2808 Wheeler St., Houston, TX 77004-5351

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2808 Wheeler St., Houston, TX 77004-5351

  1. 1. 2808 Wheeler St., Houston, TX 77004-5351 PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MEDIA CONTACT: Margo Williams Handy, MWH Public Relations 281.213.9554, 832.492.2407 or margo@mwhpublicrelations.com Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce Significantly Increases Its Partnerships During 13th Annual Pinnacle Awards HOUSTON (Oct. 25, 2007) – Today, the Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce (HCCC) announced a significant increase in its sponsor support, attendance and ongoing partnerships as a result of its annual awards program, the 13th Annual African American Business Achievement Pinnacle Awards. Major underwriters were Shell as title sponsor, Washington Mutual Bank at the Platinum level, BP America, Inc. and Merrill Lynch as Silver sponsors and at the Bronze level, Continental Airlines and HP. Over 750 guests attended the Friday, Oct. 19, awards program held at the Hilton Post Oak honoring African-American business excellence. Radio One founder Cathy Hughes delivered the keynote address. Hughes encouraged all attendees to expand their horizons by learning other languages, as well as establishing a solid Internet presence. “It is vital for an African-American company to utilize the Internet to expand its business,” said Hughes. “African-American businesses must have a quality Web site in order to compete in this global economy.” Greater Houston Partnership President & CEO Jeff Moseley and Tracye McDaniel, Greater Houston Partnership EVP & COO delivered special remarks. “The tremendous support of our sponsors and media partners is valuable,” said Gala Chairman Jeffrey Boney, HCCC vice president and Washington Mutual Bank small business banking vice president. “We are excited about the partnerships established and the businesses we assisted as a result of the Pinnacle Awards. We have received numerous calls about businesses that have made connections and gained new business opportunities as a result of the gala. Additionally, our sponsor support will enable the Chamber to establish several business development resources over the next year.” The Pinnacle Awards spotlight and honor African-American businesses that have achieved success by combining vision, determination, commitment, perseverance and dedication to building strong communities. Ten outstanding Pinnacle finalists were honored and four took home the Pinnacle Award.
  2. 2. 13th Annual Pinnacle Awards Oct. 25, 2007 Page 2 of 8 Pinnacle Award Winners: 3131 Properties, LLC | Jason Medlock and Aaron Glenn Launched in 2000, 3131 Properties, LTD., operates on the "Magic” Johnson model of economic and community development. Medlock and Glenn have brokered over $127 million in deals including sports, real estate, construction and franchises. As developers, they deliver their services to historically under-developed communities with the hope of stimulating local economies and providing new employment opportunities. The company's newest subsidiary, GlennLock Foods, LTD., employs 315 individuals. The Frenchy's Chicken brand has been extremely successful for 3131 Properties. The key to their success has been in the ability to hire great leadership and choose deals that make sense in the Sugar Land area. Medlock and Glenn chose prime real estate at the right price and at the right time. Also, the team was able to duplicate the historic Frenchy’s Chicken brand to mimic the original Scott Street location’s flavor pattern. Codwell Family Food Center, P.A. | Dr. John Codwell, III In 1995, Dr. Codwell started his practice with just one employee (himself) and a 950- square-foot office. Today, Dr. Codwell offices in his own building and has a staff of five. The center provides medical and surgical care of both the foot and ankle. Like many African-American small business owners, Dr. Codwell’s greatest challenge was in finding start-up capital to launch a legitimate, viable medical practice. However, his perseverance and belief in serving the community