accepting the call of leadership for HCCC. As they prepare to host the 14th Annual Pinnacle Awards on October 17, we went one-on-one about the purpose of this annual awards extravaganza.)
JM: What type of inspiration has it served for small businesses who have received the award in the past?
JB: I believe that being nominated and selected as a finalist for this award encourages those business owners to continue being leaders in the community. Many times, business owners need to know that the work and efforts that help the community grow, are appreciated. If you visit many of their offices, you will find their Pinnacle award displayed proudly and articles related to the award plastered on the wall.
JM: In the midst of this economic crisis in America, how do see a small business being able to maintain profit and growth?
JB: I believe these are some tough times, but there were even tougher times that African-American small businesses faced in 1935 when the HCCC was founded. Coming out of Great Depression, segregation, limitations on who they could do business with, ardent racism, being black, etc. Those weren’t excuses made by a group of Black business leaders that saw beyond the challenges and made adjustments and decisions that allowed them to preserve and succeed
during the toughest of times.
JM: Why was Roland Martin selected as this year’s keynote?
JB: Outside of being a fellow Jack Yates HS alumnus (which will almost always be a trump card for anyone. LOL), we wanted to have someone come in and speak to the African-American, corporate and small business community, reminding them about the true buying power of the African-American community. Roland has a wealth of knowledge and I believe he will be able to bring a fresh perspective on how African-Americans need to prepare themselves to do better, especially with a new administration coming into Washington, DC.
JM: Sitting at the helm of HCCC, what agenda is on the table for the organization over the next year in terms of empowering the community?
JB: We will continue on our focus to educate, equip and empower small businesses through our programs and initiatives. We are launching a women’s program, EmpowerWomen; small business incubator program to help businesses grow; youth Entreprenuer initiative and community roundtables to discuss issues that are important to business owners and consumers.
JM: Thank you and much success to the Pinnacle Awards and HCCC!JB: Thank you.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE 14TH ANNUAL PINNACLE AWARDS GALA PLEASE VISIT www.hcccpinnacleawards.org