By: Sheba Roy
he 33rd Annual Banquet Gala at the Acres Home Chamber for Business and Economic Development was a remarkable affair. The event took place on October 27th 2023 at the Acres Home Chamber event center located at 6112 Wheatley St. Guests from across the city attended the occasion sponsored in part by HEB, The City of Houston, and Aldine ISD. Notable attendees included Mayor Sylvester Turner, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and Congressman Al Green, Congressional candidate Amanda Edwards, three candidates for Texas State Senate District 15, Molly Cook, Karthik Soora, and State Representative Jarvis Johnson among others.
he scholarship fundraiser was hosted by Master of Ceremonies Donnie Lewis, the “Louisiana County Boy”, and included a dinner curated and served by Celebrity Chef Willie Holmes and his staff, while saxophonist Cleo Fox played along with popular tunes prior to the beginning of the awards ceremony. For the last two years the Acres Home Chamber of Commerce for Business and Economic Development has partnered with Lone Star College Houston North Victory campus to provide a scholarship to one of their students in their Workforce Program. This year the scholarship award was presented by Dr. Quentin Wright to Felecia Mayon.
She shared that her academic journey and life experience have led her to pursue a degree and a career in substance abuse counseling. With the receipt of this scholarship she will be able to attend classes at no cost to her for the upcoming semester. Chamber CEO and Board Chairman Warren F. Muhammad said “It’s important to stimulate educational and training opportunities in the trade sector in order to increase employment and avenues for entrepreneurial development.”
Mayor Sylvester Turner and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee were able to take a photo with the scholarship winner as well as the three other award recipients, City of Houston Director of Community Relations Janice Weaver with Special Recognition, Entrepreneur Award recipient She Happy Hair co-founder Marcus Bowers, and founder of the Acres Home Advocacy Group Ebony Rain Eatmon Community Service Award.
Claude Cummings, Jr. was the keynote speaker for the annual event. The Houston native has spent his career in the field of communications, working for fair conditions and unionization and was recently named the International President of Communications Workers of America, or CWA which is the largest communications and media labor union in the United States. In his address Cummings, Jr. made it a point to highlight the importance of voting and how a community effort to speak out about the need to vote can change the outcome of an election. Claude shared a story about Mayor Turner winning his first election after Cummings, Jr. and a group of campaign volunteers went out to canvas on his behalf in predominately African American neighborhoods.
Another key component of his speech was that self accountability and responsibility can also effect great change. His message tied into the theme of this year’s banquet which was the Business of Building a Sustainable Community. The overall mission and purpose of the Acres Home Chamber for Business and Economic Development is to build a sustainable community. The organization hopes to bring the spirit of Black enterprise back to a community that was founded by that ethic. Events like the annual banquet gala, networking luncheons, and the newly introduced evening business networking mixer help to remind community members what it means to have economic power as a people.
“Knowledge is a force and power, the bearer of which enables the possessor to overcome barriers and obstacles”. Warren F. Muhammad shared this, “The chamber has been striving to provide the community with the relevant and necessary knowledge to enable them to empower themselves in their business efforts.” With its upcoming partnership with Houston Community College to provide business owners with a disaster preparedness plan, additional programs focusing on small business support, and its collaboration with the City of Houston OBO to provide business development programming, the Acres Home Chamber is committed to helping individuals and organizations grow and strengthen their networks through community development.
All in all, it was a great evening and launch point towards the next year in the life of the Acres Home Chamber For Business and Economic Development, Inc. Look for us at www. acreshomechamber.com and join the chamber. Written by Sheba Roy, owner of CreativeAFMUZE Brand Management a full service marketing and public relations firm in Houston, TX. To learn more about Sheba and her services please visit www.mscreativeafmuze. com
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