DYP May Member Spotlight: Kai (Kiesha) Saunders & Anna Podvalkova

Joining us this month are two members that share in their unique entrepreneurial spirit, which is perfect given that it's the Small Business Association's National Small Business Week.  Featured this month are: Kai- a philanthropic entrepreneur and accomplished career woman, and Anna- founder of a tech company with 2 masters degrees before the age of 22!  Both ladies are DYP supporters, who enjoy navigating Detroit's social scene, so take a moment to get to know your fellow DYP members and be sure to say hello when you see them around town.



Kai Saunders, Detroit Young Professional Member, was the first of her family to graduate from college. But she's not our Member Spotlight solely for that incredible factoid. She’s heavily involved in two non-profits downtown and works at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. As President and Founder of Blanket Detroit, Kiesha has put to good use her Master's of Marketing and is a certified Lean Six Simga Belt Professional. And let's not forget Kiesha's PMP certification (look it up if you don't recognize the acronym).

I am who I am because of Detroit.
— Kai Saunders

It's the town that made Kai, Kiesha and Kiesha, Kai. A frequent attendee at community and professional events, she is very much part of the city's rebirth. Kai appreciates the networking and people that are doing great things for the city of Detroit as young professionals. She loves the collaboration that exists uniquely in Detroit and love to work with others to achieve a greater goal for Detroit. Besides that, Kai loves working out, volunteering, running Blanket Detroit and...... Brunch!

To learn more about Kiesha, visit her blog: http://confessionsofaloudmouth.com/


Anna Podvalkova, Co-Founder of Memloom, hails from Moscow Russia. Only 22, she has made lots of stops before arriving in Detroit. After receive her Bacherlor's in Management in Moscow, she earned a Master's in Marketing and Communication in Nice, France. Then came a Master of Science in Business in New York and now she holds three different degrees in three separate countries. Now, at 22, she performs the sales, operations, fundraising, marketing, business development, and finance roles at Memloom.

When asked what her most proud accomplishments were, one was receiving all of her degrees, the second was:

Be the co-founder of my second start-up at 22
— Anna Podvalkova

Her third was participating in a start-up accelerator in Silicon Valley with her three co-founders, all women who are building an innovative storytelling platform in Detroit. "We want to help organizations to tell their Detroit story in Michigan and beyond." Anna joined DYP to expand her network and be a part of community where everyone helps grow each other and shares one vision. Anna has been a part of DYP for a short period of time, but had a chance to meet outstanding individuals who inspire and show a great example to follow. When she's not working on Memloom, she loves to play sports, travel, and gives everyday a shot without expecting anything in return.

You can reach out to Anna at anna@memloom.com.


DYP Member Spotlight is a special feature in order to showcase the amazing work of our diverse DYP member community by highlighting their industry experience, backgrounds, and passions. DYP’s membership ranges from school teachers to investment bankers, from entrepreneurs to web developers, and everywhere in between. Every month, the Membership Committee will present our members on the Member Spotlight platform, a great way to meet your fellow DYP members and discover new friends in your network.

If you would like to be considered, fill out this FORM.