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Submitted by Richard L. Williams

March 28, 2023

Phone: (336) 281-3732

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. ⸻ In celebration of its 20th Anniversary, Black Business Ink magazine will host the Black Business Ink 20th Anniversary POWER 100 Awards Ceremony at 7 p.m. on June 8 at the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, 300 N. Elm St., Greensboro.

The POWER 100 Awards Ceremony recognizes 100 of the most influential leaders from across North Carolina including educators, healthcare professionals, politicians, business leaders and judges. In addition to the stellar list of who’s who, the evening will be chockful of musical entertainment and dance routines that pay homage to African American history and African American recording artists with North Carolina roots including Nina Simone and the Rev. Shirley Caesar.

“Black Business Ink is honored to be on the precipice of this remarkable 20-year milestone,” said Richard L. Williams, founder, publisher and editor of the award-winning publication. “This awards ceremony is an opportunity to not only showcase a successful and longstanding Black-owned business and its service to the community, but also to highlight outstanding leaders who are truly making a difference.”

The POWER 100 list illustrates the significant impact African Americans are making across the Tar Heel state, as the cohort is comprised of individuals and organizations from more than 25 municipalities.

“The individuals and organizations that comprise the POWER 100 have provided outstanding service in their communities, particularly among marginalized communities,” Williams said. “We’re grateful that people took the time to send in dozens of nominations; and for the time and effort of the selection committees to parse so many outstanding candidates. It’s a privilege and an honor to recognize these North Carolina icons.”

The awards ceremony is the singular event of the annual State of Black North Carolina Conference. Founded by Williams in May 2003, the conference brings together leaders statewide to address disparities in Black and Brown communities. During the inaugural conference 20 years ago, Black Business Ink magazine was first unveiled.

Among the 90 persons being honored are former state Supreme Court chief justices Cheri Beasley and Henry Frye; current associate justices Anita Earls and Michael Morgan; Atrium Health President/CEO Gene Woods; retired corporate CEOs Willie Deese and Dmitri Stockton; community leader and former college administrator Shirley Frye; Hall of Fame football coach Bill Hayes; former NASA Astronaut Joan Higginbotham; and N.C. Secretary of Revenue Ronald Penny. Among the 10 organizations being honored are the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, Operation Xcel, and the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Honorees were notified of their selection in March and each will attend the in-person ceremony on June 8.

Previous conference attendees include former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, former president of Spelman and Bennett colleges Dr. Johnnetta Cole and BCBS North Carolina CEO Dr. Tunde Sotunde.

Tickets are available on Ticketmaster using this link: A portion of the proceeds will help support scholarships for youths entering college.

Black Business Ink Power 100

  1. Rev. Darryl Aaron

  2. Denise “DD” Adams

  3. Nigel D. Alston

  4. Melvin “Skip” Alston

  5. Matthew Bacoate Jr.

  6. Adrian O. Baker

  7. Sherrod Banks

  8. Hon. Camille Banks-Prince

  9. Hon. Cheri Beasley

  10. Hon. Loretta C. Biggs

  11. R. Steven Bowden

  12. Candice Wooten Brown

  13. Rev. Cardes H. Brown Jr.

  14. Natalie Brown

  15. Sen. Daniel T. Blue Jr.

  16. Hon. L. Todd Burke

  17. Alan Cooper

  18. Avery Crump

  19. Hon. Lora Cubbage

  20. Dr. Anthony J. Davis

  21. Willie Deese

  22. Michael Diamond

  23. Dr. Karrie G. Dixon

  24. Teonnie Dotson

  25. Mae Douglas

  26. Hon. Anita Earls

  27. Frank Emory

  28. Steve Evans

  29. Valerie “VK” Fields

  30. Hon. Teresa R. Freeman

  31. Hon. Henry E. Frye

  32. Shirley T. Frye

  33. Kimberly B. Gatling

  34. Dr. Franklin D. Gilliam Jr.

  35. Kaddra Greene-Hall

  36. Denise J. Hartsfield

  37. Emma Hayes

  38. William “Bill” Hayes

  39. Joan Higginbotham

  40. Sharon M. Hightower

  41. Cleo Hill Jr.

  42. Mia Hubbard

  43. Taiwo Jaiyeoba

  44. Brian L. James

  45. Yvonne Johnson

  46. Rev. Clifford A. Jones Sr.

  47. Kristi Jones

  48. Marcus Jones

  49. Michelle Y. Lee

  50. Wilson Lester

  51. Stephan Lillie

  52. Rev. Paul A. Lowe Jr.

  53. Vi Alexander Lyles

  54. Rev. Sir Walter L. Mack Sr.

  55. Dr. Harold L. Martin Sr.

  56. Dr. Henry C. McKoy Jr.

  57. Dr. Alisa McLean

  58. Dr. Christine J. McPhail

  59. Dr. W.A. Merritt

  60. James “Smuggie” Mitchell

  61. James Montague

  62. Hon. Michael R. Morgan

  63. Deborah Holt Noel

  64. Dr. Pamela A. Oliver, MD

  65. Ronald Penny

  66. Kevin J. Price

  67. Marvin Price

  68. Hilda Pinnix Ragland

  69. Dr. Elwood L. Robinson

  70. Dr. Karen Roseboro

  71. Rev. Nathan E. Scovens

  72. Patrick J. Sims

  73. Debra F. Smith

  74. Harold J. Smith

  75. James “Smitty” Smith

  76. Tunya M. Smith

  77. Theressa Stephens

  78. Dmitri Stockton

  79. Dr. Cheryl D. Sutton

  80. Annette R. Taylor

  81. Sherri B. Thomas

  82. Hon. Teresa H. Vincent

  83. Gerald L. Walden Jr.

  84. Napoleon Wallace

  85. Dr. Goldie Frinks Wells

  86. Fred Whitfield

  87. Billy Williams

  88. Dr. Shanté P. Williams

  89. Eugene A. Woods

  90. Rev. Robert J. Williams Jr.


  1. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Noon Hour Commemoration

  2. Durham Housing Authority

  3. Edenton Homeboys Social & Civic Club, Inc.

  4. HOLLA!

  5. International Civil Rights Center & Museum

  6. Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest University School of Medicine

  7. National Harnett High School Alumni Association

  8. New North Carolina Project

  9. Operation Xcel

  10. Top Ladies of Distinction Inc.

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