Philip Banks Jr., president of 100 Black Men Inc. of New York City, welcomed 600 guests to the New York Hilton Grand Ballroom last week to honor some of the country’s most dynamic civic and business leaders at the organization’s 32nd annual benefit gala, themed “A Commitment to Excellence.”
Among the esteemed guests in attendance were former Deputy Secretary of State Clifton Wharton Jr.; former New York City Mayor David Dinkins and his wife; former New York City Comptroller William Thompson; current New York City Comptroller John Liu; “This Morning” co-anchor Gayle King; actor Blair Underwood; New York State NAACP Conference Chair Hazel Dukes; New York State Sens. Kevin Parker, Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Malcolm Smith and Andrea Stewart-Cousins; Chancellor of the City University of New York Matthew Goldstein; and CUNY Senior Vice Chancellor and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Jay Hershenson; along with hundreds more.
Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of “The 10 O’Clock News” Brenda Blackmon, Fox 5 meteorologist Mike Woods and the Rev. Jacques Andre DeGraff, second vice president of One Hundred Black Men Inc. of New York, served as co-emcees of the fundraiser, which saluted Cheryl McKissack Daniel, president and CEO of McKissack and McKissack, with the Trailblazer Award; Roger W. Ferguson Jr., president and CEO of TIAA-CREF, with the Global Economic Achievement Award; Michelle Y. Lee, EVP, Northeast region president of community banking, Wells Fargo, with the Corporate Achievement Award; Mike Muse, CEO of Muse Recordings, with the Artistic Achievement Award; and Dennis Walcott, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, with the Educational Champion Award.
Jessie Wooten was also honored as Mentor of the Year.
Loida Lewis, chairwoman and CEO of TLC Beatrice, LLC, attended the gala as a special guest and awarded $100,000 in scholarships to five 17-year-old students selected from the Junior 100 Program, a new 12-week leadership and life skills development program that provides opportunities to earn college scholarships.