Black Companies Among Fastest Growing


The annual Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies for 2011 includes the Top 10 Black Entrepreneurs. It is a diverse group. Eight of the companies are engaged directly in some aspect of science or technology. They include an innovative dental firm, three management-consulting companies, a real estate settlement services firm, a telecom and technology service provider, a clinical-research company, a real estate services firm, an electronic-discovery and document-review company, and a public health consulting firm.


The largest company on the magazine's list, Urban Lending Solutions, a real estate settlement service firm founded by ex-NFL player Charles Sanders, had 2010 revenues of $127 million. The next biggest was A10 Clinical Solutions, a clinical-research firm with $19.7 million in revenues. Each of the other eight  had revenues below $11 million. Three of this year's companies were also on the 2010 Inc. 5000: Top 10 Black Entrepreneurs list. They are A10 Clinical Solutions, A. Harold and Associates and SciMetrika.

Here are the three black-owned companies included in Inc.'s list of 100 fastest-growing companies for 2011:

ClearCorrect, the 17th-fastest-growing company on the Inc. 5000 list, had 2010 revenues of $8.7 million and a three-year growth rate of 8,625 percent. It was founded in Houston in 2007 by dentist Willis Pumphrey. He created a new type of clear (invisible) braces. His son, Jarrett Pumphrey, is CEO of the firm, which is also the top health sector company in the Inc. 5000. Follow ClearCorrect on Twitter or read the blog.


A. Harold and Associates, of Jacksonville, Fla., was the 36th-fastest-growing company. It is a technology, education, engineering and training support services firm. It had 2010 revenues of $10.9 million and a three-year growth rate of 5,509 percent. Its CEO is Andrew Harold Jr. In 2010 the White house cited the company as a stimulus success story.

JMA Solutions, which had 2010 revenues of $6.6 million and a three-year growth rate 4,317 percent, was 45th on the Inc. 5000 list. It was founded in Washington, D.C., by 24-year Air Force veteran Janice Adams, who served the Department of Defense Joint Chiefs of Staff. JMA Solutions' primary contract is with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Pioneering Black Media Company Faces Bankruptcy 

Inner City Broadcasting'creditors say that they are owed $254 million. Its 40-year record as a media company may be over. In 1971 the now-deceased Percy Sutton and other investors became the first black owners of a New York radio station when they bought AM station WLIB. Three years later, Inner City purchased WBLS-FM and began a buying spree that led to a mini-empire of 18 radio stations and some television cable franchises. The group later acquired, renovated and reopened Harlem's Apollo Theater but had to hand it over to a nonprofit group in 1992 when the New York Times reported, "Mr. Sutton said he could no longer afford to run it."


In a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Yucaipa Corporate Initiatives Fund II LP, Drawbridge Special Opportunities Fund Ltd. and Fortress Credit Funding I LP said that Inner City Media Corp., the parent of Inner City, owes them $254 million. The creditors asked a bankruptcy judge to put the company into Chapter 11 after it walked away from a deal to restructure Inner City's debt.

According to Reuters, the plan would have given the lenders the majority of Inner City's equity and less debt. Inner City's shareholders would get $1.2 million in cash, 2 percent of the company, and warrants for common stock and stock options of management. Pierre Sutton, the founder's son and Inner City chairman, had a five-year employment agreement with a $600,000 annual salary.


NBA Hall of Famer Wins $2.37M Judgment  

Scottie Pippen scored on the basketball court, and now he wins in a courtroom.

As a Chicago Bulls star, Pippen was known for his tenacity. He's also displayed that same trait in a series of court cases in recent years. In the early 2000s, the South Florida Business Journal reported that Pippen bought a plane "through a company called Air Pip." By 2004 the aircraft was in pieces, and Pippen sued. After he lost in court twice, last year a Cook County jury awarded Pippen $2 million in a related case against a Chicago law firm he had accused of malpractice for not monitoring his plane's purchase. Now a Miami-Dade Circuit Court says that a Miami businessman must pay Pippen $2.37 million owed to the ex-baller as agreed to in an earlier settlement.


