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AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH A Century of Black Life, History and Culture



A PROCLAMATION For generations, the story of American progress has been shaped by the inextinguishable beliefs that change is always possible and a brighter future lies ahead. With tremendous strength and abiding resolve, our ancestors -- some of whom were brought to this land in chains -- have woven their resilient dignity into the fabric of our Nation and taught us that we are not trapped by the mistakes of history. It was these truths that found expression as foot soldiers and Freedom Riders sat in and stood up, marched and agitated for justice and equality. This audacious movement gave birth to a new era of civil and voting rights, and slowly, we renewed our commitment to an ideal at the heart of our founding: no matter who you are, what you look like, how modest your beginnings, or the circumstances of your birth, you deserve every opportunity to achieve your God-given potential. As we mark National African American History Month, we celebrate giants of the civil rights movement and countless other men and women whose names are etched in the hearts of their loved ones and the cornerstones of the country they helped to change. We pause to reect on our progress and our history -- not only to remember, but also to acknowledge our unnished work. We reject the false notion that our challenges lie only in the past, and we recommit to advancing what has been left undone. Brave Americans did not struggle and sacrice to secure fundamental rights for themselves and others only to see those rights denied to their children and grandchildren. Our Nation is still racked with division and poverty. Too many children live in crumbling neighborhoods, cycling through substandard schools and being affected by daily violence in their communities. And Americans of all races have seen their wages and incomes stagnate while inequality continues to hold back hardworking families and entire communities. But the trajectory of our history gives us hope. Today, we stand on the shoulders of courageous individuals who endured the thumps of billy clubs, the blasts of re hoses, and the pain of watching dreams be deferred and denied. We honor them by investing in those around us and doing all we can to ensure every American can reach their full potential. Our country is at its best when everyone is treated fairly and has the chance to build the future they seek for themselves and their family. This means providing the opportunity for every person in America to access a world-class education, safe and affordable housing, and the job training that will prepare them for the careers of tomorrow. Like the countless, quiet heroes who worked and bled far from the public eye, we know that with enough effort, empathy, and perseverance, people who love their country can change it. Together, we can help our Nation live up to its immense promise. This month, let us continue that unending journey toward a more just, more equal, and more perfect Union. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 2015 as National African American History Month. I call upon public ofcials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand fteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.






AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH A Century of Black Life, History and Culture






AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH A Century of Black Life, History and Culture






AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH A Century of Black Life, History and Culture

U. S. Small Business Administration Los Angeles District Office 330 North Brand Blvd, Suite 1200 Glendale, CA 91203 (818) 552-3201

February 28, 2015 Dear Honored Friends and Community Leaders: African American Heritage Month affords us the opportunity to pay tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society. This year's theme, “A Century of Black Life, History and Culture” is fitting because it's not just about where we've been, but also where we are going. And the success of African-Americans throughout Los Angeles will continue to stimulate job creation and economic growth into the next century and beyond. On behalf of the U.S Small Business Administration, Los Angeles District Office, it is my privilege to extend special congratulations to the honorees being recognized this evening. You represent our thriving community and continue to serve as the catalyst to our global presence. I admire your achievements and extend my best wishes for continued success. African-Americans make up a key component of the business eco-system in the Greater Los Angeles area, and the Black Business Association Awards Program has come to symbolize, highlight and recognize successful African-Americans in our region. I commend the participants, sponsors and honored guests for making this night the success it is and will continue to be for years to come. Very truly yours,

Victor Parker Victor Parker District Director – Los Angeles U.S. Small Business Administration



Message from the Chairman and President On behalf of the Black Business Association (BBA) and its Board of Directors, welcome to our 45th Anniversary Dinner in recognition of African American History Month, themed “A Century of Black Life, History and Culture”. We also thank you for your ongoing support of the BBA's mission: To advocate and promote the development of African-American owned businesses with the goal of creating a firm economic base that supports the self-determination and survival of the African-American and urban community. Tonight we honor and salute the manifest vision of Carter G. Woodson, founder of the Association for the Study of Negro (now African American) Life and History (ASALH) in 1915, and the father of National Negro History Week. Woodson's pioneering crusade would eventually bring an end to the practice of excluding Negro contributions from recorded American history. In his words: “If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world and stands in danger of being exterminated.”

