Event Highlights and Information
The 6th Annual Igniting Future Leaders Gala is Guiding Light's largest annual fundraising event honoring individuals for their outstanding commitment to young people. This special night celebrates and spotlights the outstanding work of our young people and the success they have achieved in our programs and services. We are thrilled to announce our emcee for the evening is Cincy Lifestyle producer/host Mikhayla Hughes-Shaw. We feature a seated dinner, an awards and scholarship ceremony, a silent and live auction, and a keynote speaker. All funds raised from Igniting Future Leaders go towards supporting young people in the various programs we offer. Each year, Guiding Light Mentoring's Igniting Future Leaders Gala welcomes new sponsors and in-kind donors who share in our mission of providing positive activities to local youth. As a sponsor, your support allows young people to learn, grow and develop healthy lifestyles within a safe, nurturing environment. Your generous donation will give us sufficient funds to continue our GREAT work with the children and families who count on us every day. Your sponsorship will help open the door to a GREAT FUTURE for a young person who without your help may have never had an opportunity to attend our programs.
Jan-Michele Lemon Kearne
Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney was born in Cincinnati and is a proud graduate of Cincinnati Public Schools: Rockdale Elementary School and Walnut Hills High School. She graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and did an exchange program at Talladega College, an HBCU. She earned a master’s degree in psychology from Harvard University and a law degree from Harvard Law School, where she was elected first class marshal of her law school class and gave the commencement speech at graduation.
She owns a multi-media publishing company, Sesh Communications, that includes ownership of the award-winning The Cincinnati Herald newspaper.
She was appointed to Cincinnati City Council in 2020, and then elected in the 2021 election. Mayor Aftab Pureval appointed Jan-Michele Vice Mayor, chair of the Healthy Neighborhoods Committee, and vice chair of Public Safety and Governance. She is an active volunteer in many organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., The Cincinnati Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, NAACP, YWCA, the Cincinnati Zoo Board, and Via Character.
She is married to former Ohio State Senator and Minority Leader Eric H. Kearney. They are blessed with two children, Celeste and Asher.
Gala Event Chair
Tracey Artis has served the gospel music industry since 1996 in a myriad of ways such as marketing, managing and music radio promotions. Her love for music has afforded her the opportunity to work for several labels and serve as Vice President of Gospo Centric Records, Vice President of Sony Gospel before launching her promotions and marketing firm I Hear Music Inc. In 2010. Tracey Artis has helped drive the industry power and success of some of contemporary Gospel music’s biggest names. Under her watch and visionary promotions plans, the world witnessed the Gold and Platinum Certification of groups and award-winning artists including Trinitee 5:7, Kirk Franklin and the Family, God’s Property featuring Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Ricky Dillard, Brian Courtney Wilson, Andrae Crouch, Shirley Caesar, Kurt Carr and The Kurt Carr Singers, The Clark Sisters, Dorinda Clark Cole, Byron Cage, J. Moss, Evie McKinney, Marvin Sapp, Donnie McClurkin, Vashawn Mitchell, Kierra Sheard- Kelly, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard, Fred Hammond, Vicki Winans, Charles Jenkins, Israel Houghton, Joshua Rogers, E. Dewey Smith, and many more. Her most recent executive producer credits are for the projects by Charles Jenkins “Gospel Music Changed My Life” and E. Dewey Smith “Let Christmas Ring”.
Tracey received her Bachelor of Arts & Sciences in Communications degree at Ohio University. Upon commencement, Artis ventured to Atlanta, GA to begin working with Byron Cage, a then emergent contemporary Gospel artist. Greatly contributing to the success of his debut release, Artis was hired at AIR Gospel in 1996 as the company’s National Marketing Director. A year later, she joined the staff of Gospo Centric Records under the leadership of her mentor, Vicki Mack Lataillade, yet another revolutionary Gospel music industry veteran. Prior to Gospo Centric’s merger with Verity Records (Sony BMG) in 2004, Artis was promoted as the Vice President of Gospel Promotions; and the rest is “herstory.”
Over the years, Artis began to develop groundbreaking ideas and concepts to enhance the exposure of the artists she’s had the pleasure of working with side by side. These concepts later proved to be the foundation for her company I Hear Music, Inc which Artis launched in 2009 following her departure from Verity Records. I Hear Music, Inc. is a promotions and marketing firm that represents gospel artists and produces special events such as the Urban League Evening of Faith, The Health Care Connection Jazz Benefit, and her signature event; The I Hear Music in the Air Conference. The brainchild of the CEO herself, the I Hear Music in the Air Conference is the firm’s premier occasion. Now in its 22nd year of operation, the conference is held every summer in her hometown of Cincinnati, OH, and is designed with specific educational tools that teach business-minded individuals how to market this genre of music. The conference features an exciting and multifaceted three-day Gospel music conference that includes a kick-off concert, The Legends Ball. This event gathers an unprecedented amount of industry executives, a plethora of new and established recording artists and fans from across the country.
Artis is the daughter of the former Woodlawn, Ohio Mayor, the late Ms. Susan Upton Farley and is one of seven children. She is now a published author as she recently wrote a book titled “Susan’s Story” about the life and career of her mother and the impact it made within their community. She is a devoted wife to Bobby G. Artis, and the mother of two children, Jazmyn and Jordan. Artis’ humbleness is a feat that far outweighs her many accomplishments. Her entire outlook on life can be summed up with the phrase, “Only what you do for Christ will last."
Jameze Latrail has more than 25 years of experience in the music industry. He's a multi-talented Soul Singer, songwriter, musician, producer, composer, and engineer. He has a high degree of self-motivation, and is also fluent in the engineering of audio, video, and studio production. He has also received vocal training from Joe Lewis of University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music and Jameze's vocal ranges from baritone to alto and falsetto.
Jameze Latrail has performed regular solo and band performances at various venues throughout the city of Cincinnati and northern Kentucky. Many of these include weddings, funerals, festivals, corporate events, fashion shows, and more.
Mikhayla Hughes-Shaw is a Quad Cities native from Rock Island, IL. She earned her bachelor’s of arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a certificate in Critical Cultural Competence from the University of Iowa. She formerly worked as the main host of Loving Living Local airing weekdays on WHBF-TV in the Quad Cities. She highlighted the local places, people and things that make the Quad Cities a great place to do life. She is excited to do the same for Cincy Lifestyle!
Mikhayla is well-versed in media including television reporting, magazine writing, podcasting and social media management. In 2020, she worked as a News 21 Investigative Reporting Fellow for the Kids Imprisoned project, which investigated the disparities in the US juvenile justice system. This project received a Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Digital Reporting.
Mikhayla is not only a storyteller, but also an advocate. She served as Miss Iowa 2018 for the Miss America Scholarship Program. During her year of service, she completed over 150 community and school appearances and talked to over 10,000 students about the importance of mental health awareness and suicide prevention. She used this platform to compete for the title of Miss America 2019 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In 2019, she established her nonprofit organization How About HOPE (Helping Others & Providing Encouragement) which works to change stigmas surrounding mental illness, specifically focusing on minority mental health. She is passionate about making a difference.
Mikhayla also volunteers with Love Girls Magazine, instilling storytelling skills in the next generation of female writers. In her free time, she enjoys playing her violin “Charles”, buying too many candles and plants, binge-watching crime documentaries and attending concerts. She loves music of all genres from classical to country.
If you have any questions about the event or becoming a sponsor, feel free to contact us at (513) 541-9777 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.