Smooth Moves

New York City: Olivia Scott-Perkins has been appointed the chief marketing officer at Carol's Daughter. Scott-Perkins will direct the up-market brand repositioning of the New York City company using social media, PR, marketing and partnerships. She is also the president and principal consultant at Omerge Alliances. Scott-Perkins has held positions at Vibe, Live Nation and other media and marketing firms. Watch Scott-Perkins in a PRWeek video.


Dallas: George Willis is the new controller at HBCUsOnline. He is responsible for the daily financial management of the Dallas education-services company, which promotes student enrollment in undergraduate and graduate online degree programs at historically black colleges and universities.

Maryland: Taylor Wellington has joined the federal team of ADG Creative, a multimedia branding, marketing and consulting company.


Virginia: Nicole Thomas-Jackson has been promoted to director of curriculum and training at Rainbow Station, a Richmond, Va., educational franchise system with nine U.S. locations. She had been an assistant principal with the Chesterfield County Public Schools.

North Carolina: Timothy Simmons is the new national sales manager of North Carolina's Visit Winston-Salem.


40 Under 40: People You Need to Know About

This summer the Network Journal, which bills itself as the "Black Professional and Small Business Magazine," published its 14th consecutive "40 Under 40 Achievers" feature. Check it out.


The Orlando Business Journal's 2011 class of 40 Under 40 includes Kay Francis, director of food-service distribution for Darden Restaurants. The company's brands are Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, the Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52. Francis is responsible for the shipping of more than 32 million cases of food annually at a cost of more than $1 billion.

Lucas Boyce is director of community relations, government affairs and multicultural insights for the Orlando Magic basketball team. During President George W. Bush's administration, Boyce served as associate director in the office of political affairs. Boyce recently published his autobiography, Living Proof: From Foster Care to the White House and the NBA.


Neila Wilson, an electrical engineer with an MBA, is manager of network systems management for Century Link, a telecom provider.

Roy L. Hawkins Jr. is the assistant medical-center director of the Orlando VA Medical Center.


Why Boards of Directors Are Important

Andrew F. Brimmer, the first black member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, has long urged African Americans to join the boards of directors of local organizations and continue to do so at other organizations as they move up the ladder. Brimmer's conviction is that to gain true power, you must gain access to levers of influence where you live or work. The following individuals are doing that.


W. Kelvin Walker has joined the board of directors of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. The Morehouse College graduate is a managing partner of the 21st Century Group, LLC.

Eric Wilson has joined the board of directors of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas as the labor representative. Wilson is the president of the Communication Workers of America Local 6215.


Torrence Robinson has joined the board of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas as the education chair. Robinson is the senior director of community affairs at the Fluor Foundation.

Business Calendar


Minority Enterprise Development Week Conference
Sept. 27-30
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
Washington, D.C.


The annual conference is sponsored by the Minority Business Development Agency, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The event connects thousands of minority entrepreneurs with public- and private-sector organizations and companies.


The Executive Leadership Council
The 25th Anniversary Recognition Gala
Oct. 20
Gaylord National Harbor
National Harbor, Md.


The ELC is made up of the most senior African-American corporate executives in Fortune 500 companies, representing more than 380 major corporations.

The Executive Leadership Council Mid-Level Managers' Symposium
Innovation: A Blueprint for Building Your Future
Oct. 21
Gaylord National Harbor
National Harbor, Md.


The Mid-Level Managers' Symposium prepares the next generation of black corporate leaders.

National Black MBA Association
33rd Annual Conference & Exposition
Oct. 4-8


Established in 1970, the National Black MBA Association is dedicated to developing partnerships that result in the creation of intellectual and economic wealth in the black community.


The Women of Color STEM Conference
(STEM = science, technology, engineering or math)
Nov. 3-5
Hilton Anatole Hotel
2201 Stemmons Freeway


The Women of Color STEM Conference is focused on the development of women in STEM and ensures that their achievements are celebrated. Participants at the conference include women attending high school, college and graduate school with an interest in entering STEM fields.

The conference is produced by the Career Communications Group, which publishes Black Engineer & Information Technology, Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology and Women of Color in Business & Technology magazines.


Frank McCoy writes about business and technology for The RootYou can contact him here.

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