Gwen Moore Chairperson Black Business Association

One hundred years later, African American life, history, and culture have become major forces in the United States and the world. It is now viewed as American history. We celebrate as a nation the prominence achieved by African Americans, as well as other people of African descent. For all Americans, African American History Month is an opportunity to focus on one defining aspect of our narrative as a nation fashioned by the effort of so many. The BBA's 45th Anniversary Dinner Honorees have been a part of that narrative for over seventy years. They are a select group of individuals, businesses and institutions whose contributions and achievements in the struggle for human and civil rights are worthy of recognition. The BBA greatly appreciates your support and asks that you consider this: we as a people must use our rich history as a foundation to build on. Not for a week, a month, a year, but everyday. Let us also reflect on this counsel from Woodson, who felt that historical awareness would empower black Americans to depend less on the government and more on self-determination. In his classic text “The Mis-Education of the Negro”, he suggest a means of supporting black entrepreneurial and community development that the BBA fully supports today: “They still have some money and they have needs to supply. They must begin immediately to pool earnings and organize industries to participate in supplying social and economic demands”. Our history says we've done it before and together, we can do it again; “Black Business Matters”.


Gwen Moore

Earl “Skip” Cooper II


President & CEO

Earl “Skip” Cooper II President & CEO Black Business Association

Board of Directors Chairman

Gwen Moore GeM Communications


Denise Peoples Peoples Choice Staffing, Inc.


Nathan Freeman Figueroa Media Group, Inc.

Lamar Lyons, Rideau Lyons & Co. Inc. Clarence Scott, Brandon Supply Corporation, Inc. Ted Davis, ISComp Systems. Inc. Zeke Patten, Patten Energy Enterprises, Inc. Earl “Skip” Cooper II President and CEO

Corporate Partners AEG American Honda Motor Co, Inc. AT&T Bank of America Chevron Citi City National Bank Comerica Bank Department of Water & Power Donald Sterling Corporation EastWest Bank HSBC JP Morgan Chase

Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles World Airports Northrop Grumman Corporation Sempra Energy Southern California Edison Swinerton Builders Turner Construction Company Union Bank US Bank Verizon Walt Disney Company WellPoint Wells Fargo Bank


About the Black Business Association Since 1970, the Black Business Association (BBA), A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, headquartered in Los Angeles, has been instrumental in the incubation and development of thousands of African-American businesses. Nationally, we have access and influence with more than 100,000 African-American-owned and women/minority-owned firms via strategic alliances with more than 500 women/minority trade associations in more than 42 states nationwide.

Our Mission The Black Business Association’s mission is to advocate and promote the development of African-American owned businesses with the goal of creating a firm economic base that support the self-determination and survival of the AfricanAmerican and urban community by: C Identifying and creating financial opportunities for the growth and stability of African-American owned businesses; C Being a community voice that advocates for the success of small businesses; C Being a conduit for the merging of resources, values, profits, technology and people; C Promoting development and support of minority business enterprises within the domestic and international economies by encouraging and generating greater access to market opportunities and capital; C Providing training for entrepreneurial professional development; C Supporting and contributing to the economic base and progress of the African-American community; and C Developing coalitions that support our political endeavors to effectively achieve public recognition and political influence for African-American business owners.

Advocacy The Black Business Association maintains very effective working relationships with elected and appointed officials for the support of African-American business development. Locally, statewide and in Washington, DC, we are constantly aware of pending legislation that might affect our member’s businesses, their growth and even their ability to conduct business. When legislation is being considered that affects our mission, the BBA quickly mobilizes to work with key policy makers to support, defeat or modify the bill and pursue the BBA position. As an organization, we are constantly at the helm, securing innovative means and policies that protect our constituency and their business interests.

