March 15, 2012 04:01 UTC

Harlem YMCA Celebrates Black Achievers in Industry at 42nd Annual
Awards Ceremony

Honorees and Speakers Include: Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO
of Harlem Children’s Zone, Inc.; NBC News Anchor and Reporter DeMarco
Morgan; and Renowned Actor and Author Hill Harper

Today, the Harlem
is proud to host the 42nd Annual National Salute to Black
Achievers in Industry Awards Ceremony at the New York Marriott Marquis
Hotel. Hundreds of community and business leaders will join the Harlem
YMCA to honor the achievements of black professionals. Since 1971, this
annual event has paid national tribute to the corporate leadership and
community service of black achievers in industry and continues to serve
as a vehicle for the Harlem YMCA, corporations, and local organizations
to partner and provide mentoring programs, scholarships, and other
opportunities. These collective efforts fuel a future-leader incubator
for the youth and teens of the Harlem community.

“Black Achievers in Industry is a vital program that encompasses youth
mentoring programs, college scholarships, a historically black college
tour, corporate internships and year-long community outreach,” says
Tiffeny Forrest, Executive Director of the Harlem
. “This annual gala affords all of our community stakeholders
with the opportunity to come together to celebrate their accomplishments
and inspire the next generation of leaders.”

This year’s event honorees include: Leo B. Marsh Award recipient
Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO of Harlem
Children’s Zone, Inc.
, and AT&T Director of Public Affairs Ed
Bergstraesser, who will be accepting the Deloitte Corporate Community
Award on behalf of AT&T.
This year’s gala will be keynoted by Hill Harper, author and renowned
film, television and stage actor (best known for his portrayal of Dr.
Sheldon Hawkes
on the CBS
drama CSI:
); Demarco Morgan, television news anchor and reporter for NBC-4
(NY); will serve as the evening’s emcee. Colgate-Palmolive
Company is proud to be the corporate chair of this year’s celebration.

Fellow corporate participants at this year’s event comprise a veritable
who’s who from the worlds of academia, consumer products, entertainment,
fashion, and finance, including: Avis, AVON, BNY Mellon, Citi, The
Coca-Cola Company, Columbia University, Con Edison, Deloitte,
The Disney/ABC Television Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Macy’s Foundation,
Marsh & McLennan Companies, MTV Networks, Polo Ralph Lauren, Unilever,
and Time Warner Cable, among many others. Previous years’ galas have
attracted the likes of Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Star Jones, Al Roker,
and Tipper Gore, making this a major date on NYC’s social calendars.

“As a longstanding supporter of the Harlem YMCA, Colgate-Palmolive is
honored to serve as this year’s corporate sponsor,” said Eugene Kelly,
Worldwide Director, Global Diversity & Inclusion, Colgate-Palmolive
Company. “We admire the outstanding work of this fine organization and
its impact on fostering youth leadership. We look forward to continuing
to support the Harlem YMCA and all they do to inspire the leaders of

Mentoring, Scholarship, and Professional Development Programs
Extend bai Offering

In 1995, the Black Achievers in Industry (bai) initiative launched the
Corporate Scholarship Program to provide direct support to motivated
African-American New York City high school students, in pursuit of
higher learning. To date, the Corporate Scholarship Program has awarded
367 scholarships, equating to more than $1 million in funds to
supplement their educational costs. Thanks to the program’s corporate
partners, a goal has been established to award more than 50 individual
$2,500 scholarships in 2012.

The bai Mentor program connects motivated New York City teens with
acknowledged successful professional adults to realize the full
potential of young people through a variety of academic and social
resources and experiences. bai Alumni are linked with mentees based on
mentee’s career goal and mentor’s area of expertise, as well as their
common hobbies/personal interests. Mentors and mentees develop their own
schedule of educational, social, and recreational activities, based on
their mutual schedules, and participate in a host of YMCA events during
the school year.

In 2005 the Harlem Y partnered with Citi’s Community Relations and
Global Workforce Diversity to create the bai Leadership Summit, a
professional development program for current year bai honorees and bai
alumni. Citi is the sole sponsor of this initiative, which focuses on
professional development and also fosters networking opportunities among
bai honorees.

“Citi is proud to partner with the Harlem YMCA on this incredibly worthy
program and applauds the recognition it affords leaders on their journey
from ambition to achievement,” says Ana Duarte McCarthy, Chief Diversity
Officer at Citi. “Citi’s relationship with Black Achievers in Industry
dates back to its inception in 1971. Bai is a wonderful initiative that
honors individuals who are not only leaders in their respective
professions but also are making a positive impact in the community.”

About the YMCA of Greater New York

The YMCA of Greater New York is, and always will be, dedicated to
building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults,
families and communities. With a focus on youth development, healthy
living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every
youth and teen, improves New York City’s health and well-being and
provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In scores of
neighborhoods across the five boroughs and its camp upstate, the Y makes
accessible the support and opportunities that empower more than 400,000
New Yorkers to learn, grow and thrive. Visit ymcanyc.org.


YMCA of Greater New York
Ellen Murphy, 212-630-9699

Source: YMCA of Greater New York