Frederick County Minority Entrepreneurs Celebrated by Business Leaders

Over 60 people attended the Frederick County Office of Economic Development (OED)’s Minority Business Vision Appreciation Event last evening at Café 611 to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of minority business owners in the community.

Guest speaker Jimmy Rhee, Special Secretary of the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs, issued a challenge for the minority business community to usher in a new era of ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit in Maryland. He stressed in a business climate where the minority is the majority, the Governor's Office of Minority Affairs seeks to empower small,women-owned and minority-owned businesses so that they can compete with confidence in both the public and private sectors.

OED's Director Helen Propheter introduces Special Secretary
Jimmy Rhee

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner addressed the crowd with comments about how this is a great time to live in Frederick County and be a member of such a prosperous, diverse and talented community. She spoke of how she ran on an open and transparent platform with a goal to build a community where all people are valued recognized, and encouraged to achieve their dreams. “I welcome and embrace the diversity of Frederick County and I have a vision of what Frederick County can be when all in our community are participating and sharing in a prosperous economy.  I believe the best is yet to come for Frederick County,” said Executive Gardner.

“We have the fastest growing Asian and Hispanic population in Maryland,” commented the Director of the Frederick County Office of Economic Development Helen Propheter. “Asian-owned business increased 68% from 2007-2012 and Hispanic-owned businesses increased 25% during the same time frame. African American-owned business ownership also increased 5% from 2007-2012. The Frederick County Office of Economic is working hard to provide tailored business resources to the growing minority population in Frederick County,” she said.

From Left to Right: Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner; Shannon Humphries, 
 BB&T; Isabel Lopez; Latrice Lewis, Frederick County Workforce 
Services; Michelle Day, Frederick County Workforce Services.

In partnership with Frederick County Workforce Services, the program also recognized an outstanding youth working with Workforce Services for her achievements within the program. The certificate was presented to Isabel Lopez Garcia and a donation of $700 was made on behalf of platinum sponsor BB&T and the Minority Business Vision to the Workforce Development Board Youth Education Fund so that other youths like Ms. Garcia can continue to receive support.

The event’s Platinum Sponsor was BB&T and the Gold Sponsor was MaxLife, LLC. Silver Sponsors included: Frederick County Bank, Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, Thrasher’s Cleaning Service and New York Life. Bronze Sponsors were Café 611, Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Asian American Center.