerous television series such as "American Horror Story," "V," and "C-16: FBI."

Co-Hosted By Maria Costa

Maria Costa is renowned actress/comedian and writer whom critics have compared to the likes of Lucille Ball, Lilly Tomlin and Richard Pryor. Maria is currently touring throughout the U.S. packing houses with her unique brand of “sexy, funny, brilliant” comedy. Costa’s new comedy special film, Viva America is a 2013 Imagen Award Nominee for excellence in Latino Film and TV alongside other nominees like ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and NBC’s The Voice. In 2012 the Kresge Foundation awarded Costa with prestigious performing artist fellowship and the Detroit Entertainment Commission has recently been named Costa as an honoree set to receive a staron the Hollywood Walk to Fame in 2014. Other honorees include Artetha Franklin, Jerry Bruckheimer and Kid Rock.

Her comedy concert DVD, Macho Men and the Women Who Love Them shot live a at the Kodak Theatre is distributed worldwide on DVD and is available on all major online vendors including-Amazon, Netflix and Blockbuster. Maria is currently touring this hilarious and ground breaking, award winning one woman stand up performance across the U.S and has toured Macho Men in 16 cities and 6 countries internationally. The show has won the prestigious Imagen Award for Best Theatrical Production and the Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival Maverick Award. Maria also has a long list of primetime television shows under her belt. Milestone achievements include her popular role as Valerie on ABC's Ugly Betty, her role in Universal Remote (currently airing on Showtime), guest roles on Lifetime's “Strong Medicine” and CBS's Joan of Arcadia, and series regular roles in such series as ABC's Dangerous Minds and BRAVO'S The It Factor LA. Maria is an Alma Award nominated actress in the category of Best Actress in a Dramatic Series and is the winner of a Nosotros Golden Eagle Award, a Screen Actors Guild Hispanic Heritage Honor for her work in media.

Maria has also worked as a writer, producer and on air talent for national programming on the PBS network. As a creative entrepreneur Maria is the co-founder of Oro Entertainment, a multifaceted media and live theatrical production company that produces quality content that reflecting Hispanics.

The Macho Men and the Women Who Love Them feature film and Viva America television series are in development.

Maria Costa is a Detroit talent that is certainly making her name for herself on a national and worldwide platform.


Special Performances Awards Show


This year, the Urban Wheel Awards is celebrating 18 years of "Embracing Multicultural Consumer and Diversity Inclusion" in the automotive industry. The annual event, held during the North American International Auto Show, brings together celebrities, executives, international media, government representatives, and the multicultural community to celebrate diversity and inclusion in the automotive industry. Consumers in the multicultural market buy one-quarter of new vehicles annually. The Urban Wheel Awards promotes awareness of their contributions to the industry as well as those of companies and individuals who have made progress toward embracing this reality. Further, this premier event:

  • Broadens the awareness of all areas of the auto industry, including suppliers, dealers, employees, aftermarket, corporate philanthropy, marketing, media coverage, green technology.
  • Increases minority media interest/coverage of the auto industry and auto shows.
  • Increases minority consumer attendance at major auto shows.
  • Recognizes companies, individuals, cars and trucks of significance to the multicultural community.

17th Annual Urban Wheel Awards

Co-Hosted By Niecy Nash

NIECY NASH was born and raised in Los Angeles and at the age of 5, she witnessed performances by the actress Lola Falana, which inspired her to chase her Hollywood dreams. She has since achieved her dream by becoming an actress, as well as a wife and a mother of three over the last seventeen years. When asked what her hobbies are, Niecy proudly replies, "Motherhood" which she considers her greatest success in life.

Niecy has hosted and starred in her own Yahoo web series titled, Let's Talk About Love. Audiences tuned in each week to listen to her hilarious, no-nonsense perspectives on love, dating and relationships. The series premiered in October 2011. She also starred in her own reality docu-series called Leave It To Niecy, which debuted in March 2012 on TLC. This came right after Niecy partnered with TLC in the summer of 2011 to follow her as she planned the wedding of her dreams to then fiancé Jay Tucker. The entire wedding experience aired as a 2-hour television event that over 5 million viewers tuned in to watch. The event was so heartwarming it inspired the docu-series that shows the blending of two families and the hilarity that ensues.

Niecy recently wrapped the TV Land series THE SOUL MAN opposite Cedric the Entertainer, and has appeared on an episode on the reality show Celebrity Wife Swap on ABC.