Black Business Association Mailing Address: P.O. Box 43159, Los Angeles, CA 90043 Tel: (323) 291-9334 | Fax: (323) 291-7820 |





AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH A Century of Black Life, History and Culture

Our Sponsors

Freeman Alternative Resources



Master of Ceremony

Dean L. Jones Director, Southland Partnership Corporation Dean L. Jones works to expand, retain and attract enterprise to the greater southern California region. He is a notable business and labor engagement advocate celebrating over 35 years of trustworthy executive management and strategic marketing services. He currently operates the Southland Partnership Corporation, a nonprofit economic development corporation. As a Certified Purchasing Manager he has provided consulting services to diverse range of major corporations, such as Blue Cross of California, California Endowment, City of Compton, CA, City of Long Beach, CA, City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, City of Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative, Comerica Bank, First American Title Corporation, GTE, Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles Black Business Expo and Trade Show, Los Angeles Music Center, Los Angeles County Office of Education, Southern California Edison, and Verizon Communications. Mr. Jones co-founded and manages a human resources job placement and career training collaborative of business, government, and educators that since 2001 has efficiently enhanced labor strategies for the Southern County of Los Angeles, California. The business model employed is the P.O.W.E.R. Collaborative Network (P.O.W.E.R. Promoting Opportunities With Essential Resources) that works to progress the human services delivery for community organizations in capacity building for workforce service providers. Under his management, this inter-professional network sponsors the community job and social services web site. He works with the African American Engagement Collaboration that supports better integration processes between small and large corporations. The collaborative is comprised of the Black Business Association, California Black Chamber of Commerce and National Black Business Council that targets emerging suppliers to enhance their request for proposal responses through improved estimating techniques. The collaborative manages two web site; and, each offering business tools to encourage, recruit and utilize black-owned and operated enterprises to supply products and services to major public and private organizations. A second generation Angelino and Los Angeles Unified School District graduate, he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration - Accounting from San Jose State University. He has received a range of recognition and distinction awards for his work in support of socioeconomic programs; noteworthy is a California State Legislature special recognition for his extensive service and contributions to the utilities' industry supplier inclusion efforts.



Dean L. Jones Director, Southland Partnership Corporation INTRODUCTION OF DAIS GUEST WELCOME

Gwen Moore Chairman, Black Business Association

Earl “Skip” Cooper II President & CEO, Black Business Association SPECIAL REMARKS Special Guests AWARD PRESENTATIONS – PART ONE


Gwen Moore DESSERT / NETWORKING RECEPTION Featuring Desserts by BBA Members


Lifetime Achievement Award The Reverend James M. Lawson Civil Rights Activist & Professor James Morris Lawson, Jr., born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania and raised in Masselin, Ohio, was the eldest son of Rev. James M. and Philane Lawson. Along with twelve siblings, he experienced religion as a natural, not separate part of life. Family values within the household of an AME Zion pastor and committed mother, instilled all they needed to make Jesus and religion the very core of their being. In 1947, Jim was licensed to preach, beginning his career in ministry at the age of 18. As a graduate of Baldwin Wallace College, Rev. Lawson studied at the Graduate School of Theology at Oberlin College. He completed a Master of Theology degree at Boston University and has been engaged in extensive post-graduate work at Vanderbilt University. In recognition of his ministry and the lifelong pursuit of education, Rev. Lawson has been the recipient of four honorary doctorate degrees. Rev. Lawson has lived and worked as an activist in the Christian tradition. Two months before graduation from college, he was arrested and sentenced to a three-year federal prison term non-cooperation with draft efforts supporting the Korean War. After fourteen months, he was granted parole. Later in 1953; he relocated to Nagpur, India for three years as a Methodist missionary. In 1956, Rev. Lawson resumed graduate studies at Oberlin College. During this period of time, he had the opportunity to meet Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The conversations that resulted sparked mutual respect and inspired the direction of the nonviolent movement. At Dr. King's urging, Rev. Lawson moved to the South in 1957 and became the Southern Secretary of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. He worked as a strategist and trouble-shooter in end such as Birmingham, Alabama and Little Rock, Arkansas and became the chief organizer of the Nashville Sit-in Movement. With Dr. King as its president, Rev. Lawson served the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as the Director of Nonviolent Education. In 1960, Rev. Lawson was ordained as an elder in the Lexington conference of the United Methodist Church. He has held a number of appointments to the local church, considering it to be the base for Christ's kingdom in the world. He served as senior pastor to the congregations of Warren United Methodist Church in Norwalk, Ohio; Green Chapel United Methodist Church in Shelbyville, Tennessee; and Centenary United Methodist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1974 Rev. Lawson and his family answered God's call to accept the appointment as pastor of Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles. As pastor, Rev. Lawson has been involved in the prophetic and priestly ministries of the church on a daily basis. Over the years, he has served in ďŹ ve general conferences for the United Methodist Church. In addition to service for the World Council of Churches, his involvement has included active participation on the Board of Church and Society, the Board of Global Ministries, and special commissions to write the United Methodist Social Creed and Mission Statement. Not depriving the larger church communion of meaningful, transforming engagement, Rev. Lawson has aided in the farm workers' boycott, advocated for the living wage ordinance, and demonstrated against the proliferation of nuclear waste dumps. Rev. Lawson currently serves on the local board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Planned Parenthood the Interfaith Task Force on Central America, and the American Civil Liberties Union. He is the chairperson of the National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and hosts a television talk show via the Odyssey network looking at current issues through the eyes of compassion, justice and nonviolence. Rev. Lawson has been blessed through the years to share the joys of this ministry with his wife, Dorothy Dolores Wood Lawson, as well as their children -- John and daughter-in-law Cima, Morris and Seth.





AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH A Century of Black Life, History and Culture

Chairman's Award The Honorable Mark Ridley-Thomas Los Angeles County Supervisor, District 2 Since he was overwhelmingly elected in November 2008 and reelected in June 2012 to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Mark Ridley-Thomas has distinguished himself as a strong advocate for the Second District’s nearly 2 million residents. He has promoted the district’s interests on a variety of fronts, including transportation, job creation, retention and local hiring. In the area of health policy, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has overseen the construction of a new Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, as well as a network of cutting edge healthcare facilities throughout the district; he has facilitated the use of technology and encouraged an integrated approach to wellness that includes mental health care and a prominent role for school-based clinics. His advocacy has helped secure an equitable share of funding for public-private partnership health clinics in underserved areas. Prior to his election to the Board, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas served the 26th District in the California State Senate where he chaired the Senate’s Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. He served as Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus in 2008 and led the Caucus in unprecedented levels of cooperation and collaboration with counterparts in the Latino, and Asian-Pacific Islander Legislative Caucuses. Mark Ridley-Thomas was first elected to public office in 1991 and served with distinction on the Los Angeles City Council for nearly a dozen years and departed as Council President pro Tempore. He later served two terms in the California State Assembly, where he chaired the Assembly Democratic Caucus. His legislative work addressed a broad range of issues with implications for economic and workforce development, health care, public safety, education, budget accountability, consumer protection and civic participation. He is widely regarded as the foremost advocate of neighborhood participation in government decision-making. By virtue of his founding of the Empowerment Congress, arguably the region’s most successful twenty three year experiment in neighborhood-based civic engagement, he is considered the founder of the Neighborhood Council movement. Ridley-Thomas’ political career was preceded by a decade of service as executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles, which followed a brief but successful five-year stint as a high school teacher. The supervisor is a graduate of Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles and earned a baccalaureate degree in Social Relations (minor in Government) and a master’s degree in Religious Studies (concentration in Christian ethics) from Immaculate Heart College. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas went on to receive his Ph.D. in Social Ethics from the University of Southern California focusing on Social Criticism and Social Change. He is married to Avis Ridley-Thomas, Co-Founder and Director of the Center for Non- Violence in Los Angeles. They are the proud parents of Morehouse College graduates Sinclair and Sebastian, a California State Assembly Member.


