For the past 36 years, the Harlem Business Alliance (HBA) has honored black brilliance with their annual awards gala. The annual sold out must attend celebration is the pinnacle fundraising event for the non profit.This year’s theme, ‘Black Women Did That’ shines the spotlight on excellence – honoring nine outstanding women, a first for the organization, which traditionally honors both women and men. Saluting the magic, brains, grace and determination of black women, the organization will acknowledge them in the following categories: business, communications, government, community service and newly added science technology engineering, art and math (STEAM). The 36th Annual Harlem Business Alliance Awards Gala was held on Wednesday, May 3rd, 6:30-10:00|PM at Mist Harlem (46 West 116th Street).
2017 honorees: Sylvia Rhone (Business Person of the Year, Music Executive Icon) Jeanne Wardford (Chairman’s Award, W.K. Kellogg Foundation), Vera Moore (Entrepreneurship Award, CEO, Vera Moore Cosmetics), Dyana Williams (Percy Sutton Award, Entertainment powerhouse and CEO, Influencer Entertainment), Glynda C. Carr (Government Service Award, Advocate and Political Strategist), Kimberly Peeler-Allen (Government Service Award, Political Fundraiser and Event Planner), Jodie Patterson (Community Service Award, Entrepreneur and Activist), Dr. Aletha Maybank (STEAM Award, Deputy Commissioner for New York City Department of Health) and La-Verna J. Fountain (Woman of Action Award, VP for Strategic Communications & Construction Business Initiatives at Columbia University).
“Growing up surrounded by strong, intelligent Black women, running thriving businesses and organizations throughout Harlem – Black Girl Magic was always the rule. Not the exception” says Regina Smith, Executive Director of HBA. This year’s theme ‘Black Women Did That’ recognizes the silent power of countless black women who fueled numerous movements from the Underground Railroad, Civil Rights, and to innovations in space, science, arts and entrepreneurship. In recognition of the success and inspiration they have brought to world, the Harlem Business Alliance celebrates Black women for all that they do and will continue to do.
The Harlem Business Alliance has pledged its service as an advocate for the preservation and retention of Harlem’s business community for over 36 years. Programs include, but are not limited to: Harlem’s first co-working space; first adult stem program; 10,000 entrepreneurs served through programs and services; 2,000 entrepreneurs received one-on-one counseling and over 1,200 workshops. With HBA’s guidance, their client’s small businesses bloomed from concept to tangible product, street vendor to store owner and food enthusiast to food artisan. Disrupt Harlem Code Squad was launched in Fall 2015, the first hyper focused program to connect young adults with entrepreneurship options via technology. Lastly, the HBA acknowledges when you educate a woman, you educate a generation; this inspired the groundbreaking Lillian Project, a tailored entrepreneur incubator for native born African American women.
For more information, visit www.hbany.org.
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Photo credit.Lauren Marie Marsh Photography