The Professionals' Unsung Heroes

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The Professionals Network Organization (TPNO) honored twelve community champions at the Third Annual Women’s History Month Unsung Heroes Awards cocktail party at trendy H20 on Waterside Plaza and 25th Street in Manhattan, on Friday, March 28th. 

It was a chance to meet new business professionals and reunite with peers while celebrating the achievements of outstanding women for their hard work and dedication to the community.

13-year-old Zykeya McLeod, garnered a huge ovation from The Professionals and esteemed guests for authoring the compelling book, "An Inner Child Speaks," and for being the successful co-owner of the publishing company, Zy Iman Publishing.  Zykeya wrote “An Inner Child Speaks,” to be a voice for and to help support abused and neglected children.  Zykeya was accompanied by her proud mom, family members and friends who are very supportive of her efforts.

This year’s honorees included Nicole Ryan of News 12 Brooklyn who received The Professionals' Excellence in Media and TV Journalism Award; Jasmine Sanders of WBLS received The Professionals' Excellence in Media Broadcastiing Award; Nyree Dixon, Principal PS 12, Brooklyn received the Professionals' Unsung Hero Award, Yolanda Holmes, AKA, Professionals' Organization Recognition Award; Jasmin Miller, COO of The Professionals Network Organization received The Professionals Special Appreciation Award; Pam Pickens of Black Diamonds received the Chairman’s Leadership Circle Award; Michelle Mitchell, Founder of The Phenomenal Women Group received the Chairman’s Leadership Circle Award; Erma Winslow received The Professionals' Unsung Hero Award; Connie DeLaigle, Port Authority of NY & NJ, received the Chairman’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Award; Atchudta Barkr, owner of Sisters’ Community Hardware Store received the Chairman’s Leadership Circle Award; Kim Hardy, Deputy Commissioner of HPD received the Chairman’s Civic Leadership Award and Lobbyist, Tyquana Henderson received The Professionals' Rising Star Award.

From Mayor Bloomberg’s office, Patricia Gatling, Commissioner on Human Rights and from Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Cory Booker’s office, Communications Officer, Lupe Todd, attended the beautifully catered event.  Phenomenal Woman, Madaline Smith, the toast of Bed Stuy, a strong community activist who is best known, however, for Madeline’s Pet Boutique -- Bed-Stuy’s mecca for the latest in pet fashions, also attended the gala.  On June 7th, Madeline will be presenting her 2nd annual pet fashion show in Fulton Park in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.  The pet show, entitled, Bed Stuy Pet-Stuy is becoming a favorite and anticipated event in the community.  Also present, among so many esteemed guests, were Francisco J. Acosta, Chairman of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s Seminar Committee and Executive Vice President of Internal Business Consulting, Connie DeLaigle [Honoree], Affirmative Action/EEO Coordinator and Minority Business Developer for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s tenant construction contracts at JFK International and LaGuardia Airports, Esther L. Gadpaille of Lord & Gadpaille, LLC, Lobbyist,  Tyquana Henderson, Jon Parks, Partner, Blue Financial, Carl O Gray, President & CEO of The Netlinkz Group,  Cassandra Hill, Jet Blue Coorindator MWBE Compliance, officers from Merrill Lynch were present, Cordenia Paige, Author of Blogger’s Delight Vol. 1 (Love and Redemption) , Tammay Morton of The Phenomenal Women Group, Michelle Travis, Director of Public Relations for The Phenomenal Women Group, Brenda Jeanne Wyche, President of The Phenomenal Women Group, New York Chapter and Managing Editor of Harlem Business News, many local “Phenoms” came out to celebrate Michelle Michelle, Founder of The Phenomenal Women Group’s Chairman Leadership Circle Award.

The evening wrapped up in the VIP room with an unprecedented affair entitled, "VIP 'Access to Capital' Boardroom Backroom Deals."  Hosted by this reporter, on behalf of The Black Star News and the Money Makers Club for Start-Ups and Emerging Small Business, the meeting featured financial heavy, Jon Parks of Blue Financial, who shared insight on small business empowerment through corporate credit to a full house.  Personal credit specialist, Des Sealy gave an informative presentation to the group, as well.

It was a spectacular evening of elegance, joy, empowerment and rewards as The Professionals Network Organization exceeded themselves once again.

The Professionals Network Organization’s Third Annual Women’s History Month Unsung Hero Awards was sponsored by State Farm Insurance.

Zykeya McLeod wrote “An Inner Child Speaks,” to be a voice for and to help support abused and neglected children.  To learn more and to purchase Zykeya's book, visit . Illustrations by Jenny Gonzalez.

Brenda Jeanne Wyche is Managing Editor for Harlem Business News.  If you have a solution, contact .  Maybe we’ll talk.


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