President Garrett's Address at the 2011 Unity Gala.
Tonight is a very special night, because you are here in this place, on this night, at this particular time.
You could have chosen to be somewhere else, but you thought enough of this organization to be here. Your presence here at the Gala, is a testament of your commitment, to the mission of Tabor 100, and for that I say thank you.
I would like to thank
Tonight is our 12th Annual Gala and also the 12th year Tabor 100 has been in existence. There is something very significant about the number 12.
Of all of the numbers in the numerical system, the number 12 symbolizes authority.
The number 12 is believed to be the number of strength, conviction absoluteness and finality.
Giving more substance to the belief of the number 12 being authoritative:
As I stand before you tonight I submit to you that the 12th year of Tabor 100 symbolizes the completion of one phase, which has produced many accomplishments and achievements, not only by individual members, but as a collective unit.
We have made great strides in politics, business and education, that have helped us build a reputation as an organization that thrives on making a difference.
In politics, Tabor 100 members are making a difference by offering themselves as public servants:
In the business community, most recently Tabor 100 has established relationships with The Seattle "Metropolitan" Chamber of Commerce and, SKANSKA Construction to collaborate on projects and activities of mutual interest, which benefit the entire community.
When it comes to education, Tabor 100 has taken the lead in providing educational opportunities, and resources for young people, through 5 scholarship programs (which have awarded 10 scholarships thus far), the Black Achievers Program, the Nu Black Arts West Summer Program, and by supporting the Seattle Youth Violence Initiative.
Yes, for the past 12 years, Tabor 100 has evolved into an organization of strength, conviction, absoluteness and finality. This organization's tenure in the Pacific Northwest is the epitome of the significance of the number 12.
While we have come together as a strong organization over the past 12 years, we have run into many challenges along the way. Yet, we have maintained our composure and stood shoulder to shoulder on the battlefield. While some have fallen, we are still here.
As you all know next year, 2012 will be a very important year. It will be a year that will determine the direction of this country for years to come. Consequently, 2012 will also be the 13th year of the existence of Tabor 100. You know the number 13 is a significant number also.
The number 13 is said to bring test and suffering. For those who are superstitious, the number 13 is said to bring bad luck or misfortune. However, I am not superstitious, and I believe that the number 13 represents opportunity.
I believe that after 12 years of accomplishments and successes by Tabor 100, the year 13 will be a year of transition, change and inevitability that will increase the solidarity for our organization.
I believe that in spite of the efforts, being put forth, to turn back the hands of time, to a place where people of color were inconsequential, Tabor 100 will continue to reach forward, pulling others along, providing hope for the down trodden; educational opportunities for our children, equal access for women and minority business and, support and strong guidance for our elected officials. Yes, Tabor 100 will remain strong.
As a matter of fact I submit to you, that the challenges that will be hurled at us like giant boulders rolling down Mt Rainer, will not stop us, or deter us from fulfilling our mission.
The challenges may test our endurance, and shake the very foundation of our existence, but we shall not be moved!
What Tabor 100 is going to do in 2012, is the same as we have done for 12 years:
1st Corinthians 12:12 (there is something about that number 12) says, "Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ"
I leave you with this, we are an organization with a common purpose, comprised of diverse and different individuals, working together on one accord, and we are a well oiled machine moving forward, overcoming any obstacle that dares to impede our progress towards success. Your hidden talents beg to be uncovered, and our collective strength can be insurmountable.
With our collective strength, the totality of our separate parts, abilities and beliefs, Tabor 100's mission of breaking down barriers to success for women and minority owned businesses can be achieved. I see it. I can feel it. I can even hear it!
Now, if you would please look at your neighbor and say Tabor neighbor, we are all in this together, "we will say what we see, until we see what we say".
On behalf of the Tabor 100 members, officers and board members, we say thank you for your support and for sharing this evening with us and enjoy the rest of the evening.
President Garrett's Address at the 2010 Unity Gala.
If you would, please look at the person to either side of you and say, "Hello, Tabor Neighbor You show - NOT SURE - You SHOW look good". That's right …. YOU all are part of the Tabor 100 community!
WE ARE ALL an association of entrepreneurs and business advocates, committed to economic power… educational excellence… and social equality for people of color and women.
