KINGSTON, N.Y. — The Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce has named the recipients of its inaugural Black Business Achievement Awards. They will be honored at Community Connect, scheduled for Wednesday, June 15, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at Ulster Savings Bank’s corporate headquarters at 180 Schwenk Drive.
The Past Business Award will be bestowed posthumously on Everett Hodge (past), Tia Ashe, of Love Hair (present), and future Kamir Hylton-Jackson (Benny’s Tropical Ice).
This year’s Community Awards will go to NAACP Highland, Kingston, Ellenville (Past), Tay Fisher Fundamental Basketball Camp (Present), and future (Kingston YMCA Farm Project).
The Black Business Leadership Award will go to Martin and Tamika Dunkley (Seasoned Gives) while the Black Business Excellence Award will go to Kevin Bryant, a New York State Supreme Court justice.
The awards portion of the program starts at 5 p.m., with a Community Connect to follow from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Community Connect will feature food vendors and caterers, a spoken word presentation, the Team Energy Dance Co. performing dance and drumming, and a community gospel choir from local churches.
MyKingstonKids will offer interactive activities and attendees will be able to meet SUNY Ulster’s Chief Diversity Officer Candice Van Dyke and Mark Rumnit of SUNY New Paltz.
Ashley Knox, who will emcee the event, is the founder and director of the educational consulting firm Go Beyond Greatness, Inc. She said serving on the event’s planning committee proved to be an eye-opener for her.
“One of the things being on the committee that stood out for me was becoming aware of the number of Black businesses that are here in Ulster County,” Knox said in a press release. “I was born and raised in Ulster County, and I was not familiar with the majority of the roster of Black-owned businesses.”
The event is free. For more information or to register, call (845) 338-5100 or visit ulsterchamber.org.
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