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Bulloch African-American business group sets banquet
Annual awards event is Saturday in Russell Union Ballroom
Lotson Photo web
MarRonde Lumpkin-Lotson

            The Statesboro/Bulloch County African-American Business Owners Coalition (AABOC) will hold its third annual business awards banquet at the Fielding Russell Union Ballroom on the campus of Georgia Southern University, Saturday at 7 p.m.  Themed “Binding Businesses to Build A Better Community”, the event will serve as a capstone for the organization’s activities for the year.

            Nearly 300 people are expected to enjoy an evening of entertainment and awards.  The keynote speaker for the evening will be MarRonde Lumpkin-Lotson, director of Economic Development for the City of Savannah. 

            According to Lotson, “this is truly a historic occasion that should stand as a testament to the focus and determination of the African-American Business Owners Coalition.”

            The Economic Development Department is in the Bureau of Public Development and operates the Savannah Entrepreneurial Center, Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise Program, Weed and Seed Program and is responsible for the revitalization of 16 targeted corridors.                      

According AABOC President Curtis Woody, “Mrs. Lumkin-Lotson comes to us with outstanding credentials including being profiled in 2006 by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of Georgia’s Top 40 Under 40.  She is a dynamic speaker and is really passionate about economic development and empowerment.  We are certainly in for a treat.”

            Dr. Carolyn M. Hobbs, celebrity host and MC for the evening, said “It’s hard to believe that the city of Statesboro has grown to the point that it can give birth to an organization like the AABOC and that they could come together and present an event of this caliber using primarily their own resources.  It’s truly wonderful!”

            Awards for “Business Leader of the Year”,” Young Person of the Year”, “Distinguished Business Woman 2008”, “and Entrepreneur of the Year”and“Business of the Year” will be presented during the evening. 

            “We couldn’t have been happier with the way plans are going for this event,” said coalition president Curtis Woody, “this shows that African American businesses can come together and support each other. It also shows that we don’t mind sharing our resources to support programs that enhance our growth and development.”

The African American Business Owner’s coalition was formed in March 2005 with a mission to “strive to assist African-American entrepreneurs with the means to develop successful, viable businesses in the Statesboro area through the promotion of financial, educational, advertisement, and technological venues.

Tickets to the Awards Banquet are $25 each and can be obtained by calling Annette Holloway at 764-3198. Anyone interested in learning more about the AABOC may contact Curtis Woody at (912) 682-1611.