WE ALL believe that a strong economy is a diverse economy, and that a diverse economy is driven by ALL businesses…regardless of their size… or the ethinicy and gender of their ownership.
WE ARE ALL committed to taking down the walls of exclusion … that prevent the economic success for small businesses - whether those walls are deliberately or accidentally set up. This … is the very essence of Tabor 100. This is why WE are ALL here today!
It is well known that small firms
Without the continued ingenuity, success and resilience of small businesses, our national and state economy would be struggling even more …than it is today. So it stands to reason, that Tabor 100, the voice and advocate for small minority and women owned businesses… must continue to do what it does.
As Tabor 100's President, and as I think about the challenges facing small businesses today, I draw inspiration from my aunt Ozie Bell. She was known as a "fire-and-brimstone" Church of God minister - so bear with me if you begin to feel that today is really Sunday!
During my childhood in Canton, Mississippi, my aunt Ozie made sure I spent a lot of time in the church. Between my aunt Ozie, and many other aunts and uncles who were also preachers, I learned quickly strong moral values, spirituality and an eternal belief that if we continue to do good, good will eventually come in the end. For me, this is true in our personal and professional lives.
This eternal belief in good eventually coming…reminds me of the verse in Habakkuk Chapter 2, Verse 3, which reads: "For the revelation waits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it lingers, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." The eternal optimism of this verse is clear.
In keeping with the theme of tonight's gala, "Vision Takes Flight", I must not lose sight of moving Tabor 100 forward in advancing the needs of minority and women businesses - despite distractions at the federal, state or local level. After all, even though there may be obstacles along the way, and success temporarily deferred, it will eventually come.
So I remain optimistic that if WE stay the course, things will work out. Because, the future belongs to those who have passion and faith; it belongs to those who are willing to work hard to make our nation and State great.
The rancor in Washington, D.C. leading to distracting ethics trials and allegations of ethics violations against leading African-American Congressional members… Charles Rangel, Maxine Waters and Eddie Bernice Johnson, will pass. And Congress will focus on passing the Small Business Jobs Act, which promises to allocate $30 billion dollars to boost small business lending.
The economic slow down in Washington State leading to the recently announced $520 million dollar revenue gap and a 6.3% across-the-board spending cut…will pass. Those cuts mean, thousands of college slots eliminated, $280 million dollars in cuts to the Dept. of Social & Health Services, and numerous other cuts to essential programs in state agencies including the Dept. of Commerce and the Governor's Office of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises.
Nevertheless, WE WILL return to achieving this State's announced budget priorities of: (First) student achievement; (Second) health and protecting our vulnerable citizens; and (Third) economic development.
The leadership displayed by King County Executive Constantine … in his Executive Order announced in March of this year, reforming the County's procurement and contracting processes WILL BE FELT.
Likewise, the leadership displayed by City of Seattle Mayor McGinn … in his Executive Order announced in April of this year, directing City agencies to increase contracting with, and purchasing from, women and minority owned businesses, WILL BE FELT….
After all, WE have passion and faith. And as Dr. King taught us all…WE will fill our legislative halls with men and women of goodwill and send to the halls of Congress men and women who will do good.
With our collective strength and your continued support, Tabor 100's mission of breaking down the barriers to the success of women and minority owned businesses can be achieved. While we are all different, with different views and interests, WE are one body with one common purpose. We may be diverse and different, but as a body of people working together on one goal, the obstacles to that goal WILL BE OVERCOME.
Let me close with a thank you and one final thought.
Since the early days of this organization, Craig Dawson, who has served Tabor 100 as President, has been a voice of reason and guidance. He has been a reliable leader, advisor, friend, and a strong supporter of this organization. He has been an invaluable source of strength for me. Craig, please stand. Please help me in thanking Craig with applause.
Finally, in closing…Tabor 100 is now in flight.
Fasten your seat belts and make sure your seat is upright. We're headed toward a place called success at blinding speed. I encourage you to get your ticket and boarding pass, and then tell your Tabor neighbor…"Get on Board!" Can you say it again with me…. "Get on Board!" Thank you everyone.