paid off. To encourage increased African-American business ownership, Dr. Codwell believes early exposure of the entrepreneurial world to our children is key, as are mentorship programs. Dr. Codwell believes the secret to his success has been to educate his patients and to take the necessary time with them to explain their medical challenges. DiverseStaff, Inc. | Carla Lane DiverseStaff was launched in 2003 with Carla Lane as senior vice president and chief operating officer. The company is dedicated to providing organizations with quality staffing solutions resulting in excellent employment opportunities for its associates. Lane’s business strategy for growing DiverseStaff is, “Take care of the people and the bottom line will grow.” Under Lane’s leadership, the DiverseStaff footprint has grown by an additional seven states, increased its portfolio to include Fortune 100 and 200 clients, and has become a leader in government contracting. Lane distinguishes DiverseStaff from other staffing firms by ensuring she connects with the candidates, the associates and the clients. She also delivers quality to her clients and associates – she believes in exceeding expectations. Lastly, Lane believes she provides a
  3. 3. 13th Annual Pinnacle Awards Oct. 25, 2007 Page 3 of 8 service, she never forgets that. If she doesn’t do it well, someone else will. The company’s keys to success has been application of its “7 Keys to Success:” “Take Charge;” “Know Where You Are Going;” “Spread the Word;” “Do What You Do So Well They’ll Come Back and Bring Their Friends;” “Train, Train and Retrain;” “Measure Everything;” and “Celebrate Your Victories.” George E. Johnson Development, Inc. | George E. Johnson George E. Johnson Development, Inc. was founded in 1974 as Johnson & Sons Realty. Since that time, the company has evolved into a premier comprehensive real estate development firm specializing in residential, commercial and community-developments projects. As the company slogan indicates, "Big enough to serve you, small enough to care," Johnson Development represents individual clients with their home-buying needs as well as public, private and faith-based organizations with their development needs. Through real estate brokerage, project management and owner's representative services, the company has completed assignments and managed projects in excess of $1.1 billion. Johnson states that the greatest challenge of starting the business was being the first African-American-franchised real-estate broker. There were no examples. They worked hard and were encouraged by earlier black real-estate pioneers such as Mr. Judson Robinson, Jr., Mr. Hubbard Coleman, Ms. Lily Fonteno and others. Pinnacle Award Finalists: BalyProjects, LLC | Jacqueline Baly Chaumette Owned by Jacqueline Baly Chaumette, BalyProjects is a consulting firm that specializes in policy, planning and public affairs. The firm's capabilities include running the entire public involvement and public affairs process for transportation and other policy plans which will reflect community values and benefit all segments of the community. BalyProjects also has been instrumental in local, state and federal elections. Contracts have expanded significantly for BalyProjects since its inception. Services were originally only provided for the City of Houston. Now services cover several regions in Texas and surrounding states. BalyProjects is now a full-service, one-stop firm for its clients. It helps clients from the beginning of the RFP phase to the project’s implementation phase. Leading-edge technology, superb staff training and management have proven a great formula for its success, but success is not their final destination. Excellence in every area from streamlined administration to their ongoing relationships with officials and jurisdictions translate into a superior overall governmental relations experience for everyone. Houston Training and Education Center, Inc. (H-TEC) | Stephanie Boutte’-Phillips Operating out of a 9,000-square-foot facility, H-TEC offers seven training and vocational- career education programs to the underprivileged.
