PROVIDENCE, RI – (October 16, 2012) The foundation of Rhode Island’s business community was laid by African tradesmen and women long
before there was an Ocean State. This pioneering spirit was celebrated this past Friday evening at the
Metacomet Country Club in a gala celebration of the Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA).
RIBBA’s presence will ensure that the State supplier diversity process strengthens minority businesses and
this in turn will help to create economic development opportunities and generate job growth. Rhode Island
needs corporate America and the State of Rhode Island to hear our voices and join us to realize supplier
diversity and representation, said President Lisa Ranglin. Ranglin’s keynote speaker, Cheryl Snead, was
asked to give her words of wisdom to business owners or those thinking of going into business on the event
theme, “Ignite the Passion that Grows a Business.” Snead is a renowned minority with a very successful
trade company in Rhode Island Banneker, Industries, Inc. Snead laid out a blueprint for success.
RIBBA is dedicated to enhancing the growth and economic empowerment of black/urban-owned businesses.
Their goal is to provide a forum for competitive participation in the local and global through business
development, advocacy and professional growth.
Ranglin highlighted the achievements of 2012, a year of organizational focus. Noteworthy, RIBBA was
appointed by the Providence City Council. RIBBA examined policies to ensure enforcement, transparency
and accountability. Lisa Ranglin, RIBBA’s Board President was appointed by the Council to serve on a
major task force, which resulted in Minority and Women’s policy reform. MBE/WBE reforms strengthened
outreach and supplier diversity interests. RIBBA also increased their capacity to carry out its mission and
continue its advocacy, which includes access to capital, strengthening access to contracts, and increasing
training and development for business owners.
I was encouraged by the large turnout of elected officials, business owners, professionals and interested
community members said Ranglin. Now that the party is over it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get down to
work in making RIBBA the united voice and leader of the Black/Minority business community in Rhode
The event was attended by many dignitaries and distinguished and strategic members of our community.
Special messages, citations of recognition for honorees, and sponsors were noted. Mayor Angel Taveras,
Congressman David Cicilline, various State Senators and Representatives from the minority community
spoke. They joined the many business and community leaders who came out to support this important
organization. Ardena Lee Fleming, Regional Director of RISBDC, served as Mistress of Ceremonies.
The Rhode Island Black Business Association continues to mark the formation of an organized business
community that has the opportunity to take advantage of minority business enterprise opportunities and
create jobs in the urban cores of Rhode Island cities, said Dr. William Bundy, an advisor to the Board of
Directors and Co Chair of the event. “I believe RIBBA will bring about the unity of effort and promote
business practices that will overcome longstanding challenges and generate economic growth. RIBBA’s
mission is to serve as the bridge between the corporate world and minority groups to facilitate supplier
diversity. Lisa Ranglin is clearly the spark that has ignited a partnership for progress between the Black
business community, potential investors and government support for small business growth,” declared Dr.
Bundy. President Lisa Ranglin and Co Chair, Dr. Will Bundy issued the awards.
Award presentations were made to the winning nominees. The awardees were:
1. Joseph A. Caffey
John Merrick Pioneer Business Leader Award: Presented to an influential Black/African
American business leader for his or her Outstanding Business Achievement and Community
2. Delano Joseph Brooks
George T. Downing Business Leadership Award: Presented to a Black/African American in
recognition of Outstanding Vision, Dedication, and Commitment to Excellence.
3. Banneker Industries, Inc.
The Allen Brothers Business Award: Presented to a Black/African American business for
outstanding Leadership, Vision and Excellence in Performance and who is willing to serve as an
inspiration to other business owners.
4. Sharon Conard-Wells
Christiana Bannister Community Service Award: Presented to an individual in recognition of
Outstanding Contribution to Community Development.
5. Chauncey B. Melvin
Isaac Rice Entrepreneurship Award: Presented to a Black/African American Entrepreneur in
recognition of Exceptional Management and Entrepreneurial Achievements.
It’s all about opportunity, said Ranglin. Honorees pave the path for future small business champions.
For more information about the RI Black Business Association (RIBBA), please check their website at ribba.
com or call 401-465-3669 or check Facebook . Video on the event is on Facebook.