Philip Banks, Jr. and Hilton O. Smith look on as Loida N. Lewis, chairwoman & chief executive officer, TLC Beatrice, LLC, presents five17-year old students selected from the Junior One Hundred with $20,000 each to assist them in their educational pursuits: Julio Trujillo of Benjamin N. Cardozo High School; Ramel McIntosh of Queens Preparatory High School; Kwasi Atiba of Bedford Academy; Akil Hollington of the Eagle Academy and Nicholas Legare also from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School.

*Themed a commitment to excellence, the One Hundred Black Men of New York, Inc. (OHBM) celebrated its 32nd annual benefit gala in support of its programs to empower and improve our community through a planned focus of education, mentoring, economic development and health and wellness.  OHBM has a long and successful history working with its corporate and community partners to make significant differences in the lives of the communities it serves.  Over 600 guests attended the event which raised more than $800,000.

Philip Banks, Jr., who steps down this year as president of the pristine organization after six successful terms performed one of his last official duties presenting awards to five exceptional honorees for their extraordinary commitment to excellence.  “I congratulate the 32nd Anniversary Gala Honorees who have each demonstrated the commitment to excellence that we embrace as a theme for our community and for ourselves,” said Mr. Banks.

The 2012 exceptional honorees included: Dennis Walcott, Chancellor, New York City Department of Education (educational champion award);  Cheryl McKissack Daniel, president & chief executive officer,  McKissack & McKissack (trailblazer award); Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and chief executive officer, TIAA-CREF (global economic achievement award); Michelle Y. Lee, executive vice president, northeast region president, community banking, Wells Fargo (corporate achievement award); and Mike Muse, CEO, Muse Recordings (artistic achievement award).  Jessie Wooten was honored as Mentor of the Year.  A surprised Banks received an award from the organization for his excellent leadership during his tenure.

“A commitment to excellence is a pledge and a promise to live our lives in an outstanding fashion, to be eminently good, to be superior in the daily tasks we assume and to continue in the journey of service to our communities, our families and our children.  Each of them has lived that commitment to excellence.” Mr. Banks added.

Loida N. Lewis, chairwoman & chief executive officer, TLC Beatrice, LLC, presented five17-year old students selected from the Junior One Hundred Program, a new 12-week leadership and life skills development program which also provided opportunities to earn college scholarships, with $20,000 each to assist them in their educational pursuits.  The students who submitted winning business plans are Julio Trujillo of Benjamin N. Cardozo High School; Ramel McIntosh of Queens Preparatory High School; Kwasi Atiba of Bedford Academy; Akil Hollington of the Eagle Academy and Nicholas Legare also from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School.

Among the esteemed guests in attendance were former Deputy Secretary of State Clifton Wharton, Jr.; former NYC Mayor and Mrs. David N. Dinkins; former NYC Comptroller William Thompson and incumbent Comptroller Hon. John Liu; New York State Senator Kevin Parker, CBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King; actor Blair Underwood, NYS NAACP Conference Chair Hazel Dukes, New York State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, New York State Senator Malcolm Smith, New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Chancellor of The City University of New York Matthew Goldstein and CUNY Senior Vice Chancellor and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Jay Hershenson; along with hundreds more.

Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of My9 TV’s The 10 O’clock News Brenda Blackmon, Fox 5’s meteorologist Mike Woods, and Reverend Jacques Andre DeGraff, second vice present, OHBM, served as co-emcees of the black tie fundraiser that featured a sponsor’s reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by awards presentations and dinner at 7:30 p.m. in the grand ballroom.

The gala committee was co-chaired by Michael Garner and Hilton O. Smith.  Outgoing president Banks led a dynamic gala committee consisting of OHBM members Will Brown, Curtiss Jacobs, Tyrone McKinney, Fitzgerald Miller, Sadiq Murray, Mark Smith, and Myron Williams(Photos by Margot Jordan)


Members of One Hundred Black Men, Inc. of New York


Cheryl McKissack Daniel, Founder, President and CEO of The McKissack Group, Inc., has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry.  She represents the fifth generation of the McKissack family’s business, which is the oldest minority and woman-owned professional design and construction group in the nation.  Cheryl is also active in the community, serving on several community boards and participating in various professional organizations.

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. is president and CEO of TIAA-CREF, the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields.  Previously in his career he was head of financial services for Swiss Re, and also served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System.  Roger currently serves on several boards including the Committee on Economic Development, President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, and the boards of several nonprofit organizations.

