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HOUSTON, TX — The Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce (HCCC) announced its finalists for the 18th Annual Pinnacle, Advocate and Upstart Awards at its VIP Nominee Reception on Thursday, August 30th, 2012 at Column A, 1512 Austin Street, Houston, TX 77002.

The audience of close to 200 received remarks from HCCC Chairman, William Traylor, (position) with AT&T. Cary Yates, (position) Wells Fargo and co-founder of the Pinnacle Awards 18 years ago reflected on the need to not only recognize up and coming businesses but encourage and support their continued success. Annette Cluff, Superintendent of The Varnett Public Schools and one of the Honorary Chairs encouraged collaboration and mentoring of and between small businesses.

Vernita Harris addressed the well-attended VIP Reception as the Gala Chair of the Pinnacle Awards. Ms. Harris noted that the event will “return to its roots at the renovated Power Center. The Chamber was going to walk the walk in supporting African American Business. It just makes sense to spend our money in places that have historically supported us. When we look at what we’ve been spending at hotels throughout the city, it’s only right to take that money back to our original location.”

About the 18th Pinnacle Awards Gala

The winners will be awarded during the 18th Annual Pinnacle Awards Black Tie Gala on Friday, October 12, 2012, 7:00 pm at the Power Center featuring keynote speaker, William F. Pickard, PhD, CEO at Global Automotive Alliance. United Airlines is the official airline sponsor of the 2012 Pinnacle Awards. More information about the Pinnacle Awards can be found at

The Mack H. Hannah, Jr. Upstart Business Award, named after the businessman and educator, recognizes a burgeoning business on the path to entrepreneurial greatness.

The award package includes, but is not limited to:

The Mack H. Hannah, Jr. Upstart Business Award Title
$2,500 Cash Equity Injection
Corporate Branding Package
Business Advisory Consultation
Business Profile in Chamber Newsletter

About the Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce

Since 1935, the Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce has served as an advocate for African American business owners and professionals in the greater Houston metropolitan area. The organization’s mission and vision has flourished, reflecting the needs and growth of its members. HCCC has provided value to members, area businesses and the community and has remained committed to assisting African-American businesses succeed within the local community. For additional information visit or contact the HCCC President, Eric Lyons at 832.350.4222.


2012 Upstart Business Award Finalists

Active Faith Sports
The vision for Active Faith Sports is to become the premiere Christian sports apparel brand and to use the platform and visibility that athletics gives to bring glory to God’s name. “We provide fashionable and functional sportswear for the active athlete as well as any person wanting to wear and share their faith. Whether a serious athlete training and playing in competitive games, someone who enjoys fitness, or simply someone who loves to represent Christ in everything you do, Active Faith is for you. We hope to inspire everyone to be ACTIVE in their FAITH regardless of what they do.”

Will Cooper Agency

Will Cooper, MBA is insurance licensed in the state of Texas with Allstate Insurance Co. His belief is that as a small business owner, “I understand the importance of building a solid foundation for the future and developing long-lasting customer relationships. That’s why I’m committed to offering you the same level of service I’d expect from my own business dealings. When you leave my office, I hope you’ll feel confident, informed, assured and satisfied in your choices.”

SecCon Services

SecCon Services is an IT professional services and staffing company. Combining a proven track record of superior performance, a quality-focused approach to service delivery and a network of high-caliber technical professionals, SecCon Services helps our clients successfully architect, implement and sustain their critical Risk Management, Compliance and Governance initiatives

Smtihwood Medical Institute, LLC

Smithwood Medical Institute, LLC’s instruction is led by highly trained and qualified nursing professionals who are Registered Nurses. Our instructors have worked in acute care hospitals and long-term care nursing home settings. Smithwood Medical Institute, LLC’s highly qualified nurse instructors have more than 28 years of nursing experience and educating others to be successful within the career of nursing. Our lead instructor is also a former Nurse Examiner for the State of Texas Naces Plus Foundation and has successfully taught all phases of the nurse aide program, pharmacy technician courses, secondary medical anatomy, physiology courses, geriatric care of the aging course, and certified nurse aide course in the public school system: health science technology, health science technology II, and health science technology III –occupation specific.

About The Pinnacle Awards

“The Pinnacle Awards recognizes and honors African-American business leaders in the Houston area who have met the many challenges facing businesses and found a way to positively impact the communities and industries they serve,” Eric Lyons, HCCC President said. “These leaders are professional, capable, and are committed to maintaining a high quality business while building strong communities.”

18th Pinnacle Awards Finalists

Beacon Home Health

Beacon Home Health Agency LLC., is a privately owned and operated home care group born in Houston, Texas in 2003 with a vision to help others live a safe home life with comfort, independence, and dignity. Beacon understands it is an honor and a privilege to be invited into a client’s home and caregivers share in the commitment to provide home care services with compassion, excellence, and reliability— Beacon ‘s core values.

DigiStor dba Smahrt Solutions

Smahrt Solution’s mission is to transform HR to increase profitability by maximizing human potential and implementing modern technology solutions that will eliminate unnecessary overhead costs and improve performance.

Dr. Heather Brown

As an Invisalign Premier Preferred Provider, “We are committed to maintaining the highest standards in orthodontic care and providing the best possible service to our patients. Our practice boasts state-of-the-art equipment and a caring, professional staff in a friendly, inviting environment.”

Elite Change

ELITE Change is an all encompassing consulting company that is dedicated to making a radically different influence on today’s political and business settings by empowering companies to be leaders in their respective industries. We pride ourselves in enhancing a client’s company through Business Development, Public Affairs, and Strategic Communications.

Lamik Beauty

Lamik Beauty is the first eco-chic makeup brand, including facialcare and eyelashes. Lamik gives makeup a new purpose, women a new zeal for applying it, and a healthy platform for its existence. Every woman is empowered by being included; all races and ages.

RPH Consultants

Focused on Master Planning, Renovation and New Construction as a group, RPH Consulting Group guides clients through every phase of a project in order to provide an innovative and affordable solution to construction needs. This includes Design consultation & development, Schematic design, Construction development, Interior Design, Construction drawings, and Branding.

The Bulsard Group, LLC

The Bulsard Group, LLC consistently anticipates industry demands by providing a holistic approach to harnessing the power of change and delivering value. Customers expect the same high-quality, low cost, and quickly delivered products and solutions despite the global changes in the market. This holistic approach which ensures success is accomplished by partnering with you to improve the value of your organization to your company and the value of your company to the customer.

The Power Center Pharmacy

For 16 years, The Power Center Pharmacy is a retail Pharmacy providing Prescription services, counseling and dedicated customer service. Their mission is ““Bridging the Gap between Good Customer Service and Great Customer Satisfaction”.

TLC Engineering

TLC Engineering, Inc. (TLC) is a full service organization providing consulting, engineering, construction, technical recruiting & business administrative staffing services ensuring cost effective solutions to the petrochemical, energy-utility, construction, and business industry. TLC consistently provides targeted solutions for our customers most complex engineering challenges. An interdisciplinary approach at the construction site binds together design and environmental knowledge with construction expertise to bring a project to completion. If your needs require civil, structural, mechanical, electrical or construction expertise, we do it all!

Tyrone’s Special Events

Tyrone’s Special Events (TSE) is Houston’s premiere catering and event planning business offering professional and personalized catering service for private, corporate and special events. We coordinate your event from start to finish, if that is your need. We provide impeccably delicious food with a superb, yet classic elegant presentation. We also provide travel arrangement coordination and venue selection assistance.

For photos, interviews, or requests for additional information of the finalists, please contact or call 832-978-3114.


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