2017 Honorees

October 25, 2017

Recognizing Minority Businesses & Advocates

2017 OhioMBE Awards Nominees:

Art & Linn Chuck – Xtra Pro Print & Graphics (Beavercreek); Sandra Madison – Robert P. Madison International (Cleveland); Rosetta Brown – RH Brown & Company (Gahanna); Yana Schottenstein – Access 2 Interpreters LLC (Columbus); Alfred Miller – Taylor Oswalt LLC (Cleveland); Maureen Patterson – Solus Lighting (Cleveland); Dominique & Brian Brooks – E.E. Ward Moving and Storage (Grove City); Sheri Chaney Jones – Measurement Resources Company (Columbus); Maryori Miranda-Rios – Tony Rios Enterprises (Toledo); Sumithra Jagannath – ZED Digital (Columbus); Kauser Kabealo – Development Consultants Inc. (Marysville); Gerald Whitehead – ASAP Mow and Snow (Toledo); Neeraj Kulshrestha – Flairsoft Ltd (Columbus); Theresa Harris – TMH Solutions (Columbus); Vernon Gibson –  Dove Building Services (Columbus); Laron Perry – Got2go (Columbus); Mark Hall – Kram & Associates (Columbus); Sean and Shawntay Fields – Scanvenger (Columbus); Sheryl Marrero – Vets M-Tec (Columbus); Shellee Fisher – Shellee Fisher Photography (Columbus); Curtis Jewell – EXCEL (Columbus); Nancy Tidwell – NTR & Associates (Columbus); Denise Ransom – Elite National Building Services (Columbus); Lamont Houston – JP Salsa (Columbus)

2017 Top MBEs:

Top MBE: LaMont Houston

LaMont Houston has been an entrepreneur since leaving college nearly 20 years ago. LaMont has a diverse set of endeavors to include;  Product Marketing/Sales , Production, Image development, Employee/Client development, business sustainability and Personale management.

LaMont decided to create J.P’s Chip-n-Dip Salsa while working with a Natural Pathologist Doctor and Herbalist knowing the health/wellness Initiative being started in people becoming healthy by eating and exercising. I saw infinite opportunity to take my knowledge of natural health learning, experience, and passion for eating healthier and wanted to create a healthy food product.  While being introduce to salsa while visiting Texas, I thought of creating a food product that people could eat anywhere and on the go but was healthy and came up with creating a salsa.  So with the successful teaching and direction of Natural Pathologist Doctor/Herbalist the formulation of J.P.’s Chip-n-Dip Salsa was created.

Top MBE: Gerald Whitehead

ASAP Mow & Snow, LLC is a professional lawn care and snow & ice management business providing services for commercial and residential customers.  ASAP Mow & Snow, LLC. Is a participating 100% owned MBE/EDGE, company.  Darlene Whitehead has been Owner since its existence and her husband, Gerald, has been the Operations Manager.  Together, they have made ASAP Mow & Snow, LLC one of the leaders of their industries in their community.

ASAP’s mission is to provide the customer with professional care.  We exist to attract and maintain customers.  When we adhere to this maxim, everything else will fall into place.  Our services will exceed the expectations of our customers.

ASAP Mow & Snow, LLC’s growth has been rapid. In 2014, gross sales were $25,000, in 2015 (after becoming MBE/EDGE certified, gross sales for the year was $200,000, 2016, gross sales reached to $300,000.

Some of our major clients are The University of Toledo (snow & grass), The University of Toledo Foundation (snow), Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority (grass/snow), Lucas County Land Bank (grass).

ASAP Mow & Snow, LLC is dedicated to its community.  ASAP is a participating member of the Minority Business Assistance Center (Toledo).

As of now, ASAP Mow & Snow, LLC is based and operated out of Northwest Ohio.  We expect to be statewide in the next three years and hopefully nationwide in the years to come.

Top MBE:  Art and Lynn Chuck

In 1997, Art and Lynn Chuck started Xtraprint Printing Services in the garage of their Dayton residence. Through hard work and a dedication to exceptional customer service, the business grew. They were able to move into a building they purchased in 2001 in Dayton. Dayton has a long history of reputable printers as McCalls magazine and Meade paper have been among the stable companies in the area.

Today, Xtraprint is a full service off-set printer, utilizing Heidelberg, Kormon and Harris Press printer. The projects range from small brochures to 26×40-inch posters.

Xtraprint has been state-certified MBE vendor since the business began focusing especially on local and state government projects in addition to some private-sector work. Art and Lynn also have several full- and part-time employees and maintain relationships with employees ready to work in an on-call status for especially busy times.

