On May 15th, Accion East will host its 2nd annual Access to Opportunity Awards Luncheon. This year, Accion is shining the spotlight on women in business—celebrating the female entrepreneurial spirit, as well as acknowledging and honoring the contributions of its supporters with its Access To Opportunity program.
Access To Opportunity
Accion will be presenting the Acess To Opportunity Award for Dedication to Diana Taylor and the Award for Inclusion to Donna J. Gambrell, two women who have made remarkable contributions to increase economic opportunities in both nationwide community development efforts and in global emerging markets.
Diana Taylor has been passionate about bringing financial services to the underserved, from her beginnings working at Smith Barney’s public finance office as a graduate student up to her assumption of Managing Director for Wolfensohn Fund Management, a private equity firm committed to investing in global emerging markets throughout the developing world.
Donna J. Gambrell will be honored for her work as Director of the US Department of Treasury’s Community Development of Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, which, under her supervision, doubled funding and greatly increased support for small business financing. JP Morgan Chase will be honored with the Access to Opportunity Award for Adaptability, in recognition of the firm’s investment in Accion to innovate and adapt to the changing credit needs of small business owners during the Great Recession and following Hurricane Sandy.
Bennie Edgerson, Accion client and business owner of Bennie Daye Services, will be presented with the Access to Opportunity Award for Passion. The path to success was not an easy one for Edgerson, who overcame homelessness and a divorce to establish Bennie Daye Services, a home-improvement business, in 2011. Edgerson moved from Arkansas to New York City with her three children and with the help of Accion’s Promesa Loan, she was able to purchase insurance that allowed her to take on larger commercial contracts. Since the acquisition of this loan, and subsequent contracts she’s won as a result, Edgerson’s business has doubled in size, and she is currently working on building subsidized housing in Brooklyn.
The Access to Opportunity 2014 luncheon will be a highly-anticipated follow-up to Accion’s Access to Opportunity 2013 inaugural event, which provided a significant opportunity for bankers, community organizers, and business owners to come together, break bread, and recognize one another’s efforts to create access to business opportunities in New York.
The Access to Opportunity Awards Luncheon will be held Thursday, May 15th at Rouge Tomate, 10 East 60th Street, NYC. There will be a 12 pm reception, followed by the Awards program at 12:30 pm.
For more information and to purchase tickets to the Access to Opportunity event: accioneast.org/AwardsLuncheon