2021 Honorees

Top MBEs Nominations:

  • Sherita Q. Booker – WIZE TAX SERVICES LLC – Cleveland
  • Destiny Ward – The Browtique – Columbus
  • Theresa Harris – TMH Solutions – Columbus
  • Yaves Ellis – Canvaas Consulting – Columbus
  • James A. Jones III – Home Conmerical Inspections – Columbus
  • Dr. Rachel TaltonSynergy International Limited – Akron
  • Dr. Bridget Williams – Green Harvest Health – Pickerington
  • Rico Cox – Cox and Cox Construction – Avon Lake
  • Yemi Ogungbadero – Phenix Banquet Center – Columbus
  • Bailene Buckner – Buckner & Sons Masonry – Columbus
  • Devin Joyce – Passion8 Event Management – Cleveland
  • Jessica East – Noir Marketing and PR – Dayton

Top FBE Nominations:

  • Ifrah Omar – Planning With Ifrah LLC – Westerville
  • Theresa Harris – TMH Solutions – Columbus
  • Dr. Rachel TaltonSynergy International Limited – Akron
  • Dr. Bridget Williams – Green Harvest Health – Pickerington
  • Yemi Ogungbadero – Phenix Banquet Center – Columbus
  • Devin Joyce – Passion8 Event Management – Cleveland

Top Veteran Business Nominations:

  • Ericka Adams – Adams Dental Assistin Academy – Gahanna

Top Family Business Nominations:

  • Rico Cox – Cox and Cox Construction – Avon Lake
  • Yemi Ogungbadero – Phenix Banquet Center – Columbus
  • Bailene Buckner – Buckner & Sons Masonry – Columbus
  • Patrice Morris – International Spotlight of Fashion – Columbus

Vote for the People’s Choice Awards – https://bit.ly/3lxU4iW

Publisher’s Award Honoree – Annie J. Ross-Womack

Annie J. Ross-Womack is the Executive Director for SCDAA / Ohio Sickle Cell and Health Association, Incorporated, a statewide non-profit providing education, advocacy, and support to individuals and families affected by sickle cell disease for over 60 years. She advocates for families, neighborhoods, small businesses, and civil rights while serving the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America Leadership Council, Columbus NAACP Executive Committee, Near East Area Commission, and other community-driven initiatives.

Annie is a successful entrepreneur managing a 25-year company, Small Business Solutions, specializing in grant writing, small business management, and financial literacy.  She is also currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Long Street Business Association. This community-based non-profit assists in developing distressed communities in and around central Ohio, emphasizing entrepreneurship and small business development, retention, and expansion.

Annie is the proud parent of three children and three adorable grandchildren, which is why her passion and drive to advocate, educate, and change society’s narrative for those who have been marginalized.  Her schedule is hectic, but she ensures that God maintains the center of her life and always balances time for family and friends. She is an active member of Lord of Life Fellowship Church and serves in several capacities, including Minister.

Her motto is: “I am who God says I am, and everything I achieve in this life is because of Him.”

Annie is the recipient of the 2021 Publisher’s Awards for her efforts to educate the community on health issues.


Publisher’s Award – ROOTT


Restoring Our Own Through Transformation (ROOTT) is a collective of concerned Black families, community members, advocates & interdisciplinary professionals dedicated to decreasing Black maternal & infant mortality in Ohio. ROOTT’s mission is to comprehensively restore our collective well-being through collaboration, resource allocation, research & re-empowerment, in order to meet the needs of Black parents & families.

Frank W. Watson Advocate – Tia Harris – Roseboro

Tia Harris – Roseboro has served the small, minority and women-owned business community in Columbus for the past 20 years.  

Tia served as an Equal Opportunity Representative with the former Equal Business Opportunity Commission Office (EBOCO) conducting compliance audits and certification reviews.  Presently, Tia serves at the Certification Programs Manager for the City of Columbus Mayor’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion with broad responsibilities for certification management, contract compliance, and business outreach.

