Wells Fargo, Turning Point Magazine Bestow 3rd Annual 'Living History Maker Entrepreneur Award' to Pioneering African American Businesswoman
Bay Area Entrepreneur Judi Henderson-Townsend Exemplifies the Strength and
Talent of African American Small Businesses
SAN FRANCISCO, June 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In recognition of the continued success of African American small businesses, Wells Fargo and Turning Point Magazine presented the 3rd annual "Living History Maker Entrepreneur Award" on June 24th. The 2005 winner is Judi Henderson-Townsend, president and founder of Mannequin Madness. Occupying a unique place in the recycling industry, Mannequin Madness provides retailers an alternative to throwing away unwanted mannequins by renting and reselling recycled mannequins to customers all over the world. Judi's continual contributions to the environment, as well her strong entrepreneurial spirit, have earned her community recognition and awards including the "San Francisco Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year" and a special achievement award from the Environmental Protection Agency. Judi received the award and a $5,000 check at a special evening reception at the 8th Annual African American Business Summit (2005) held at the Palm Springs, Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa. "It's amazing to see how far we've come since we started this business four years ago," said Henderson-Townsend. "In the beginning, we were only re-selling used mannequins, but in 2004, Wells Fargo contacted us with an opportunity that allowed us to acquire additional inventory. After buying the inventory, we were able to expand our customer base and sell both used and new mannequins. This is a great honor, and we are touched to be recognized for our hard work and commitment to building a successful, environmentally-conscious business." The Wells Fargo / Turning Point Living History Makers Entrepreneur Award showcases and honors the extraordinary achievements of African American business owners. The award recipient was chosen from applicants across the country, and selected based on her company's business innovation, success, growth, and community service. "Judi Henderson-Townsend reflects the crucial role African American-owned businesses play in driving the American economy, and is a great testament to the strength and diversity of this market," said Brenda Ross-Dulan, head of Wells Fargo's L.A. Metro regional banking market, and national spokesperson for Wells Fargo's African American Business Services Program. "African American business owners are thriving, and we will continue recognizing and celebrating their tremendous efforts." Wells Fargo launched the African American Business Services program in 1998 to provide outreach, education and increased access to capital among African American business owners. The program focuses on forming community alliances, investing in primary research, and sponsoring key events in the diverse communities where African Americans live and work. Measuring its progress with a public goal to lend $1 billion to African American businesses within twelve years, Wells Fargo has lent more than $580 million since the program's inception. "We are honored, along with our partner Wells Fargo, to recognize Judi Henderson-Townsend and all of the outstanding African American business owners nationwide," said Patricia A. Means, publisher of Turning Point Magazine and founder of the African American Business Summit. "We are confident that the future will only bring continued success for this fast-growing segment." Turning Point is a leading information and resource provider for African American small business owners nationally, and produces the annual African American Business Summit, the largest business-to-business solution and opportunity-based conference for African American entrepreneurs in the Western United States. The annual summit brings together minority business owners, procurement officers and corporate executives and decision-makers in an environment that fosters the exchange of information and strategies that will lead to the expansion of black business. Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $436 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance to more than 23 million customers from more than 6,000 stores and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and elsewhere internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only bank in the United States to receive the highest possible credit rating, "Aaa," from Moody's Investors Service. Providing financial products and services to more than one million businesses with annual sales up to $20 million in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, Wells Fargo is the #1 lender to small businesses in the United States in total dollar volume according to the most recent CRA data (2003). The second largest national SBA lender in dollars, Wells Fargo is an SBA Preferred Lender in 28 states, and originated 3,555 loans for $495 million in 2004. Wells Fargo has also been ranked the number one SBA 504 lender nationally for the last two years. Its targeted business services programs provide outreach and education to women, African American, Latino, and Asian business owners about financial services. Since 1995, Wells Fargo has loaned more than $25 billion to women and minority business owners.
SOURCE Wells Fargo & Company
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