About Downtown Boxing Gym
How We Serve
The Downtown Boxing Gym currently serves more than 150 students between the ages of 8 and 18. Our students come to us from 30 different zip codes and 57 schools across Detroit and nearby suburbs.
Our programs are 100% free to all our students. Our ever growing waiting list now exceeds 1,300 children. How do we empower students? Check out the graphic below.
Through education, athletics, mentorship and intervention, the Downtown Boxing Gym empowers Detroit students to be positive and productive members of society.
The Downtown Boxing Gym’s fleet of vans picks up and drops off students daily to ensure that transportation is not a barrier to participation. Our vans reach every corner of the city. Take a look!
The Downtown Boxing Gym is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Every dollar contributed helps to shrink our waiting list and allows us to serve more students.
Meet Our Team
Founder and CEO
Chief of Staff
Senior Director of Strategy
Carlo Sweeney, Jr.
Athletics Director/Founder Apprentice
DBG’s Apprentice brings an intimate knowledge of the gym’s founding years because he was the very first DBG student participant ever. Carlo is the son of DBG founder and CEO Khali Sweeney. He was there on day one and has watched our nonprofit organization continuously advance and grow. Now, Carlo represents the next generation of DBG leaders who will play a key role in decision making behind the scenes as the program grows to 250 participants by the end of 2020. Carlo has a background in manufacturing and is a graduate of Redford Union High School.
Health & Wellness Coordinator
LaTanya is a mother of four who is passionate about providing DBG students with the tools and resources to make healthier food choices. She runs our daily snack and dinner food service and previously served as one of our van drivers. Before joining DBG, LaTanya managed a group home for individuals with disabilities and worked with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients at a senior living facility. LaTanya is a graduate of Inkster High School. She completed several skilled trainings through Focus:Hope and has plans to complete a bachelor’s degree in business.
2019-2020 Board of Directors
2019-2020 Advisory Board
John C. Carter
Dr. Farshad Fotouh
Dr. Farshad Fotouhi is currently Dean of the College of Engineering at Wayne State University. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from Michigan State University, College of Engineering in 1988 and joined the faculty of computer science at Wayne State University in August 1988. He served as the department chair from January 2004-February 2011. Before joining WSU in 1988, he was a faculty member of the Lyman Briggs School, Michigan State University, while earning his Ph.D.
Dr. Fotouhi’s current research interests include biomedical informatics, semantic web and multimedia systems. He has published over 180 papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings. His research has been supported by NSF, NIH, National Institute of Drug Abuse, Michigan Life Sciences Corridor, Ford Motor Company and many other industries.
Jennifer Hammond is a beloved television sports anchor/reporter at Fox 2 News in Detroit. For more than two decades she has covered the Detroit Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons along with Michigan and Michigan State sports.
Among the many things she does to support the Downtown Boxing Gym, Jennifer hosts an annual fundraiser called “Hammer’s Bar Stars.” This high-energy event includes local athletes and celebrities serving as bartenders, helping to raise dollars and awareness about our Books Before Boxing program.
Yodit Mesfin Johnson
Bruce Nyberg joined Flagstar Bank’s board in March 2015, after serving as interim director of Community Banking. As a board member, he serves on the company’s risk committee.
Prior to Flagstar, he was regional president-East Michigan for Huntington Bancshares Incorporated for six years. He had a 28-year career at NBD Bancorp (now Chase Bank), where he led Michigan Commercial Banking, Retail Banking Operations, Marketing, Information Technology, and Electronic Banking. Among his board memberships are the Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees, Forgotten Harvest, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, and the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion
Jennifer Miller Oertel
Jennifer Miller Oertel is a shareholder in the law firm of Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, PC, where she leads the firm’s Tax-exempt Organizations and Impact Investing Group. Jennifer utilizes her corporate & securities law and governance skills to serve tax-exempt clients, and impact investors and social entrepreneurs in all aspects of their activities. She is the first-ever Impact Investing Expert in Residence for the Council of MI Foundations, working on developing and furthering the impact investing ecosystem in Michigan and beyond.
John Owens held Senior Management positions in Marketing and Communications with major Midwest financial institutions. He was privileged to complement his career experience with an “encore” stint as a Director of Communications at Forgotten Harvest, a metro Detroit human services organization.
John is married to the love of his life, Susan Greenwald. They have two children, Matt and Jacqui, who have successful careers in Chicago.
Stephen Luigi Piazza
Matthew Roling is a professor and chair of Wayne State University’s Accounting Department. Prior to joining Wayne State, Matthew worked in a variety of management consulting and entrepreneurial roles – most recently serving as the CEO of a venture–backed financial technology start-up. A CPA and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Matthew loves to cook, travel and read in his free time.