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Greater Baltimore Committee Announces Winners of 2005 'Bridging the Gap' Minority Business Achievement Awards

Greater Baltimore Committee Announces Winners of 2005 'Bridging the Gap' Minority Business Achievement Awards

BALTIMORE, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Ten Baltimore-area companies have been named winners of the Greater Baltimore Committee's 2005 Bridging the Gap Awards honoring minority firms for business achievement and others for their efforts to strengthen minority business opportunities in the region.

Winners include a Hispanic-owned firm that took a $5,000 investment and turned it into a $2 million call-center and outsourcing firm and to a local bank that, since its founding in 1982, has grown into one of the top ten African-American-owned financial institutions in the U.S.

Award winners were announced during a November 14 ceremony at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. The awards program was part of Bridging the Gap, an initiative of the Greater Baltimore Committee, the region's most prominent organization of business and civic leaders.

"These awards are intended to celebrate minority business achievement and to honor successful minority and women-owned businesses. These winners demonstrate both exemplary achievement and a passion for success," said GBC President Donald C. Fry.

"They also make a strong economic case for nurturing minority business enterprise. Our region will benefit if all of its business resources are fully engaged. Ultimately, we can't rely on government programs to accomplish this. The business community must do it," Fry said.

Categories and winners of the 2005 Bridging the Gap Awards are: Achievement by a minority business: -- A&R Development, Theo Rodgers, president. A minority-owned real estate redevelopment company located in Baltimore City, A&R Development projects include Redwood Tower and Lockwood Place. -- C R Dynamics & Associates, Charles Ramos, president. This firm's Hispanic owner took a $5,000 investment in a home-based business and turned it into a $2 million call-center and outsourcing firm in downtown Baltimore. -- greiBO Media, Shelonda D. Stokes, president and CEO. A successful minority-owned audio and video production company in Baltimore, greiBO Media specializes in motion graphics, live action, interactive media, sound design and original music. -- The Harbor Bank of Maryland, Joseph Haskins, Jr., president and CEO. Established in 1982, this firm's parent company, Harbor Bankshares Corporation, is now among the nation's top ten African-American owned financial institutions. Commitment to inclusive business practices: -- gkv Communications, Roger L. Gray, president and CEO. This advertising, public relations and direct marketing firm has contracted with more than 30 minority business partners during the past year and has exceeded minority business enterprise goals for state contractors by 18 percent. Business partnerships or strategic alliances: -- Colliers Pinkard and ROC Realty Group, Walter D. Pinkard Jr., chairman, Colliers Pinkard; Roland O. Campbell, Jr., president, ROC Realty Group. For the last two years, Colliers Pinkard, a majority- owned firm, and ROC Realty Group, a minority-owned firm, have joined together to provide broader real estate services. Joint projects have included relocation of the University of Maryland Medical System's community mental health clinic and the management of Clipper Mill, a historic mixed-used community. Bridging the Gap Pioneer Award: -- The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, MedStar Health, and University of Maryland Medical System; Ronald R. Peterson, president, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System; John P. McDaniel, CEO, MedStar Health; Edmond F. Notebaert, president & CEO. In 2004, the three hospital systems agreed to work together to strengthen their supplier diversity programs and to build a robust minority health care supplier network within the region. In the past year, the three hospitals increased the amount of combined commodities and services purchased from minority and women-owned vendors by almost 13 percent.

Winners were selected by a panel of judges who reviewed nominations submitted by businesses, civic organizations, employees, customers, elected officials and government agencies.

Bridging the Gap initiative partners include Congressman Elijah Cummings, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, the Mayor's Office of Minority Business Development, the Governor's Office of Minority Affairs, and the Presidents' RoundTable.

More information about the Bridging the Gap initiative is available on the GBC website, http://www.gbc.org/.

Greater Baltimore Committee

CONTACT: Gene Bracken of Greater Baltimore Committee, +1-410-727-2820,
x33, or cell, +1-410-274-0287

Web site: http://www.gbc.org/

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