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A message from our President and Publisher

As The New Tri-State Defender embarks on a new era of delivering empowering information, we understand the importance of bringing to the forefront those that make a difference day in and day out in the lives of so many.
 
 Bernal E. Smith II

As The New Tri-State Defender embarks on a new era of delivering empowering information, we understand the importance of bringing to the forefront those that make a difference day in and day out in the lives of so many. It is important to pause to tell them thank you for all they do while encouraging them to continue serving and building to even higher levels of positive impact and change.

The 50 honorees selected for recognition during the 2011 edition of our Women of Excellence Awards were chosen from over 80 nominations. They represent a select group of African-American female achievers that understand the importance of building self to serve others. They exemplify the kinds of role models that young ladies in our community can and should aspire to emulate.

This year – 2011 – represents a year of robust reflection, change and opportunity for The New Tri-State Defender as we celebrate 60 years of continuous publication, 1951-2011, while aggressively looking to a dynamic and impactful future as an urban multi-media outlet. Our robust plans include six spectacular events for this year: Women of Excellence; Let’s Move Memphis Health Fair and Family Fun Day; Salute to the First Ladies; the Pancakes and Politics series; Men of Excellence; and a grand 60th Anniversary Black Tie Celebration.  

These events provide an opportunity to highlight, connect, relate, inform and contribute to building this community to new heights, while also strengthening the reach and foundational structure of The New TSD for greater impact moving forward. We’ll be broadening our reach through multiple platforms, including social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, a new television show, “On Our Way to Wealthy,” and an exciting new partnership with radio personality Bobby O’Jay, WDIA and Clear Channel Radio. We’re also establishing new and dynamic collaborative relationships with The LeMoyne-Owen College, WLOK Radio, and the Southern Heritage Classic.

 While well aware of our challenges, we are excited about the future of our publication as a leader in the Greater Memphis Community. Our mission involves providing leadership as we generate pride, renewed energy and a sense of forward movement and progressive action.    

A key element to realizing the highest levels of success in carrying out the Women of Excellence Awards – and all of the plans that I’ve shared – are those entities that continue to invest dollars in our business towards a positive return. These are the companies and individuals that demonstrate in a tangible way an understanding of the importance of diversity and the necessity of economic expansion for minority businesses and communities, particularly in Greater Memphis.

Thanks to all of our WOE sponsors: Fed Ex, Kraft Foods, University of Tennessee Health Sciences, Citizens Bank and Comcast. Each is a positive contributor to our growth and that of the entire community.

I commend them for what they’ve done and challenge them to do more as we execute our plans for growth.  They have bought into our vision with a tangible investment, understanding the importance of strengthening the African American community, economically, educationally and emotionally with greater hope for a better future.  

To those planning to attend Friday’s event at the Memphis Botanic Garden, I thank you in advance for joining us in the celebration of achievement, and for your support of The New Tri-State Defender. More importantly, thanks for your support of the dynamic women that we honor and recognize.  I know that it is in large part due to a strong support system that each of them can do the work that they do each day in such a highly effective and consistent way.

To each of our 2011 50 Women of Excellence honorees, I say thank you for graciously accepting the honor and allowing us to share with the community “your stories.”

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