Blue/White Martini Awards Reception
August 24, 2017
"Bison on the Vineyard Truth & Service"
“Senator Edward Brooke” Honoree
HON. LUDWIG P. GAINES
Ludwig P. Gaines is a principal at and Senior Vice President and General Counsel for The Euille Group LLC. Mr. Gaines has over 20 years combined public and private sector experience as a lawyer, elected official, entrepreneur and government affairs and business development professional with extensive knowledge of local, state and federal government relations and legislative processes. His expertise specifically includes business development, government contracts, federal and state lobbying and issue advocacy.
Mr. Gaines is a graduate of Hobart & William Smith Colleges, the Howard University School of Law (JD), and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Leadership program. He has served on the adjunct faculty at Howard Law and was the John Henry Hobart Fellow for Ethics and Social Justice at Hobart College. For his many community efforts, he has earned numerous awards and honors.
Mr. Gaines is proud to have personally registered thousands of new voters. A speaker at many voting rights rallies; he has marched and spoken and supported passionately across the nation (from the steps of the Supreme Court to the Washington Monument to small towns in Mississippi) efforts to protect voting rights and defeat voter suppression. He has worked to educate, train, and build strategic partnerships and coalitions, and mobilized communities to effectively respond to efforts of restricting access to the voting ballot.
International Philanthropy/Community Activist
Rock Newman possesses vast experience and relationships from his deep roots in radio. In 2013 Newman added a new media recipe to his broadcasts of The Rock Newman Show (RNS), which included streaming video and world-wide online discussion. Keeping with his sub theme of innovation, RNS also began archiving at rocknewmanshow.net so that his followers could continue the discussions on a seamless basis. The RNS activates traditional and new media to create a non-stop dialogue.
Rock is a Renaissance Man. From caring for famine victims in Somalia to buying back 3,000 guns to confront violence in D.C. to representing world-class athletes. He is hands-on. Rock is a storyteller. He will entertain and inform. He will also engage listeners to reconsider notions of culture and society. He also brings the ability to cross-pollinate the discussion from unique angles. The RNS delivers big name guests, experts, and common folks who care about modern day, real life issues.
Mr. Newman created The Rock Newman Show to capture authentic dialogue that is rarely heard. It is an unscripted jazz concert that swings from breaking news to undiscovered history; from local and national politics to the nuance of race and religion; from adult relationships to children’s voices about their world.
Health/Civic Engagement Honoree
DR. CAESAR CHURCHWELL
Dr. Caesar Churchwell is a well-regarded dentist, human rights and community activist who for decades has provided dental care services, spearheaded numerous social causes in the San Francisco Bay Area African American community. As one of the few African American dentist in town, he fashioned his services to children and adults, regardless of their ability pay.
Dr. Churchwell serves on numerous community organizations boards, including the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce as Vice President.
Born in Newton GA, he went on the graduate from Mt. Union University in Ohio, where he majored in biology with a minor in English. During his pre-graduate years, he was an avid sports enthusiast and played football, ran track, bowling and wrestling.
Churchwell left the military to attend Howard University College of Dentistry, from there he practiced from 1969-2012 in San Francisco, CA.
Business Community Activist
BENAREE PRATT WILEY
A graduate of Howard University and Harvard Business School, Mrs. Wiley is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Her recognitions included induction into the Academy of Distinguished Bostonians; Harvard Business School Distinguished Alumni Award from African American Student Association; and honorary doctorates from New England School of Law, Newbury College, and Boston College where she served as a trustee for twelve years. She also had the honor of being featured on the cover of Boston magazine as one of Boston’s 'Most Powerful Women.'
For 15 years she served as president and CEO of The Partnership, Inc., a talent management organization for multicultural professionals in the greater Boston region. Under her leadership, The Partnership, Inc. strengthened the capacity of the area to attract, retain and develop talented professionals of color, and helped more than 1,300 African Americans integrate into the corporate community. This acclaimed tenure is chronicled in a Harvard Business School case study on transformational non-profit leadership—"Bennie Wiley and The Partnership, Inc."
Currently, Mrs. Wiley is a director on the boards of Dreyfus Mutual Funds, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and CBIZ.
Emerging Youth Leadership Honoree
MAYOR BRANDON DEAN
At age 24, Brandon Dean became the youngest mayor in the State of Alabama and the youngest African American municipal government chief in the nation. He graduated from Howard University with a degree in political science and interned on Capitol Hill twice in the office of Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell. Dean also founded and currently serves as the chair of the political action committee Our Blue Hope.
During his tenor as mayor, Dean is credited with: serving as CEO of a $2.3 million enterprise with supervision of five appointed officers; proposed and passed legislation to decriminalize the recreational use of marijuana, provided sanctuary to immigrant families, increased city workers pay to $15 per hour, funded the reopening of the city's only community center; and cleared public lands neglected by failed public works efforts for more than twenty years.
Dean also appointed the most diverse cohort of officers in the city's history; sought the intervention of local county law enforcement and prosecutors to review practices of ethically challenge City police department; initiated cost-savings and efficiency improvement efforts to provide greater quality of public safety and public works services to 2,900 citizens; and championed for public education reform, criminal justice reform, clean energy, and LGBTQ equality.