Skip to content

Success, Power and Prosperity Honored at Black Business Association 2024 Salute to Black Women Who Advocate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Sarah R. Harris, CEO, Black Business Association (BBA) presents Rosalind Pennington with plaque and the Honorable Ventris C. Gibson, United states Mint 40th Director and 1st African Tubman Commemorative Coin presented Pennington a Barack Obama a gold coin with Pennington’s sister joining in the presentation during the 2024 Salute to Black Women Business Conference, Vendor Faire & Awards Luncheon. The event was held on Saturday, March 23, at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles. Photo by Gloria Zuurveen

Dr. Gloria Zuurveen gave the invocation during the BBA Salute to Black Women Luncheon.

By Ricky Richardson, Contributing Writer

 Los Angeles, Ca — The National Women’s History Months theme for 2024, “Celebrating Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.” The theme recognizes women throughout the country who understand that, for a positive future, we need to eliminate bias and discrimination entirely from our lives and institutions. During 2024, we recognize the example of women who are committed to embracing everyone and excluding no one in our common quest for freedom and opportunity. They know that people change with the help of families, teachers and friends, and that young people in particular need to learn the value of hearing from different voices with different points of view as they grow up. (Source, National Women’s History Month Alliance).

Sarah Harris, Mayor Karen Bass and Earl “Skip” Cooper at the BBA Salute to Black Women Luncheon.                                                                                                                                                                              Photo by Gloria Zuurveen

Supervisor Holly Mitchell and Earl “Skip” Cooper at the BBA Salute to Black Women Luncheon. Photo by Gloria Zuurveen

Carolyn Sims, Senior Advisor on the Government Relations team at Southern California Edison (SCE) during the BBA Salute to Black Women. Photo by Gloria Zuurveen

Joy Atkinson, Executive director, Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute (LAAAAWPPI) along with current and former graduates of LAAAAWPPI) during the BBA Salute to Black Women Luncheon. Photo by Gloria Zuurveen

The Black Business Association, under the leadership of Sarah R. Harris (BBA CEO) presented the 2024 Salute to Black Women Business Conference, Vendor Faire & Awards Luncheon. The event was held on Saturday, March 23, at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles, 6101 W. Century Blvd., in Los Angeles. The theme “Celebrating Women Who Advocate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” honors the remarkable achievements of inspiring Black Women. African American women were honored for their brilliance and resilience. In a statement, “this event will uplift and strengthen us, especially during challenging times. We believe that Black Women are playing a pivotal role in shaping the future,” declared President Harris.

“In alignment with this year’s theme, we’re privileged to spotlight a remarkable group of women who consistently advocate and lead in their own unique ways. Everyone is welcome to join us for this extraordinary celebration.”  The event brought in hundreds of women entrepreneurs, executives, community leaders, elected officials, mothers, daughters and sisters. This annual celebration is a source of inspiration and empowerment. The event served as a platform for high-level networking and motivation. The stars were out early. The Gold Carpet was glowing brightly as a steady flow of phenomenal women graced the Gold Carpet for photographs for an hour, on this overcast day of inclement weather.

Hyacinth the Gratitudist is adorned in her AKA attire as she celebrate Women History Month during the BBA Salute to Black women luncheon on Saturday, March 23, 2024. Photo by Gloria Zuurveen

The Honorable Ventris C. Gibson, United states Mint 40th Director and 1st African American; Carla Perkins, Southern California Edison; Stephanie Wiggin, CEO, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority; Rosalind Pennington, President, Red Rover Enterprises, LLC, and Owner, The New Townhouse; Nicole Sams, Executive Director, Market Manager, Irvine Branch, Morgan Stanley; Vivian Nell Harvey, President & CEO, Sparkling Clean Cleaning services & Carpet Care, Inc.; Bianca Vobecky, CEO Vobecky Enterprises, Inc.; Joy Atkinson, Executive director, Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute (LAAAAWPPI); Atina Campbell, Miss Black USA Director of State AZ, CA & MN; Miss Black California Queen- Zoe Abdul Malik, LaShania Davis and Dedra Tufon; Brittney Frazier, Founder & Executive Director N.O.A.H’s Foundation, Inc.; Katrina Manning, MPA, Realtor & Probate Specialist and Hawthorne City Council Board Member; Margo Wade LaDrew, CEO, Wade & Associates Group, LLC and Founder & Executive Director, Black Beauty & Wellness Foundation; Cynthia Mitchell-Heard, President & CEO, Los Angeles Urban League; Delphine Pruitt, vice President Business Access Advisor, U.S. Bank; Arlan Hamilton, Founder Backstage Capital & Runner, Author, Venture Catalyst; and Ta Lese Morrow, Publisher & Chief Executive Officer, Inland Empire Valley News, to name a few, on the Gold Carpet. Everyone gathered in the Grand Ballroom for the Award Luncheon. DJ JiJi Sweet was on deck of the ones and twos to provide an electric soundtrack for the party people, grown folks on site. Sarah R. Harris served as Emcee.     Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass was in attendance to pick up the President’s Award presented during last year’s ceremony. Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, (2nd District) was in attendance to give Proclamations to the Award winners.

