October 10, 2013

LAWT News Service


October 28th marks the first time a partnership between the Los Angeles Sentinel, the Crenshaw Leadership Council and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), has resulted in an unprecedented Business Summit, focused on opportunities that come with a $2 Billion investment of public funds in South Los Angeles.  The Metro to Crenshaw/LAX Business Oppor­tunities Summit will feature the Diversity and Economic Oppor­tunity Department (DEOD).  Metro’s CEO, Art Leahy, has entrusted leadership of DEOD to a woman with years of experience and measurable success, Ms. Linda B Wright, Executive Officer.  Ms. Wright is responsible for providing resources and support to minority and women owned small businesses that want to do business with Metro.

Ms. Wright said the upcoming Business Summit will give Metro an opportunity to educate and inform local small and minority owned businesses about the broad range of opportunities and most importantly how to take advantage of these opportunities.

Ms. Wright has a passion for helping small business owners ­succeed and her time at Metro has given her an opportunity to make sure millions of dollars in government contracts have been awarded to small, women and minority owned businesses in Southern California.  “The Business Summit is going to be an important event for the community and I cannot stress the importance of signing up early to attend,” said Ms. Wright.

Ms. Wright came to Metro after years of running her own small business, verifying Labor Compliance, which means making sure that employees were being paid prevailing wages for their work. That experience has made her especially sensitive to the needs of small and women owned business.  When asked about the secret to her success at Metro, Ms. Wright’s answer is simple. “I rely on a staff of dedicated ‘super-stars,’ who work tirelessly to find, nurture and grow SBE/MBE businesses.” My team goes to great lengths to see to it that any opportunity at Metro is broadcast to our target community, whether by hosting events, speaking at small group meetings, or calling potential SBE/MBE firms to make sure they are aware that an opportunity has arisen.

“The small, women and minority owned businesses in our region have continued to grow in sophistication and have increased their capability to be competitive on Metro and other projects.  I am proud to say that in the last year, over $21 million in DBE Commitments and $5.7 million in SBE Commitments has helped grow fledgling businesses into solid and powerful businesses, with the help of DEOD.” Through outreach and informational activities sponsored by Metro, the community is learning how to tread the path to robust partnerships among each other and with larger firms.  Through the Transporta­tion Business Advisory Council (TBAC), Meet the Buyers, Meet the Primes and smaller events, DEOD has become known as a major resource for business accessibility.

The Metro to Crenshaw/LAX Business Opportunity Summit marks the first time Metro will take key business units directly to South Los Angeles in an effort to match business and economic opportunities between Metro and small and minority owned businesses in the Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Trans­portation Corridor.  The DEOD team will be there to answer questions about certification, procurement and more.  To Register for the Business Summit occurring at the California African American Museum on Monday, October 28th please visit www.metrosummitla.com.

Parent Category: News
Category: Business

October 03, 2013

City News Service


The National Newspaper Pub­lishers Association (NNPA), a federation of nearly 200 Black newspapers, named Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairwoman Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ind.) and NAACP Board Chairwoman Rosyln M. Brock as recipients of is 2012 Leader­ship Awards.

The presentations were made during the CBC Foundation’s annual Legislative Conference, also known as CBC Weekend.

Fudge is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, where she is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Department Op­erations, Oversight and Nutrition. She also serves on the Education and Workforce Committee and is a member of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education.

Prior to joining Congress, Fudge worked in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. She also was the first Black and the first female mayor of Warrrensville Heights, Ohio. She is past national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Brock was unanimously elected chair of the NAACP Board of Directors in 2010, becoming the youngest person and only the fourth woman to hold the position. She graduated magna cum laude from Virginia Union University, earned a master’s degree in health services administration from George Wash­ington University, an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Masters Degree of Divinity from Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.

An advocate for affordable health care for vulnerable communities, she is Vice President, Advocacy and Government for Bon Secours Health System, Inc.

Parent Category: News
Category: Business

September 26, 2013

City News Service


Willie Goffney, MD, FACS, will receive the American Cancer Society’s St. George National Award on September 26 at the Society’s annual meeting in Oakland. Dr. Goffney is a surgical oncologist at Breast Center of Southern California and a long-time Society volunteer. He is one of only 27 Americans to be honored this year.

Dr. Goffney has served as president of the Society’s California Division and of the Society’s Long Beach -  Harbor Southeast unit  as well as sitting on the Division board of directors. He has been a member of the Society’s Los Angeles Regional Council since 1998. Dr. Goffney earned his bachelor’s and medical degrees from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. He and his wife Carmen live in Long Beach.,

The St. George award recognizes outstanding volunteers who have demonstrated ongoing leadership in community mission delivery and/or governance and have significantly contributed to furthering the Society’s strategic goals and mission-driven programs. These awardees have consistently represented the Society in a manner that advances the Society's mission and expands its community presence and have exhibited a continuing commitment to the Society through a willingness to serve.

