October 25, 2017
Houston Black Businesses Persist and Thrive After Harvey
The massive Hurricane Harvey storm did not stop four Houston black businesses from growing and achieving success.
They were crowned 2017 Pinnacle Award winners by the Greater Houston Black Chamber (GHBC) at a black-tie gala Saturday.
The 23rd annual awards celebration, attended by more than 600 guests including Rep. Al Green, D-Houston, also recognized other individuals for everything from their advocacy work to lifetime achievements.
Making Positive Impact
The chamber’s top business honor, the Pinnacle Award, honors local businesses run by African American entrepreneurs that have achieved the height of success and positively impacted their communities.
This year’s event came as larger black-owned companies and entities that advocate, do business with, and support small black-owned businesses in Houston and surrounding areas are helping those entrepreneurs rebound from the massive storm.
Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city, was selected for the 2017 BLACK ENTERPRISE Entrepreneurs Summit, which was conducted in May. It is one of the nation’s largest gatherings of entrepreneurs attended by more than 1,000 business leaders. Those leaders, and groups like the black Houston chamber, are leading efforts to rebuild the city post-Harvey.
Courtney Johnson-Rose, the chamber’s board chair, said the small business award winners achieved success in the midst of the storm. “We are proud of those GHBC businesses that have continued to thrive post-Hurricane Harvey.”
List of the Pinnacle Award Recipients
- She’s Happy Hair has achieved international acclaim, celebrating five years of success in providing quality hair products. Co-founders Warren Broadnax and Marcus Bowers built the company into one the nation’s largest suppliers of virgin hair in the United States, with six locations and more than $18 million in annual revenue. Other co-founders include Brandon Thompson, Adrian Richardson, Paulton China and Christie Thompson. The business gives back to the community by supporting women and making them feel beautiful.
- Twin brothers Stephen and Sterling Carter, who recently served in the U.S. Army, merged their specialties in business management and clinical expertise, to launch Sterling Staffing Solutions. Founded in 2011, the business has grown to more than 800 licensed clinicians who have completed over 4,567 rehabilitative visits in disciplines ranging from occupational therapist to laboratory technician and medical specialist.
- Taylor Construction Management LLC is a project management consulting firm owned by the husband-and-wife team of Troi and Kelley Taylor. Based in Houston, the Taylors have developed a multi-million dollar, award-winning company that boosts the economy and gives back to the community.
- With more than 30 years of experience as an educator, Patricia Hogan Williams has used her knowledge to create the Imani School. It has evolved from the beginning as a preschool for 25 children into one of the nation’s largest independent, private, predominately African American schools, serving students from preschool through eighth grade. Williams was honored for improving the lives of children and youth.
In a category for businesses two years old or less, the Upstart Award went to Valesco Raymond and Solan James, owners of Kaliber Choice LLC. The business provides e-commerce and supply chain services to other businesses.
Other honorees were longtime radio personality Tom Joyner, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award; Carl McGowan of UnitedHealthcare for Advocate of the Year; Stephanie Oliver Parrish, owner of six McDonald’s locations in Houston, for the Endurance Award; and Marlon Mitchell of Houston Business Development Inc. for the Mickey Leland Public Service Award.
“It was an honor to be in a room filled with so many members of our community who have really strived to make a difference,” Rose said. “Every year, our awards committee faces a challenge only choosing four winners but this year may have been the toughest yet!”