Vicksburg’s business women’s group celebrates Founders’ Day Sunday

Published 9:55 pm Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Vicksburg Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club will have its annual Founders’ Day Program at 3 p.m. today at Mount Heroden Baptist Church, 1117-19 Clay St.

The program has been held annually for some time.

“At least since the ’70s,” chair Lisa Johnson said.

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Six members of the community will be honored at the program, each representing a different category.

This year’s honorees will be for government — Charles Selmon, Warren County Board of Supervisors District 3; education — Cosandra Stewart, first grade teacher at Sherman Avenue Elementary School; community service — Tillman Whitley, Read by Third Grade; religion — the Rev. Dr. Lewis A. Hall, pastor of Mount Heroden Baptist Church; health — Michelle Banks, nurse practitioner; business — Larry Stewart, owner of Delta Cleaners.

All chosen were nominated by a member of the club. The members who nominate someone have to explain to the club why their nominee is eligible for the honor and how the person has contributed to the area they were nominated.

“It’s done by a nominating committee,” Johnson said. “We choose based on that. It’s all done in-house.”

The featured speaker at the program will be state Rep. Kimberly L. Campbell of District 72. Campbell, who primarily practices family law at her own firm in Jackson, serves as a guardian ad litem in Hinds County Youth Court and as the city attorney for Belzoni.

The Travelers Rest Baptist Church Youth Choir will perform during the program. The event is free and open to the community.

“All races, creeds, color, religions — everyone is invited to attended,” Johnson said.

The Vicksburg Club was created by Thelma Sanders in the spring of 1969 at the YMCA on Jackson Street. It is a national organization with two chapters in Mississippi.

“We have one living, remaining founder — Alice Shields,” Johnson said. “She’s the sole remaining, founding member of the club organization.”

Johnson said the club’s emphasis is on promoting professional African American women and participating in service projects.

“Primarily the focus is on women who are entrepreneurs, own their own business; however, the club consists of all reaches of the professional world — education, nurses,” Johnson said.

Some of those service projects include the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree, Meals on Wheels, a business expo at Vicksburg Mall, funding a scholarship and sending supplies to troops oversees.

“Our forefront is community service projects within the city of Vicksburg,” Johnson said.