  4. 4. 13th Annual Pinnacle Awards Oct. 25, 2007 Page 4 of 8 Since 1998, H-TEC has provided training in subjects such as medical and dental assistant certification, ESL, computer technology and cosmetology. The facility has put more than 389 individuals into the work force, allowing them to become self-sufficient and gainfully employed. Many of the individuals were Welfare-to-Work program participants and homeless veterans. H-TEC’s greatest challenge was in finding financing. Boutte’-Phillips met the financial challenge by going to every bank in town until one agreed to provide her with a line of credit. During this start-up period, Boutte’-Phillips worked countless hours because she couldn’t afford to hire anyone. She was the secretary, trainer, curriculum developer and janitor. The key to her success has been in having a passion for helping others. Instead of talking about the educational problems within the African-American community, she did something about it. Masterpiece Solutions, LLC. | Dr. Laureen Wishom Since 1996, Masterpiece Solutions has provided business development products and services to businesses and nonprofit organizations. The company’s mission is to develop management and leadership skills; establish sound business and best practices; provide opportunities for career development and business growth; deliver innovative and successful solutions; and develop strategies for sustained growth and profitability. Dr. Laureen describes herself as a “solutionist” and operates her business by its tag line, “We sculpt your company into a work of art.” Dr. Laureen recently launched the business tool, “The Greater Houston Resource Guide©.” It is an annual, cross-cultural publication for Houston’s new millionaires, entrepreneurs, “solo-preneurs,” “ intra-preneurs,” small business owners and nonprofit organizations. It is designed to connect people, resources and services across cultures. Dr. Laureen dubs it an information bank, how to, business directory and reference manual, all in one! MaxwellO Dental Spa and Wellness | Dr. Letitia Plummer MaxwellO Dental Spa and Wellness was established in March 2004 by Dr. Letitia Plummer. Dr. Plummer and her staff provide state-of- the-art general and cosmetic dental services, in a spa atmosphere, with impeccable customer service and dental education to her clients. The wellness aspect of the practice allows them to treat the whole body; from intense review of medication, recording vital signs, determining body mass index and how it relates to high blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnea. They have recently introduced reflexology to their clients to demonstrate the positive effects of massage and homeopathic options in providing optimum health care. Dr. Plummer is convinced that involvement in local community organizations is the only way entrepreneurs can reach out and positively influence the African-American community. She feels that it is important for all of us to assume the role model position and show that personal ownership and success are attainable. Her focus in both her dental practice and
  5. 5. 13th Annual Pinnacle Awards Oct. 25, 2007 Page 5 of 8 through her seminar, “A Smile Exudes Confidence,” is to explain the importance of dental hygiene/ aesthetics and how it relates to self-confidence and social acceptance in the workplace. Dr. Plummer also established CareerSmiles Inc., in 2001. This nonprofit organization was established in response to a need discovered by the job-placement department at the Texas School of Business (TSB). It is a nonprofit dental service and funding agency providing financial assistance, dental education and reconstructive dental services to low- income adults in order to facilitate job placement and move those adults back into the work force. Quality Dialysis | Cindy Barclay Quality Dialysis, in business for over 14 years, was the first staff-assisted home dialysis company to provide dialysis services in Texas. The company believes healthcare is a basic human right. Because of the increasing demands that chronic kidney disease can put on a patient and his/her family, Quality Dialysis has expanded its service by creating four separate companies to offer better, more convenient care to its patients. The company offers physician services, skilled nursing, health and nutrition, social services, distribution services, transporter services, biohazard medical waste disposal services, pharmaceutical services and consultation. Speaking of what makes a business owner successful, Cindy Barclay responds, “I don’t think there is a recipe. Some people give up too easily. If you have your mind set on a goal, you have to stay focused on it no matter what. It’s a long journey; just keep knocking and somebody’s going to eventually open the door.” Barclay also urges people to know their craft and do it with passion. Barclay also is the author of a new book titled, “That DAMN Dialysis!” Barclay wrote the book to fill a knowledge void regarding chronic kidney disease. It offers options for treatment, information for those predisposed to the disease and the do’s and don’ts of everyday life with kidney disease. Sprinklisms, Inc. | Jonathan Sprinkles Jonathan Sprinkles keeps it real when he steps to the microphone. He speaks about a life principle that has equipped thousands of college students to work “smarter not harder.” He starts every speaking engagement with a clear purpose, which is to equip people with the resources necessary to search their inner self and effectively live out the principles of leadership, integrity, vision and excellence. Sprinkles empowers people to LIVE! He developed this concept when he was faced with his biggest personal challenge, starting his own business. As with most small businesses, his biggest challenge was coming up with the money to start and maintain a small business. He left a sales job that was paying $82,000 and instantly went to ZERO. He was close to giving up and going back to corporate America until one day he heard a quote that changed his life: “Vision doesn’t chase money, money chases vision!”