President's Award Dr. George J. McKenna III LAUSD School Board Member George McKenna was born and reared in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he distinguished himself as a scholar and athlete and where the seeds of his civil and human rights activism were nurtured. Upon receiving a Bachelor's Degree in mathematics from Xavier University, at the age of 20, he was awarded a teaching fellowship to Loyola University, Chicago, where he earned an M.A. in mathematics. He holds a Doctor of Education Degree from Xavier University. Dr. McKenna took a position in the Los Angeles Unified School District as a mathematics teacher. He also worked as an engineer for North American Aviation on the Apollo Moon Shot Project. While continuing his education at Loyola University Law School, UCLA, and California State University, Los Angeles, he taught at the secondary school and college levels; and, within a short time, moved through the ranks of secondary school administrative positions. As the Principal of George Washington Preparatory High School located in South Central Los Angeles, Dr. McKenna developed and implemented the Preparatory School Model, which in four years, changed an inner-city high school that had been torn by violence, low achievement and lack of community confidence into a school with an attendance waiting list, and nearly 80% of the graduates enrolled in college. He served as Superintendent of the Inglewood Unified School District in California, Deputy Superintendent in Compton, California, Local District Superintendent in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools in Pasadena, California. In September 2009, Dr. McKenna returned to the Los Angeles School District as Local District 7 Superintendent, serving nearly 60,000 students in Central Los Angeles, and was elected in 2014 to the Board of Education. Dr. McKenna has received international recognition for his work, receiving over 400 citations and awards from a host of civic, legislative and professional organizations, including recognition by President Reagan. His accomplishments have been featured in a wide variety of media, including Time, People, and Ebony magazines, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Detroit News. He has appeared on “The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather,” “Nightline” with Ted Koppel,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” and “Nightwatch.” Dr. McKenna is the subject of the award-winning CBS television movie entitled, “The George McKenna Story” starring Denzel Washington, which was broadcast in 1986 and again in 1989. Dr. McKenna was the 1989 recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus' Chairman's Award and was inducted into the National Alliance of Black School Educators' Hall of Fame in 1997. He is the author of California legislation, which permits parent release time from work to visit schools. A strong advocate of building stable communities from within, Dr. George McKenna believes that an educational system, which emphasizes justice, equal opportunity and non-violence, is the primary vehicle for positive change in a pluralistic and technological society.





AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH A Century of Black Life, History and Culture

Freedom Rider Award Robert Farrell Former Councilman, Freedom Rider & Journalist Robert Farrell is a member of Advocates for Black Strategic Alternatives and the Black Community Clergy Labor Alliance, whose activities focus on developing leadership based in ethical considerations. Their most recent project was the successful election of Dr. George McKenna to the District 1 seat on the LAUSD Board of Education. Farrell is most active as a political strategist, advisor and consultant. His current activities, in addition to the McKenna campaign, are: One Source Fiduciary Solutions, the sole African American fiduciary in Los Angeles County; and US VETS-LA advisory council, and its December City of LA "Stand Down" coalition to assist homeless veterans at the Convention Center. He is active with the Black-Jewish Justice Coalition, and the LA Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Farrell served for more than four terms as 8th District representative on the Los Angeles City Council (1974-1991), during the tenure of Mayor Tom Bradley. His policy emphasis was intergovernmental relations, transportation, regional governance, redevelopment, community development and planning. Among the many organizations where he served as officer or board member are the Southern California Association of Governments and its regional advisory committee, the National League of Cities and its National Black Caucus Local Elected Officials, the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council, the Weingart Urban Center YMCA, TransAfrica, the Harbor Free Clinic, and the Pacifica Foundation. Farrell founded the National Democratic Municipal Officials Conference of the Democratic National Committee and was its first representative on the DNC executive committee. He was political editor of the Los Angeles Sentinel, an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, a member of Sigma Delta Chi and the Black Journalists Association of Southern California. Farrell earned a BA in Near Eastern Studies at UCLA, and attended the graduate school of journalism there. He is a member Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Los Angeles Alumni chapter. He is a 1961 Freedom Rider from the Los Angeles Chapter of the Congress Of Racial Equality (CORE). Farrell is a veteran of the US Navy, and member of the National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors. He resides in San Pedro with his wife, the singer Windy Barnes Farrell.


The Historian Award Bill Jones Famed Photographer 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act passage which not only transformed American Society, but it also transformed Hollywood and the American film and television industries. This also ended an era of segregated and racially discriminatory practices in hiring for roles in front of and behind the camera . There to capture the story of progress and achievement was legendary celebrity photographer William "Bill" Jones. At the age of 81, Jones is a living example of what a man can accomplish if he focuses his head, his heart and his Camera. The son of a Mansfield, Ohio home appliance factory worker, Jones arrived in Los Angeles after serving a 20-year stint in the United States Air Force where he achieved the rank, Master Sergeant. Jones began his career in the late 70s and soon he was chronicling a plethora of Black actors, musicians, politicians and athletes whose careers were beginning to explode. For many years he was one of only a few African American photographers on the Red Carpet who experienced unfair treatment. Jones did not let the bias treatment deter him. Many of his favorite subjects such as Halle Berry, Denzell Washington Eddie Murphy, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Quincey Jones, Sidney Poitier and Ja'net Du Bois credit Bill with photographing some of the important moments in their Careers. Eventually the Academy Awards invited Jones to photograph the Annual Awards making Jones the first to have that honor. Jones treated his subjects honorably and they responded gratefully seeking him out him out at events and posing voluntarily. He soon became one of the most published celebrity photographers on the Hollywood scene, contributing to magazines such as Jet, Ebony, Right On and Sister To Sister as well as many others. His career came to halt one day in 1997 while washing his car at his home that he shared with his wife and three children where he still resides. On that day, he was brutally attacked by a neighbor and lapsed into a coma for three weeks. His family and friends never gave up hope and lent their prayers to his support. When he awakened he did not recognize anyone nor could he walk, talk or eat, but he was aware of his Canon camera and what it meant to him. Most importantly he dedicated himself to recovery along with his wife Reva, who later passed away in 2010. And recover he did! Jones picked up where he left off – taking memorable photos just as before only this time shooting with his left hand. For over 50 years Jones has crafted an extraordinary career documenting some of the most events in the History of Hollywood. William "Bill '' Jones is a Jewel to the African American and Hollywood Communities.




