Entrepreneurs honored at VIPeVENTS Gala & Awards Event
AACC president receives Excellence in Academic Leadership Award
Andrea Blackstone | 12/7/2015, 10:36 a.m.
Larry White, Sr., CEO and founder of VIPeVENTS Concierge, LLC is an entrepreneur and community activist who is known in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia for providing event coordination services and hosting high-profile networking events. White also serves as a connector for fellow entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses and connecting with other business owners and industry.
Frances Cuesta, the owner/founder of Reinvent U Boot Camps, LLC (RIUBC), a Pikesville, Maryland-based fitness company suggested that White create an entrepreneurs gala. A year later, the Anne Arundel County resident presented The Inaugural Entrepreneurs Gala & Awards through VIPeVENTS at the BWI Hilton in Linthicum Heights on November 20, 2015.
The red carpet event highlighted the contributions and accomplishments of entrepreneurs and successful leaders, such as Dr. Dawn Lindsay, president of Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) located in Arnold, Md. Lindsay was raised in Harford County and earned a doctorate in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University, a master’s degree in educational counseling, a B.A. in Psychology and B.S.W. in Social Work from McDaniel College in Westminster, Md.
Before Carlesa Finney presented the Excellence in Academic Leadership award to Lindsey, Finney noted that Lindsey has served over 25 years in the community college system. Lindsey, the 6th president of AACC, credited her team of colleagues who help AACC students excel in academic excellence and work with her to close the achievement gap. She highlighted a few programs including a dual enrollment program, which allows high school students to take college courses at AACC and earn college transfer credit, while still attending high school. The Summer Bridge Program prepares students for college work, before enrolling in AACC in their freshman year, through a free four-week program. Lindsey also mentioned that the community college offers a variety of educational opportunities for the community.
“And for those who want to pursue a four-year degree, we have developed articulation agreements with many of the four-year colleges, creating very clear pathway to bachelor’s level attainment,” Lindsey said. “At Anne Arundel Community College, our average age is 27, so please let me mention that regardless of age or education goal, we are here to help our community attain their educational goal, regardless of their age.”
A portion of the proceeds raised from the gala will be awarded to WGC. The donation will reportedly be used for humanitarian projects. WGC offers a leadership summit, teen imitative that is designed to support teens in becoming responsible global citizens and work on their self-image and life goals, in addition to a training program provided to support women entrepreneurs and projects.
The Inaugural Entrepreneurs Gala & Awards was hosted by Charley Crowson, news anchor for ABC2 News in Baltimore and Dr. Natalie Forest—a CEO, keynote speaker, consultant, author and mentor. Wes Adams, State’s Attorney for Anne Arundel County was the keynote speaker who also presented citations to honorees in recognition of their significant contributions to the spirit of entrepreneurship. Former actors and celebrity guests, Tim and Daphne Reid attended the red carpet event.
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) and various individuals credited White for helping to empower and recognize small business owners. Cummings’ remarks about White’s vision were included in the souvenir booklet that also listed event sponsors.
“It is essential that businesses, community leaders, CEOs and government officials work together to increase economic opportunities and expand chances for meaningful employment for our residents,” Cummings wrote. “While Maryland is making progress in this area, there is still work to be done. The VIPeVENTS Concierge Inaugural Entrepreneurs Fundraiser and Awards Gala underscores the importance for business growth, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for our diverse population.”