  6. 6. 13th Annual Pinnacle Awards Oct. 25, 2007 Page 6 of 8 That was his turning point. He stopped focusing on the money and started building a leadership model that, unlike most in the market, was based on real-life scenarios (not philosophy) and was relevant to young people. In 2006, he was selected by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities as the College Speaker of the Year. His personal and professional mantra is, “May it all be done to the glory of God.” Advocate of the Year Award New to the Pinnacle Awards this year is to recognize organizations that do business with and/or provide business opportunities and education to African-American small businesses. “We created the Advocate Award to encourage organizations to continue in its efforts to equip, empower and educate African-American business enterprises,” said Boney. The inaugural "Advocate of the Year" was awarded to the Port of Houston Authority (PHA). The PHA implemented its Small Business Development Program (SBDP) in 2001. The SBDP helps the PHA contractors make good faith efforts to include small business participation in all SBDP eligible contracts to provide goods and services to the Port. Since inception of the SBDP at the PHA, small businesses have received over $200 million in formal and informal awards. Under the direction of the PHA Commissioners and executive staff, SBDP Director Gilda Ramirez and the SBDP staff take a proactive approach by reaching out to certified minority business enterprises (MBEs) by actively participating with business groups such as the Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce, Houston Minority Business Council, Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance, Native American Chamber of Commerce, and other minority based business organizations. The PHA staff also participates in expos and events, organizes training workshops, conferences and networking forums, and has created with Houston Community College the Port University. The Port University is intended to give companies an understanding of how the PHA operates which includes two sessions on how to read and respond to a bid proposal. The PHA has graduated a total of 183 companies from Port University. “When this program was launched five years ago, the Port Commission set an annual goal of 35-percent small business participation. It is a promise that we have kept," said Port Commissioner, Kase Lawal, chair of the SBDP Committee. "We have exceeded that goal every year since the program’s inception. Small business owners and their employees are a vital link in the Port's supply chain. To date, more than 1,000 small businesses are registered with the Port and more than $200 million in contracts have been awarded. In fact, approximately 33 cents of every contract awarded by the Port is small business." Business owners interested in the SBDP should visit the POH Web site at www.portofhouston.com or call 713.670.2597. The Advocate Award finalists were: AT&T, CenterPoint Energy, City of Houston, Comcast, Comerica Bank, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, H-E-B, U.S. Small Business Administration, Shell Oil Company and University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
  7. 7. 13th Annual Pinnacle Awards Oct. 25, 2007 Page 7 of 8 The Advocate Award was sponsored by H-E-B and DiverseStaff. Mack H. Hannah, Jr. Upstart Business Award The second new award this year is the Mack H. Hannah, Jr. Upstart Business Award. The Upstart Award was created to recognize and provide resources to a burgeoning African- American business with a high potential for success. The winner must complete a 14- week course developed in partnership with Texas Southern University. Then, it is awarded a business package that includes a $2,500 cash injection, a laptop from HP, cell phones and service from Cricket Communications, business cards and logo creation from D- Mars.com and other prizes. This year’s winner is NightLight After Hours Pediatrics. Founded in 2005, NightLight provides quality, affordable, compassionate, urgent care for infants, children and adolescents when the primary pediatrician is not available. NightLight is owned by Dr. Anastasia Gentles, Connie Cazares and Zawadi Bryant. [Since winning the Upstart award] “We have been exposed to a greater level of support and a larger network,” said Bryant. “We are now involved in the African-American business community and it feels great to have so many people rooting for our success. We have access to businesses that have been around much longer than us. We have reached out to some of them for advice. We've already seen patients as a result of winning the Upstart award. Also, I learned some great tips for our next location from the [Texas Southern University] small business workshop provided to all