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Earlier this month, The Atlanta Post, along with Armand de Brignac (Ace of Spades) Champagne, held an awards gala to honor 9 individuals who best reflect the ambition, success and originality that constitute our brand.

As a publication which covers black business news, entrepreneurs, media and politics, we found no better way to convey our mission than to highlight those who have forged ahead in all these areas,  developed their unique brands and, in turn, raised the bar for other African-American visionaries.

Our co-host, Armand de Brignac Champagne, complemented this endeavor as a company exemplifying expertise and reflecting a standard of refinement.

IN THE CATEGORY OF: Business (1 Honoree)

Dr. Randal Pinkett has established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, author, scholar and community servant. He is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar management, technology and policy consulting firm based in Newark, NJ.

IN THE CATEGORY OF: Personal Finance (2 Honorees)

1) Carmen Wong Ulrich is the personal finance expert for CNBC and the former host of their daily one hour personal finance show, “On the Money.”  Carmen appears regularly as a personal finance expert on NBC’s “The Today Show”, “Nightly News with Brian Williams,” as well as MSNBC and ‘EXTRA’. She is an advice columnist/contributor to GLAMOUR magazine and Glamour.com & author of the under-40 guide to personal finance, “Generation Debt: Take Control of Your Money.”

2) Ryan Mack graduated from the University of Michigan Business School with a concentration in Finance.  His career in equity markets began in Detroit, Michigan as a stock trader and later as a trader for the largest NASDAQ trading firm in the nation, Knight Securities.  He now runs his own financial planning firm, Optimum Capital Management, LLC.

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IN THE CATEGORY OF: Entrepreneurship (1 Honoree)
In 1997, sisters Titi and Miko Branch, opened Miss Jessie’s Salon to respond to the demand for expertise in natural hair and naturally curly hair. With the introduction of Curly Pudding, Curly Buttercreme™, Curly Meringue®, Baby Buttercreme™ & Rapid Recovery Treatment®, Miss Jessie’s products soon garnered a cult following. Their products are now available at Target stores.

IN THE CATEGORY OF: Media (2 Honorees)

1) Karen Taylor Bass sets the standard in providing public relations consulting, coaching and spirited motivational talks to entrepreneurs, celebrities, churches, colleges and corporations. Her message of public relations as an empowerment tool has appeared in such publications as Black Enterprise, The Network Journal, Pathfinder Travel, Philadelphia Tribune and Essence.

2) Michaela Angela Davis: An expert cultural critic and writer, Michaela Angela Davis has been exploring the power of urban style, race, gender, and hip-hop for nearly two decades. Having begun her career under the mentorship of Susan L. Taylor at the incredibly successful Essence, Davis went on to become founding fashion director at Vibe, and later editor-in-chief of Honey magazine.

IN THE CATEGORY OF: Politics (2 Honorees)

1) Farai Chideya has combined the use of media, technology, and social justice during her 20-year career as an award-winning author and journalist. From 2006 to early 2009, she hosted NPR’s News and Notes & has written three non-fiction books. Chideya also founded PopandPolitics.com in 1995. It was viewed as one of the longest continuously operating blogs in the world.

2) Derrick Ashong is the voice of a new generation. Whether that voice is heard in the eloquent expression of his thoughts on Barack Obama (as seen in one of the most downloaded videos of 2008 on YouTube), or in The Derrick Ashong Experience, a show he hosts on Oprah Radio, the 33-year-old Harvard educated talent has found a myriad of ways to inspire, engage, and activate young people with positive messages for social change.

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