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HOUSTON, TX — The Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce (HCCC) announced the recipients of the 18th Annual African American Business Achievement Pinnacle Awards Friday, October 12, 2012 at The Power Center in Houston, Texas. The event, attended by close to 650, was held there to highlight the renovated facility and to model and encourage patronizing community businesses.

The Chairman’s Reception, sponsored by Republic Beverages featured comments by William Pickard, PhD, CEO Global Automotive Alliance and Keynote Speaker and Chamber Chair William Traylor, of AT&T. Mayor Annise Parker and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee were in attendance along with Congressman Al Green, State Representatives Sylvester Turner and Ron Reynolds, Council Member Larry Green, to name a few. Carlecia Wright from the City of Houston Office of Business Opportunities was also at the event.

Honorary Co-Chairs and Gala Co-Chairs

Jason Few, Executive VP, Energy VP and President of Reliant and Dr. Annette Cluff, Superintendent of the Varnett Public Schools. Event co-chairs Sherman Lewis III, of The Lewis Group and Ms. Vernita Harris of Impact Strategies Consultants.

Event Master of Ceremonies

Larry Jones of Radio One served as the emcee for the evening

The Mack H. Hannah, Jr. Upstart Business Award

This award was named after the businessman and educator, recognizes a rising business on the path to entrepreneurial greatness. Presented by Carla Lane, President & CEO of LaneStaffing, a Chamber Hall of Fame recipient and this year’s co-sponsor of the award. Lane, a former recipient of the Upstart and Pinnacle Awards presented the award to Active Faith Sports represented by Lanny Smith and Kirbi Thomas

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. In their acceptance speech, Thomas noted how she felt led to return to Houston from a comfortable career teaching to help long-time friend Lanny Smith with his vision. In a short few years, their line is worn by several NBA notables such as Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets and with the exposure has become a global line in the last year. “We hope to inspire everyone to be ACTIVE in their FAITH regardless of what they do.”

Pinnacle Award Recipients Named

Eric Lyons, Chamber CEO presented the Pinnacle Award Recipients stating, “This was another outstanding group of black businesses that have nominated for the Pinnacle Awards”. The 2012 Class of Recipients includes:

Dr. Heather Brown Orthodontics

“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”, says Dr. Brown.

LAMIK Beauty
Kim Roxie says, “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.” Sporting evening wear designed by her 15-year old mentee, Kim talked about her excitement to be the youngest African American to carry a line at Macy’s and has been successful with several locations, most notably in the River Oaks area of Houston and throughout the United States.

RPH Consulting Group

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.

TLC Engineering, Inc.

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. According to Tony Council, “if your needs require civil, structural, mechanical, electrical or construction expertise, we do it all”!

The Bulsard Group

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” says LaToya Wall of the Bulsard Group.

The Endurance Award is given as way to recognize businesses who have reached a milestone of successfully being in business for 25 or more years. In this, the third year of presenting the award, Dr. Annette M. Cluff presented the recognition to McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy, Chamber Hall of Fame recipient. All of the partners were in attendance to accept the award; Wayne McConnell, Thomas Jones, Odysseus Lanier, and Sharon Murphy.

The Excellence Award is given in recognition of outstanding business performance and community involvement. Chamber Advisory Board Member, Thomas Jones presented the award to the late John S. Chase for his pioneering spirit as an entrepreneur and legacy as an architect in Texas. Tony Chase, Chair of the Greater Houston Partnership and son of the late businessman accepted the award on his behalf with Mrs. Chase.

The Advocate Award was created to honor an organization that has been a true champion for African-American small businesses in the Greater Houston Metropolitan area. These organizations are diligently working to ensure the stability and growth of small businesses through its diversity supplier programs, community outreach and education. Vanessa Reed, CRA Manager, Comerica Bank and 2011 Advocate Award recipient, presented the current year award to The Port of Houston Authority.

Keynote Speaker

William F. Pickard, PhD is Chairman and CEO, Global Automotive Alliance, a group of six manufacturing entities with eight facilities in the United States and Canada. He 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. Pickard established Alliance in 1999 and by 2004 employed more than 1,200 people and generated more than $200 million in sales by leveraging joint ventures with larger companies. Dr. Pickard spoke about the Seven Steps of Entrepreneurship to the captivated crowd with his wit and wisdom that the “Business of America is Business”.

The event ended with a dessert reception hosted by Simply Sweets and entertainment provided by “Klockwork”.

About the 18th Pinnacle Awards Gala

The Pinnacle Awards are a staple in the Houston African American Business Community because they recognize those who are making positive contributions to the local and global community. In addition, the Pinnacle Awards expose the community at large to minority-owned businesses and increase awareness of these businesses and entrepreneurs.

About the Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce

As the nation’s second oldest African American Chamber founded in 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.

More information about the Pinnacle Awards or The Houston Citizen’s Chamber of Commerce can be found at or by calling 832-350-4222.
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