ABOVE: Ruth Simmons, President, Prairie View A&M University, Legends Award Recipient
This past Saturday, October 23rd, the Greater Houston Black Chamber (GHBC) held its 27th Annual Pinnacle Awards event, where they celebrated several of the best and burgeoning Black-owned businesses in the Greater Houston area. The annual ceremony was broadcast on the GHBC’s social media platforms and on Quest Texas Channel 55.
The GHBC Pinnacle Award recognizes leading African American entrepreneurs for their success in business and their positive impact on the communities and industries they serve.
The theme of this year’s awards virtual ceremony was Excellence Has Arrived: Black Businesses Take the Lead and many of Houston’s civic, business and community leaders were a part of the ceremony.
The virtual production opened with a stellar performance by popular Houston-based artist, Se7en the Poet. From there, the event included well wishes from political leaders including U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, U.S. Congressman Al Green Mayor, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Missouri City Mayor Robin Elackatt, were amongst those who made remarks. Songstress Mary Griffin gave a rousing rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Rock Steady,” and CBS Sports anchor James Brown and Nate Burleson of CBS Mornings both made cameo appearances during the awards pre-show online.
Dale Lockett of KHOU and Jemila Winsey of Re/Max Legacy Living and Re/Max 1st Class served as co-chairs of the event, and Gerald Smith of Smith Graham and the Astros Organization were the honorary co-chairs.
Each year, five Pinnacle Awards, one Upstart Award and one Rising Star are handed out by the GHBC to some of the most successful small businesses.
The Pinnacle Awards and Upstart Award Finalists for 2021 were:
Pinnacle Award finalists: Camellia Alise, Carey Business Solutions, Park Street Homes, Fresh Tech Solutionz, Optimize Health, Sisters & Moore, Coach Cam, Deanna Michel, Rowe Docs, and The Sports & Wellness Doc.
Upstart Award: Grand Park Square, Bayou City Foot & Ankle, Pinch-Dash-Done, Busy Bee Mobile Health Clinic, and NCMPRBL Watches.
The winners of the various awards for 2021 are:
Upstart Award: Grand Park Square
Rising Star Award: Coach Cam
Pinnacle Award: Camellia Alise
Pinnacle Award: Carey Business Solutions
Pinnacle Award: Park Street Homes
Pinnacle Award: Fresh Tech Solutionz
Pinnacle Award: Sisters & Moore
In addition to these prestigious honors, the GHBC also honored several other businesses and individuals with community awards including:
Legends Award: Dr. Ruth J. Simmons, President, Prairie View A&M University
Excellence Award: Helen Stagg, President & CEO, Change Happens, Inc.
Larry V. Green Advocate of the Year Award: Jerome Love, President & CEO, Texas Black Expo
Mickey Leland Public Leadership Award: Teneshia Hudspeth, Harris County Clerk
Endurance Award: KTSU-FM
Youth Entrepreneur Award: Lauren Ashley Alexander, 2BooG Beauty
Major sponsors of the annual event included Microsoft and St. Luke’s Hospital (Gold); Shell, JWTC, BHP and Castlerock Resources LLC (Silver); Port Houston, CenterPoint Energy, BP, and The Astros Foundation (Bronze).
Founded in 1935 as the city’s first African American civic organization, the GHBC has evolved into an active participant in the city of Houston’s socioeconomic process. GHBC is a member-driven organization that serves the Greater Houston area and helps its partners and members navigate Houston’s large, diverse population, industries, and the many nuances, which are unique to the city. They also help equip businesses to survive and thrive through advocacy, trainings, and networking.