Since conceived in 1949 by Dr. Charles S. Cameron, former Society medical and scientific director, the St. George National Award has been presented annually to Society volunteers across the country. 

Parent Category: News
Category: Business

September 26, 2013

City News Service


The Minority Apartment Owners Association (MAOA) held its bi-monthly membership meeting on September 12.  Members and friends welcomed guest speaker Mr. Peter Lynn, director of the Los Angeles Housing Authority for the City of Los Angeles.  The Housing Authority staff membersjoining Mr. Lynn were Ms. Angela N. Adams, Assistant Director of Section 8 Service Delivery and Christine McKinney, Ombuds­person, Section 8 Administration.  Mr. Lynn provided the standing room crowd an in-depth status of his department, and how the sequestration cuts in funding to the Section 8 program affects both tenants and property owners who participate in the program.

Mr. Lynn indicated his department was hit with a $35 million cut in his budget, and that they are spending down their $26 million in reserves going into 2014.  As a result of these cuts Mr. Lynn stated that his department has stopped issuing new vouchers in that there is less money coming into the department.  Mr. Lynn stated that starting July 2014 there will also be reductions in rents.  He also stated that current vouchers coming up for renewal will see increases in tenant portions of the rent.  Mr. Lynn indicated that there has been a shrinking in the program and his staff has been reduced by over a 100 positions over the last few years.  On the positive side, members asked what they could do to help. 

Mr. Lynn indicated one of the first things owners can do is to sign up for direct deposit, and that the department could save considerable funds by reducing the cost of postage and paper, which will reduce the amount of administrative cost.  At the end of the presentation Ms. Adams and Ms. McKinney participated in a question and answer period. 

Rounding out the program was Mr. Regional Cox of American Cash Recovery Systems (ACRS).  Mr. Cox presented a hand out that he went over, which details the steps owners should take when first renting to an applicant in the event a loss incurs and when it becomes necessary to seek recovery.  Mr. Cox walked attendees through the complete collection process.  International Realty & Investments the parent company for the MAOA, has been using ACRS for many years and he has provided excellent service.  Mr. Bennett, who is president of the MAOA and Broker/CEO of International Realty & Investments, provided a brief update on AB 1229, the most important landlord tenant bill in decades and what owners can do to help.  Mr. Bennett encouraged attendees to be sure they keep their membership current and continue to respond to Red Alerts on important legislations. 

Members signed a special birthday card for Ms. Ruth A. Hayles, executive director for the Association and general manager for International Realty & Investments, as she was celebrating her birthday.

For more information about the MAOA, International Realty & Investments and Urban Housing, Inc., visit their website at www.intlrealtyinvestment.com, or call our corporate office at 323.754.2818.

Parent Category: News
Category: Business

September 26, 2013

By George E. Curry

NNPA Editor-in-Chief


WASHINGTON – Although annual Black spending is projected to rise from its current $1 trillion to $1.3 trillion by 2017, advertisers allot only 3 percent of their $2.2 billion yearly budget to media aimed at Black audiences, a new Nielsen report has found.

The study, “Resilient, Recep­tive and Relevant: The African-American Consumer 2013 Report,” was released at a news conference Thursday at the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Weekend by Nielsen and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). The findings were re­leased by Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, senior vice-president, public affairs and government relations for Nielsen, and Cloves Campbell, chairman of the NNPA and publisher of the Arizona Informant.

“Advertising expenditures geared specifically toward Black audiences reflected only three percent of advertising dollars spent,” the report stated. “Advertisers spent $75 billion on television, radio, internet, and magazine ads in 2012, with only $2.24 billion of that spent with media focused on Black audiences.”

The report said if consumption patterns dictated a company’s advertising budget, then spending with the Black media should be:

44 percent higher on education and career websites;

38 percent higher on streaming websites;

37 percent higher on television (with special emphasis on cable) and

15 percent higher on mobile phone advertising.

“The consumer insights this year are some of the most varied yet,” said Pearson-McNeil. “From store brand loyalty, to top watched television networks, which mobile apps are most popular, a deep dive into how Blacks spend their digital time, and how companies can reach 10 million Black consumers by developing a southern regional strategy – this year’s report is really a compelling read for both advertisers and marketers.”

A 2011 study by Burrell Communications showed that 81 percent of Blacks believe that products advertised in Black media are more relevant to them.

Businesses that bypass the Black media, the report said, limit their potential growth.

“Companies mistakenly be­lieve there are no language barriers, that a general market ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy is an effective way to reach African-Americans” the Nielsen study said. “Just the opposite is true.”