Institution Pioneer Award Los Angeles Sentinel

For more than eight decades, the Los Angeles Sentinel has been one of the most outstanding African American publications in the nation and has done exactly what its name implies; stood as a watchful guardian and fiercest defender for the rights and freedoms of the African American community. It is an Institution that has benefited from great vision and leadership through the years. Established in 1933 by Col. Leon H. Washington, the weekly paper begins etching its place in the annals of African American's history by serving as the drumbeat and media voice of Allied Organization Against Discrimination in Defense Industries, a coalition working to force the industries to accept “Negro” workers following WWII. The Sentinel and California Eagle, along with churches, spread the word about the slogan-of-a-movement and word-of-the-day, “Don't Shop Where You Can't Work”. The resultant protest movement led to breaking down walls of economic discrimination in the mass transit and telecommunications industries in Los Angeles. Decades later, the Sentinel remains on the front lines of advocating for freedom, justice and all things promised by the America, African Americans did more than their share to build. The venerable publication has maintained and grown thanks to the stewardship of owners following the death of Col. Washington in 1974. His wife Ruth, Published the Sentinel until her death in 1990. Attorney Kenneth R Thomas and his wife, Jennifer Thomas, purchased the newspaper in 1983 and remained the owners until 2004 when it was purchased by Danny J Bakewell, Sr., a successful real estate developer, businessman, philanthropist and civil rights activist. As the executive publisher, chairman and chief executive officer Bakewell led the Sentinel through the tough transition of from paper to digital online, while stabilizing, retaining and increasing a consumer base that still needs to have some ink on their hands after “reading the paper”. Over its existence, the Sentinel has been awarded hundreds of professional and community service awards, and has been received as a member of all of the nationally recognized Newspaper publishing organizations. The Sentinel also remains true to the foundation and mandate laid out in the winter of 1827 in New York City, when Rev. Samuel Cornish and John B. Russwurm came together with others to establish the first newspaper produced by Black Americans; “Freedom Journal.” The first headline read “Too long have others spoken for us…We wish to plead our own case.” It is because the Los Angeles Sentinel from 1933 through today has maintained a true feel for its community and readership and continues to “plead our own case” on the front lines of the “black lives matter” era that we salute you as the BBA 45th Anniversary Dinner Institution Pioneer Award Winner.


Business Pioneer Award 27th Street Bakery

It's a wonderful thing when a family can respond favorably to the wisdom of an elder who, as they set off on an entrepreneurial enterprise, admonished them to “resist the temptation of cutting corners and that the result would be products that people would drive long distances to buy and would tell all their friends about.” Those words date back to the early '30s when Harry Patterson and his wife laid the foundation for a Los Angeles restaurant that would, in 1956, be converted into the iconic 27th Street Bakery. Granddaughter Jeanette Bolden-Pickens, a 3rd Generation Owner, notes on the company's website, “Harry believed that in order to make the best products you have to stay true to certain processes and ingredients. Of course as always my grandfather was absolutely correct.” “When my mother and brother took over the business in 1980 they had a tried and true recipe for success to follow. Alberta Cravin and Gregory Spann knew they had huge shoes to fill and dedicated their lives to keeping my grandfather's legacy alive.” The 27th Street Bakery was an entrepreneur's dream that inspired a family to start a business manufacturing Homemade Sweet Potato Pies, Fruit Pies and a variety of cake in South Central Los Angeles. The 27th Street Bakery is now a household name and the pies receive much acclaim and recognition. It is an Eastside Landmark and has grown into the largest manufacturers of Sweet Potato Pies on the west coast and can be bought in major grocery stores and restaurants. Its founders ability to find a niche in the marketplace, navigate through the challenges during the founding times, pass on in-tack the formula for success to receptive family members, and be able to operate as a role-model for black business accomplishment in the community, is historically noteworthy. As Ms. Bolden-Pickens notes, “We realize how special homemade taste is…it's like having a little slice of “mama's” cooking no matter how far from home.” Congratulations 27th Street Bakery for baking-up with a recipe for entrepreneurial excellence.


