On Friday, Oct. 12, The Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce held its 18th Annual Pinnacle Awards Dinner to recognize local entrepreneurs in a lavish ceremony. The awards included the Mack H. Hannah Jr. Upstart Business Award presented by Carla Lane, President and CEO of Lane Staffing. Lane presented awards to Lanny Smith and Kirbi Thomas of Active Faith Sports, a premiere Christian sports apparel brand. The presentation was followed with another illustrious award, this time presented by Dr. Annette Cluff of the Varnett Public Schools, honorary co-chair of the Pinnacle Gala. Cluff gave awards to Wayne McConnell, Thomas Jones, Odysseus Lanier, and Sharon Murphy of McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy, LLC.,consulting and accounting firm with the Endurance Award for over twenty-five years in business. Other awards included the Excellence Award, presented to the late John S. Chase for his architectural legacy throughout the state of Texas and the Advocate Award given to the Port of Houston Authority by Vanessa Reed, CRA Manager for Comerica Bank.
Larry Jones of Radio One served as the emcee for the evening introducing keynote speaker, Chairman and CEO, Global Automotive Alliance; William F. Pickard, PhD. Pickard is recognized by the automotive industry for masterminding the first minority-owned group of tier-one and tier-two plastic parts suppliers to service the top three U.S. automakers. “I have narrowed it down to three things that people need to succeed in Business. The Finders, The Minders and the Grinders. The Finders are the deal makers! Their job is to find the investors and the sponsors to cut the deals. Now the Minders are the MBA’S, The CPA’S and the Lawyers, they mind the business every day. The grinders are the worker bees! They file the papers and schedule the meetings and order the supplies but all three are needed for any business if one chooses to be successful” said Pickard as he addressed the six-hundred attendees on the Seven Steps of Entrepreneurship.
Houston Citizens Chamber CEO, Eric Lyons ended the program by taking the stage to announce the much anticipated Pinnacle Award Winners for 2012. “This was another outstanding group of black businesses that have been nominated for the Pinnacle Awards” said Lyons. The 2012 Recipients includes; Dr. Heather Brown Orthodotics, Kim Roxie of Lamik Beauty, RPH Consulting Group, TLC Engineering Inc. and the Bulsard Group LLC. The Gala also featured a silent auction and live entertainment by the Klockwork Band.