Last week, the Black Achievers Society of Greater Kansas City welcomed 16 achievers into their prestigious circle at their 46th annual Black Achievers in Business and Industry Awards Celebration.

To become a member of the Black Achievers Society, African-American professionals in business and industry are nominated by their employer for their corporate leadership, significant accomplishments, community involvement, and educational achievements. A committee comprised of representatives from the SCLC Board of Directors and the Black Achievers Society selects the honorees from persons nominated.

The group was founded by current U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver in 1974, five years before he was first elected to city council. The organization’s mission is “to actively respond to the educational, social and economic needs of the community by providing role models for Black and minority youth, and sharing knowledge gained through academic and corporate experience.”

The list of 2021 honorees includes:

Risala Allen – Executive Administrative Partner to the President and Board of Trustees, Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC).

Nakisha Bausby – Senior Diversity Equity Inclusion manager, JE Dunn Construction.

Olushola Bodie – Vice President of Technology and Digital Workplace, Hallmark.

Dachia Busch – Faculty Intern Program Coordinator, Metropolitan Community College (MCC).

Shannon Cade – Director & Senior Corporate Counsel, Cerner

Myon Caruthers – Senior Project Analyst, Honeywell

Daniel Ekwue – Lead Electrical Engineer, Honeywell

Laron Evans – Business Diversity Director, Burns & McDonnell

Maurice Gay – Contract Vendor Specialist Coordinator/Buyer, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA)

Karmen Gooch – Process and Training Manager, Hallmark Cards

Claude Harris – Chief Executive Officer and Founder, College Coaching Network

Jauqua Preston Wilkins – Vice President of Programs and Operations, Urban League of Greater Kansas City

Wayne Reed – Lead Electrical Engineer, Honeywell

Michael Roberson – Operations Supervisor, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City (BCBS)

John Stafford II – Associate Professor of Music, Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC)

Michele Watley – Founder and President, The Griot Group

2021 Lifetime Achiever Award: Norma McKelvy – former Blue KC Director of Organizational Development. Retired in 2018.

2021 Achiever of the Year: Calvin Mayfield – former President of the Diamond Network (Sprint’s African diaspora focused employee resource group) and former Co-Chair of T-Mobile’s Black Empowerment Network.

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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