The Nielsen study names the companies that do the most advertising with Black media:

Procter & Gamble ($75.32 million)

L’Oreal ($52.34 million)

McDonald’s ($38.24 million)

Unilever ($31.48 million)

U.S. Government ($28.36)

Berkshire/Hathaway ($27.81 million)

Comcast ($27.69) million)

Hershey ($27.01 million)

PepsiCo ($25.07 million)

Walmart ($24.40 million)

Fiat ($23.60 million)

AT&T ($22.49 million)

Verizon Communications ($22.08 million)

Toyota ($21.43 million)

General Motors ($20.81 million)

Sony ($19.88 million)

Johnson & Johnson ($19.59 million)

Ford ($19.11 million)

Allstate ($19.06 million)

National Amusements, Inc. ($18.92 million)

Advertising by the top 20 companies increased by 2.5 percent between 2011 and 2012. The companies with the largest increases in spending with Black media were: Unilever (40.1 percent), PepsiCo (39.1 percent), Walmart (27.2 percent), the U.S. government (26.4 percent), L’Oreal (19.6 percent), Berkshire Hathaway (15.1 percent) and Comcast (13.2 percent).

Top 20 advertisers with the largest decreases were: Johnson & Johnson (30.7 percent), National Amusements (26.2 percent) and Verizon (24.6 percent).

“Until we do a better job as consumers in the choices we make and invest in companies that invest in us, we are not going to have any changes,” said Pearson-McNeil. Campbell said he hopes the data will help develop “conscious consumers.”

Utilizing Black media makes good business sense, the report said.

“By aligning additional marketing support and more focused strategies using media sources such as Black newspapers, Black radio, Black online sites and other media outlets trusted and relied on by Blacks for their unfiltered information, companies can develop more culturally relevant messages….” the report stated.

It noted that Blacks over index in certain categories, including health and beauty aids, unprepared meat, frozen seafood, feminine hygiene, women’s fragrances, and detergents.

“An examination of African-Americans’ overall category uses reveals some notable and perhaps newly discovered behavioral distinctions between Blacks and the Total Market,” the report found. “Blacks spend 44% more time on Education and Career sites and 21 % more time on Family and Lifestyle sites than Total Market consumers, breaking the myth that Blacks are disinterested in education and the family’s well-being. Additionally, African-Americans continue to be resilient in their role as early adopters of technology as 14% are more likely to spend time on Telecom/Internet Services sites.”

Blacks are also likely to spend far more time watching television.

“Blacks are voracious media users and leaders when it comes to setting pop culture trends. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in Blacks’ television habits where Blacks watch 37% more television than any other group, spending seven hours and 17 minutes per day viewing TV, compared to five hours and 18 minutes of total viewing for Total Market,” the Nielsen study stated.

It continued, “Black women, especially those 18-49, tend to be heavier viewers than their male counterparts. Not surprisingly, media outlets dedicated to Black audiences have a higher composition of Black viewers, which should be of interest to businesses who incorporate media buys into their marketing strategies.”

Blacks outpace Whites in buying smartphones. The Nielsen report found that 71 percent of Blacks own smartphones, compared to 62 percent of the total population. Most African Americans prefer Androids (73 percent) over iPhones (27 percent).

Although a lot of attention is being placed on the growth of Latinos in the U.S., the Black population, which now stands at 43 million people, grew 64 percent faster than the rest of the country since 2000, the study said. The average age is 35, three years younger than the overall population; 53 percent of Blacks are under the age of 35.

Significantly, 73 percent of Whites and 67 percent of Latinos identified Blacks as the driving force for popular culture.

Fortune 100 companies not ranking in the top 20 advertisers with Black media included: General Electric, Citigroup, IBM, Philip Morris, AIG, Home Depot, Bank of America, Fannie Mae, J.P. Morgan Chase, Kroger, Merck, State Farm Insurance, Hewlett-Packard, Morgan Stanley, Sears Roebuck, Target, Merrill Lynch, Kmart, Freddie Mac, Costco, Safeway, Pfitzer, J.C. Penney, MetLife, Dell Computer, Goldman Sachs, UPS, Prudential Financial, Wells Fargo, Sprint, New York Life, Microsoft, Walt Disney, Aetna, Walgreen, Bank One, BellSouth, Honeywell, UnitedHealth Group, Viacom, American Express, Wachovia Corp., CVS, Lowe’s, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Coca-Cola.

“Too often, companies don’t realize the inherent differences of our community, are not aware of the market size impact and have not optimized efforts to develop messages beyond those that coincide with Black History Month,” said Campbell, chairman of the NNPA. “It is our hope that by collaborating with Nielsen, we’ll be able to tell the African-American consumer story in a manner in which businesses will understand and, that this understanding will propel those in the C-Suite to develop stronger, more inclusive strategies that optimize their market growth in Black communities, which would be a win-win for all of us.”

Parent Category: News
Category: Business

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