Michigan Governor Awards MH Businessman for Philanthropy

    Michigan award Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, second from left, gave a philanthropy award to Kamal Shouhayib
    Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, second from left, gave a philanthropy award to Kamal Shouhayib. On the far left is Manal Saab, chair of the Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs. On the far right is Karen Phillippi, director of the Michigan Office for New Americans.

    Kamal Shouhayib of The Choice Group Honored by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder

    Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder awarded the Governor’s New Americans Philanthropy Award to Kamal Shouhayib on Sept. 6. Shouhayib is founder and CEO of The Choice Group, based in Troy, Mich.

    The Choice Group family of companies — including Choice Properties — focuses on residential real estate investments, as well as the acquisition, development and management of manufactured home communities in the Midwest.

    “To me, success is when you do what you love to do,” Shouhayib said. “I love developing properties, managing properties. That gave me the opportunity, really, to have a good living and to be able to give back to the community.”

    Shouhayib’s award was one of many handed out by the governor during the gala in Dearborn, Mich. Snyder honored a select group for their philanthropic and economic contributions to the state.

    The gala was planned by:

    • Michigan Office for New Americans
    • Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan
    • Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs
    • Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission

    “It’s my pleasure to congratulate this year’s honorees who have significantly contributed to Michigan’s economic and cultural vitality, and who continue to invest in our future,” Snyder said. “Generations of Michiganders will greatly benefit from their leadership as entrepreneurs, business owners, and employers for many years to come.”

    Falling in Love With His Adopted Home

    Shouhayib’s wife Yasmine spoke on behalf of her husband while he was traveling in Lebanon.

    “Kamal and I were touched and deeply honored by this award,” Yasmine Shouhayib said. “Kamal’s love and appreciation to America, and Michigan in particular, is indescribable. He is always looking for ways to show his gratitude for a country and a state that welcomed him with open arms.”

    Shouhayib moved from Lebanon to Michigan in 1967.

    He settled in Troy, which has been a major beneficiary of his philanthropic endeavors. He started a program in the Troy school district called “Proud to Be an American”. It allows middle school students to compete in essay and poetry contests for monetary gifts. All said, more than 15,000 students have participated over the years.

    The Choice Group is a long-time sponsor of Leadership Troy’s Annual Volunteer Awards dinner. Shouhayib was named a Distinguished Citizen in 2003 awards year. He’s been a Troy Rotarian for more than 35 years. He was instrumental in bringing his birth city of Aley, Lebanon, and his adopted city of Troy together as sister cities.

    Shouhayib received the Rotary International Service Above Self Award, based on his efforts to bring clean water to areas around the world, including 1,200 schools in Lebanon. He has served on several boards, including the Boys and Girls Club of Troy and the Troy Chamber of Commerce.