Organization Pioneer Award Consolidated Board of Realtists

In 1949, a group of young and dynamic African- American real estate brokers gathered to discuss the inequitable and prejudicial treatment of brokers in the Los Angeles area. African-American brokers in Los Angeles were being denied membership in Local real estate boards and trade organizations. In addition, they were being prevented from marketing properties in certain areas of the city and even denied access to open houses for viewing by their clients. It was patently clear to this group of brokers assembled that a collective effort would be required to mitigate these obstacles to their professional success. That meeting initiated by Mr. Willis E. Carson was the genesis of The Consolidated Realty Board of Southern California, Inc. Other founding members of the Board included William Black, William Bujol, earnest DeCruy, Charles Dunning, Wesley A. Fairchild, Hernbert Gleed, Claude Jolly, Fred Ninehouse, Cluese Reid, Lorenzo V. Spencer, Oscar white, Bryce Wisner, and Dave Wolf. Members of this new board designed themselves as REALTISTS. A distinctive emblem was adopted by the membership. Arnold McNeeley, a local African-American artist, developed that emblem that serves as the Board's logo today. With counsel from Attorney Thomas Newsome, the Board formulated its constitution and by-laws. The principle objectives of the Board indicated were the development of social, political and economic imperatives for African-American brokers, and the promotion of equal housing opportunities for minority citizens. On March 16, 1950, a charter was issued to the Consolidated Realty Board of Southern California, Inc. by the California Secretary of State. On March 24, 1950, the California Real Estate Commissioner, Dean D. Watson, installed the first elected officers of the Consolidated Realty Board at a banquet held at the Golden State Mutual Insurance Company Auditorium. The officers included: Willis E. Carson, President; Cluese Reid, Vice President; Bryce Wisner, Secretary; and William Black, Treasurer. The first office of the Consolidated Realty Board was located at Western Avenue and 36” Place in Los Angeles. The Board membership grew rapidly and approximately 1,200 listings were placed with the Board during its initial year. In 1973, the Board office was relocated to its present location on Don Felipe Drive in scenic Baldwin Hills, California. As the membership of the Board grew, its focus as a proponent of fair treatment of African-American brokers and agents in the real estate industry and equal housing opportunities for minorities expanded. In 1975, the Consolidated Realty Board was a catalyst for legislative actions against the redlining practices of the lending and insurance industries. As an affiliate of the California Association of Real Estate Brokers (CAREB) and National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), the Consolidated Realty Board remains an advocate for social, political and economic parity for minority real estate industry professionals and community members.


Majority Corporation Award Southern California Edison

Southern California Edison (SCE), an Edison International company, is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California – which is one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the country. SCE believes it is important that we have a strong and diverse base of suppliers to provide the goods and services we need to achieve its mission to safely provide reliable and affordable electricity which is why SCE has sponsored a Supplier Diversity Program for more than 30 years. During the last two years, SCE has spent more than $2.5 billion with diverse businesses, working with more than 800 businesses owned by women, minorities and service-disabled veterans. But SCE’s Supplier Diversity program goes “beyond the numbers.” SCE provides business owners with more than just bidding and contracting opportunities. SCE’s program has expanded to include initiatives focused on developing relationships, expanding the capacity of diverse businesses and creating a pipeline of diverse suppliers for future business needs and encourages bringing prime suppliers, corporations, government officials and business organizations together to provide access to diverse businesses. SCE continuously strives to help diverse suppliers be better able to successfully compete for work at SCE and other companies. To SCE, Supplier Diversity is about people – the hard working businessmen and businesswomen who provide jobs and help power the region's economy – and SCE is proud to partner with the Black Business Association to further this cause.


