Category: Business Written by Courier Newsroom
Orlando, Fla. – The American International Automobile Dealers Association has announced Centerville, Ohio, dealer Jenell Ross as its 2013 chairwoman. Ross took over the position during AIADA’s 43rd Annual Meeting and Luncheon, earlier this month in Orlando, Fla.
“Our brands, more than ever before, are America’s brands – and I’m going to tell that story,” said Ross during the meeting. “In 2013, we are no longer bogged down by the natural and economic disasters that hobbled us for the past five years. Now is the time to surge forward and grow our businesses, claim new market share, and ensure our continued strength and sustainability.”
Ross is the president of Bob Ross Automotive, which operates Buick, GMC, Fiat, and Mercedes-Benz franchises in the Dayton, Ohio, area. She inherited the role from her father and mother who founded the dealership group in 1974. Mercedes-Benz of Centerville was the first Mercedes-Benz dealership to be owned by an African American and is currently the only one owned by an African American woman.
Ross has been a member of AIADA’s board of directors since 2000 and is an active member of the auto retail industry, as well as her community. In 2012, she created the “Pink Ribbon Driven” campaign on behalf of her mother, Norma Ross, who died from breast cancer. Her community involvement includes the Diversity Council for the Centerville-Washington Township, the Miami School Alumni Council, and the Dayton Chamber of Commerce’s Minority Business Partnership.
Also during the meeting, AIADA recognized Cincinnati dealer Mike Dever with its 2013 David F. Mungenast Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is named after the late AIADA chairman who was known throughout the auto retail industry for his commitment to his community and the industry. Dever is a 45-year veteran of the auto retail industry and operates nine dealerships in Ohio, Kentucky, and Utah.
“Mike embodies the very best of America’s international nameplate dealer community. Much like Dave Mungenast himself, Mike’s success as a dealer is only surpassed by his reputation as someone who has invested his time and resources into improving his community,” said AIADA President Cody Lusk. “I can think of no one better to honor with this year’s award.”
AIADA’s 2013 officers of the board of directors are: Jenell Ross, chairwoman (Centerville, Ohio); Ray Mungenast, immediate past chairman (St. Louis, Mo.); Larry Kull, chairman-elect (Marlton, N.J.); and Greg Kaminsky, secretary/treasurer (El Cajon, Calif.).
Last Updated on Sunday, 24 February 2013 12:34
Category: Business Written by Cheryl Pearson-McNeil
(NNPA)—It’s award season. And so far what a season it’s been. Kelly Rowland was stunning in her gown during the 55th Grammy Awards, which LL Cool J hosted, while more than 28 million viewers tuned in. Surprisingly, that’s not as many as the 40 million who watched the previous year. How can that be with LL Cool J and all? Well, remember, last year’s Grammys followed the death of the late great Whitney Houston, and millions tuned in just to watch the tribute to her.
The 44th Annual NAACP Image Awards delivered its biggest overall audience in four years, and matched its highest adult 18-49 rating since that same year. Three million tuned in to this year’s show versus 2.9 million last year—a 3 percent increase in total viewers.
Nielsen insights show that African-Americans are more inclined to watch TV shows and movies that include characters portrayed by people who look like us. So are you ready for this year’s Academy Awards?
With nominees like the adorable, uber-talented 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis (Best Actress in a Leading Role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”) and the always amazing (and handsome, too), Denzel Washington (Best Actor in a Leading Role in “Flight”), Hollywood’s biggest night could again draw a record Black viewing audience (I may just host a Denzel viewing party myself). Additionally, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Django Unchained” are nominated for best picture. Both have African-American stars in leading roles. “Django” features Jaime Foxx, the lovely Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Last year’s broadcast of the Academy Awards was the second-highest rated awards show among African-Americans with about 3 million Black viewers, according to Nielsen’s African-American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing 2012 Report. It was a big year for Black Hollywood as well. The fabulous Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer were both nominated for “The Help,” and Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie. Remember the 2010 Academy Awards? African-American viewership for that year was up a whopping 43 per cent over the previous year. We represented 11 percent of the 26.8 million Americans who tuned in. Again, we had major representation that year. The highly acclaimed movie “Precious,” had multiple nominations, including Best Supporting Actress won by comedienne Mo’Nique, and newcomer Gabourey Sidibe was nominated for Best Actress. Also, the venerable Morgan Freeman won Best Actor for his role in “Invictus.”
