Friday, June 21, 2024

2024 Salute to Black Women Business Conference, Vendor Faire & Awards Luncheon | PHOTOS

The Sheraton Gateway at LAX was the place to be on Saturday, March 23, 2024

Black Business Association Salute to Black Women signage: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Black Business Association Salute to Black Women signage: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

*Los Angeles, CA – The National Women’s History Month theme for 2024, is “Celebrating Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.” The theme recognizes women throughout the country who understand that, for a positive future, we need to eliminate bias and discrimination entirely from our lives and institutions.

During 2024, we recognize the example of women who are committed to embracing everyone and excluding no one in our common quest for freedom and opportunity. They know that people change with the help of families, teachers, and friends and that young people in particular need to learn the value of hearing from different voices with different points of view as they grow up. (Source, National Women’s History Month Alliance).

The Black Business Association, under the leadership of Sarah R. Harris (BBA CEO), presented the 2024 Salute to Black Women Business Conference, Vendor Faire & Awards Luncheon. The event was held on Saturday, March 23, at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles, 6101 W. Century Blvd., in Los Angeles.

The theme “Celebrating Women Who Advocate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” honors the remarkable achievements of inspiring Black Women. African American women were honored for their brilliance and resilience.

In a statement, “This event will uplift and strengthen us, especially during challenging times. We believe that Black Women are playing a pivotal role in shaping the future,” declared President Harris. “In alignment with this year’s theme, we’re privileged to spotlight a remarkable group of women who consistently advocate and lead in their own unique ways. Everyone is welcome to join us for this extraordinary celebration.”

Wendy Gladney and Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Wendy Gladney and Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

The event brought in hundreds of women entrepreneurs, executives, community leaders, elected officials, mothers, daughters and sisters. This annual celebration is a source of inspiration and empowerment. The event served as a platform for high-level networking and motivation.

The stars were out early. The Gold Carpet was glowing brightly as a steady flow of phenomenal women graced the Gold Carpet for photographs for an hour, on this overcast day of inclement weather.

The Honorable Ventris C. Gibson, United states Mint 40th Director and 1st African American; Carla Perkins, Southern California Edison; Rosalind Pennington, President, Red Rover Enterprises, LLC, and Owner, The New Townhouse; Nicole Sams, Executive Director, Market Manager, Irvine Branch, Morgan Stanley; Vivian Nell Harvey, President & CEO, Sparkling Clean Cleaning Services & Carpet Care, Inc.; Bianca Vobecky, CEO Vobecky Enterprises, Inc.; Joy Atkinson, Executive Director, Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute (LAAAAWPPI); Atina Campbell, Miss Black USA Director of State AZ, CA & MN; Miss Black California Queen- Zoe Abdul Malik, LaShania Davis and Dedra Tufon; Brittney Frazier, Founder & Executive Director N.O.A.H’s Foundation, Inc.; Katrina Manning, MPA, Realtor & Probate Specialist and Hawthorne City Council Board Member; Margo Wade LaDrew, CEO, Wade & Associates Group, LLC and Founder & Executive Director, Black Beauty & Wellness Foundation; Cynthia Mitchell-Heard, President & CEO, Los Angeles Urban League; Delphine Pruitt, Vice President Business Access Advisor, U.S. Bank; Arlan Hamilton, Founder Backstage Capital & Runner, Author, Venture Catalyst; and Ta Lese Morrow, Publisher & Chief Executive Officer, Inland Empire Valley News, to name a few, on the Gold Carpet.

Rosalind Pennington: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Rosalind Pennington: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Delphine Pruitt: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Delphine Pruitt: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Nicole Sams: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Nicole Sams: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Dr. Danny Tabor and Edwin Lambard: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Dr. Danny Tabor and Edwin Lombard: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Zoe Abdul Malik, LaShania Davis, Atina Campbell and Dedra Tufon: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Zoe Abdul Malik, LaShania Davis, Atina Campbell, and Dedra Tufon: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Everyone gathered in the Grand Ballroom for the Award Luncheon. DJ JiJi Sweet was on deck of the ones and twos to provide an electric soundtrack for the party people, grown folks on site. Sarah R. Harris served as Emcee.

DJ JiJi Sweets: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
DJ JiJi Sweets: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass was in attendance to pick up the President’s Award presented during last year’s ceremony.

Sarah R. Harris, L.A. Mayor Karen Bass, Earl Skip Cooper and Honorable Ventris C. Gibson
Sarah R. Harris, L.A. Mayor Karen Bass, Earl Skip Cooper and Honorable Ventris C. Gibson

Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, (2nd District) was in attendance to give Proclamations to the Award winners.

Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Earl Skip Cooper and L.A. Mayor Karen Bass: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Earl Skip Cooper and L.A. Mayor Karen Bass: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Dr. Anthony Samad, Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell and Earl Skip Cooper: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Dr. Anthony Samad, Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell and Earl Skip Cooper: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

The Rising Star Award was presented to Ta Lese, Publisher & Chief Executive Officer, Inland Valley News.

Sarah R. Harris and Ta Lese Morrow: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Sarah R. Harris and Ta Lese Morrow: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

The Unsung Hero Award was presented to Margo LaDrew, President & CEO, of Wade & Associates Group, LLC, and Founder, of Black Beauty & Wellness Foundation.

