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Atlanta Business League honors Hall of Fame inductees at 83rd annual meeting

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Photo credit: Steed Media

The Atlanta Business League’s 83rd annual meeting was held at the Delta Flight Museum. The Atlanta Business League was established in 1933 as an affiliate of the National Business League, founded by Dr. Booker T. Washington. It is Atlanta’s oldest minority business development and advocacy organization. It was designed with comprehensive programs of self-help and self-sufficiency to encourage civic pride and community re-investment. The current president and CEO of the Atlanta Business League, Leona Barr-Davenport has been in her position for 19 years and continues to grow the Atlanta Business League.

The Atlanta Business League’s 83rd Hall of Fame members are Nena Gilreath and Waverly T. Lucas II, founders of Ballethnic Dance Company in 1990, presented by Daryll Griffin, president, Accolades Inc.

Second, Winifred Watts Hemphill, president of South-View Cemetery in 2004. This position was passed down by her uncle; he expanded the cemetery from 25 to 100 acres. It was presented by Lonnie Saboor, senior director, Small Business Development Invest Atlanta.

Last, Mack Wilbourn, founder of Mack II Inc. established in 1971. He is the owner of several franchises at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport: Popeye’s, Atlanta Bread and Bar, Baja Fresh Mexican, Famiglia Pizza and Phillip’s Seafood. It was presented by William Taggart, chair-elect Atlanta Business League, executive-in-residence and COO Morehouse College.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Dr. Julian Earls, former NASA scientist, founder and president/CEO of Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio, an organization devoted to educating students in entrepreneurialism and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). He holds eleven university degrees and is the author of 31 publications. He is an inductee in the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame, which included Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Earls has completed 27 marathons, including the Boston Marathon. He speaks very highly of his wife Zenobia ,who is a retired Cleveland Public School teacher.

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