The Rising Star Award was presented to Ta Lese, Publisher & Chief Executive Officer, Inland Valley News. The Unsung Hero Award was presented to Margo LaDrew, President & CEO, Wade & Associates Group, LLC, Founder, Black Beauty & Wellness Foundation. The Excellence in Business Award was presented to Vivian Nell Harvey, President & CEO, Sparkling Clean Cleaning Services and Carpet Care, Inc. The Excellence in Service Award was presented to Joy Atkinson, Executive Director, Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute (LAAAWPPI).  Special Awards were presented. Black Business Association Advocate Award was presented to Rosalind Pennington, CEO, Red River Enterprises, LLC & Owner, The New Townhouse.

The Corporate Advocate Award was presented to Southern California Edison. Carla Perkins accepted the award. The “Chairman’s Award” is a prestigious recognition that honors exceptional individuals or businesses during Women’s History Month. Recipients demonstrate outstanding performance in business, service, and contributions, embodying the theme for this year. This esteemed award, selected by the BBA Chairman, celebrated their achievement, leadership, and dedication to advancing Black women in business and society. The Chairman’s Award was presented to Stephanie Wiggins, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles Metro.      The “President’s Award” is a prestigious recognition that honors exceptional individuals or businesses during Women’s History Month. Recipients demonstrate outstanding performance in business, service, and contributions, embodying the theme set for this year. This esteemed award, selected by the BBA President, celebrates their achievements, leadership, and dedication to advancing Black women in business and society. Drum roll please… The President’s Award was presented to Honorable Ventris C. Gibson, 40th Director, United States Mint, and 1st African American. It was great seeing young ladies in the audience. They were soaking in and witnessing the love that permeated the celebration. I’m sure that they will be successful in whatever career path that they pursuit. They will step into their power as a result of the networking and mentoring that they are experiencing.

The Honorable Ventris C. Gibson, United states Mint 40th Director and 1st African Tubman Commemorative Coin presented with award. Photo by Gloria Zuurveen

Lto R) Cynthia Mitchell-Heard, President and CEO, Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL), Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, Sarah Harris, CEO, BBA and Arlan Hamilton, Founder Backstage Capital & Runner, Author, Venture Catalyst during the BBA Salute to Black Women affair at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles. Photo by Gloria Zuurveen

BBA Salute to Black Women award recipient Stephanie Wiggins, CEO, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Jackie Dupont-Walker and METRO staff members and friends. Photo by Gloria Zuurveen

Wendy Gladney Williams, the Honorable Ventris C. Gibson, Sarah Harris and Ron Williams at the Black Business Association (BBA) on Saturday, March 23, 2024 at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles. Photo by Gloria Zuurveen

The Honorable Ventris C. Gibson, United states Mint 40th Director and 1st African American celebrate birthday along with Earl “Skip” Cooper during the BBA Salute to Black Women Luncheon On Saturday, March 23, 2024. Photo by Gloria Zuurveen

Thanks to Honorable Ventris C. Gibson, several lucky recipients went home with a Harriet Tubman Commemorative Coin. Attendees were able to win autographed copies of Your First Million by Arlan Hamilton.  The program kicked-off with an engaging vendor faire held throughout the event. The program concluded with a mouthwatering; forget your diet, New Year’s resolution Dessert Reception. Earl Skip Cooper and Honorable Ventris C. Gibson celebrated their respective birthdays at the event with a cake.

Miss Black California Queen- Zoe Abdul Malik, LaShania Davis and Dedra Tufon; Brittney Frazier.
Photo by Gloria Zuurveen

In addition to the above mentioned activities, highlights of the day featured an inspiring and informative Role Models of Success Youth forum moderated by Dr. Sudonna Moss; and Women, Money, and Inclusion Symposium moderated by Sarah R. Harris, with Stasia Washington, Managing Director, Senior Wealth Manager, Lido; Arlan Hamilton, Founder, Backstage Capital 7 Runner, Author, Venture Catalyst; Delphine Pruitt, Vice President, Business Access Advisor, U.S. Bank; Nicole Sams, Executive Director, Market Manager, Irvine Branch, Morgan Stanley; Samona Caldwell, Director, Business Connect, Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission and Terri Batch, CEO, Global LA. That’s not all folks! A Beauty/Photo Studio allowed attendees to indulge in complimentary makeup touch ups, and professional headshots, along with the fabulous vendor faire and Gold Carpet Interviews streamed live on the new media studio.  Founded in 1970, the Black Business Association (BBA), headquartered in Los Angeles, is the oldest active ethnic business support organization in the state of California. For more than five decades of service, the BBA has been instrumental in the development and growth of thousands of Black-owned businesses locally and nationally.  The Black Business Association’s mission is to advocate and promote the development of Black-owned business with a goal of creating a firm economic base that supports the self-determination and prosperity of Black and urban communities locally and nationally.

The BBA assists our Corporate Partners in developing a mutually beneficial relationship with Black entrepreneurs, business owners, the community, and its customers. For additional information, visit the BBA website at https://www.bbala.org

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment