Shaila Mentore
YGB Public Relations

347. 559.4YGB (4942


New York, New York—(March 14, 2012)
The YGB Entrepreneurial Awards incorporates Jamaica's 50th Independence celebration with the announcement of Hon. Damion Crawford – Minister of State – Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment for Jamaica as their 2012 Keynote Speaker. Mr. Carl Gray, founder of the program, states "Damion Crawford is an excellent selection to address the distinguished panel of honorees at this year's event and sets the stage for highlighting key Jamaicans. He's known to be a dynamic speaker, entrepreneurial and exemplifies the mission of our program. This is truly a milestone for the program with our first ever international speaker who represents the country of my birth…I am truly honored."

The Young, Gifted, and Black (YGB) Entrepreneurial Awards, usually celebrated during Black History Month, will be held on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at the premiere event space 404 ( in New York City, in honor of Caribbean Heritage Month.

In keeping with tradition, the YGB awards program will again honor individuals who “strive towards the Continued Pursuit of Success.”  The list of honorees include the 2005 Winner of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice”, Chairman &CEO of BCT Partners, Dr. Randal Pinkett, with the M.B. Strategic Business Development & Management Award; EMI’s VP of Urban Promotions, Craig Davis, with the M.B. Music & Entertainment Management Award; Celebrity Photographer, Rowena Husbands of Blink of an Eye Photography with the 2012 Nina Simone Artistic Excellence Award in Photography; DJ Norie of POWER 105.1FM, with the 2012 Disc Jockey Award; and Co-Founder & Executive Director of the Hip Hop Loves Foundation, Rene John-Sandy with the 2012 Community Mentorship Award, to name a few.


The intent of the awards is to acknowledge individuals whose journey towards success can motivate, inspire and empower others by highlighting the paths each honoree has taken throughout his/her life.  Each honoree is nominated by a previous award recipient or his/her pool of peers who appreciate the individual’s drive for success—from where he/she has been in life to where he/she is now as an ambassador of the entrepreneurial spirit.


This year the program will incorporate into its format special presentations to emphasize the country of Jamaica’s 50th Independence Anniversary and Caribbean Heritage Month. 


The founder of the YGB Awards, Carl O. Gray, seeks to also acknowledge the program’s first ever Businessman of the Year Award to an influential member of the business community who has made significant contributions to impact his industry and society as a whole.  Several candidates are being considered and the announcement will be made in April 2012.


With surprise guests and performances, this year’s celebration cannot be missed, so join us in celebrating your peers and a country whose rich history has touched lives across the world.

The 2012 YGB Awards Program non-profit fiscal partner and sponsor is the Chris Rose Community Empowerment Campaign (, a certified NYS 501 c (3) charity.  The YGB Awards will make a 10% donation to CRCEC from all sponsorships and payments made on behalf of the program.  In addition, the YGB Awards program is also committed to making donations to The American Foundation for the University of the West Indies ( scholarship program; a donation in the amount of $100.00 will receive a complimentary VIP ticket to the awards show.  More information will be presented over the next few months in regard to event updates. 

For sponsorships, advertisements and/or donations, in addition to questions or inquiries, contact us at the YGB Awards service line at 347.559.4YGB (4942) or send an email to:

Online donations/tickets can be made at:

nterview requests and press credentials, please contact Shaila Mentore at or call out service line at 347.559.4YGB (4942)


About YGB: Founded in 2006 by Carl O. Gray, President and CEO, The NetLinkz Group, Inc., and Founder of Unified Network of Business Professionals, in honor of Black History Month, The Young, Gifted & Black Entrepreneurial Awards is designed for peer-to-peer acknowledgement for their Talent, Ambition and Achievements toward the “Continued Pursuit of Success.” 

: The Christopher Rose Community Empowerment Campaign seeks to fight youth violence by raising community awareness and creating solutions by offering positive alternatives. CRCEC intends to mobilize the community to increase community awareness of the factors that contribute to youth violence; occurrences of violence; the impact of violence; and strategies for preventing delinquency of adolescents that leads to youth gang involvement and community violence.  The Christopher Rose Community Empowerment Campaign is a New York Not-for-Profit corporation with a registered 501(c) 3 status. The interim acting governing body of CRCEC is the Family Coordinating Committee. The acting executive body in New York is the Brooklyn Steering Committee and in Pennsylvania, the Bushkill Steering Committee.  The committees are composed entirely of volunteers and are actively seeks committed new members.

About AFUWI: The AFUWI serves as the primary vehicle for The University of the West Indies in its Capital Campaign and fundraising efforts in the United States. This is done by organizing special events, locating funding sources, facilitating research programs and developing strategic partnerships with American corporations, foundations, alumni and other organizations in order to sponsor projects, scholarships and academic programs which benefit students and faculty in the 4 campuses serving the region. This includes –three main campuses in Jamaica-Mona , Barbados-Cave Hill, Trinidad & Tobago-St Augustine and the Open Campus in the 12 University Centers located on the islands of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Montserrat, St Kitts’s, St. Lucia and Nevis, St Vincent and The Grenadines. While fundraising is the Foundation’s primary mission, it also seeks to establish long term strategic relationships with other institutions, organizations and individuals who share the desire to positively impact the educational offerings of the University and by extension improve the socio-economic structure of the Caribbean region. The Foundation has more recently intensified its focus on supporting the University so that the institution can continue to expand to meet the dynamic demands of a global environment while remaining relevant to the societies it serves.


2012 Young, Gifted & Black (YGB) Entrepreneurial Award Recipients


Andrea Bullens

Executive Director, Bullzii Marketing LLC

Sales, Marketing & Advertisement Award

Diane Huey & Janice Huey
Co-Owners, Huey's Chueys

Small Business Award

Anthony H. Turner
President-CEO, Images LLC
Broadcast Media Award

Dr. Randal Pinkett
Chairman and CEO, BCT Partners
Author of Black Faces in White Places,
No-Money Down
CEO and Campus CEO
Strategic Business Development
& Management Award

Craig Davis
VP of Urban Promotions, EMI
Music & Entertainment Management Award

Road International
DJ Roy & Wayne Jackson
 Sound System Production Award


R’Kardo St’von
Songwriter, Singer, Composer & Musician
Artistic Excellence Award in Musical Production

Rowena Husbands
Celebrity Photographer
Blink of an Eye Photography
Artistic Excellence Award in Photography


Jean Alerte
Founder & Owner, Alerte, Carter & Associates
Strategic Marketing Award

Karen Mitchell

Founder, True Indian Hair
Women in Business Award

Marc Anthony Bynum

Chef, M Bynum Creations
Culinary Award

DJ Norie

Disc Jockey (DJ), Power 105.1FM
Disc Jockey of the Year Award

George Duval & Lisa Lindo-Duval
Co-Owners, Open Bar Hospitality
Hospitality Award

Success Coach,
Business Marketer Award

Lisa George

Zumba Fitness Instructor
Health & Instructional Fitness Award

Domonique Toussaint,
Mobilize for Haiti Foundation
Strategic Vision Award

Rene John-Sandy

Co-Founder & Executive Director
Hip Hop Loves Foundation
Community Mentorship Award

Frank Waters
, President
Henry Nelson, Vice President
1209 Enterprises, LLC
Business Networking Award

Tricia Messeroux
Owner, Toddlewood LLC
Photographer & Creative Director,
Big Eye Photography & Big Eye Productions
Strategic Branding Award

Jamaica Impact Inc
Community Empowerment Award

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