Tia’s career in public service has been marked with a high degree of professionalism and commitment to excellence.  Her dedication to helping small minority and women-owned businesses has been recognized by city leaders, business professionals and the Columbus community alike.  Perhaps, her commitment to small businesses has been best demonstrated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic, as we know, has posed and continues to create significant challenges to minority businesses.  Amidst the social and economic upheaval of 2020, Tia exuberated a renewed resilience to meet businesses where they were and help them through these difficult times.  Leading efforts to engage and certify minority businesses on the new Crew Stadium (Lower.com field) project, as well as several other notable development projects in Columbus. Tia produced record number certifications for the City of Columbus.  In 2020, Tia certified over 300 MWBE firms and conducted targeted outreach initiatives reaching greater than 1,000 unique firms.

In addition to her public service career, Tia has enjoyed a legacy music career on a local and some international stages. She continues to perform at many local festivals and events and released a solo album in 2016.   She is the proud mother of two, and the adoring grandmother of a vivacious 2 year old grandson.

Tia is the recipient of the 2021 Frank W. Watson Advocate Award.

Frank W. Watson Advocate – Jerome W. Jones

Jerome W. Jones is a Lender Relations Specialist with The U. S. Small Business Administration. Prior to joining the SBA Jones was a Certified Business Advisor with The Ohio Small Business Development Center at Columbus State Community College and Managing Member of The Danash Group, LLC.  He has also served as VP of Lending with the Economic and Community Development Institute, the Vice President of Business Services at Telhio Credit Union where he was responsible for the business loan department, Vice President of Community Development Lending for Key Bank,  and a senior loan officer for Community Capital Development Corp. Jones is also very active in the Central Ohio community, having served on the United Way of Central Ohio Finance Committee and the City of Columbus Loan Review Committee, as well as having served as a board member of the Columbus Urban League. Jones is a recipient of the SBA Financial Services Champion Award, is a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional, a Certified Business Advisor and attended Jackson State University and Franklin University. 

Media Legend – Angela Pace

Angela Pace is the Director of Community Affairs for WBNS-10TV, serving as a liaison between WBNS and the Central Ohio non-profit community.  She was raised and schooled in Columbus (Capital University and Columbus City Schools), and has worked in central Ohio all her life.  

Angela anchored the 6PM and 11PM editions of 10TV Eyewitness News for 13 years, beginning her on-air duties in March of 1993.  

She previously worked at WCMH-TV for 13 years.  For five of those years she anchored the weekday 6pm, 7pm and 11pm newscasts.  During her career at WCMH-TV, she worked first as a floor director and later as a reporter.  Angela also worked at WCLT Radio in Newark, where she was a news director and reporter.  

Angela currently serves on the boards of the Lincoln Theater Association and the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts. Her past board involvement includes:  Capital University trustees; Capital University Alumni Association; Mid-Ohio Food Bank; Jazz Arts Group; the Greater Columbus Arts Council, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation; and I Know I Can.   Her work with the United Negro College Fund included hosting their annual telethon from 1987 to 1991 and serving as grand marshal for their walk-a-thon for four years.  

Among her awards and honors: 1992 Columbus Public School Hall of Fame; 1994 YWCA Women of Achievement Award; 1992 Governor’s Award for Journalism and Community Service; Columbus Education Association’s Martin Luther King Junior Humanitarian Award; the Capital University Outstanding Alumni Award;   1996 Toastmaster’s International Leadership Award; 2006 Community Service Award from the Columbus Urban League; Lifetime Achievement Award from the Columbus Association of Black Journalists; 2006 Music Educators Lifetime Achievement Award from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra;   In 2011, the Angela was inducted into the NATAS Ohio Valley Silver Circle for broadcasters with more than 25 years in the industry. The Columbus Bar Association has established a foundation in her name.  A large portion of the funds from that foundation was used to help build the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where the Welcome Room has been named in her honor.  Angela has won five Emmys and a regional Telly award.  In January 2012, Angela Pace was named one of the Top 50 Icons in Columbus by the Columbus Bicentennial Guide.  Angela’s image is featured on the Long Street Cultural Wall of Fame.