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HONOREES Jamal Woodson and Christopher Edmonds hold their awards at the ceremony, Dec. 13. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

Across Allegheny County, African American men are setting examples of performance and integrity in fields as diverse as their backgrounds—medical doctors who’ve become college administrators, educators who’ve become gaming executives, pro athletes who’ve become school superintendents, and entrepreneurs who turned dreams into thriving businesses.

On Dec. 13, 2017, nearly 50 Black men were proud to stand in each other’s company at the Fairmont Pittsburgh Hotel to be celebrated as the New Pittsburgh Courier’s Men of Excellence Class of 2017.

“This is a magnificent event,” said Rivers Casino Director of Community Relations Rahmon Hart, one of the honorees. “Gathering these men who are doing so much great work in the city—it’s an honor to be included with them.”

About 350 friends and family members joined the honorees for cocktails and a buffet dinner before the award presentations, which also featured a special award for Legacy Honoree and longtime Courier columnist Louis “Hop” Kendrick.

As two large video screens looped through images of the honorees, their friends and associates—Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judge David Wecht, Alcosan Executive Director Arletta Williams, Pittsburgh Public Schools board member Sylvia Wilson, Allegheny County Police Assistant Superintendent Maurita Byrant and other notables—took their seats.

Courier Lifestyles Editor Debbie Norrell introduced the evening’s celebrity host, Chris Moore, who in his inimitable style, not only celebrated the evening’s honorees, but future honorees.

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