2017 Keynote Speaker:  Marcus Weldon
2017 Keynote Speaker: Marcus Weldon

Native Detroiter Marcus Weldon is an author and a Skilled Tradesman. He belongs to the Local 324 Operating Engineers Union and is an employee at a casino. He goes to Martin Evans Missionary Baptist Church. He works with nonprofits like "Redeem Detroit" in hopes to revitalize the city and repair the broken mentality of the youth today.

Marcus Allen Weldon, the man dubbed the “Santa Shooter,” said it was his love for his 7-year-old daughter that got him through a trial on assault and gun charges in a downtown gas station shooting he said was in self-defense.  Weldon was charged with two counts each of assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of felony firearm.

Weldon and his attorney have maintained Weldon was coming to a co-workers aid after an argument broke out between them and two men, Salah Rifai and Omar Pady. She was being physically harassed by one of the men.

Weldon fired and wounded both men. Rifai received a serious injury to an arm. Pady received a minor wound to the wrist. Weldon also said one of the other men fired a gun as well.  In June of 2016 Weldon was acquitted of any criminal charges.