Beats x Beers founder recognized for organ, tissue donation support and outreach
Brandon Corder, a Flint native and founder of the Beats x Beers, is one of 13 individuals and three organizations honored recently by Gift of Life Michigan with a 2021 Donation Champion Award. The awards recognize people and organizations that make extraordinary efforts to help fulfill the wishes of donors and their families and promote the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.
Corder received the Multicultural Difference Maker Award for his work promoting organ and tissue donation through his large social media following and through virtual events hosted by Gift of Life Michigan.
“Since I’ve worked with Gift of Life, it’s become my mission,” said Corder, who also signed up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry himself.
He became involved through the Beats x BBQ event scheduled in 2020. Gift of Life Michigan was poised to become a main sponsor of that event before the Covid-19 pandemic forced its cancellation. Even so, Corder remained involved with the organization through Virtual Trivia events, speaking to the media, and pushing out the message of the benefits of organ and tissue donation to his 40,000 social media followers, which are primarily young and of African American and Latinx descent.
His company, Beats x Beers, grew out of an event he coordinated in conjunction with the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX, in 2015. Since then, he’s coordinated events across the country, in cities like L.A., Seattle, Chicago, Memphis, Washington, D.C., and, of course, his hometown, Flint.
“I just like bringing people together,” said Corder, a former music producer.
Other winners include:
- Secretary of State Employee: Maríaelena Hernandez, Secretary of State Branch Office, SW Detroit
- Volunteer: Scott Campbell, West Michigan
- Community Partner: Key2Finesse, Metro Detroit
- First Responder: Huron Valley Ambulance
- Donation Storyteller: Ingrid Kelley, FOX 2 Detroit
- Medical Examiner: Dr. Carl Schmidt, Medical Examiner, Wayne County
- Certified Physician Assistant: Blair Cotton, Spectrum Health
- Nurse: Tonia Cole, McLaren Flint Hospital, Flint
- Physician: Dr. Jeffrey Wilt, Ascension Michigan Borgess Hospital, Kalamazoo
- Donation Liaison: Valerie Canary, Hurley Medical Center, Flint
- Funeral Professional: Harry J. Will Funeral Homes, Metro Detroit
- Transplant Center Professional: Dr. Damanpreet Bedi, Beaumont Royal Oak
- Hospital Executive Leader: Lisa Friedman, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor
- Honoring Life Through Donation Award: John Edmond, Lansing
- Donor Hospital of the Year: Spectrum Butterworth, Grand Rapids
- Legacy Award: Cathy Warren, Donate Life Coalition
This is the third year Gift of Life has recognized Donation Champions throughout the state. Last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the awards were handed out individually and winners celebrated via social media and other digital channels. The Champions Gala was an in-person event this year, held at an outdoor venue at Zingerman’s Cornman Farms in Dexter.
“Gift of Life Michigan is so fortunate to have so many dedicated partners assist us with our mission of honoring life through donation,” said Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. “Every year there are so many worthy nominees. These champions represent the best of the best, but it is a difficult decision every year