Niecy also can be seen starring in two successful TV projects simultaneously: She hosted the Style Network's #1 rated home makeover show Clean House and was a celebrity panelist on the top-rated CBS entertainment news program The Insider. For her work on Clean House, Niecy won a Daytime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Special Class Special category as Producer/Host in 2010 and The American Women In Radio & Television honored Niecy with the 2007 Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Program Host.

In 2010, Niecy coined her own term for her curves when she announced her love for "jiggly parts" on the ABC mega hit Dancing with the Stars. This kind of humor and quick wit earned her a correspondent job on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. For 6 seasons (2003-2009) she played no-nonsense Officer Raineesha Williams on the hilarious Comedy Central hit Reno 911, a half-hour unscripted spoof of Cops and in 2008, Niecy starred in her own FOX comedy series Do Not Disturb, opposite Jerry O'Connell. Additional television roles include: the award-winning series, The Bernie Mac Show, Presidio Med, That's Life, Popular, City of Angels; and guest starred on My Name Is Earl, Monk, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Niecy's film career began when a friend in casting gave her a shot at an audition for a role opposite Whoopi Goldberg in the feature film, Boys On the Side. She has since turned in stunning performances and recently wrapped up filming "Nurse 3D" in Toronto.

Co-Hosted By Edward James Olmos

Known as the "Olivier of the Latino world," Edward James Olmos is an individual flowing with talent and creativity. The multi-talented actor, producer, director, and community activist was born and raised in East Los Angeles, and spent many years in theatrical roles until his mesmerizing performance in the musical play Zoot Suit, which led to a Tony Award nomination. He later recreated the role for film, and went on to star in such films as Wolfen and Blade Runner. He then scored a personal success with his role as a Mexican cowboy in The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, directed by Robert M. Young, who also directed Olmos in Saving Grace, Triumph of the Spirit, Talent for the Game, and Caught. Olmos also starred Commander Adama on the critically acclaimed series Battlestar Galactica.

In April 1999, Olmos launched a nationwide multimedia project called Americanos: Latino Life in the United States, a celebration of Latino culture through photography, film, music, and the printed word. The project was co-sponsored by Time Warner Inc., and designed to inspire Latino pride, and to build bridges among Latinos and others. Americanos included a five-year traveling photography exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institution; a music CD featuring Latino artists; a documentary that aired on HBO; and a book co-edited by Olmos of essays, photos, and commentary by today's most notable figures in the Hispanic community.

In 1997, Olmos starred as Abraham Quintanilla in the much-anticipated Warner Bros. feature film release of Selena. He also starred in the acclaimed film,12 Angry Men, for Showtime television, directed by William Friedkin.

In 1996, he starred in the ABC miniseries, Dead Man's Walk, which was the prequel to Lonesome Dove. He also completed the movie The Limbic Region, and starred in the critically acclaimed Sony Pictures Classic thriller, Caught.

Olmos was honored with a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy nomination for his work in HBO's The Burning Season, the story of the Brazilian political activist Chico Mendes. As a producer, he currently has a development deal with ABC.

Olmos completed four feature films in 1995: My Family/Mi Familia, directed by Gregory Nava; Mirage; Slave of Dreams, a Showtime Production; and Roosters, an American Playhouse Production. In 1994, Olmos played Jose Menendez in the CBS mini-series, Menendez: A Murder in Beverly Hills. He was also the executive producer of the award-winning NBC documentary, Lives In Hazard, which premiered that year. In 1992, he marked his directorial debut and starred in the powerful feature film, American Me, for his production company, Olmos Productions. In 1988, he received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Jaime Escalante, the eccentric but dedicated math teacher, in Stand and Deliver, which he also produced. Olmos also won an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of Lt. Castillo on the popular television series Miami Vice.

While busy producing, directing and acting, Olmos also makes time to participate in many humanitarian efforts. He is a US Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, and a national spokesperson for organizations such as the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. He has worked with David Rockefeller of the Rockefeller Foundation, and serves on the boards of many groups and organizations.

He is also the executive director of the Lives In Hazard Educational Project, a national gang prevention program funded by the US Dept. of Justice. He speaks at an average of 150 institutions each year. He also played an instrumental role in the cleanup efforts after the LA riots, the 1993 Los Angeles earthquake, and Hurricane Andrew in Florida.

