Detroit native, Loni Love returns to help present at Florine Mark’s ReMARKable Women’s Luncheon.
By Karleigh Stone
Photography by Anders Krusberg
“No opportunity is too small. Do it all to hit your goals.” Empowering advice from Loni Love, comedian, author, host, actress and, most recently, Florine Mark’s choice for keynote speaker at her annual ReMARKable Women Live Luncheon on Oct. 13.
Love grew up in Detroit in the Brewster-Douglass housing projects. Raised by her mother, she learned the importance of hard work at a young age. She worked on the General Motors assembly line throughout high school, which led her to her first passion — electrical engineering.
“Detroit taught me how to be real and down to Earth,” Love said.
She went on to earn a scholarship to Prairie View A&M University in Texas. While there, she found a life-changing love, a love that would propel her to new heights — stand-up comedy.
It took a little bit of time and a lot of hard work to achieve her goals. Upon graduation, Love worked as an electrical engineer, but in her spare time she pursued stand-up comedy opportunities as they came. In 2003, it all paid off after winning the Jury Prize for Best Stand-Up and scoring as a finalist on CBS’s Star Search put her on the map. Now, she’s living her dream, not only as a “Top 10 Comic” (Variety and Comedy Central, 2009), but also as an actress, host and author.
“I just set goals for myself,” Love said. “I try my best to stick with it. Life is about goals to me.”
Florine Mark, president and CEO of The Weight Watchers Group Inc., believes Love’s past shows great character.
“She’s someone who really worked hard to get to be who she is,” Mark said. “She grew up in Detroit, amazing story, with a hard-working mother. She started in the housing projects but look what she’s done for herself.”
Love’s professional resume features roles in the films: Mother’s Day, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, and Bad Ass 3: Bad Asses on the Bayou. It also includes regular guest DJaying on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, co-hosting nationally syndicated “Café Mocha Radio” and co-hosting The Real, a daytime talk show on FOX, rebroadcast in primetime on BET.
“The Real has allowed me to become a comedic talk show host. I love interviewing people and talking about current events, which is what I do in my stand-up act. I like helping women by giving exposure to their stories or giving away money to help them,” Love said.
Hosting Heads Up!, a game show produced by Ellen DeGeneres based on her app, and a late night talk show based on her standup comedy are in the works for Love and, currently, she is on a nationwide tour.
“I am very excited to be a game show host because there not a lot of female game show hosts,” she said.
Making positive strides for women is a feat of great importance to Love.
“Women should empower themselves to do what they want to do and not feel bad if it is not traditional,” she said.
Being chosen as the Keynote Speaker for the ReMARKable Women Live Luncheon fits perfectly with a goal Love has for her career and her life.
“I’m humbled to be honored,” she said. “This award has been given to women who inspire other women. This is my goal for my career, to inspire, empower and entertain women.”
Mark’s annual ReMARKable Women Live Luncheon invites Michigan women of all ages to join the keynote speaker and a panel of regional media personalities for an inspiring Q&A, vendor fair, live music and lunch, with proceeds benefitting Women’s health initiatives.
“At the luncheon, we show we aren’t doing it alone,” Mark said. “The panel tells their stories, real and intimate, about hard times in their lives. Women can relate and see that they can go somewhere. I want women to walk out of there saying, ‘If Loni can do it, so can I.’”
In continuing her quest for women empowerment, Love wrote her first book, Love Him Or Leave Him, but Don’t Get Stuck With the Tab. Her memoir presents relationship advice in a way that’s true to Love’s heart, inspiring laughs.
“I have a lot of fans write me asking for advice. I decided to give a comedic point of view of relationships to let women know to put themselves first,” she said.
Tickets to hear Love speak at the ReMARKable Women Live Luncheon can be purchased by calling 888-3-florine or online at: 888-3-florine.com. Individual tickets are $80 for the general public and $70 for Weight Watchers members. The luncheon begins at noon Friday, Oct. 13, at The Henry in Dearborn.