Recycling Black Dollars (RBD) 15th Annual Masters of Finance Award Honorees. Left to right Ellis Gordon Jr. (Gordon/Barash Assoc.) Mr. Leon Garr (Co-founder Founders Bank/Garr Construction), Linda Smith (LAMBOC); Center Markina Brown (KTLA Primary Meteorologist ), Dr. Lula Ballton (West Angeles Housing Development),Willie Fann (RBD Executive Director), Farid A. Haqq (Farid A. Haqq & Assoc.). Honorees not pictured Loretta Jackson (Crenshaw Christian Center ) Mr. Wilfred L. Marshall (Economic Development, U.S. Department of Commerce) andÂ Wayne-Kent A. Bradshaw (Broadway Federal Bank).
RBD Honors the "Masters of Finance" at the15th Annual Masters Series Awards LuncheonBy Bobby Glanton SmithThe backdrop for Recycling Black Dollars' 15th Annual Masters Series Award Luncheon was ominous: the nation is facing the greatest economic challenge since the Great Depression; which made honoring the "Masters of Finance" all the more appropriate. The event, which was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel LAX, inspired and enlightened a responsive audience of RBD supporters and sponsors. "Once again we are encouraged by the breadth and depth of support we received from our members and corporate sponsors," opined Mr. Willie J. Fann, Executive Director of RBD Communications.The 2009 Master of Finance Honorees were: Mr. Leon T. Garr (President and Co-Founder of Founder's National Bank & Garr Construction); Dr. Lula B. Ballton (CEO, West Angeles Community Development Corporation); Mr. Wayne-Kent A. Bradshaw (President & COO, Broadway Federal Bank); Ms. Linda Smith (Executive Director, Los Angeles Minority Business Opportunity Center); Mr. Ellis Gordon, Jr. (Financial Consultant, Gordon/Barash Associates, Inc.); Ms. Loretta Jackson (Director of Finance), Crenshaw Christian Center); Mr. Wilfred L. Marshall (Economic Development, U.S. Department of Commerce); and Mr. Farid A. Haqq (Education and Financial Consultant, Farid A. Haqq & Associates).The Mistress of Ceremonies was Markina Brown, the Primary Meteorologist for KTLA's Prime News. Ms. Brown not only donated her time and talents to RBD for this occasion, she promoted the event during her presentation of the weather at KTLA. Ms. Brown was capably assisted with the facilitation of the event by Ms. Kitty Davis Walker (The Voice of RBD) and yours truly, Bobby Glanton Smith.The luncheon was augmented by the sultry songstress, internationally acclaimed recording artist, Ms. Phyllis Battle and the amazing vocal gymnastics of Jay Lamont, who has been featured on television, radio and the theater. Mr. Lamont's vocal impersonations of legendary figures (including a spot-on impersonation of President Barack Obama was clearly a highlight of the festivities).In his summary remarks, Executive Director Willie Fann acknowledged the Herculean efforts of Jacque Bee, who was principally responsible for coordinating and executing the 15th Annual Masters Series Awards Luncheon. He also gave kudos to Linda G. Washington (Graphics/Publishing); Fifi Locke (Consultant/Designer); Crystal Mitchell (RBD Online Promotions); Charles Anderson (Event Coordinator); Kristin Grant (Assistant to Mr. Fann); Kenny Williams (Entertainment/Sound & Production); Steve Minor (Video Coordinator); Bill Pittman (Assistant Sound Engineer); Paul Fuery (Stage & Production, Brodney Baudoin (Stage & Production) and RBD's Dedicated Volunteers: Debra Price, Sherice Bellamy, Lori Carter, Nicole Williams, Linda Tidwell, Susan Wade, Cynthia Moore and Melinda Dockery.In closing, Mr. Fann made special mention of the invaluable support RBD continues to receive from sponsors. The event was made possible by generous contributions from: AEG, Southern California Edison, Toyota, USA Broadway Federal Bank, Crenshaw Christian Center, Los Angeles Sentinel Nestle, USA, Northrop Grumman, Union Bank of California and the World Business Exchange (WBE).The legacy of Muhammad Ali Nassardeen lives on as evidenced by sustained commitment to Recycling Black Dollars by a cross section of businesses, organizations, institutions and individuals.