More than 700 of the Washington, D.C. area’s most noted entrepreneurs and community, nonprofit and political movers and shakers packed the ballroom of the Washington Hilton Hotel in Northwest on Nov. 11 to honor business leaders at the D.C. Chamber of Commerce 2022 Chamber Choice Awards.
Political leaders such as D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and Council members Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), Trayon White (D-Ward 8) Brooke Pinto (D-Ward 2) Robert White (D-At Large) and Council-member elect Zachary Parker (D-Ward 5) attended the event and networked with colleagues and business leaders. Entrepreneurs including Virginia Ali, co-owner of the Ben’s Chili Bowl chain and Antwanye Ford, the CEO of Enlightened Inc., located in Ward 8 in Southeast and vice chair of the U.S. Black Chambers Inc., also attended the event.
Wanda “Mama” Durant, mother of NBA superstar Kevin Durant and an author, philanthropist and entrepreneur, received the Economic Impact Award. Durant, a Prince George’s County native, cherished receiving the award.
“I was glad to get the call,” she said. “A lot of times, you don’t see the impact of the things that you do. I am very happy they have recognized me for the things I am doing.”
Jan Adams, the founder and CEO of JMA Solutions based in Southwest, received the Veteran Impact Award. Adams, who served for more than two decades in the U.S. Army, rising to the level of master sergeant, also expressed her satisfaction at being recognized.
“I really want to thank the chamber for this,” she said, noting the event took place on Veterans Day. “I thank the JMA team for stepping up for veterans. We have really made a difference in the lives of people and in the community.”
In addition to Durant and Adams, the Business of the Year Award went to real estate development company Hoffman-Madison Waterfront and The Wharf. Anthony Shop and Thomas Sanchez, co-founders of the media-oriented agency Social Driver, received the Business Leaders of the Year Award. Local radio station WPFW.89.3 FM received the Community Impact Award.
The chamber also honored Corey Griffin, president and CEO of Global Governance and Industry Partners (2GIP) with special recognition for his Outstanding Leadership in Business Recovery during the coronavirus pandemic. Business leaders Stacy Burnette of Comcast and Brett Greene of the American Management Corporation received special awards for their work.
The Chamber Choice Award was given to Carolyn Rudd, who serves as the chairman of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce and the president and CEO of CRP Inc., a District-based professional services and management firm.
Angela Franco, the president and CEO of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, said the business leaders honored have been transformational and innovative in their ventures and work. Bowser said the event recognized the best the District has to offer.
“I want to congratulate the chamber for this beautiful, in-person event celebrating D.C. businesses,” the mayor said. “We are working to make it easy to open businesses and easy to create jobs for D.C. residents.”