Upstart finalists. I learned how to analyze our lease and finance terms to a greater level.” The Upstart finalists were Kennedi Taylor Concierges and Beaucoup Wings-N-Wings: Beaucoup Wings-N-Wings | Salimah Muhammad and LaKesha Reed Beaucoup was formed on December 4, 2006, and opened for business on December 14, 2006, at 3511 Elgin St. Its owners, Salimah Muhammad and LaKesha Reed are on a mission to provide Houstonians with a quality product made of the finest and freshest ingredients, rich with regional and international flavors that tantalize the most discerning palate at a reasonable price. A dining experience at Beaucoup will incorporate the use of your sight, taste and touch senses, culminating in a full-body experience that encourages addiction. Community minded, yet facing the challenges all start-up businesses face, they are champions of Black-owned businesses supporting each other and eliminating the negative stereotypes associated with doing business in our community. Kennedi Taylor Concierges, LLC | Samuel D. Wesley Contrary to popular belief, a man like Samuel D. Wesley with a servant’s heart can go far in life. Serving others is a pillar of the faith that powers Kennedi Taylor Concierges, LLC. They serve our community with an uncharacteristic fervor motivated by an enthusiasm to accomplish pure customer satisfaction for each client. Wesley takes great pride in the image that he has built for his company. New clients often say that their logo, Web site and
  8. 8. 13th Annual Pinnacle Awards Oct. 25, 2007 Page 8 of 8 marketing materials give them the confidence to trust Kennedi Taylor Concierges, LLC with their personal affairs. Their core business is providing errand services to entrepreneurs, executives and professionals who must move with the speed of commerce. The company was designed to provide clients with an around-the-clock personal assistant. As a full-service Concierge Service, they can handle any type of request. Common requests include taking clothes to the cleaners and personal shopping. They also schedule minor repairs, appliance installation and home renovations, and supervise all aspects of the work. The most exotic request they’ve received is to help a client bring his mail order bride from the Ukraine. Kennedi Taylor can do anything that their clients don’t have time to do. “Attending the Pinnacle Awards was a very humbling experience because there was such a wealth of business acumen at each table,” said Samuel Wesley, Kennedi Taylor Concierges owner. “I look forward to spending time with all of the Pinnacle Award winners and finalists to draw from their experiences. I also look forward to becoming an active participant of the HCCC by supporting Chamber initiatives and goals." The Upstart Award is sponsored by Brown, Brown & Reynolds, Capital One Bank, Cricket Communications, HP and the Houston Defender. Sponsors of the 13th Annual African American Pinnacle Awards include Title Sponsor Shell Oil Company; Platinum Sponsor, Washington Mutual Bank; Silver Sponsors BP America, Inc. and Merrill Lynch; Bronze Sponsors Continental Airlines and HP; Community Partners AT&T, Fox 26 and My 20, Greater Houston Partnership, Port of Houston Authority, Southwest Airlines and Texas Southern University; Upstart Award Sponsors Brown, Brown & Reynolds, Capital One Bank, Cricket Communications and the Houston Defender; Advocate Award Sponsors H-E-B and DiverseStaff; VIP Nominee Reception Sponsors Merrill Lynch and I-10 Media; President’s Pinnacle Reception Sponsors Merrill Lynch; Chamber Partners Locke Liddell & Sapp, Protectors Insurance, Kroger and Five Woods Loft and Homes; 2007 Official Pinnacle Awards Ground Transportation Partner Allure Limousines; Floral Sponsor Lexis Florist; Table Sponsors 3131 Properties, Nationwide Insurance, A.W. EMS, ExxonMobil, George E. Johnson Development, Inc., MaxwellO Dental Spa & Wellness, Comcast, Greater Houston Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Bud Light, Houston Black Expo, Houston Minority Business Council, Unity National Bank, Frost Bank, CenterPoint Energy; Houston Training and Education Center; Masterpiece Solutions, LLC, Omo-Set, Inc., Prairie View A&M University, The Guess Group, and Presenting Media Partners Radio One, I-10 media, D-Mars.com, and the Houston Defender, and Media Partners, Houston Business Journal, Rolling Out, Houston Style Magazine, Gospel Truth, The Houston Sun, FaVor Magazine, HBBIN, Clear Channel Outdoor, FinalCall.com, AfriPages, J. Griffith Public Relations, Millions More Movement, ENo Style Magazine and The Herald. For details regarding 2008 award nominations or sponsorships, please contact Margo Williams Handy, MWH Public Relations, at 281.213.9554 or visit www.hcccpinnacleawards.org. # # #

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