The winners of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida 2021 Eagle Awards are Vernice Atkins-Bradley, Jerry L. Demings, JP Morgan Chase, Russell Drake, and Richard Black.
The Eagle Awards highlight Central Florida’s most successful entrepreneurs, businesses, and individuals who share the chamber’s ideals of advancing minority- and female-owned businesses who were nominated by AACCCF members.
“For more than 75 years, the chamber has been committed to helping our members grow their businesses with expert guidance,” said Tanisha Nunn Gary, president of the AACCCF. “We are over 500 members strong, and our goal is to strengthen strategic relationships with members and those in the community so that everyone benefits.”
Vernice Atkins-Bradley, president and CEO of Votum Construction LLC, won the Legacy Eagle Award. Votum Construction LLC has been involved with projects such as Barry Law School’s Legal Advocacy Center, Rock Springs Elementary School, the Florida Citrus Bowl rebuild which is now Camping World Stadium, Orlando Soccer Stadium, and most recently South Terminal Airport Expansion, according to Crew Orlando.
The MLK Humanitarian of the Year Award went to Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. The Corporate Recognition Award went to JP Morgan Chase, and the Small Business Advocate Award went to Russell Drake.
Drake is the founder and CEO of Build Black Daily, an empowerment agency dedicated to building up black communities in the economic, social, educational, and civic senses. Drake also has his own website where he offers motivational speaking, social media marketing, civic strategist, network building, and creative writing services.
The Community Advocate of the Year Award went to Richard Black, the publisher and editor-in-chief of ONYX Magazine. The magazine was launched in 1997 and provides stories and editorials focused primarily on the interests of African Americans to its 20,000 bi-monthly subscribers.
The AACCCF held a virtual ceremony on March 25 where the winners were announced. This year’s event celebrated small businesses and entrepreneurs who survived the pandemic’s devastating financial situation.
The AACCCF gave several grants to members who were impacted by COVID-19 and saw a 25% increase in membership throughout the pandemic.
Photos Courtesy of AACCCF