Letter from President Garrett
Dear Tabor Members and Friends,
We had a wonderful turnout with over 400 attendees and dignitaries including Dino Rossi, Rep. Marcie Maxwell, Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess, Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, King County Assessor Lloyd Hara, Federal Judge Richard Jones, and Seattle Municipal Court Judge Edsonya Charles.
Apart from the funds raised through sponsorships and ticket sales, we were able to raise over $11,000 during our “Fund-an-Item” fund raiser to support Tabor 100 scholarships. We announced the creation and funding of a new 4-year scholarship that includes a paid internship at the Space Needle restaurant, fully supported by Space Needle LLC. Thank you to our Platinum and Gold sponsors, Captain of Industry, Developers of Industry, Patrons of Industry and Table Captains.
Special thanks goes to Bertrand Valdman, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Puget Sound Energy, for his insightful Keynote address on seizing the opportunities presented by disruptive change. Thank you to Jennifer Stall, Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations with Wal-Mart, for serving as our Mistress of Ceremonies.
And, of course, thank you goes to Josephine Howell, for entertaining us all with her amazing voice.
Finally, thank you, thank you to Ruby Jones and the 2010 Gala Committee for pulling together another wonderful event.
President Garrett's Address at the 2009 Unity Gala.
Good evening and thank you all for coming to the Tabor 100 Captains of Industry Annual Gala. Tonight is a very special night, because we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Tabor 100.
Ten years ago, a great visionary, L. David Tyner III, founded Tabor 100 which has matured into an institution that has successfully advanced a common agenda for minority owned businesses in the Pacific Northwest.
For a decade Tabor 100 members, all of whom are volunteers, have worked to ensure that the brush of economic opportunity uses all of the colors, to paint prosperity across this far reaching canvas we call Washington State, and that our business and political leaders embrace the beauty of this illustrious portrait, while preserving it with a protective coat of fairness and justice.
For 10 years, Tabor 100 has stood strong and not deviated from the mission, economic power and educational excellence. As I look across this ballroom tonight, I can clearly see that over the years Tabor 100 has Changed Dreams into Reality.
Many great ideas begin with a dream. 40 years ago, a young man from the clay hills of Georgia had a dream, that one day this country would not judge a man by the color of his skin, but the content of his character. In my mind, I can imagine that one of the things that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. may have seen in his dream from the mountain top looking over the promised land, was a little black boy sitting under a tree in the tropics of the South Pacific, planning to one day be, the President of the United States of America. I believe that although Dr. King knew he that may not be her to see it happen, I believe that he knew that it would happen.
Perhaps, a result of Dr. King's dream, vision, and divine revelation is, that young man sitting under that tree, grew up to organize a nation of believers, who embraced the slogan of "Yes We Can"; and "Yes We Did" elect him, Barack Obama, as the 44th President of the United States. This reality came about because people from all races and all walks of life came together, to vote for a candidate based on his qualifications and ability, and not against him because of his genealogical pedigree. I dare to say that one man's dream became another man's reality.
I can also imagine another young man from Texas, Langston Tabor, traveling to Seattle seeking economic opportunity and prosperity; only to encounter an initiative called I-200, that he felt would undue a lot of the gains made by minority businesses in the State of Washington. I can imagine Langston Tabor, dreaming of a day when an organization existed that would make economic power for minority businesses a reality. Unfortunately, he was called home to his reward before he could launch the battle. But, the dream did not die; because, a young man from Philadelphia, L. David Tyner III stepped up and got to work to change Langston Tabor's Dream into Reality. Again, one man's dream resulted in another's reality which is now Tabor 100.
Tabor 100 has achieved many accomplishments over the past 10 years.
Economic prosperity and educational excellence is the key to Tabor 100's future and our communities' future. All of you can be the catalyst to that future. We are asking you to help introduce our organization and members, to your companies and agencies. You all have the power to be the change agents. By helping Tabor 100 companies, you are helping Washington be more competitive, grow our jobs, and increase revenues to both Washington government and Corporations. Together we can "Turn Dreams into Reality".