Turning to the movies themselves, according to Nielsen National Research Group’s 2012 American Movie-Going Report, 70 percent of Americans ages 12-74 reported seeing one or more movies at a theater in the last year. The survey, conducted among a representative group of more than 3,000 Americans across age, gender and race, shows that overall attendance for new release movies was pretty much the same as a year ago—an average of 6.8 movies per person compared with 6.9 in 2011. African-Americans comprise 11 percent of the movie-going population, led by the Baby Boomers in our group. And, according to the African-American Consumer Report, these were our top 10 movies for the first half of 2012 and the gross box office earnings:
1. Think Like A Man, $91,547,205
2. Madea’s Witness Protection, $55,611,721
3. Red Tails, $49,875,589
4. Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds, $35,010,192
5. Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day, $1,201,562
6. Beasts of the Southern Wild, $1,692,675
7. Pariah, $758,099
8. A Beautiful Soul, $54,008
9. Restless City, $8,106
10. Elevate, $3,547
Hispanics are the heaviest movie-goers, representing 18 percent of the movie-going population and accounting for 25 percent of all movies seen. The American Movie-Going report shows that although there were slightly more female movie-goers (51 percent) than male movie-goers, 49 percent), men nonetheless accounted for 55 percent of theatrical attendance.
While it’s always fun to root for our favorites during awards season and see how our movie-going trends vary—or not—from year-to-year, this is big business. Hollywood speaks fluent “green,” as in moolah, or cash. Our behavior is watched very closely by the entertainment industry and advertisers who tailor their products, their decisions and the way they reach you according to how you choose to wield your economic clout at the box office with your pocketbook or with your remote at home. So, if you enjoy seeing quality movies that are inclusive of Blacks, show up in large numbers when those movies come out. That’s truly the only way for everyone to have a happy ending.
(Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is senior vice president of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Nielsen. For more information and studies go to www.nielsenwire.com)
Last Updated on Friday, 22 February 2013 09:57
Category: Business Written by Courier Newsroom
Business Skills Development
FEB. 23—Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship will host its Business Skills Development Workshop from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. at Chatham University, Woodland Road, Oakland. The topic will be “The Me; The Market; The Money.” The workshop will examine the entrepreneur, identifying key attributes and desires of the individual and then focusing on whether the business can meet those requirements. Registration is required and the cost is $35. For more information, visit www.chatham.edu/cwe.
Nursing Job Fair
FEB. 25—Community College of Allegheny County Boyce Campus’ Job Placement and Career Services will host a Nursing Job Fair from 1-5 p.m. at CCAC Boyce, Lecture Hall Lobby, 595 Beatty Rd., Monroeville. This event is free and open to current CCAC students and alumni. For more information, call 724-325-6771.
FEB. 27—The Marcellus Resource Group and the Pittsburgh Human Resources Association will host the 2013 HR Energy Summit from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh/ Southpointe, 1000 Corporate Dr., Cannonsburg. The theme is “Serving the Marcellus and Utica Shales.” The summit is a must for those in the energy industry and all other HR professionals of all levels. Attendees will build new skills and know-how or brush up on key energy specific HR issues and ideas that will increase the impact they have on their organization’s success in this industry. There will be a keynote address by Bill Flanagan. Registration is required and credits are available. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/10RWYeg.
Social Media Workshop
FEB. 28—Pittsburgh Gateway Corporation will host Jessica Lee’s Entrepreneurial Thursdays Jazz and Blues Networking from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Little E’s, 949 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. Every Thursday jazz and R&B vocalist Jessica Lee, along with some of Pittsburgh’s finest musical artists, will host an evening of good music and professional networking. Each week will have a different theme; this week’s will be “Hip, Urban Living.” The cost is $5 and the attire is business casual. For more information, visit www.jessicaleesong.com.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 10:17
Category: Business Written by Diane I. Daniels
READY TO MAKE A PRESENTATION—LaKeisha Wolf, a Hill District entrepreneur and Marimba Milliones, Hill CDC executive director examine equipment in the new Business Center. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels)
Potential, start up and existing entrepreneurs often find it challenging to locate well equipped, functional, cost effective meeting space. Emerging artist and independent curator Kaceem Barnett is a perfect example. New to the arena and anxious to get his art on display, the Hill District Community Development Corporation’s Community Development Business Center is serving as the perfect venue for his work.
