RI Black Business Association Calling for Nominations for 2017 Awards Program

Monday, June 19, 2017
GoLocalProv Business Team

The Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA) is calling for nominations for its 2017 awards program. 

RIBBA will recognized outstanding business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders for their achievement s and contributions to the community. 

The awards will presented to the winners at the 6th annual Awards Gala set for Friday, October 6, 2017. 

Click here for the nomination form. 

The award category and criteria are as follows: 

 

1: George T. Downing Business Leadership Award

Selection Criteria: Presented to an influential business leader for developing an outstanding, growing business; innovative product(s), increasing jobs, increasing sales, overcoming adversity in the workplace and who plays a strong leadership role in the community by serving industry associations and community organizations.

2: The Allen Brothers Business Award

Selection Criteria: Presented to a business for developing an outstanding business with at least a three year track record, under 25 employees, under $2.5 million in sales.  

3: Isaac Rice Entrepreneurship Award

Selection Criteria: Presented to an individual who has no more than three years of organizing and/or managing a successful business.

4: Christiana Bannister Community Service Award

Selection Criteria: Presented to an individual in recognition of outstanding services to the community, society and humanity.

5: Corporation of the Year Award is presented annually to a company that demonstrates a strong commitment to corporate responsibility practices and whose leaders are actively engaged in supporting and expanding diversity and inclusion in procurement or lending and hiring.

  • Big Bankers

    Kevin Tracy and Oliver Bennett— There are deals and there are BIG DEALS. In Rhode Island, with all of the changing players and banking relationships, one reality is pretty much the same. If you have a big deal that needs sophisticated financing, the community banks may not be able to handle it.

    Bank of America may have abandoned the Superman Building, but they are still in Rhode Island and still doing big deals. Kevin Tracy, the former Brown golfer and Oliver Bennett — long ago Fleet Bank trainees — are now the guys you bring in for a $50 million deal.  The more things change - the more they stay the same.

     
  • Lookout

    John Hazen White, Jr. — White has taken Taco to new levels as he has made a series of strategic acquisitions to bolster the Rhode Island manufacturing company into a global firm.

    He continues to be a leader in American manufacturing investing in worker retention and employee training.

    Behind the scenes, White is a combination of an adviser and moral compass to many in Rhode Island. Despite taking a lower profile than his Lookout RI days, White is still a force pushing for ethics reform. 

     
  • Ambassador

    Joe Paolino — Once the young Mayor who took over in the 1980s when Buddy Cianci was forced to resign (the first time), now the leading corporate voice in Providence if not Rhode Island.

    While others complain at lunches at the Hope Club and University Club about the plight of the Capital City, Paolino has rolled up his sleeves and taken on issues like panhandling and homelessness.

    With a real estate empire that includes much of downtown, some of the top properties in Newport and Hasbro’s campus in Pawtucket to name a few, Paolino has close ties to Governor Gina Raimondo and even closer ties to the Clintons - could a federal appointment be in the works in 2017?

     
  • Dominant

    Steve Kirby — No one dominates commercial real estate in Rhode Island like Kirby does on Aquidneck Island. His red “Kirby Commercial” signs are literally everywhere across the island and in Newport proper -- they are more frequent than street signs.

    Want to open a clothing store in Newport? Go see Steve Kirby. Looking to launch a startup tech firm? Call Kirby. Developed cool technology and want to start producing for the Navy? Email Kirby.

    Kirby maybe the most influential in business on Aquidniick Island. (PS He will tell you which bankers to talk to).

     
  • Labor Boss

    George Nee — President of the AFL-CIO, Nee is one of the most influential players in business in Rhode Island. 

    He is Vice Chair of the Convention Center Authority Board, on the Commerce Corp board, the most influential voice for labor at the State House, and involved one way or another in just about every negotiation on constructing public buildings or issuing a tax stabilization agreement in Providence.

    For the most part his public persona has been more muted recently, but that has not impacted his private influence. If it happens in Rhode Island, Nee has probably touched it.

     
  • Monopoly

    Sally Lapides — If Teddy Roosevelt were alive today and saw the number of Residential Properties’ real estate signs on the East Side he would call it a monopoly and want to break up the company. Lapides not only dominates one of the most affluent sections of Rhode Island, but she also delves into the arts, education and politics.

    When you sell the wealthiest and most influential their homes, you make a lot of friends.

    Lapides is a force in residential real estate and it will be interesting to see what she does next.

     
  • Transformative

    Helena Foulkes — Two of the biggest decisions CVS ever made were the brain children of Foulkes. The Extracare card and the removal of tobacco from its stores were both influenced by Foulkes.

    She has emerged as a national power in business and makes all the business lists for top women, but make no mistake - she is wildly influential in Rhode Island. 

    She is close to Raimondo and she may decide to jump into political waters in the future - or may decide if she can snag the CEO spot at CVS.

     
  • Visionary or Free Rider

    Buff Chace — One of downtown Providence's biggest real estate magnates is a lightning rod in the Capital City. Widely considered to be one of the prime catalysts of Downcity's resurgence, Chace's accumulation of properties on Westminster Street is straight out of a Monopoly playbook. 

    His recent acquisition of the ProJo building has further solidified his dominance, which has not been without intense scrutiny, given his ability to continually secure -- and extend -- tax stabilization agreements at a time when the city's dire financial straits are close to reaching a head. 

    Wealthy, influential, and active in the community, Chace has chaired  the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Providence Foundation, and is a director emeritus for GrowSmart RI and a trustee emeritus of Trinity Repertory Theatre.

     

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