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Black Expo board adds 7 new members

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Special to the Recorder

The Indiana Black Expo Inc. (IBE) Board of Directors re-elected Chairman John Thompson during its recent annual meeting.

In addition, the board elected Rev. Paul Barrett Sr., Tony Kirkland, Michael Mauer, Dr. Woodrow Myers, Leroy Robinson, Vernon Williams and Gregory Wilson to the board.

Tanya Bell, IBE president and CEO, said, “The new members bring a wealth of experience and knowledge that will contribute to the continued success of this organization. Each member is well-respected in the community, both in the public and private sector.”

Rev. Barrett is a graduate of Ball State University and the Central Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently the owner of Executive Management Consulting Group and the senior pastor of Second Baptist Church in Lafayette. Barrett has been active in not only his church but his community as branch manager of the NAACP for more than seven years.

Kirkland served in Gov. Mitch Daniels’ administration since January 2005. He became the senior advisor for minority affairs when Daniels took office in January 2005 and helped facilitate greater involvement of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in state projects and contracts. As the commissioner of the Civil Rights Commission, Kirkland decreased case processing time and increased overall case submissions to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and Housing and Urban Development. He is currently the director of business development for FINCH Constructors Inc.

Mauer’s career as an attorney and entrepreneur has included cable television, film production, radio broadcasting, newspaper publishing and banking. An Indianapolis native, Mauer graduated from North Central High School, the University of Colorado, and Indiana University School of Law. He is chairman of the board of MyStar Communications Corp., IBJ Corp. and The National Bank of Indianapolis, a financial institution he founded in 1993. Mauer was named president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. in 2005 and named Indiana Secretary of Commerce by Gov. Daniels in 2006.

Dr. Myers has served not only as a physician but also as an advocate for public issues, specifically as a role model for African-Americans and others in the health care profession. Also an Indianapolis native, Myers graduated from Shortridge High School, Stanford University, and Harvard University School of Medicine. He became the youngest health commissioner and highest ranking minority official for the state of Indiana in 1986. During his tenure, he advocated for the rights of individual citizens like Ryan White who contracted the AIDS virus, and gained national recognition as an advocate for AIDS victims. Myers eventually became the New York State health commissioner, vice president and corporate medical director for The Associated Group (Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield), director of heath care management for the Ford Motor Co., and, in 2000, became the vice president and chief medical officer for WellPoint Healthcare Networks Inc., which merged with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to become the second largest company of its kind in the country.

Robinson is the former executive director for H.O.M.E. in Elkhart County, a non-profit organization which assisted low-income families with attaining home ownership through rehabilitation of existing homes and new construction. He also served as the building commissioner for the city of Elkhart for 15 years.

Williams is an author, educator, journalist and playwright who has written four books, including That Black Men Might Live, the story of former IBE president, the late-Rev. Charles R. Williams’ battle with prostate cancer. A graduate of the Indiana University School of Journalism, Williams received his Master’s Degree of Communication from Purdue University-Calumet. During his career, he has served as a reporter and columnist for the Gary Post-Tribune newspaper, editor of the Gary Info News, station manager at WGVE in Gary, and president/CEO of Paragon Advertising. Currently, Williams is the design chair of the media program at Broad Ripple Magnet High School for the Arts and Humanities (Indianapolis), member of the Executive Council of the Indiana University Alumni Association and owns a communications consultant firm, Seventh Son Media Inc.

Wilson currently serves as the director of minority business development for the city of Indianapolis. In this role, Wilson has been a strong advocate for community and business development and has been instrumental in increasing contracting opportunities for minority and women – owned businesses.

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