(From Left-To-Right): Recycling Black Dollars 25th Annual Positive Side Awards Honorees: Paul C. Hudson, President/CEO, Ret. of Broadway Federal Bank, Tunua Thrash, Executive Director of West Los Angeles Community Development Corporation, Maxine Ransom Von Phul, President/CEO of Winmax Construction Corporation, Marva Smith Battle Bey, President of the Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation and Kenneth T. Lombard, senior member of Capri Capital Partners.
Photo by Brian W. Carter
The local community network recently presented honors to powerful Black women and men making a difference in the community.
On Thursday, November 14, Recycling Black Dollars (RBD) held their 25th Annual Positive Side Awards at the Post & Beam restaurant at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. This event was created to recognize and acknowledge the achievements of Black men and women making great strides through business, community outreach and leadership.
This year’s honorees included: Paul C. Hudson, President/CEO, Ret. of Broadway Federal Bank; Marva Smith Battle Bey, President of the Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC); Noel Massie, President of the UPS South California District; Maxine Ransom Von Phul, President/CEO of Winmax Construction Corporation; Kenneth T. Lombard, senior member of Capri Capital Partners and Tunua Thrash, Executive Director of West Los Angeles Community Development Corporation (CDC).
Co-executive directors, Jacque Bee and Crystal Mitchell, along with RBD’s “Dream Team,” continue late founder, Muhammad Ali Nassardeen’s vision of keeping Black business relevant, thriving and visible. The ceremony was hosted by Kitty Davis Walker, RBD Public Relations and Harold Hambrick, executive producer of the Black Business Expo Los Angeles.
“The awards were started in 1988 when Muhammad A. Nassardeen…founded Recycling Black Dollars,” said Bee. “It was his belief that we should honor folks in the community who are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
Hudson received the Leon Garr Lifetime Achievement Award; Bey received the Amina Nassardeen Community Service Award; Massie received the Muhammad Nassardeen President’s Award; von Phul received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award; Lombard received the Janice Bryant Howroyd Captain of Industry Award and Thrash received the Recycling Black Dollars Economic Development Award. Honorees also received acknowledgements from local and city officials as well as from Mayor Garcetti’s office.
“It’s an honor to be even considered, let alone, receive the award,” said Lombard. “I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for the organization that Muhammad built and now, Crystal and Jacque Bee are taking it to the next level.
“Obviously it’s a distinguished group that’s being honored tonight so all-in-all, I couldn’t be more pleased and honored to receive this award.”
“I am extremely excited and I’m very, very honored to be recognized by Recycling Black Dollars as a recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year,” said von Phul. “I’ve been a member of RBD for a very, very long time, it’s an organization I’m very proud of and I wish them much success also.”
“I’m so pleased to be honored by Recycling Black Dollars,” said Thrash. “It’s so important in the African American community that we continue to support one another and African American-owned businesses.
“Beyond that, I was just delighted to be among the other honorees that are here tonight. I see them as folks who have paved a great legacy for what it means to be great business, civic and community leaders in the African American community—and it is my intent to follow in their footsteps.”
“I think it’s a special honor,” said Bey, “especially from an organization that’s all about supporting businesses, business development and helping to enhance our community and that’s what [VSEDC does].
“Our mission and our goals mesh, they’re one in the same. It feels good; it feels good to be honored especially with the group of people being honored. I like the fact that they’re doing it at a local establishment…so I give them props on doing that.
“You want your work to be acknowledged—it lets you know that other people are watching what you do.”
Brad Johnson, restauranteur and owner of Post & Beam, opened the doors of his cozy and friendly restaurant to the RBD awards ceremony without hesitation. Tasty appetizers prepared by celebrity and head chef, Govind Armstrong set the tone for a classy and familiar affair. Guests were also entertained by the soulful crooning of jazz artist, Phyllis Battle as she sang for the honorees. Johnson shared his support of RBD and honor in supporting the event.
“Jacque Bee is a regular customer and a good friend, and I’ve attended most of her events for the last couple of years,” said Johnson. “It was a no-brainer for us, this is our community, this is a community-based organization—one of the best that’s been around for a long time.” Bee was happy with this year’s awards ceremony and continues to enjoy holding them at Black-owned businesses in the community.
“It was better than I could ever imagined and I’m so glad that we had it here in the community,” said Bee. “Last year, we had it at Dulan’s and this year, we had it here (Post & Beam).” RBD also had the pleasure of awarding the Ruby Stroman Scholarship Fund to a deserving organization during the evening’s festivities.
“We gave a scholarship to the [Women’s Council of Consolidated Realtist]… that aids youth from kindergarten to 8th grade,” said Bee.
For more information on Recycling Black Dollars, you can visit their website at www.rbdmedia.net or call (310) 673-7777. You can also find out more about Black businesses in their latest Black Business Resource Guide 2014.