Michelle Y. Lee, Northeast Community Banking regional president for Wells Fargo, provides executive leadership for all retail, small business and business banking operations in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.  She has been in the banking industry for 27 years.  Michelle is the president of the Marion P. Thomas Charter School Foundation in Newark, as well as on the boards of The Newark Alliance, the YMCA of greater New York, the Alvin Ailey Dance School Foundation, the Alliance for Lupus Research, and the New Jersey Junior Achievement.

Mike Muse, CEO of Muse Recordings, runs the record label’s New York office.  In less than 2 years, the label has already released its debut album, Marc’s Project.  In addition to running Muse, Mike is also producing a Broadway play that is set to run in the fall.  He can also be heard as a guest commentator on several different radio stations, and as a guest lecturer at colleges around the country where he speaks on various topics related to the business side of music.

Dennis Walcott oversees a system of almost 1,700 schools with 1.1 million students, as the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education.  He is committed to cultivating teacher talent, expanding school choices for families, creating partnerships with parents, and ensuring that students graduate from high school and are successful in college and careers.  Previously, Chancellor Walcott served as Mayor Bloomberg’s Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development for more than 8 years.  Chancellor Walcott graduated from the New York City public school system and is a lifelong Southeast Queens resident.

One Hundred Black Men, Inc. of New York City wishes to thank its partners for their support of the 32nd Annual Benefit:

Diamond: Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, News Corporation, Walmart; Silver: Bloomberg, Delta Air Lines, TIAA-CREF, Turner Construction Company, UPS, Wells Fargo; Bronze: A.L. Eastmond & Sons, Inc., Aetna, City University of New York, Con Edison, Correction Officer’s Benevolent Association, Inc., Entergy Nuclear, Richard R. Harris/Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., Macy’s, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Mount Sinai, Michael Mulgrew/United Federation of Teachers, NBC 4 New York, New York Life Insurance, New York City School Construction Authority, Scholastic, Inc., State Farm;

Patron: Charles A. Archer, Esq., MPA, CCEP, CEO, EDCSPIN, Lois Wagh Aronstein/American Association of Retired Persons-New York, Sabrina Brice- City National Bank, Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr., Will Brown, Jr., Reischea Canidate, Coca-Cola Refreshments, Anthony Cochran, Columbia University in the City of New York, Lizette and Mark Edwards, Five Star Electric Corp., Pauline and Osceola Fletcher, Fox News Channel, Sekuleo Gathers, M.D., New York Physician, L.L.C., Bennie L. Hadnott, CPA, MBA, healthfirst, James Hendricks, Hennessy, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Felton Johnson/Education Access, Inc., Colonel Francis Kairson, Jr., KBL, LLP CPAs, Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Sylvia and Byron Lewis, Tyrone T. McKinney, McKissack & McKissack, Stepfone Montgomery, Mr. and Mrs. Sadiq Murray, National Urban League, State Senator Kevin S. Parker, Reginald Pittman, Annette Gordon-Reed and Honorable Robert R. Reed, Malcolm D. Reid, MD MPP, Dr. Mari Saunders, Renee Parris-Scott and R. Emanuel Scott, Jr., Skanska USA Building, Clarence Smith, Jr., Esq., Yolanda Y. and Derek D. Spears, William C. Thompson, Jr., United Way of New York City, Urban Home Ownership Corporation, Jamille Way, Donna Williams/The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Leslie Wyche, Alvin Yearwood, Lucretia Young/American Association of Retired Persons-Delaware

Guests loved the gift bag contents generously provided by: Aetna, Black Enterprise Magazine, Delta Airlines, Hennessy, Macy’s, Municipal Credit Union, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, News Corporation, Scholastic’s Read Every Day Calendar from the Scholastic Classroom & Community Group, Skanska USA Building, TCBA Watson Rice LLP, Turner Construction Company



One Hundred Black Men, Inc. of New York City was founded in 1963 when a group of successful African-American men came together to pool their resources to positively impact the Black community.

One Hundred Black Men, Inc.’s service projects focus on mentoring, education, health and wellness, and economic development.  The organization has a long and successful history working with its corporate and community partners to make significant differences in the lives of the communities it serves.

A celebrated example is the establishment of The Eagle Academy for Young Men in the Bronx, with a focus on academic excellence, leadership and character development and more recently, Eagle Academies have opened in Brooklyn and Queens.

Proceeds from the Annual Benefit Galas raise funds to support the programs of the One Hundred Black Men, Inc. New York City.  For more information about The One Hundred Black Men, Inc., or to support the programs of the organization call 212-777-7070 or log on to www.ohbm.org and click the “Donate” tab.

Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.

audrey j bernard