Black Excellence Awards to honor urban entrepreneurs

The Milwaukee Times hosting Friday event

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The Milwaukee Times will present the 34th annual Black Excellence Awards on Friday, Feb. 15 at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

The event begins at 6 p.m. with a social hour, followed by dinner and the awards program. This year’s theme is: “The Excellence of Imagination, Boldness and Innovation: Honoring our Entrepreneurs.” Steven Weddle, managing director of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, will serve as the keynote speaker. WISN 12 News anchors Sheldon Dutes and Adrienne Pedersen will serve as emcees for the ceremony. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Wisconsin Lt. Gov Mandela Barnes and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele are also expected at the event.

Established in 1985 by the late Nathan Conyers, the late Luther Golden and the late Louvenia Johnson, the Black Excellence Awards recognizes unsung heroes and heroines in the community for their outstanding contributions and leadership. The program has honored more than 1,000 people since it began.

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Tickets are $70 and must be purchased in advance. More information is available by calling The Milwaukee Times at 414-263-5088.

The award winners will include:

“Profiles of Excellence: Milwaukee’s Urban Entrepreneurs”

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  • Able Access Transportation, Annette and Steven Tipton;
  • Black Inventors Gallery, Peggy Hardy and Rosia Reasby;
  • Coffee Makes You Black, Laurie and Bradley Thurman;
  • Creative by Design Inspired LLC, Lydia Brown Beasley and Julia Finkley;
  • Fred’s Ornamental Security Doors, Myra Holland;

    Lisa McKay, owner of Lisa Kaye Catering, is among the entrepreneurs who will be honored Friday.
  • Greenwood Park Gallery and Framing LLC, Billie Nash, Fred Robinson Sr. and Frederick Robinson Jr.;
  • Goody Gourmets, Jacqueline Chesser;
  • Lisa Kaye Catering LLC, Lisa McKay;
  • Marcie’s Florist, Marcie Lovett;
  • Monk’s Barber Salon, William Campbell;
  • Staple Brothers Paint and Hardware, Lester Staples;
  • Tastee Twist, Rodney Anderson;
  • Teutonia Dental, Dr. Trent Moore;
  • Trans-Professionals, Kurt and Michelle Mosley;
  • The Toy Dimension, Henry Smith Jr.;
  • Voluptuous Secrets, Theresa Gadzik;
  • The Zen Dragonfly LLC, Angela Smith.

“Saluting the Best in our Community”


  • Jody Alexander;
  • Michael Robinson and Woody;

Community Leadership

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  • Kevin Ingram, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction;
  • Keyon Jackson-Malone;

Corporate Trailblazers

  • Angela Adams, Goodwill Industries;
  • Sharon Jordan, Direct Supply;
  • Sean Lowe, Northwestern Mutual;
  • Lawrence Rabon, Froedtert Health;


  • Trina Gandy, Milwaukee Public Schools;
  • Herb Hayden, Adult Learning Center;
  • Marchelle Odom, Milwaukee Public Schools;
  • Jacqueline Walker, Marquette University;

Extraordinary Achievement

  • Helen Wallace;
  • Rev. Lovelace Redmond;


  • Dr. Nkem Iroegbu;
  • FACP, Aurora Health Care;
  • Lauren Hubbard, Milwaukee County Behavioral Health;


  • Olivia Bradford Jaskolski, von Briesen & Roper S.C.


  • Elise Grant Taylor, retired, Today’s TMJ4
  • Dwight Moss, WISN TV 12
  • Andrea Williams, WJMR 98.3 FM

Military/Public Service

  • Kim Robinson, retired Milwaukee Police officer


  • Arlene Newson-Lawrence, Antioch Baptist Church
  • Kevin Games, Providence Baptist Church


  • Rev. Volina Cross-Dukes;
  • Rev. Johnny C. White Jr.

Social Service

  • Mary Proctor Brown, Milwaukee County
  • Ellen Blathers, Serenity Inns Inc.


  • Alicia Smith McCants
  • Vivian Mays

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