The 9th Annual OhioMBE Awards was nothing short of spectacular. Exceptional food, meaningful networking opportunities, beautiful weather, and a stunning venue set the stage for new business relationships. Our respected business legends, the cornerstone of Ohio’s Black business community, inspired us to redouble our efforts in supplier diversity. Keynote speaker Rita Fuller Yates resonated with the audience, emphasizing the timeless virtues of dignity, grace, and mutual celebration, a sentiment that echoed last year’s keynote from OSU football icon Cornelius Green.

We were exceptionally pleased that the following award winners were present to accept their well-deserved honors:

  • Top MBE: Fonda Spears (First Stick Phlebotomy); Tolulope Makinde (MAK Engineering)
  • Top FBE: Sandra Moody (Dehan Insurance)
  • Top Family Business, presented by Pepper Construction: Mike Onyejekwe (Alley Burger) and Sarabella Johnson (My Period Bag)
  • People’s Choice Award:
    • Top MBE: Mike Onyejekwe (Alley Burger)
    • Top FBE: Danielle Bailey (Juice Happens)
    • Top Family Business: Mike Onyejekwe

A special note of gratitude to our generous sponsors for their invaluable support:

  • Gold Sponsor: Franklin County Office of Diversity & Inclusion
  • Silver Sponsor: City of Upper Arlington
  • Bronze Sponsors: Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, Wright-Patt Credit Union, Ohio Business Development Center, National Church Residences, City of Columbus Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Hensel Phelps|Elford
  • Additional Sponsors: Pepper Construction, Gilbane Construction, Encova Insurance, Alley Burger, Park National Bank, H&H Luxury, and Sarah Ingles for Columbus School Board.

OhioMBE Publisher Ronda Watson Barber summed it up beautifully: “It was an extraordinary day. We recognized and introduced great Black-owned businesses. I am both humbled and honored.”

Congratulations to all winners and attendees, and a huge thank you for contributing to the event’s monumental success!