Positioned on the first floor of the Hill CDC’s 2015-2017 Centre Avenue office, according to Marimba Milliones the Business Center exists to assist prospective small business owners and to increase the success rate and the number of viable small businesses in the Hill District like Barnett.
In their efforts to provide a secure, convenient and intimate place to transact and conduct business, the Hill CDC executive director says the space is another resource for meeting and networking in the Hill District. The technology enabled facility is equipped with Wi-Fi and conferencing capabilities and provides space for small art displays. Usage of the free space is by appointment.
Responsible for business economic vitality in the greater Hill District, Milliones said that through the push for development on the Centre Avenue corridor by City Councilman Daniel Lavelle, the Hill CDC has a great incentive to assist in the development of small businesses and the Business Center plays a small roll.
“The Center is a critical tool for the community,” points out Lavelle. “It fills a much needed void for a meeting facility for entrepreneurs.”
“We are working with good partners to assist businesses to start and locate in the Hill District,” said Milliones. “We are a connector.”
An entrepreneur herself, Milliones said she is aware of the ups and downs of self-employment and aware of resources and assistance businesses need at all levels from startups to existing. Organizations they work with include but are not limited to the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania, the Allegheny County Minority / Women / Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Department, the Duquesne Small Business Development Center, the New Hill District Business Association, the Ujamaa Collective, the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, Urban Innovation21 and the Western Pennsylvania Minority Supplier Development Council.
“Our partners’ services range from providing business development assistance, technical assistance, financial packaging, MBE/WBE certification, to providing networking opportunities locally and nationally,” she said.
Not just focusing in the Hill District, collectively the Hill CDC, the Hill House Association, Community College of Allegheny County, Urban Innovation 21, the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence and Duquesne University’s Small Business Development Center are working to help underserved communities take advantage of the growth in the energy and healthcare industries by focusing on job-related education, start-up and business growth services for residents in targeted neighborhoods. The Southwestern Urban Revitalization Project, according to Hill CDC officials is an initiative developed to foster economic growth in the Hill District and surrounding communities through job training and entrepreneurial development.
In existence since 1987, the Hill CDC works with private, public non-profit developers, and other interested parties in early stages of planning, design and implementation of community development projects to assure alignment with appropriate stakeholders and the community master plan. Its mission is to work in partnership with residents and stakeholders to create, promote, and implement strategies and programs that connect plans, policies and people to drive compelling community development opportunities in the Greater Hill District. Neighborhoods in the community it serves include Crawford Square, Bedford Dwellings, Uptown/Bluff, Terrace Village, Upper Hill, Uptown and the Lower Hill (former 28 acre Civic Arena Site).
Milliones, a lifelong resident has served as the executive director since the spring of 2011. Possessing a love for her community, her goal is to move the community forward by focusing on driving and implementing the Greater Hill District Master plan.
“My family roots are here; I am connected to the neighborhood and believe in its potential,” she said.
The plan was created by active residents and stakeholders of the Hill. It outlines development of new housing, retail, business, recreation and green space; renovation of existing space; and key initiatives that support the community and its residents.
“The Hill is a great neighborhood. Full of history and culture it is one of the largest and most versatile in the city,” said Milliones. “Strategically its major thoroughfares; Centre Avenue, Herron, Fifth Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard host the major arteries for commerce in Southwestern Pennsylvania. It also sits next to the University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon and Carlow University.”
Realizing that there is much work to be done to bring the life into the Hill that the Master Plan calls for, Milliones says the Hill CDC under her leadership will continue to serve as an agent for positive change.
“It is resources like the Community Development Business Center that will draw businesses to the corridor. Businesses and people that have something to offer like emerging artist Kaceem Barnett,” she said.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 15:34
Category: Business Written by Associated Press
NEW EMERGENCY MANAGER--Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced March 14, that Kevyn Orr, a bankruptcy expert who represented automaker Chrysler LLC during its successful restructuring, has been named Detroit's emergency manager. (AP Photo/Courtesy Jones Day)
by Corey Williams
Associated Press Writer
DETROIT (AP) — A bankruptcy expert who represented Chrysler during its successful restructuring has been chosen to steer Detroit out of the financial abyss that has swallowed the distressed city, which was once one of the nation's most prosperous.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 09:39
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