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Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce celebrates Black History Month

Awards Presented to Four Distinguished Honorees

February 17, 2017 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Shown from left: Black History Month award winners Charles Archer, Yvonne Riley-Tepie, state Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte and Kenneth Mbonu. Eagle photos by Arthur De Gaeta
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The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (BCC) held a cocktail reception on Thursday at Weeksville Heritage Center in Crown Heights to salute the work of outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to the borough.

BCC president Andrew Hoan welcomed guests and recognized the evening’s lead sponsors, Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE), TD Bank, Con Edison, National Grid and NYC Small Business Services. He also thanked National Grid Manager Renee McClure and Con Edison Manager Juliet Lewis.

Hoan also acknowledged the Weeksville Heritage Center, and its President and Executive Director Tia Powell Harris. Weeksville has hosted the event for the last three years.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

This was the 15th annual BCC Black History Month Celebration, and this year’s honorees were:

  • Government Award recipient: State Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte, state committee woman/chair of the Oversight MWBE Subcommittee

  • Business Award recipient: Yvonne Riley-Tepie, vice president, U.S. Field Marketing Strategy, TD Bank

  • Nonprofit Award recipient: Charles Archer, CEO and co-founder, THRIVE Network

  • Community and MWBE Committee recipient: Kenneth Mbonu, Flatbush-Nostrand Junction Business Improvement District

“Each February, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, with our Minority and Women Business Enterprise Committee, present our Black History Month celebration and tribute to black Americans who have demonstrated inspirational business, social and/or government acumen resulting in significant contributions to their community, borough or the city of New York,” Hoan said.

Hoan introduced Bichotte by saying, “Rodneyse is the district leader for New York state’s 42nd Assembly District. She also chairs the Oversight MWBE Committee. She was raised in Brooklyn and continues to dedicate her life to public service. We are proud to present her with this award.”

Regarding Riley-Tepie, Hoan said, “Yvonne exemplifies TD’s commitment to serve the communities in which its employees and customers live and work. And she is a former Brooklyn Chamber staffer as she served as director of membership.”

Hoan introduced Archer by calling him a person who has made a difference in the nonprofit sector, adding, “This year, Charles Archer … has proven himself in this area. Under Archer’s leadership, the agency, which employs 600 people, has delivered services and programs that have touched over 1,000 underserved individuals throughout the five boroughs.”

Hoan called the fourth recipient, Mbonu, “someone who has made contributions to the Brooklyn community as well as the MWBE Committee.”

Hoan concluded by thanking everyone for coming out to celebrate and invited attendees to enjoy networking and cocktails.


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