2017 Press Release

2017 Georgia Minority Business Awards
“The Year of the Entrepreneurs”

ATLANTA, GA — On March 16, 2017 at 5.30pm the Georgia International Convention Center, the Georgia Minority Business Awards (GMBA) will host their 20th annual awards reception and dinner gala to celebrate minority businesses and entrepreneurs from around Georgia who are making an impact within their perspective communities. The Georgia Minority Business Awards represents all people, races and cultures. The speakers, CEO’s, minority business winners and scholarship recipients represent the best in success and exhibit these behaviors and values nationally and throughout the state of Georgia.

Our awards committee recognizes these superior qualities in performance, citizenship, leadership, ethical behavior, diversity and teamwork. These individuals share their philosophy for putting customers first, increasing the value of their companies and organizations, which make their workplace, a great place to work and have had a tremendous impact on the City of Atlanta and the State of Georgia. The host for this years’ event is Atlanta’s own Todd Gray, director of supplier diversity for Grady Health System. The keynote speaker for the evening will be Nathaniel Bronner, Jr. Other special invited dignitaries that will be in attendance includes: Jack Longino, Mayor of College Park, GA,
Dr. John Eaves, Chairman Fulton County Commissioners, and Vincent Jing-Yen Liu, Director General of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office Atlanta.

“I started these award celebrations to simply acknowledge and congratulate local and small business men and women entrepreneurs who are trendsetters in their own right,” founder and Executive Director Creed W. Pannell, Jr. shared. “Planning to work the plan you create, is merely a good idea; working the plan to work for yourself – makes you an entrepreneur. Some of Atlanta’s most respectable business leaders will be presenting awards this year to deserving innovators.”

The list of presenters includes: (1) Astin Currie, Comcast (2) John Lu, Chinese Culture Center and President of Asian Business Association (3) Randolph Taylor, Location Manager, Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens-Dignity Memorial (4) Paul Stapleton, District Sales Manager, KIA Motors America (5) James Maceo Rogers, City of East Point Economic Development Director (6) Chick-Fil-A (7) Courtney Pogue, Executive Director of the Clayton County Economic Development (8) Dr. Ray Wang, Senior Research Scientist, Georgia Institute of Technology (9) Roosevelt Council, Jr., General Manager Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (10) Dr. Joshua Murfree, COO Fulton-Dekalb Hospital Authority (11) Stantisha Kemp, Kemp CPA Accounting Firm (12) Girard Blunte, Relationship Manager for Commercial Clients BB&T Bank (11) Uriah Bullard, President of the Youth Entrepreneurs Chamber of Commerce (12) George Bailey, Mayor Pro Tem City of Hogansville, GA and Executive board member of Troup County Chamber of Commerce

In partnership with Business Development Initiative, Inc. (BDI), which is an entrepreneurial school for youth in high school and middle school, scholarships will be awarded to students at colleges and universities that have a focus on International Studies, IT partnership programs with business schools and MBA campaigns to promote future employment opportunities and corporate growth in Georgia. What began as merely a vision has turned into a successful annual award event, one in which businesses and entrepreneurs now look forward to being a part of each year. Many thanks to Creed W. Pannell, Jr. for his follow through with the vision and commitment to the leadership of the GMBA. The Year of the Entrepreneur is a theme worthy of repetition and recognition.

GMBA will honor the following individuals:
(1) Educator of the Year Award – Dr. Gary A. McGaha, President of Atlanta Metropolitan State College (2) Entertainment Industry of the Year Award – Sue Ann Taylor, CEO of Blue Horizon Films and Animation Studios (3) Commissioner of the Year Award – Michael Thurmond, CEO of DeKalb County (4) Tenacity Award for 2017 – Raimundo Thomas and Pamela Thomas, Mattress Fast (5) South Atlanta for Progress Award – Pedro Cherry, Executive Vice President Customer Service & Operations GA Power and Chairman of the Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance (6) Non-Profit of the Year Award – Charles Johnson – CEO of the Charles Johnson Foundation (7) John Lu International Business of the Year Award – Dr. Yi Tsu Cheng, owner of 10 Health Centers on the north side of Atlanta
(8) Heritage Award for 2017 – Dawson Lee, President Benimax Investment Group (9) Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport CID of the Year Award – Gerald McDowell, Executive Director Aerotropolis Atlanta CIDs (10) Healthcare Industry Award – Dr. Julianne Adams Birt (11) Community Service of the Year Award – Linette Ward & Octavia Mahone, Owners of Roscoe Jenkins Funeral Home (12) Entrepreneur of the Year Award – LaMont Bynum, Rite at Home Furniture and Design Center (13) Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Kashmir Thompson.

Our proud sponsors are: Comcast Business, BB&T, Chinese Community Center, City of East Point, City of College Park, GA Power, Benimax, Clayton County Development Authority, Blue Heron, Atlanta Metropolitan State College, Creed Global Association, Kemp Accounting, KIA Motors America, Grady Health System, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, 3 Day Website, Atlanta Business Journal, Business Development Initiative (BDI), Georgia International Convention Center (GICC), Boomer’s Expo, Aerotropolis Atlanta CIDs, Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance, Chick-Fil-A, Mattress Fast, Rite at Home and Bynum Design Group.

About the Georgia Minority Business Awards:
The Georgia Minority Business Awards is mandated to evolve and effect change to sustain and propel the vision in this 21st century. The awards sponsoring magazine, the Atlanta Business Journal is proud to serve as a catalyst for a new generation of business owners which notably serve as a valuable trend indicator in “Building Cultural and Global Relationships.”

We embrace diversity, overcome cultural obstacles and continue to build global relationships. The amalgamation of minds forms partnerships thus creating common ground for success and achievement.

The names, Atlanta Business Journal and Georgia Minority Business Awards reflects our dedication to help generate awareness about the positive changes and the collective successes of the multi-cultural communities and we look forward to continuing to share and recognize those collective successes for years to come.