This year marked the 35th year for the Minority Business Achievement Awards. This year’s theme was ‘The Road to Public Contracting: Breaking Barriers, Mastering Challenges.’ In a room filled to capacity, the awards ceremony took place at the five-star venue of Lowes Vanderbilt Hotel. The afternoon began with a networking, mixer style reception, followed by the awards program and segued into an early dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
The program was emceed by Vicki Yates, noted WTVF Channel 5 Anchorwoman, who was introduced by Denor Brands & Public Relations Agency owner Ashley Northington.
Mrs. Daynise Joseph, Community Impact manager for Google Fiber Nashville greeted the guest saying, “We’re proud of our partnership with the Minority Business Center… and I am honored to have served as the 2017 chair of the Minority Enterprise Development Week Steering Committee.”
“For the past thirty-five years, the Minority Business Achievement Awards have paid tribute to the extraordinary business owners whose collective successes in business have fueled numerous other emerging and aspiring business owners along the path of entrepreneurial excellence. Awardees are minority individuals who have made significant economic contributions in their industry and the community,” Joseph commented.
The much-anticipated 2017 Minority Business Achievement Awards’ Corporate Partner Award was given to Messer Construction Company (Mr. Chris Steigerwald). Mark Ison of Premiere Building Maintenance was granted the Minority Business Award. The Minority Business Innovation Award was given to Mrs. Andre Jeffries of Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, who added a heartfelt, loving but humorous life event with the crowd.
“I love chicken, probably as much as the next person,” Jeffries said. “But I never thought I’d see the day where I’d depend on a chicken to pay my bills and now to get an award for it!”
This year the Minority Business of the Year Award was bestowed upon two separate people, one male and one female. Dewayne Scott of SRS, Inc. accepted the Minority Business of the Year Award and Kia Jarmon accepted the Minority Businesswoman of the Year Award.
Yates noted how unique, but deserving on both accounts the award was to both a man and a woman business owner. Upon accepting her award, Jarmon took a few minutes to express her gratitude, and to thank her mother and son for being invaluable parts of her drive, hard work and overall success.
Sponsor recognition and special thanks went to Regions Bank, Google Fiber, HCA Healthcare TriStar Health, Southeastern Constructors, Metropolitan Nashville Airport and all who helped to make this year’s event a success.
Rev. Enoch Fuzz, Sr., pastor of Corinthian Baptist Church gave an invocation prior to dinner.
While the attendees dined, Jazz performer Sonja Hopkins (accompanied by live musicians) entertained the audience with an array of sensational music.
The 35th annual Minority Business Achievement Awards was organized by Marilyn Robinson of the Nashville Minority Business Center with help from her Host Steering Committee, including: Event Chair Daynise Joseph; Emcee Vicki Yates; Rev. Enoch Fuzz; Ruth’s Chris Steak House; Tina Tackett, sales manager, and her efficient, attentive staff; Denor Brands Public Relations; Alisha Wix; Amy Castro; Amy Watts; Amy Wheeler; Angela Crane Jones; Ashley Northington; Bryan Gleason; Carolyn Waller; Davita Taylor; Jacqueline F. Merritt; Jacqueline Rowe; Jane Grote; Jerval Watson; Kebbyn Connell; Latrisha Jemison; Lethia Mann; Meekahl Davis Scott Davis; Michelle Lane; Misha Maynard; Roger Ligon; Sherie Woods; Stacey Nickens; and Yuri Cunza.
The 35th annual Minority Business Achievement Awards is one of many productive products of the Nashville Minority Business Center, founded in 1984, under the leadership of Marilyn Robinson. The Nashville Minority Business Center coordinates existing resources in both, the public and private sectors for minority business enterprises. They offer a full range of management and technical assistance services and serve as a conduit for information and assistance to and about minority businesses. The Nashville Minority Business Center also increases the formation of new minority owned businesses, as well as the expansion of existing minority owned firms, helping to minimize business failures among minority entrepreneurs.