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6th Annual Black Women In Business Beloit Expo Honors Founder’s Memory

The Beloit, Wisconsin-based expo, scheduled for Feb. 10, will be held in founder Vickie Lynn McGee's memory.

Vickie Lynn McGee’s legacy endures through the many lives she touched in the Beloit, Wisconsin, community and in the Black Women in Business Beloit Expo, which she founded in 2019.

The sixth annual event, known formally as Sixth Annual Black Herstory Day and Black History Month Celebration Expo, will be held in McGee’s memory. The event will take place February 10 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Eclipse Event Center in Beloit, according to Madison 365.

McGee died shortly before the 2023 expo. This year, Paquita Purnell, one of the organization’s committee members, is determined to make sure McGee’s influence continues.

“Everything is coming together smoothly,” Purnell added. The 2024 expo has reached vendor capacity; more than 60 vendors will participate. Speakers are also scheduled to appear, including business owner Janene Stephenson, Madison 365 noted.

Purnell said McGee hand-picked the committee to uphold her legacy if anything were to happen to her. The organization, which achieved nonprofit status, has already fulfilled one of McGee’s wishes.

“We’re checking off her bucket list,” Purnell said.

McGee was known as a multi-faceted individual. In addition to starting the Black Women in Business Beloit Expo she was an artist, author and comedian, the outlet reported.

At the expo this year, McGee’s children will display her art work. Photographs of McGee will also be on display.

“Ms. Vickie wanted an inclusive atmosphere to help women new to the expo,” said Purnell. “We know exactly what she envisioned.”

Christina Martinez, McGee’s friend from her comedy days, will host the event.

The Beloit-based Expo began as a small gathering of Black women entrepreneurs in a tattoo parlor. It later grew into an expo that included vendors, sponsors, and more space to hold everything.

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