RYSE Receives 2013 Black Business Beacon Award

By Kareen Kennedy 

Duane Lewis, Vice President and Senior Loan Officer (BBIF), Jason Jones, RYSE Creative Director, J. Jackson Sr., President of RYSE Media Group, Inc., Tim Stephens, Director of Sales and Inez Long, President and CEO (BBIF)

As RYSE Magazine approaches their 2nd anniversary of being the premiere publication recognizing and celebrating African Americans excelling in their careers, there was no better way to start the year than that of receiving an award from the Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF)

The BBIF is a non-traditional lender that specializes in providing loans to minority and underserved small businesses. On hand to present this first ever statewide award ceremony of its kind was Inez Long, President and CEO (BBIF) and Duane Lewis, Vice President and Senior Loan Officer.


Accepting the award presented to RYSE Magazine was J. Jackson, President of RYSE Media Group, Inc., Jason Jones, Creative Director and Tim Stephens, Director of Sales.

The event began in the early morning with a networking Brunch and the atmosphere was alive and filled with the smiles, appreciation and comradery of like-minded individuals being honored not only for their entrepreneurial pursuits but for the passion and persistence it took to create their businesses.

Emcee and Speaker Yonne Loggins-Coleman’s infectious charm and wit set the tone for this event recognizing all the honorees that were in attendance. Guest speakers also included Lavon P. Bracy, who delivered a dynamic rendition of Maya Angelou’s poem Still I Rise, Pablo More, Senior Business Analyst and Anthony B. Major, Program Director of African American Studies (UCF).

A full house for the celebration of Florida’s top African American owned businesses.

The ceremony would not have been complete without the outstanding vocal performances of the Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation.

What’s next for RYSE? Sky’s the limit and given the number of Black Business owners that were honored at this event, it’s evident now more than ever, the need for RYSE to continue the goal of being that platform for up and coming entrepreneurs seeking that ‘Beacon’ to light the way to achieving their own successes!

Congratulations to RYSE and each of the other African American owned businesses who were recognized!




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