WCC honors three local entrepreneurs with Black Business Excellence and Impact Awards

March 13, 2024 Rich Rezler

Award winners and nominees
Winners and nominees of the first annual WCC/Parkridge Black Business Excellence & Impact Awards gather after a celebration held at the Parkridge Community Center in Ypsilanti. (Photo by Kari Klavon)


Three local entrepreneurs were recognized with Black Business Excellence & Impact Awards for their dedication to community service last week at the Parkridge Community Center.

Co-hosted by Washtenaw Community College’s Entrepreneurship Center and its College and Career Readiness Department, the event celebrated individuals who embody entrepreneurial excellence and a commitment to uplifting the community.

The celebration not only highlighted the accomplishments of the honorees, but also served as a fundraiser for the WCC/Parkridge Community Center Scholarship Fund that helps local youth attend its Summer STEM Education Academy.

RELATED: Photo Gallery from Awards Celebration

The evening included a silent auction, offering attendees the chance to support a worthy cause while enjoying entertainment and an address by M. Jeanice Townsend, a member of the Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education.

The recipients of the WCC/Parkridge Black Business Community Impact Awards include (photos of winning entrepreneurs with WCC Executive Director of College Access and Success Stephanie Krah and WCC College & Career Readiness Manager Mia Lanier-Durkins):

Elite Quality Plus

Elite Quality Plus

CEO Michael Tubbs was recognized for his dedication to educating individuals on personal and business credit fundamentals. Tubbs' tireless efforts have empowered countless individuals to achieve financial literacy and stability, enabling them to purchase homes and attain financial freedom. Learn more about Elite Quality Plus.

A Taste of Soul by Biggie

A Taste of Soul by Biggie

Founded by Victor Swanson, this culinary venture brings the authentic flavors of soul food to the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor area. Inspired by his family's legacy in the restaurant industry, Swanson's establishment has become a beloved culinary destination known for its delectable dishes and warm hospitality. Learn more about A Taste of Soul by Biggie.

Wrapped in Love Doula & Lactation Services

Wrapped in Love

Angelene Love-Adams and Dera Williams co-founded this organization, which provides invaluable support to women during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. Their compassionate approach to doula and lactation services empowers women to navigate the birthing process with confidence and ease, ensuring a positive and nurturing experience for both mother and baby. Learn more about Wrapped in Love Doula & Lactation Services.

Each of these entrepreneurs exemplify the spirit of innovation and community service that embodies the mission of the Parkridge Community Center and WCC to foster growth and empowerment within the Black business community.

In addition to presenting the Black Business Excellence & Impact Awards, the evening also included a special celebration of the life and legacy of Betty and John Barfield, who played a key role in building the relationship between Parkridge and WCC. The college started offering programs at Parkridge in 2006 and officially began managing all of the center’s academic and enrichment opportunities for community residents in 2012.

John Barfield was a pioneer in business and a celebrated entrepreneur dedicated to serving the community. The Barfields worked together to build several successful businesses, a thriving family, and made a substantial impact on the City of Ypsilanti and its residents. To this day, the Barfields are making long-lasting contributions that are transforming the lives of community members.



Tags: Black Business Excellence and Impact Awards, College and Career Readiness, Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship Center, Parkridge Community Center

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