Special Guest Appearance by

"Gospel Recording Artist and Award-Winning Vocalist"
Vicki Winans

The name "Winans" and gospel music are synonymous and Vickie Winans definitely lives up to her name after 28 years of continuously singing the good news of Jesus Christ. The captivating vocals of this multi-talented artist are like a soulful, fine tuned instrument that piques the emotions, and uplifts the spirit. Vickie lends a high-powered, energetic, yet smooth and inspirational style as showcased in all her Grammy-nominated, Stellar Award and NAACP Award Winning albums.

Read More

"National Recording Artist"
L. J. Reynolds

L.J.'s powerful tenor adds a smooth soulful groove to Player's '78 Pop/Rock charting hit "Baby Come Back." Another single from 'Get to This', titled "Cheating On Me" is an original ballad written by L.J. that cuts to one's core with raw emotion. All 10 tracks of this new CD are worthy of single release status.

Read More

"National Recording Artist"

Singing from the age of eight, K'JON had been dabbling in the business for years. What started out as a hobby was beginning to morph into a career. In 2004, he had the honor of having his song, "iami," featured on the soundtrack for 2Fast 2Furious. He opened for everyone from Ludacris and Ne-Yo to Raheem DeVaughn. He released a few independent albums that became popular in his hometown. Things were coming together.
Read More

Red Carpet Event Host

"Channel 7 News - Anchor/Reporter"
Malcom Maddox

Malcolm Maddox considers himself to be a true Renaissance Man. This former Marine is a self-taught bassist, videographer and multimedia producer.
Read More

2013 UWA Celebrity Award Presenters

"Mayor of Detroit"
Dave Bing

It's not often, if at all, that one can claim success in three distinct areas - professional sports, business and politics. Yet, Dave Bing did just that when he was elected the 62nd Mayor of the City of Detroit in May 2009.

Read More

"Chairman of the North American International Auto Show"
James Seavitt

Seavitt is currently chairman of the North American International Auto Show; on the board of directors of both Ford Dealer Advertising and the Ford Dealer Association; and a member of the Ford Marketing Dealer Advisory Board.
Read More

"Award Winning News Anchor"
Carolyn Clifford

Carolyn has received several awards for her reporting and anchoring. She is an eleven-time Emmy winner, including three Emmy Awards for Best News Anchor. She has also received awards from the Associated Press, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and was given a special honor by the Karmanos Cancer Institute as one of their "Heroes of Breast Cancer."
Read More

"Award Winning News Anchor"
Roop Raj

Raj began his TV career at 14 when he created, produced and hosted his own public-affairs talk show on the Troy, Michigan government access station. One year later, he was deemed one of the nation's youngest TV personalities when he appeared on The Phil Donahue Show.

Read More

"Executive Director of the MI
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce"
Armando Ojeda

Armando Ojeda was named Executive Director of the MI Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in May, 2011. In this role he is responsible for facilitating opportunities for Hispanic business enterprises, mobilizing Latino thought leaders, enabling access to the Hispanic consumer market and attaining MHCC fundraising targets.
Read More

"Publisher and Editorial Director"
Peter Brown

Mr. Brown oversees more than 65 automotive reporters and editors around the world, from Detroit to Paris, Brussels, Munich, Tokyo and Beijing. In addition to his editorial responsibilities, he also leads the sales, marketing and circulation departments.

Read More

"President, AIADA"
Cody Lusk

Cody Lusk is president of the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA). Founded in 1970, AIADA represents the 10,000 American automobile dealerships that sell and service international nameplate brands. These retailers have a positive economic impact both nationally and in the local communities they serve, providing nearly 500,000 American jobs.

Read More

"NADA Chairman"
William Underriner

Bill Underriner is president and owner of Underriner Motors in Billings, Montana. Underriner started in the automotive business in March 1984 and worked in his family's dealership in various positions, including sales manager, general sales manager, general manager and dealer manager. Underriner is the 2012 chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association and serves on the board of directors, representing Montana's franchised new-car dealers. He lives in Billings, MT, with his wife, Mary. They have two sons, Blake and Kyle. Blake works in the auto industry and Kyle is a senior at the University of Denver.
Read More

"Legendary Radio Personality Kiss FM"
Tune Up Man

Detroit's airwaves come to life when legendary radio personality, Tune Up Man cracks the mic. For nearly 20 years, Walter Neal, better known as Tune Up Man, has been the consummate media entertainer and host with an impressive radio career based entirely in the Motor City.

