Economic Empowerment through Enterprise Development

Nominations are being accepted for the 13th A.G. Gaston Community Service Awards

Deadline approaching

ArthurGaston-largeBIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The A.G. Gaston Conference is seeking unsung community heroes for the 2017 A.G. Gaston Conference Community Service Awards. Nominations will be accepted through January 31st, 2017 by clicking here. The awards will be presented during the 13th annual conference to be held Wednesday, February 15, 2017 during the luncheon, beginning at noon at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

The two day conference, which begin on Tuesday, February 14th features nationally-known speakers and local leaders and focuses on economic empowerment. The community service awards are presented to individuals who exemplify characteristics of the late black millionaire A.G.Gaston who founded and ran several businesses in the Birmingham area. Nominees for the award should be active in their church, involved in philanthropic activities and impacting Birmingham and the state of Alabama in positive ways.    Past winners of the community service awards include Lisa Riley of Lift Fund for her advocacy about autism and to Kerri Pruitt of the Dannon Project which focuses on presenting opportunities for ex-offenders.  Past conference award recipients represent a Who’s Who among Birmingham civic and educational leaders. Among them are: Dr. Perry Ward, President of Lawson State Community College, Fred McCallum, President of Alabama AT&T, and the late Reverend Abraham Woods.

The conference,  founded in 2005 by Bob Dickerson and Gaynelle Adams-Jackson, serves as a think tank venue discussing enterprise development and how it contributes to economic empowerment. Dickerson said, "Every day someone in our community is making a difference. We seek to discover and honor those individuals who touch and improve lives because it is not only important to recognize the business leaders in our communities but the unsung heroes as well."

Nominations can be made by clicking here.  Finalists for the award will be notified by February, 10th 2017. 

This year’s conference theme is closing the wealth gap through entrepreneurship and policy. Conference attendees are slated to hear from three nationally recognized business leaders, Janice Mathis, Dr. Dennis Kimbro, and Ramon Ray. Mathis is the Executive Director of the National Council of Negro Women, Kimbo  is a best-selling author and master trainer for the prestigious Napoleon Hill Foundation, and Ray, Editor of Smart Hustle Magazine, and author of the best seller, “Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing,” which is currently getting rave reviews from across the nation.

The Gaston conference draws business leaders from across the state along with a diverse group who gather to honor Gaston’s legacy, discuss current trends in business, honor its community leaders and empower entrepreneurs and business owners. According to Gaynell Jackson, “At the center of many conference discussions are lessons leaders can learn to cultivate the next generation of millionaires committed to serving the community.