Majority Financial Institution Award U.S. Bank

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $403 billion in assets as of December 31, 2014, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association, the ďŹ fth-largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,176 banking ofďŹ ces in 25 states and 5,022 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at






GeM Communications is proud to support the Black Business Association’s 45th Year Anniversary Awards Dinner We would also like to congratulate all the honorees.

Gwen Moore President & CEO GeM Communications, Inc.

Metro is proud to support the Black Business Association’s 45th Year Anniversary Awards Dinner

General Engineering Contractor License # 534908



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A ness i s u B

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Year e h t of

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Freeman Alternative Resources, Inc. offers a full range of screened, qualified and professional consulting, technical, para-technical and engineering personnel.

We maintain competitive rates through an unique and innovative program that provides a broad range of services while minimizing overhead. We provide personnel for either temporary or long-term assignments.

TEL: 949-650-0667 FAX: 949-650-1251 881 Dover Drive, Suite 200 Newport Beach, CA 92663 An equal opportunity employer

The California Black Chamber of Commerce congratulates all of this year’s honorees and Award Winners LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD



The Reverend James M. Lawson

The Honorable Mark Ridley-Thomas

Dr. George J. McKenna III

Civil Rights Activist & Professor

Los Angeles County Supervisor, District 2

Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member




Los Angeles Sentinel

27th Street Bakery

Consolidated Board of Realtists



Robert Farrell

Bill Jones

Former Councilman, Freedom Rider & Journalist

Famed Photographer



Southern California Edison

U.S. Bank

You are cordially invited to attend our Annual African-American Leadership Weekend April 24-25, 2015 Holiday Inn - Capitol Plaza, 300 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 For more information, visit:

Aubry Stone


President & CEO

Acknowledgments The Black Business Association wishes to thank the following organizations, companies and individuals who contributed to the success of our

45th Year Anniversary Awards Dinner IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS Verizon | Northrop Grumman | Southern California Edison OUR SINCERE THANKS TO: SuiteEvents Splendid Affairs, Inc. California Flower International Dazzle & Design DB International Lion Communications Bo Jangles Signs LA Business Printing Singer Little Lambs Lee’s Carrier Service The L.A. Hotel Downtown LA Los Angeles Sentinel

Sarah Harris (323) 988-7290 Sabra Waddy (818) 605-7405 Curtis Simpson (323) 778-2272 Linda Patterson (310) 774-6537 Dennis DeLoach (323) 253-8918 La Sandra Stratton (773) 891-1462 Robert Hollis (310) 902-0252 Eric Johnson (310) 649-5855 Alice McAfee-Williams Yolanda Gilliam James Long Pamela Bakewell

Gwen's Specialty Cakes Harriett's Cheesecakes Romeo's Full Service Catering Kobbler King Chef Marilyn's

Gwen (310) 677-9979 Jackie (310) 419-2259 Crystal McPherson (310) 733-9997 Brian McMillian (323) 731-9286 Chef Marilyn (323) 737-8101

Graphic Design Logistics Assistance Event Décor Decorations Award Framing Communications Signs & Banners Printing Entertainment Administrator Courier Service Catering Manager

DESSERT RECEPTION Cakes Cheesecakes Cake, Pies & Cookies Cobblers Bread Pudding, Peach Cobbler

PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO PRODUCTION Photography by Foxx Media Group Majeed Photo Synthesis Top of the Line Communications

Ian Foxx (323) 868-2621 Sabir Majeed (323) 270-3731 T.C. Richard (951) 242-0333

Photographer Photographer Video Production

VOLUNTEERS Tia Robinson | Rhonda Thompson | Xavier L. Harris | “Nelly” Carbilla

BLACK BUSINESS ASSOCIATION Earl “Skip” Cooper II – President & Chief Executive Officer Phallu Morgan – Marketing/IT Director Patricia A. Basquez – Dessert Reception Coordinator (323) 291-9334 – –

Thank you for joining us this evening, and we look forward to your continued support.




The L.A. Hotel Downtown Welcomes the BBA and the 45th Year Anniversary Awards Dinner.

2015 Awards Dinner  

in recognition of African American Heritage Month

2015 Awards Dinner  

in recognition of African American Heritage Month