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Business Profile: Desiree’ Thornton

Desiree ThortonAtlanta Free Speech would like to highlight Ms. Desiree’ Thornton, who is the owner and designer at A.M.E.E. (Amazing, Memorable, Extraordinary, Eloquent) Event Planning.  Desiree’, who is an Atlanta native, founded A.M.E.E. Event Planning in 2009 after continuous support and encouragement  from her loved ones. For many years, Desiree’ planned various events for her friends and family,  so she decided to turn her love for event planning into a business. After several referrals from her relatives, A.M.E.E. Event Planning became a success.

Desiree’ loves to interact with her clients and bring their visions to life.  By expanding the initial ideas of her clients, Desiree’ is able to produce an extraordinary event that surpasses any expectation. Not only can Desiree’ plan a memorable event, but she can do it on any budget.

Desiree’ is a graduate of  Kennesaw State University, where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. She is an active member of the Atlanta community serving as a mentor for Pink Diamonds and a sponsor for March of Dimes and the Kidney Foundation. With a vision of providing unique events that result in lasting memories, Desiree’ has proven that it is possible to turn your passion into a profession.

Atlanta Free Speech salutes Desiree’ Thornton.

To learn more about A.M.E.E. Event Planning, click here.

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Federal business development veteran Kyle Scott joins Telos ID

Top Priority Sector:  access_control_identification Sixteen-year Federal market veteran Kyle Scott has joined Ashburn, VA-based Telos Identity Management Solutions as vice president for strategy and business development. Read More….

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The black family business: Ben’s Chili Bowl

black family photo

Photo: Mindy Jo

Back in 1958, August 22nd to be exact, the sweet melody and sound on the Saturn II juke box could have well been “I want to stop, and thank you baby,” as Ben and Virginia Ali opened the nations now famous Ben’s Chili Bowl.

More than just chili and cheese, Ben’s Chili Bowl served a very prominent and classy close net community.  Located in Washington, D.C. on U Street in the Northwest quadrant of the city, Ben’s Chili Bowl is surrounded by some of the most iconic theaters such as, the Lincoln Theater and Howard Theater, as well as The Republic and Booker T.  During the late 1920’s, U Street was known as the “Black Broadway,” because of the very progressive entertainment and dinning at sophisticated restaurants.

Blacks in business during the 1950’s were faced with challenges due to the racial inequality and lack of cultural understanding.  The overhead cost of operating a business comes with investing not only money, but more time, sacrifice, and dedication.  For the first twenty years, through all the social and economic changes happening, Mrs. Ali was working longer hours since she only had one other employee at the time.  Mrs. Ali says “it was very hard on me because there were no streets, no subways, and the property tax had increased.”

Although some businesses did not welcome people of color, other than to make a purchase, Ben’s Chili Bowl welcomed everyone from its opening day in 1958 until today. It is still the most diverse thriving business in the city racially, culturally, and economically.  In the 1960’s, some areas in the district were ravished by riots and engulfed in flames from the assignation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  As a result, many businesses had curfews, however Ben’s Chili Bowl remained open and was the meeting place for city officials to develop a plan to end the riots and violence occurring in the district.

Because of its location, and one-of-a-kind chili half smoked, you would often find influential African Americans such as, Bill Cosby frequent Ben’s Chili Bowl.  Ben’s Chili Bowl is where Mr. Cosby would meet his love Camille when they were dating.

Family has always been at the forefront of Ben’s business plan, which contributes to its thriving business. Almost fifty-seven years later, Ben’s business hasn’t slowed down yet. Mrs. Ali says, “having two of my three daughter-in-laws running the business with me makes it very special.”

Source: Virginia Ali

The post The black family business: Ben’s Chili Bowl appeared first on Atlanta Free Speech.

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California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Lookout issue small business cybersecurity guide

Top Priority Sector:  cyber_security Image Caption:  Kamala Harris  Read More….

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Business Profile: Dr. Edward D. Irons

Atlanta Free Speech would like to celebrate a distinguished financial and business executive, Dr. Edward D. Irons. Dr. Irons has a Doctorate of Business Administration in Finance from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business.  He is the first African American to receive a degree in finance from the university. Dr. Irons is also Dean Emeritus of Clark Atlanta University’s (CAU) School of Business. He is noted for assisting with the initial accreditation of both CAU’s undergraduate and graduate schools.  Over the past 30 years, Dr. Irons has taught business organizational development and world banking classes to thousands of scholars.

