Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce Second Annual Minority Business Awards Gala Highlights Local Individuals and Businesses Shaping Our Community
By Travis Milton
The Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce (BBMC) Minority Business Second Annual Awards Gala was held Oct. 23 at the Florida State University Center Club Grand Ballroom.
The purpose of the gala was to showcase the many hardworking individuals that run their own businesses around the city of Tallahassee and the Big Bend area.
“We try to take a moment and really appreciate the grind that these business people are on everyday and the things that they do in the community to make it a better place,” says Mr. Windell Paige, President and CEO of the BBMC.
“What we’re finding is that we’re getting more and more visibility and we feel that it’s critical to our overall success.”
The gala began as many community members, business leaders and state/ local officials gathered for an evening showcasing and spotlighting everything that makes Tallahassee a place they all can call home.
The black-tie affair was not only a night to recognize all of the various efforts by stellar minority and women-owned businesses in our local area, but a time to learn how Tallahassee can steadily grow, progress and shine as one of the many capital cities that make up our great country.
The man who was able to bring some light on how Tallahassee and the Big Bend area could consistently make strides in the community was none other than the mayor of the capital city of the Peach State; Atlanta Mayor, Kasim Reed.
Since his 2010 election, Mayor Reed has helped the city of Atlanta in countless efforts as he’s lifted the city out of a $48 million budget shortcoming, attended to the city’s $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability, as well as increased cash reserves from $7.4 million to more than $127 million, amongst many other things.
In Mayor Reed’s keynote address he noted that whenever someone is to do anything in life that they must not change their ultimate vision along the way. He wanted to make sure that people remembered to always stay genuine and true one another.
“We have to remember not to change and not get amnesia,” Reed said.“The story of the night is authenticity.”
He then goes on to commend all of the community members and officials for backing the efforts of the many minorities and women-owned businesses and how it has made the city all come together as one.
“Having a strong chamber focused on minority businesses didn’t take away from somebody else but it made you all grow together,” Reed adds.
As his speech progressed, he talked about his challenges and successes during his tenure as mayor and what has attributed to it; to ultimately say that the people must stand together and stay true to what you have.
I don’t believe in being replicated. I don’t believe in trying to pretend or be something you’re not, but what I do believe is being the best version of yourself.…there is no need for you all to be another version of Atlanta, just be the best version of yourselves,” said Reed.
After Reed’s speech the many individuals and businesses were presented as they were selected for the various award categories.
A few of the award categories and winners are the following:
Leaders & Legends Award – Harold Knowles
President’s Award – Jennifer Fennell
Business of the Year – Kingdom Realty (Karlus & Christic Henry)
Professional of the Year – Michael Campbell (Jim Moran Institute)
The ceremony concluded as the many people in attendance danced the night away and celebrated all of the good things taking place in their community.
“We wish to congratulate all the nominees for their outstanding accomplishments. The Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce applaud these leaders for their remarkable contributions to enhancing the quality of life welcomed by all community members,” said Sean Pittman, Founder & Chairman of the BBMC.