MED Week celebration emotional and rewarding

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A great advocate for small businesses, dedicated to helping others, a lover of life, a true friend, and a positive person is how friends and co-workers remembered and recognized Donald S. Carter during the recent Minority Enterprise Development Week Minority Enterprise Development Awards Program.

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JOB WELL DONE— Friends, co-workers and family give accolades and celebrate the life of Donald S. Carter, a 37-year employee with the U.S. Small Business Administration in Pittsburgh and West Virginia, who passed away in April.

 

Carter who passed a way in April spent 37 years of his career with the U.S. Small Business Administration in Pittsburgh and West Virginia. His final position was Pittsburgh deputy district director. He often said he held almost every district-level job within the agency pointing out that he worked with loans, directed the 8(a) program, worked in the disaster program, did counseling, training and was an SBDC project officer.

In attendance during the emotional tribute were Carter’s brother, Wayne, and sister-in-law, Christina, of Cleveland, along with his former co-worker Emma Wilson, SBA branch manager of Charleston, W.V. Appreciative of the comments and accolades concerning his brother, Carter said he and his wife were representing their 93-year-old mother. “Don was a hard worker and cared a lot about business. He could have retired a long time ago, but he didn’t because he loved what he was doing,” he said.

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ENCOURAGING WORDS—Keynote speaker Charles “Chuck” Sanders of Urban Settlement Services, LLC thanks attendees who have helped him along his entrepreneurial journey.

Held at the Holiday Inn at the Meadowlands, the theme for the 27th anniversary of the MED Week celebration was “Energizing the American Economy with Minority Business Enterprises.” Each year the event is held in conjunction with the national celebration designated for cities to recognize the impact of small businesses in their region.

To a crowd of approximately 250 attendees and 25 Urban Youth Action, Inc., students, keynote speaker, Charles “Chuck” Sanders, CEO and co-founder of Urban Settlement Services, LLC, advised on the importance of chasing ones dreams.

“Keep your dream embedded in things other than money,” he said. Outlining his career, he pointed out that even though he was a pro football player he always wanted to be an entrepreneur and in the position to change lives. He said that today he employs approximately 400 and is listed in Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the top Black businesses in the nation. “Never stop learning and continue to be the best that you can be,” he encouraged.

Urban Settlement Services, operated by Sanders and his wife Elisa is said to be the second largest Black-owned company in Pennsylvania and the largest minority-owned Settlement Service Co. in the nation. He describes the business as a certified Minority Business Enterprise that provides real estate information products to the mortgage industry throughout the country.

Sanders is a Homewood native that grew up in Penn Hills and a graduate of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Sanders said his father was a determined man, an entrepreneur who believed in taking care of self.

During the celebration, individuals who have made a significant impact in the business community and who have continuously supported minority, veteran and women-owned businesses were awarded. Program organizers consider the businesses, regardless of their owner’s race, color, creed or national origin as vital components to not only strengthening America’s economic state, but to impacting people’s lives within the community. The SBA 2009 awardees presented by Barbara Fisher the newly appointed deputy district director of the local U.S. Small Business Administration went to J.C. Kono Morosky of Shaka, Inc.; Small Business of the Year, and Donna Chappel of Advanced Integration Group, Inc. was Minority Small Business of the Year Runner Up.

Benjamin Butler, executive director of the Minority Business Opportunity Committee presented the MBOC awards of the year to Louis “Hop” Kendrick, Donald S. Carter Lifetime Achievement Award; Ira Ritter Jr., I.D. Ritter Jr., Minority Business; Donna Chappel, Advanced Integration Group, Inc., Woman Business; Gregory Spencer, Randall Industries, LLC., Veteran Business; Paula B. Castleberry, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Government Advocate; and Jane Downing, The Pittsburgh Foundation, MBE/WBE Advocate. The MBE/WBE Resource Partner Award was accepted by Duvall Aiken, senior buyer for Community College of Allegheny County. Benjamin Walker, program manager of education outreach and community development for Urban Youth Action, Inc. received an award for his commitment to youth.

Presented by Christina Jumba, executive director of the Diversity Business Resource Center, the DBRC Client Business of the Year award went to Toni Garner Brown, owner of TGB Productions.

The MED Week committee for the Pittsburgh celebration consisted of Butler, Fisher, Jumba, Edward Greene of the Port Authority, Sandy Burkett of Vital Signs, Elizabeth Bowers of the Department of General Services, Larry Sullivan of the Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory and Judith Kirby of the SBA.

Congratulating the awardees, Butler said MBOC will continue to serve as the focal point for developing partnerships with city, county, state, and federal governments as well as public and private sectors to ensure economic development opportunities for minorities, veterans and women.

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