Edward D. IronsRecently, Dr. Irons spoke at the Christians for Change Baptist Church Black History Program. There he discussed the current state of African Americans within the present financial economy.  Dr. Irons is confident that he could properly run any major banking institution in the United States, since he and other members established a minority owned commercial banking institution—Riverside National Bank in Houston, Texas in 1964 where he served as President.  This was the first African-American banking institution with a national charter in nearly 40 years.

In 1964, when Riverside National Bank was formed, there were only ten African-American owned banks in the United States, with a total of assets worth $70 million.  Today, there are 180 owned minority banks within the United States, inclusive of blacks, with $70 billion in total assets.  Liberty Bank & Trust Company is currently the largest black owned bank, which is in New Orleans, Louisiana with $600 million in assets.

Today, Dr. Irons feels there is not enough emphasis on economics, which should be our major objective.  There is a great effort in creating economic institutions and building the accumulation of economic resources for blacks to be successful in their economic growth.  However, within this framework, African Americans will continue to be overlooked.  African Americans should strive for entrepreneurship and aim to develop products that can be sold internationally.  In 1865, when slavery was legally abolished, the chains were no longer on our wrist, but ingrained in our minds.  Many African Americans are trained consumers. For that reason, Dr. Irons explains that it does not make rational since for blacks to purchase from outside its own community. Therefore, in business, we should not limit ourselves and engage in markets outside of our community in order to prosper and grow financially.

Dr. Irons is a true financial teaching and wealth management pioneer.  He is a champion of entrepreneurship and economic growth within the African-American community.

Dr. Iron’s book, Only by Grace, is currently available for pre-order.

The post Business Profile: Dr. Edward D. Irons appeared first on Atlanta Free Speech.

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Exelis promotes Dr. Pamela Drew, leader of the company’s Information Systems business, to executive vice president

Top Priority Sector:  military_force_protection McLean, VA-based Exelis has promoted Dr. Pamela Drew, who joined Exelis in January 2013, to the role of executive vice president. Read More….

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Business profile: Colony C. Canady, Esq.‏

Atlanta Free Speech would like to highlight an upcoming pioneer in the fight for justice and servant to the community, Colony C. Canady. Colony is a graduate of The University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. While a student, she became a member of the University’s prestigious Honors Program and Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities. colony canadyIn 2012, she received her Juris Doctorate degree from Emory University’s School of Law where she studied transactional law. While in law school, Colony was also a member of the Transactional Law Certificate Program, Black Law Students Association (BLSA), and Future Music Attorneys (FMA) organizations. 

Colony currently practices Entertainment, Real Estate, and Corporate law. She regularly advises clients on various transactional/business matters involving entity formation and governance, contractual disputes (management, operating, producer, licensing, lease, property management, and joint venture agreements), tenant and landlord rights, as well as  intellectual property rights. She has also mediated and negotiated a number of settlement agreements on behalf of her clients to help them avoid costly litigation.

Colony is licensed to practice in the state of Georgia and is a member of the Atlanta Bar Association. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She also enjoys volunteering with various organizations including Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta, March of Dimes, The American Cancer Society, and Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless. When possible, Colony serves as a speaker/panelist for many organizations such as Future Music Attorneys where she gives advice and guidance to law students interested in the entertainment law space.

Atlanta Free Speech salutes Attorney Colony C. Canady. 

Connect with Colony on LinkedIn


The post Business profile: Colony C. Canady, Esq.‏ appeared first on Atlanta Free Speech.

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Axis Communications U.S. expansion plan calls for “Axis Experience Centers” in six business areas

Top Priority Sector:  video_surveillance_cctv In a new growth strategy, network video provider Axis Communications has announced the launch of a U. Read More….

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Study: consumers more concerned about business data collection than government surveillance

John Wagley Top Priority Sector:  it_security When it comes to digital privacy, U. Read More….

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4 steps to protect your small business from hackers

Update. Update. Update. Make sure that you’re running up to date software. Old software makes it easy for bad guys to compromise you by using widely available exploits. Control access. Make sure you know who has access to your servers, and that only those people are accessing your servers. Test apps. If you’re running custom application code on […]

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