"We are all equal in the eyes of God", What ever you do "Don't Quit". Through this challenging time we may get hard pressed but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. Adversity will challenge us but not destroy us. Keep living by faith not by sight and most important let us not become weary in doing well, there's nothing that can't be done if we raise our voice as one. Let's stick together and encourage one another. Dreams can only come true when the Dreamer takes action. If we stay focused on our goals, Dreams can become Reality.
Since late 2008 the negative news about our economy has been constant, and at times unnerving. Yet as I have attended meetings with our members and stakeholders, the prospects for new opportunities are great.
In 2009, Tabor 100 will continue to prove that we deliver the best example of power through unifying communities. This was our theme for the 9th annual gala, and I spoke sincerely that night about our commitment to walking that talk. But in terms of execution, there is no more important action than continuing to build relationships with leaders and other organizations.
Several Tabor 100 officers and I will meet this month with Gov. Christine Gregoire. Our agenda is focused on discussing her stimulus plan for Washington State, and proposing ways Tabor can play a role in local economic stimulus. I had a productive meeting with officials from the city, county and state on public sector contracting. I brought together Linda Bremer, director of the state office of General Administration, the key agency behind state purchasing, Nancy Locke, City of Seattle purchasing manager and Sandy Hanks, King County program manager in a session where we shared ideas on how Tabor can work with their agencies. We discussed what’s working and what’s not, and reviewed the challenges faced by both the public and private sectors. The city and county have been dedicated supporters of our successful meet-and-greets between Tabor members and their purchasers and our conversations will certainly take us to the next level. In addition, I’ve been working with OMWBE’s Ad Hoc Advisory Committee, as part of a group of business and diversity experts advising the agency’s director on supplier diversity.
In the spirit of unifying communities, I have met with the President of the Alaska Black Chamber of Commerce, and spoken with Mike Sotelo of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Alex Borromeo of Seattle’s Filipino Chamber of Commerce. We talked about ways we can all work together and deliver one solid consistent message. We also will continue to build on the relationships we have formed with many others. Internally, I have many reasons to be excited about what Tabor will accomplish in 2009. In just the past few weeks, we have seen 10 new members join. Each new member adds to our resources for building strong Tabor committees and business-to-business networking. This year we will celebrate our 10th Captains of Industry Gala and no doubt continue to grow this event in exciting new ways. My friends, there is an unmistakable sense of hope and energy throughout our community these days. People are looking for proactive ways to give back and make a difference. Many have recognized Tabor 100 is an excellent way to do that. At the same time, we are part of the solutions to invigorating the economy – as long as we are given a fair opportunity to compete.
Let’s stay unified, as we did in September at the Gala (and as we did on Nov. 4!), and we will make 2009 a year of achievement.
President Garrett's Address at the 2008 Unity Gala.
Good Evening, my name is Ollie Garrett and I'm the new President of Tabor 100. On behalf of our officers and members, thank you for coming tonight.
It takes a lot of volunteer hours to make the Gala possible, and I want to thank the Gala Committee again for the very hard work they do to make this event a success.
In particular, I would like to thank Christa Peterson, the new Gala Committee Chair, and Janie Hendrix for their leadership.
I also want to thank our major sponsors, without whom the success of this event is impossible.
Tabor is proud that 83 cents of every dollar raised at the Gala goes to Educational programs and scholarships. And 93 cents of every dollar contributed to us goes toward our programs. Only 7 cents goes toward overhead because our volunteers to do all the work!
We've had several sponsors give large donations to Tabor. For example, our Diamond, Platinum and Gold sponsors have donated funds that allows Tabor 100 to award scholarships at a broader array of community colleges and universities.
These relationships play a big role in Tabor's future strategy and activities.
For example our new relationship with PSE will help us increase awareness within the minority business community about "Green Business" issues and opportunities.
I also would like to thank past presidents L. Dave Tyner, Donald King, Craig Dawson and Leon "Skip" Rowland. Please rise and be recognized? Will you join me in a round of applause?
Now, as the new president of Tabor, a lot of people might be asking, "WHO IS Ollie Garrett?"
Well tonight I would like to introduce myself, and talk about an American dream--mine-and also give you some insight into the direction of Tabor during my leadership.
I was born in New York and raised in Canton, MS.