Both Art and Lynn are retired from the U.S. Air Force. He began his military career after college working as an aircraft mechanic and in electronic warfare before retiring as a major in 1997. Lynn’s service included working in accounting and finance for the Air Force. They met and married while in the service and both retired while stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

Top FBEs:

Top FBE:  Sandra Madison, AIA

Sandra Madison was born in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from Northwestern High School in the 11th grade with honors and was accepted on scholarship at the University of Maryland College Park.  During the summer after high school graduation, she was accepted at Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s Career Discovery Program for Urban Design.  This program crystalized her decision to apply to the School of Architecture within the University of Maryland, College Park.  In her senior year, Sandra was invited to speak as Valedictorian to her graduating class and was the only African American Architecture graduate in her class.

After 10 years of working in Architectural Firms in Baltimore, Sandra moved to Cleveland to worked with  Robert P. Madison International, Inc.  (RPMI) where she worked for 26 years before becoming majority Owner with title CEO, Chairperson. Today, RPMI is the largest black female owned architecture firm in the State of Ohio.  It should be noted that only 2% of all licensed architects are black and only 18% of all licensed architects are female.

Her professional affiliations include the American Institute of Architects where she serves on the Women In Architecture Committee and the AIA Outreach Council, the Shaker Heights Architectural Review Board where she has served for over 12 years and is currently Chairperson and has served on the Mount Pleasant Design Review Advisory Board in Cleveland and the Friends of Shaker School Foundation.

Sandra is married to Architect and firm President, R. Kevin Madison, AIA and they have a son, Kevin Jr, and a daughter, Maya.

Top FBE:  Kauser Kabealo

Kauser Kabealo is an entrepreneur, a strong proponent of women in STEM, and the founder of Development Consultants Incorporated (DCI) an Information Technology company providing agile high performance software, cloud, security, and process engineering to public and private sector customers. Incorporated in 2001, DCI has successfully served as a prime contractor to The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force, and The Ohio Army National Guard. DCI concluded a three-year prime contract with ICE in 2016 to provide cloud migration engineering services to the DHS Study in the States Program, the first Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud migration performed at ICE.

In the private sector, DCI provides cloud and professional services to notable brands including Wendy’s International, PNC Bank, Honda of America Manufacturing, L Brands, Intersections Inc. (Identity Guard), and Jarden Corporation.

DCI was recently awarded GSA 8(a) STARS II GWAC and GSA Schedule 70 contract for IT professional services and cloud computing services. DCI is a woman-owned minority small business, ISO 9001:2015 certified, and an authorized AWS government and private sector consulting partner and authorized channel reseller.

Top Family Business:

Top Family Business:  McClain Creations

McClain Creations is a bakery and coffee shop located in Newark.  Heather and Darryl McClain are the owners.  Family is a staple to this small business.  It is very evident when visiting the Cherry Valley Road shop, pictures of the McClain family tree are prominently displayed.

After seven years of running their licensed home bakery, they decided to open a storefront. They remodeled an empty coffee shop and opened McClain Creations Custom Cake and Coffee.

They have several corporate clients, including Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Trout Club and Licking Memorial Health Systems.

They still make cakes for birthdays, weddings and special occasions by request.  The request calendar is typically full.

They have expanded their service offerings and now sell cookies, cupcakes, cannoli, muffins and miniature cheesecakes. One of the most popular items is their giant cinnamon rolls. The cinnamon rolls typically sell out daily.

Top Advocates:

Top Advocate:  Andrea Quinichett

Andrea Quinichett began her career with the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority as an entry-level Occupancy Technician in 2006.  Since then, she was promoted through the ranks in the property management department, ultimately being selected for the position of property manager.  In 2015, Andrea was selected for promotion to her current position of Procurement Manager.

During her tenure with CMHA, Andrea managed her schedule as a single parent, full-time employee, full-time student and faced many challenges as she remained focused on her education and employment goals.  While continuing to work full time, Andrea earned her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Business Administration degrees from Ohio Dominican University.   In her position as Procurement Manager Andrea procures materials and products and obtains services for the Agency.

She focuses on engaging community outreach activities and assists with developing programs which focus on economic development, expanding opportunities for MBE firms, and increasing individual self-sufficiency directly related to the Section 3 program.  Andrea views it as her responsibility to help build bridges of opportunity by facilitating partnerships and other business opportunities for Minority Business firms.

In her spare time Andrea enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies, traveling and building great memories with friends and loved ones.

Top Advocate:  Jessica May

Jessica May was born to help. At the age of nine, she coordinated a food and clothing drive for a classmate who had lost his home in a fire.  She took that passion with her to college, graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2006 with a BA in English, Sociology, and Anthropology. Not surprisingly, her passion launched her into a career in the nonprofit sector. She began her path of service spending a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA in 2006-2007, working on hunger relief and public benefits enrollment access at Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio in Lorain. She moved to Columbus in 2007 and continued in hunger relief for eight years, then adult education, and now supports women entrepreneurs on their path to small business ownership at the Women’s Business Center of Ohio.

