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Olivet College to host Black History Month speakers
Feb 14, 2013

In recognition of Black History Month, Olivet College’s Lecture and Symposium Series, along with the African American Culture Center, will host two guest speakers Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 1:30 p.m. in Mott Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

The program will open with Dwayne Gill, professional comedian, police officer and United States Marine. A natural comic since birth, Gill found an outlet for his humor when he first stepped onto a comedy stage at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase in 1993. After only two more performances, he joined the ranks of professional comedians with his first paid booking at Gadzooks Comedy Club. The Detroit native is now taking the comedy world by storm his topics range from current events, to relationships, to the unbelievable situations he has encountered as a police officer.

As an actor, Gill has appeared in the ABC crime drama “Detroit 1-8-7,” and will be making his big screen debut in the movie “Crave.” He has also been a guest on the nationally syndicated “Bob and Tom” Radio show. In addition he has appeared at the Boston Comedy Festival, Best of the Midwest in Laughfest, and was the Wildcard Winner in the Stand Up its Miller Time National Comedy Contest with Kevin Hart.

Following Gill’s performance, Amos Otis, founder, president and CEO of SoBran, Inc., and director of the Cincinnati Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, will speak.

Otis has deep roots in the Cincinnati region. SoBran, the company he founded more than 20 years ago, received its first large contract from the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. It set the foundation for what is now a growing $61 million revenue business employing approximately 900 people in seven states.

SoBran provides services and expertise for biomedical research and for engineering and logistics programs to government and commercial clients. The company has been both an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company and Black Enterprise Top 100 Minority Owned Business for several years running.

Along with leading his growing professional services company, Otis frequently acts as a mentor, assisting small disadvantaged businesses and entrepreneurs. He is involved in the Federal Comptroller Organization and is a trustee of the Dayton Project, Inc., of the Dayton Development Coalition.

Otis supports numerous national causes ranging from the American Heart Association to the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots Foundation, and has local ties to his community through his support of The Linda Vista, Inc., the Urban League, civic organizations and institutions, and the Dayton Dragons minor league baseball team. He established the SoBran/Scoman Educational Scholarship Endowment at Tennessee State University and the Brenda Faye Otis-Lee Educational Scholarship at the St. Jude Educational Institute in Montgomery, Ala.

In 2012, Otis was appointed director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., comprise the Federal Reserve System.

For more information on the event, contact Larry Smith, director of the African American Culture Center, at (269) 749-7750 or

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