Theresa Maxis Duchemin was a small woman of quiet strength. So, too, is Nettie Seabrooks. Both Theresa and Nettie responded when duty called. Theresa rose to the many challenges that life presented, as did Nettie when 1950s America challenged her. She became a successful mother, librarian, corporate executive, deputy mayor and arts administrator. Nettie’s life has been one of responsibility, influence, commitment and moral soundness.
Throughout her life, Nettie has been motivated by her desire to achieve goals and act with integrity. She is a graduate of Marygrove College with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in library science from the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts degree in art history from Wayne State University. In recognition of her distinguished service to the community and her efforts to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Detroit, she has been awarded Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Marygrove College and the University of Detroit Mercy.
Nettie’s education has led to employment and advancement for 31 years at General Motors Corporation, deputy mayor and chief operating officer for the City of Detroit, chief operating officer for the Detroit Institute of Arts and now as consultant to the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation.
The metro Detroit community has benefited in significant ways from Nettie’s service to numerous volunteer boards and governmental commissions. She has served as director at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Barat Human Services, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Marygrove College, Detroit Medical Center, Karmanos Cancer Institute, City of Detroit Arts Commission, The Parade Company and others.
In both volunteer and employment arenas, colleagues have described Nettie as a leader, a perfectionist, soft-spoken, a skilled negotiator, a great communicator, well-organized, having “unparalleled” social skills and one who “knows her stuff.”
Business Women of the Year by the Detroit News, Distinguished Women’s Award at Northwood University, Woman of Courage and Vision by the Michigan Women’s Foundation and Distinguished Alumni Award from Marygrove College are examples of the many awards and recognitions that have been bestowed on her. The Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary are pleased to recognize her as the 2018 Theresa Maxis Award recipient.