Read More

"Publisher Latino Magazine"
Alfredo Estrada

Alfredo José Estrada was born in Havana, Cuba and graduated with honors from Harvard University. After practicing law, he founded HISPANIC, an award-winning magazine for U.S. Hispanics. Estrada later moved to Paris and wrote a novel, Welcome to Havana, Señor Hemingway, and the nonfiction Havana: Autobiography of a City. He now lives in Austin and is the Editor and Publisher of LATINO Magazine. It focuses on issues, politics, and culture and reaches a select audience of Latino opinion makers, influencers, and community leaders.
Read More

"U.S. Congressman"
Hansen Clarke

Congressman Hansen Clarke was elected to represent the 13th Congressional District of the United States House of Representatives in November 2010. The district covers the East Side of Detroit, Harper Woods, all the Grosse Pointes, Ecorse, Lincoln Park, River Rouge, and Wyandotte.
Read More

"U.S. Senator"
Debbie Stabenow

Born in Gladwin and raised in Clare, Debbie Stabenow knows what matters to Michigan. Elected to the United States Senate in 2000, she is respected for her ability to build coalitions to get things done for Michigan and our nation.

Read More

"President, National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers"
Damon Lester

Damon Lester was appointed President of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) in October 2007. Damon directs the day to day activities of the association, including membership, government affairs, industry relations, and dealership advocacy.

Read More

"Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Polk"
Marc Bland

Marc Bland is the head of diversity and inclusion at Polk, the premier provider of automotive marketing solutions. Marc focuses on bringing points of view, market analyses and business solutions to the automotive arena with an emphasis on the growing diversity markets to create awareness, education and action in the automotive marketplace.
Read More

"President & Publisher, Automotive Rhythms"
Kimatni Rawlins

Kimatni D. Rawlins is the founder of Automotive Rhythms Communications, LLC, a lifestyle automotive media and marketing portal consisting of Internet, network television, online video, print, radio and event properties. In the ten years of its existence, Automotive Rhythms has positively educated millions of automotive buyers on how they view and purchase new and used vehicles.

Read More

"Motown's Ultimate Soul Diva"
Martha Reeves

It's hard to believe it that it was nearly 50 years ago that Martha Reeves first hit the charts with the bluesy, soulful "Come and Get These Memories." It is especially hard to believe that much time has passed when "Motown's ultimate soul diva" hits the stage. With the unmistakable voice that helped define "the sound of young America," dancing and strutting , keeping the beat with her trusty tambourine and keeping audiences on their feet as they dance down Memory Lane, Reeves is a live wire.
Read More

"Celebrity Author and Journalist"
Bankole Thompson

A distinguished multimedia journalist, author and editor of the Michigan Chronicle. Recognized as a leading authority and a sought after speaker on the Obama presidency for his writings about the Obama presidency including his exclusive sit-down interviews with Barack Obama, Thompson, is the author of "Obama and Black Loyalty,"" published in 2010. His most recent book, "Obama and Christian Loyalty" deals with religion and politics in the American presidency with an epilogue by Bob Weiner, former White House spokesman...
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"Artist/Performer, Writer, Producer"
Candice Ghant

Candice (Candi) Ghant ~ ("Original" member of the Mary Jane Girls ~MJG's) embodies sophistication, beauty and intelligence. This Motor City (Detroit) native, always knew her destiny was in "Entertainer." Stage (1) started at age 19. This is when she signed her first "Exclusive" Artist and Writers Contract" with Motown Records. Moving to Hollywood was the 2nd stage in pursuing her dream career. Shortly after moving to California Ghant was asked to be a part of an all-female group Softouch (on Fantasy Records) created by...
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"Celebrity Actress"
Maria Costa

Maria Costa is one of Detroit's premier artists. She was recently Awarded the 2012 Kresge Foundation Artist Fellowship and Maria has been in several network television show including Ugly Betty, Strong Medicine and Joan of Arcadia. Critics have called Maria the female John Leguizamo and the Latina Lucille Ball for her work in Macho Men and the Women Who Love Them has sold out the Kodak Theatre and toured in 16 Cities and 6 Countries.
Read More

"President/CEO of Michigan
Black Chamber of Commerce"
Ken Harris

Ken has made tremendous landmarks and professional accomplishments at the young age of 37, such as becoming the first African-American Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant to the Mayor of Southfield and the first African-American Director of Greek Affairs at Wayne State University.

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Afterglow Entertainment

"Phase 5"

Award Show Entertainment