The Capital City African American Chamber of Commerce honored Austin’s small business leaders, local corporations, diversity champions and leading entrepreneurs at the 2013 Small Business Awards Gala on February 22, 2013 before a crowd of over 300 at the Westin Domain.
The annual event recognizes the creation, growth and expansion of African-American businesses and leadership within the Central Texas region. Ashely Goudeau, Emmy Award winning anchor and reporter for KVUE, presided over the event as Master of Ceremonies, with remarks by Ashton Cumberbatch, Chair of the CCAACC Board of Directors, Sheryl Cole, Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Austin and the event’s keynote speaker Olympic champion, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Sanya Richards-Ross. Cumberbatch nicely captured the theme of the evening, The Gold Standard of Excellence: Success in Business and Beyond: “Entrepreneurs, business folk, keep going on. The race does not go to the swift but to he and she who perseveres.”
Perhaps the highlight of the evening was the Teenpreneur of the Year, awarded to Mikaila Ulmer, the eight year old entrepreneur from Austin and founder of Beesweet Lemonade. The third-grader from Trinity Episcopal School donates a portion of her proceeds to Heifer International, an organization committed to caring for the earth by developing sustainable, long-term investments in the future of people and the planet. Mikaila’s donation will provide at least one disadvantaged family with a package of bees, equipment and training in beekeeping in the hopes that they can earn income through the sale of honey, beeswax and pollen.
“Our 2013 honorees demonstrate success in business, character and commitment to community,” said Natalie Madeira Cofield, President and CEO for the CCAACC. “We are grateful for the awardees’ contributions and we are proud to highlight the their achievements before our peers and the Greater Austin Community.”
The 2013 CCAACC Small Business Honorees are:
Small Business of the Year: Sanders\Wingo
Austinpreneur of the Year: Quincy Jones III & Shawn Ullman co-founders FeelRich
Teenpreneur of the Year: Makalia Ulmer BeeSweet Lemonade
Leadership in Diversity Awards:
Diversity Champion of the Year: Derek Dingle, Editor-in-Chief, Black Enterprise Magazine
Corporate Partner Dell Inc.
African American Corporate Executive Pamela B. McKay, President, Clear Channel Austin
Professional Leadership Awards:
Emerging Business Leader: Joah Spearman, co- founder, Avec Mode and Vice Chair of the Austin Music Commission
Ambassador of the Year Roger Davis, CCAACC Board Member Staff Account, 3M
By Sam Chapman