Margo Wade LaDrew and Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Margo Wade LaDrew and Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

The Excellence in Business Award was presented to Vivian Nell Harvey, President & CEO, Sparkling Clean Cleaning Services and Carpet Care, Inc.

Vivian Nell Harvey and Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Vivian Nell Harvey and Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

The Excellence in Service Award was presented to Joy Atkinson, Executive Director, the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute (LAAAWPPI).

Joy Atkinson and Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Joy Atkinson and Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Special Awards were presented. Black Business Association Advocate Award was presented to Rosalind Pennington, CEO, Red River Enterprises, LLC & Owner, The New Townhouse.

Sarah R. Harris, Rosalind Pennington, Honorable Ventris C. Gibson and Cheryl Willaes: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Sarah R. Harris, Rosalind Pennington, Honorable Ventris C. Gibson and Cheryl Willaes: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

The Corporate Advocate Award was presented to Southern California Edison. Carla Perkins accepted the award.

Patricia Click, Carla Perkins and Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Patricia Click, Carla Perkins and Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

The “Chairman’s Award” is a prestigious recognition that honors exceptional individuals or businesses during Women’s History Month. Recipients demonstrate outstanding performance in business, service, and contributions, embodying the theme for this year. This esteemed award, selected by the BBA Chairman, celebrated their achievement, leadership, and dedication to advancing Black women in business and society. The Chairman’s Award was presented to Stephanie Wiggins, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles Metro.

Earl Skip cooper, Stephanie Wiggins and Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Earl Skip cooper, Stephanie Wiggins and Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

The “President’s Award” is a prestigious recognition that honors exceptional individuals or businesses during Women’s History Month. Recipients demonstrate outstanding performance in business, service, and contributions, embodying the theme set for this year. This esteemed award, selected by the BBA President, celebrates their achievements, leadership, and dedication to advancing Black women in business and society. Drum roll please… The President’s Award was presented to Honorable Ventris C. Gibson, 40th Director, United States Mint, and 1st African American.

Honorable Ventris C. Gibson and Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Honorable Ventris C. Gibson and Sarah R. Harris: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Honorable Ventris C. Gibson, power point photo: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Honorable Ventris C. Gibson, screenshot: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

It was great seeing young ladies in the audience. They were soaking in and witnessing the love that permeated the celebration. I’m sure that they will be successful in whatever career path that they pursuit. They will step into their power as a result of the networking and mentoring that they are experiencing.

Thanks to Honorable Ventris C. Gibson, several lucky recipients went home with a Harriet Tubman Commemorative Coins. Attendees were able to win autographed copies of Your First Million by Arlan Hamilton.

Drawing Giveaways: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Drawing Giveaways: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

The program kicked off with an engaging vendor fair held throughout the event. The program concluded with a mouthwatering; Forget your diet, New Year’s Resolution Dessert Reception. Earl Skip Cooper and Honorable Ventris C. Gibson celebrated their respective birthdays at the event with a cake.

Debbie Betters, Rashan Coleman and Melissa Phillips: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Debbie Betters, Rashan Coleman and Melissa Phillips: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Helen Lee and Karyn Son: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Helen Lee and Karyn Son: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Dessert Display: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Dessert Display: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Dessert Display: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Dessert Display: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Honorable Ventris C. Gibson and Earl Skip Cooper: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Honorable Ventris C. Gibson and Earl Skip Cooper: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

In addition to the above-mentioned activities, highlights of the day featured an inspiring and informative Role Models of Success Youth forum moderated by Dr. Sudonna Moss; and Women, Money, and Inclusion Symposium moderated by Sarah R. Harris, with Stasia Washington, Managing Director, Senior Wealth Manager, Lido; Arlan Hamilton, Founder, Backstage Capital 7 Runner, Author, Venture Catalyst; Delphine Pruitt, Vice President, Business Access Advisor, U.S. Bank; Nicole Sams, Executive Director, Market Manager, Irvine Branch, Morgan Stanley; Samona Caldwell, Director, Business Connect, Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission and Terri Batch, CEO, Global LA.

That’s not all folks! A Beauty/Photo Studio allowed attendees to indulge in complimentary makeup touch-ups, and professional headshots, along with the fabulous vendor fair and Gold-Carpet Interviews streamed live on the new media studio.

Founded in 1970, the Black Business Association (BBA), headquartered in Los Angeles, is the oldest active ethnic business support organization in the state of California. For more than five decades of service, the BBA has been instrumental in the development and growth of thousands of Black-owned businesses locally and nationally. The Black Business Association’s mission is to advocate and promote the development of Black-owned businesses with the goal of creating a firm economic base that supports the self-determination and prosperity of Black and urban communities locally and nationally. The BBA assists our Corporate Partners in developing a mutually beneficial relationship with Black entrepreneurs, business owners, the community, and its customers.

Salute to Black Women Sponsors: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Salute to Black Women Sponsors: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

For additional information, visit the BBA website at https://www.bbala.org

Ricky Richardson is a Southern California-based writer, music reviewer, and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]

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OTHER NEWS ON EURWEB: The Living Legends Foundation Presents its 11th Annual A.D. Washington Scholarship Golf Tournament on April 20 | PICs

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