Chamber Announces recipients of 2021 Minority Business Opportunity Awards
The Business Development Connection (BDC) of the Greater Shreveport Chamber honored outstanding business owners and professionals who are making a difference in our community at the Minority Business Opportunity Awards (MBOA) Dinner, presented by Willis Knighton Health System. The event was held on June 17, 2021, at Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino.
Each year, BDC recognizes a diverse group of honorees who inspire us by showing that building a stronger business culture involves empowering growth, creating leadership opportunities, and developing robust community support. They have made a commitment to connect, grow personally and professionally, discover strategies for positive change, and develop new ideas for their business and employees. The recipients of each category were announced at the event on June 17.
“The range and diversity of our class of honorees speaks to the entrepreneurship and inspired leadership that are increasingly the hallmarks of our Shreveport-Bossier community,” said Dr. Timothy Magner, President of the Greater Shreveport Chamber. “By celebrating these individuals and organizations, we not only lift them up for their own accomplishments but celebrate their resilience trailblazing leadership as an example to others in an especially challenging year.”
Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino was honored as the 2021 Business of the Year. Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino is one of Shreveport’s favorite gaming entertainment destinations. They operate a 30,000-square-foot casino with about 1,000 slot machines and 16 table games, a 514-room hotel, 3 restaurants and a convention center. The hotel and casino are a major tourism destination, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to downtown Shreveport.
Promoting diversity and inclusion has always been an important part of the Boyd Gaming and Sam’s Town culture. The property is named after Sam Boyd, who was one of the first casino owners in Las Vegas to promote diversity and job opportunities for all. Boyd Gaming was recently recognized as the highest-rated gaming company in Forbes magazine’s list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity and are proud to continue Sam’s legacy to this day.
The Chamber also honor Roy Griggs with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Roy Griggs is CEO & Owner Operator of Griggs Enterprise, Inc. Growing up in rural Mississippi, Mr. Griggs rose from humble beginnings to own and operate 17 McDonalds across the ArkLaTex region. Throughout his career his focus has been on driving results through collaboration, partnerships and relationships. Mr. Griggs continues to make contributions, not only within the Shreveport-Bossier community where he lives, but within the wider business and economic landscape of the Arklatex.
Mr. Griggs holds positions on numerous boards including an appointment by Governor John Bel Edwards to the Louisiana State Racing Commission, serving as President of The Port of Caddo Bossier Commission, President of the Boy Scouts of America/Norwela Council, as well as membership in Rotary Club, the Greater Shreveport Chamber, and the Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce. His philanthropic contributions include serving as Title Sponsor of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council, Mardi Gras Krewe of Harambee, and Chef Orlando Chatman Golf Tournament as well as supporting contributions to the Junior League, Committee of 100, and Sheriff ‘s Safety Town, among others. In April of this year, a $2 million dollar campaign was launched to establish the Roy Griggs School of Business at Southern University Shreveport.
In an effort to increase transparency in the Shreveport Police Department and bridge the gap between the force and its citizens, Mr. Griggs founded The Concerned Business-People of Shreveport. This group raised $200,000 which was presented to the City of Shreveport to purchase body cameras for the Shreveport Police Department.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Griggs’ McDonald’s provided 1,150 meals to front line workers at LSU Oschner Medical Center, provided over 1,000 Be Our Guest cards to firefighters and EMS workers, and sponsored Coffee with a Cop held in Jefferson, Texas and Shreveport with both Police Chief’s in attendance.
Roy’s robust energy drives him to serve the community with a passion as he continues to make a transformative impact on the lives of others.
The 2021 recipients are:
Top Business Professional of the Year
Valarie Jamison, Parish of Caddo
Emerging Business of the Year
Paul Anthony Pratt, Paul Pratt Allstate Agency
Small Business Owner of the Year
Dana Jeter Williams, Jeter Therapy Group
Non-Profit Professional of the Year
Verni Wright Howard, Providence House
Business of the Year
Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino
Lifetime Achievement Award
Roy Griggs, CEO & Owner Operator of Griggs Enterprise
Since its founding in 1910, the mission of the Greater Shreveport Chamber has been to promote economic prosperity, serve as a business advocate, and celebrate the achievements of the Shreveport- Bossier region. With over 1400 members, the GSCC is designated as a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the US Chamber of Commerce, one of less than 2% of Chambers across the country honored with this distinction.