SHANNON STEEL WOMAN OF THE YEAR

By Charlene M. Mitchell

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Shannon Monet’ Steel is a fierce entrepreneur and businesswoman whose persona is as tough as her last name implies. She embraces both fortitude and gratitude in her quest to rise to the top of her game. A proud graduate of Detroit’s Martin Luther King High School, Shannon was a star basketball player and who earned All-City, All-State and All-American accolades. Her athletic skills earned her a full scholarship to the University of Houston where she majored in business and finance. She says those classes led her to become an entrepreneur.

This 38-year-old Aires has accomplished a praiseworthy portfolio which includes real estate and an off-shore private bank. She is a world traveler and holds the title of Ambassador to the Central African Republic. She first traveled to Ghana at the age of 10 which sparked her interest in humanitarian work.

Shannon has a very distinct taste in fashion and cars. She dresses casually, yet elegantly in head-to-toe Gucci, Burberry and other top designer brands. It’s not surprising that she drives a Bentley automobile. Her style is uncompromising, just like her demeanor.

I recently had a friendly chat with Shannon, and our interview was inspiring.

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Charlene: Tell me about any difficulties or downfalls you have experienced in business.

Shannon: I was a victim of a Ponzi scheme in 2009. It caused me to lose a lot of money and relationships. The worst part was that it caused me to suffer serious health issues which included ulcerative colitis. I had a total of 12 blood transfusions. I am currently in remission and have never lost my enthusiasm.

Charlene: What is the most exciting business deal you’ve ever made?

Shannon: Opening my private bank which I worked tirelessly to make happen.

Charlene: Do you usually have partners, or do you prefer to work solo?

Shannon: I work mainly solo. I haven’t had the best experiences having partners, but I do work with others on a case-by-case basis.

Charlene: You drive an expensive Bentley automobile. Is that a status symbol that you want others to aspire to, or is it just a vehicle that fits your style?

Shannon: It’s not a status symbol for me. I appreciate the Bentley brand and its craftsmanship. It’s a classic brand, and I’m a classic woman.

Charlene: What women, living or deceased do you most admire for their business acumen, sense of style and attitude toward diversity and inclusion?

Shannon: My mother, who is still living and my grandmother (deceased)

Charlene: How politically active are you, and do you lean toward any political party?

Shannon: I work with governments, and I am currently building a school and a hospital in Central Africa through my foundation. 1 in 4 women there die giving birth due to lack of medicine and medical equipment.

Charlene: What other projects are you currently working on?

Shannon: I am building homes in Georgia. Those properties will be used for humanitarian projects.

Charlene: Prior to Covid you purchased a hotel in the City of Southfield, MI but it’s not open. What happened?

Shannon: I never re-opened after the Covid shutdown even though we had invested in a complete renovation.

Charlene: What is on your “wish list” for the future?

Shannon: I want to be a job creator and make a positive impact on my community. I might also open a casino in the future.

Charlene: What are your interests outside of your work?

Shannon: Basketball, traveling and spending time with my family

The Author is an Emmy Award winning TV broadcast journalist, President of Media Consultants and a talk show host on 910am Superstation.