I left Canton for the big city, and as a single parent moved to Chicago. Just off the Greyhound bus, I became a victim of "Three Card Molly". I remember being sold fake gold chains, and too many other scams to mention-all on the streets of Chicago.
And while there I had to get on Public Assistance.
But looking back on that experience I realize that I was cradled by folks I called, "Angels". I was lucky enough - some might say foolish, others might say naïve - that someone was always there to give me a helping hand, or an arm of protection!
I've been fortunate to have been given opportunities to improve myself and rise.
I left Chicago for Detroit, and it was there I got my first job as a collector at Comp-U- Check, and got off of Public Assistance. By the time I left Comp-u-Check I was Vice President of Financial Recovery, responsible for a staff of 65 and a Half-Billion dollar portfolio of retail and commercial collections.
I was recruited by SCAN, located in Bothell, Washington, one of the largest check verification companies in the country. From there I became President of CCV.
In 2006, I branched out on my own, launching PMT Solutions, a full service receivables management firm in Bellevue.
This is my American dream.
As I've traveled my life's journey, I've been grounded in faith.
I've learned we're all blessed in order to be a blessing to others.Early in my life I learned about business from my dad. He built homes in Canton, and as I watched how he worked with his business partners, it made a big impression on me.
You see,…I'm from a place where business was done on a handshake, and a person's word was their bond. My Dad had lots of business opportunities, and he shared them all with other business people. His belief was, "shared opportunities create shared benefits," which is the spirit of tonight's theme of "Power through Unifying Communities".
So how will who I am and what we believe as Tabor members effect my term as president of Tabor? Well,…
First and foremost, Tabor 100 will be an organization that is the best example of "Power through Unifying Communities".
We have a strong desire to build relationships with other organizations that share our views on economic development, and we want to build on the areas of balanced common interests.
Partnerships are critical to our success.
Some of these partnerships are:
The Seattle Department of Transportation, led by Grace Crunican as well as Nancy Locke with the Department of Executive Administration, Elaine Ko, Port of Seattle, and Frank Leyritz, Puget Sound Energy, -- who have all worked with us on our "Meet and Greet" business development program. This program has increased revenue opportunities for minority businesses. These opportunities are not just for African-American firms, but for businesses across diverse communities.
Boeing, who provided support for this year's Black History Month celebration;
Rep. Bob Hasegawa, who we would like to thank for his leadership in working with us on the bill to increase the funding limits for the link deposit program from $100 million to $150 million,…
This also ties into a new direction we're supporting within the Urban Enterprise Center, to collaborate on a "multi-cultural marketing and cross-cultural business" philosophy.
As part of this approach, we're also coordinating and unifying our strength by working with and supporting the activities of other business organizations, like the Northwest Minority Business Council, the Hispanic Chamber, the Filipino chamber, and the Urban League's CDCC. In many ways, we have a shared history with these organizations, and it's critical we work together.
We will continue to be deeply committed to educational excellence and look forward to continue our work with organizations like, Thrive by Five, the Business Partnership for Early Learning, Seattle Public Schools, and the Black Education Strategy Roundtable.
Perhaps most importantly, Tabor 100 will be an organization that "WALKS THE TALK". We plan to create an environment high in trust, where all the folks working to promote minority business development here in the Puget Sound Area work together and don't reinvent the wheel.
Within the organization we're going to work hard to increase membership, energize committees, and develop the next generation of business leaders.
Tabor is blessed to have talented, dynamic leaders coming to the foreground and here they are.
Would all the Officers and Board Members please rise.
These folks drive our mission and goals, and they choose the initiatives we work on. Would you please give them a round of applause?
Cos, Crystal, Glenn, Lewis, Christa, Kevin, Marcee, Mark, and William,…thank you for your leadership and your service! And thanks to their families, too! They miss precious family time working on Tabor business. So thank you for sharing them with us! Please be Seated.
Anyone that knows me understands that I have a passion for this organization, a passion for the growth of minority businesses, and a passion for collaboration. There are many of you here who share that passion, and together this will enable us with the Power to Unify our Communities.
In closing, on behalf of the members, officers, and the board, we look forward to working with many of you during this year.
Thank you for your support and sharing this evening with us, and God Bless.