A fierce supporter of women and women’s issues, Jessica dedicates every day to empower those who think they can’t, to push forward those who know they can, and to speak for those who, for whatever reason, fall silent. Whether it is on the clock at the WBC, or off the clock fighting for gender and social justice, Jessica hopes to be a real force to be reckoned with.

Supplier Diversity

Supplier Diversity:  Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

For over 20 years, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has been taking steps to foster an inclusive procurement process that provides the maximum opportunity for small and diverse businesses to participate as partners and suppliers of goods and services.  By utilizing and partnering with small and diverse companies, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will continue to build a supplier base that gives it a competitive advantage.  This process has included partnering with various organizations that have provided access to a growing list of small and diverse businesses.

Over the past few years the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has expanded its network of partner organizations and has seen the number and dollar amount of business with small and diverse companies grow.  For 2017, the number of small and diverse companies that the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is partnering with has increased by over twenty-five percent and the dollar amount of business has increased by over thirty percent.  The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is committed to ensuring these numbers continue to grow by partnering with companies and organizations that promote small and diverse businesses that drive the success of our local economy.

Publisher’s Award:  Leonard Hubert

Leonard Hubert is the President and CEO of L. Hubert & Associates, LLC, a professional consulting firm specializing in public policy, community / public relations and government affairs.

Leonard has over two decades of dedicated service and experience in public sector administration and public policy creation most recently serving as the Director of External Affairs & Economic Opportunity in the Governor’s Office after serving the citizens of Alabama and Pennsylvania.

Leonard’s policy development and experience includes, but is not limited to, financial life skills, opinion and issue advocacy campaigns involving major state and federal legislative issues.

Leonard has successfully assisted in the Statewide Redistricting Ballot Initiative (2012) and the Statewide Internet Café Initiative (2013).  Leonard also successfully led minority outreach and education for the Statewide Issue 3 (2009) campaign for the Ohio constitutional amendment authorizing casino gaming in Ohio. Leonard employed his strong relationships in the state’s urban centers to effectively craft and distribute the message of the economic development opportunities of gaming for minorities and to gain sufficient minority communities’ support for the initiative to achieve victory for this controversial ballot measure that had been handily defeated on two previous occasions.  This successful campaign included earned and social media, encompassing direct, grassroots and grasstops efforts.

Leonard has served in a variety of public leadership positions and presently serves as Chairperson for the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. He is active in civic affairs of his local community by serving as a board member for the Granville Township Board of Zoning Appeals, Licking County Tax Incentive Review Council, Ohio Cancer Research Associates, Mental Health & Recovery for Licking and Knox counties, Granville Township Open Space and Granville Education Foundation.

Frank W. Watson Advocacy Award: Columbus NAACP

The National NAACP has established six game-changers that will be addressed on the local level by each branch.  One of the game changers is Economic Development.  The NAACP  recognizes the importance of the economy and economic issues in advancing an equal opportunity society and aims to address the  challenging economic realities facing our country, including poverty, a lack of jobs causing disproportionately high unemployment, a lack of affordable housing, mortgage foreclosures, etc.

The NAACP Economic Development Committee works to enhance the capacity of African Americans and other underserved groups to enhance the capacity through financial and economic education, individual and community asset-building initiatives, diversity and inclusion in business hiring, career advancement and procurement, and monitoring financial banking practices

Below is the goal of the Economic Development committee:

  • Empower local communities with the necessary education, resources and partnerships to develop sustainable economic models that advance diversity and equity.
  • Ensure that government and industry are knowledgeable, and committed to bridging racial inequality particularly as it relates to employment, wealth, lending and business ownership.
  • Grow a movement of concerned citizens and organization who work together to produce an inclusive and strong middle class economy for the 21st century

The Economic Develop Committee, of the Columbus NAACP has been gathering information on the inclusion of minority businesses in various entities in our community, i.e.  County, City and Columbus City schools.

The Columbus Branch has completed the following Economic Development activities:

  • Supported the President’s efforts in building relationships with businesses, governmental agencies and groups
  • Promoted the brand of the Branch as a forward-thinking advocate and organization promoting interests of African Americans
  • Worked with the Labor & Industry Committee in initiating, re-igniting, and fostering discussions regarding the need for predicate studies , i.e. disparity studies) and community benefit agreements to provide a documented factual basis and a supportive business environment in which to improve the economic condition of African Americans and African American-owned businesses

Tom Dillard is the Chair of the  Economic Development Committee.

Nana Watson is Branch President.

Sponsored by: