Founders

 

Michael Boston, CEO


Michael Anthony Boston Sr. is the Owner and CEO of Boston's House of Jazz, LLC, Boston Realty Group, and Mike Boston Entertainment. In addition, Mr. Boston acts as Chairman of the Board of Boston Dynasty, LLC and is the Co-Founder of the Mike & Anita Boston Foundation and the Greater Greensboro Black Chamber of Commerce. He is also Senior Vice President of Boston Investments,Inc., Boston's Mortuary, Cremation Society of Charlotte, Inc., Cremation Services of Atlanta, Inc., The Firehouse Lounge, Secret Society Cigar Bar, and former board member of Downtown Greensboro, Inc.


Mr. Boston was raised in the small town of Reidsville, NC, with great influence from his maternal and paternal grandparents as well as his parents, all of which were entrepreneurs in their own right. Boston at the ripe old age of 18 opened the first African American business on the main street in Reidsville, which was only a few steps away from "The Block," a two-block section of all African American business. This was a significant milestone for the community in a very new age of integration.


Boston is married to Anita Chambers Boston and has three children: Michael Anthony Boston, Jr., Clarence Boston, and Aisha Melvine Boston, all highly successful entrepreneurs; in addition to six grandchildren. The entire Boston family, including the grandchildren, sit on each other’s Board of Directors. A family of entrepreneurs registered with the North Carolina Secretary of State as The Boston Dynasty, LLC.


Mr. Boston just celebrated the Tenth Anniversary of Boston's House of Jazz and the commercial payoff of that property in January 2019. The Bostons are not just a family, but a Dynasty!


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Valerie Benton Smith, COO


Valerie Benton Smith is an award-winning Sales and Leasing Professional with Flow Cadillac. As part of Flow GM Auto Center, she also is a Commercial Sales and Leasing Consultant and has the ability to assist her clients with all General Motors Brands, including Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC. Her customer-focused approach has established her as a Top Performer both locally, nationally, and internationally.


Her diverse background includes service to Crisis Unit at Monarch Behavior Health, Community Coordinator for the YMCA, Field Director for Girl Scouts, Teacher and Manager in Zimbabwe, Africa at Girls High School and National Theatre Organization, Teacher/Counselor in Westchester County, NY and Advertising, Promotions, and Retail Sales. Formally, had a career base established with Dudley Products, Inc. and was named the "Educational Consultant of the Year" and maintained #1 status for RECRUITING the most students while in the position.


Member associations have included: Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.-Executive Board & National Pan Hellenic Council of Winston Salem/Forsyth County-Social Media Chairperson, Winston Salem Chamber of Commerce (Ambassador) (Government Affairs Board), Winston Salem Black Chamber of Commerce (Membership Chairperson), and National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives.


Education includes Carver High School, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, New York University, General Motors Service Technical College and Colorado Technical University.


Valerie's life partner of over two decades is Michael B. Smith, and they have 3 Adult Children: Xavier, Asante' and Elisha, one grandson, Nigel, and furry son, D.J.



Contact: vsmith@flowauto.com (336) 997 1954

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Kim Harris, CFO
 

Kim Harris is the Founder and Presenter of the Career Empowerment Events, a serial entrepreneur and career expert who partners with Fortune 500 Companies, executives, solopreneurs, and career seekers to grow their personal and professional brands. After spending nearly a decade working in staffing, workforce development, and marketing for multimillion-dollar brands.

Kim founded the Career Center of the Carolinas, LLC, a career service event company that produces career fairs and hiring events for multiple employers


Since its opening in 2015, the company has held more than 250 career-related events and placed over 1900 people back to work. Kim is also the owner of Carolina Career Guide, LLC, a monthly career guide that focuses on career-related topics.


Kim's dedication to the community through her career and service events has landed coverage in print and broadcast outlets around the United States. A recent event gained the attention of Diane Sawyer's production team who interviewed Kim in November of 2018 about the career fair process after learning about a career fair she hosted in Washington, D.C.  In 2019, Kim expanded her brand to Radio. She hosted a career-related talk show, Career Corner on FUBU and iHeartRadio. FUBU Radio is an extension of the Daymond John brand, FUBU.


In 2019, after a conversation with another female entrepreneur and remembering her own challenges when starting the career center, Kim decided to create Develop Coworking, a professional Coworking and Collaboration environment, to grow and foster collaboration with others. Develop Coworking is the 1st of 4 coworking locations that she plans to open in the next thirteen months.


Kim is a Founder and CFO of the Greater Greensboro Black Chamber of Commerce, Founder of RE-EMERGE, a non profit that provides employment opportunities for former offenders, and President of the Kaitlyn Carter Scholarship Foundation. Kim is also a member of several organizations including National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, The Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists, NCWorks-Guilford County Partners Board, and volunteers for several local non-profits.


Kim has been a featured guest on Radio One, Entercom Radio Fox, NBC, CBS and ABC affiliates as well as Bravo Television.


Her favorite quote is by Madame CJ Walker. I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.  


Contact: kharris@carolinacareercenters.com

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Board Members

Sunny Gravely Foushee, Membership Chairperson


Sunny Gravely Foushee is the Co-Owner of The Artist Bloc, LLC, a Fine Arts venue located at 1020 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro, NC. Sunny and Co-Owners, Darlene J. McClinton, and Watricia Shuler are artists and educators within their respective fields. They opened the doors to what has been affectionately nicknamed “The Bloc” in August of 2014. Their primary goal was to be a “home” for local artists and a place that highlights their talents.


Sunny, Darlene and Watricia also founded TAB Arts Center Non Profit in 2016 to bring quality art education and art therapy to the community. Presently, she is the Executive Director of the organization. They have several successful programs, including the Annual All Arts Summer Camp, Alzheimer and Senior Art therapy program, M.E.S.H.A(Math Engineering Science History Art) an after school program, and community beautification projects, just to name a few.


Mrs. Gravely Foushee is also a nationally recognized Fine Artists, who has exhibited her work all over the country. Her inspiration comes fromnature, different cultures and politics. She is extremely intrigued by stereotypes, injustice and the hypocrisy of human beings. Her artwork speaks volumes in its intent to reflect and expose the injustices of humanity, social, economic and moral circumstances. She believes art catapults greater thoughts and ideas.


Passionately pursuing her purpose in her various roles is a dream come true for Sunny. Another component that her passion is to create an open dialogue of healing and overall beautification through the arts.


Ms. Gravely is a graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York where she received an MA in Art and Design education and Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree.

 


Contact: GGBCCMembership@gmail.com 

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Joseph Benjamin-Owen Pridgen Pridgen,  Chaplain, and Membership Chairperson


Joseph Benjamin-Owen Pridgen is an Author, Pastor, Power Coach, Counselor, Preacher, Teacher, Entrepreneur, Mentor, Actor, Singer/Songwriter, and workshop facilitator. These words don’t even begin to describe the ministry of Joseph Benjamin-Owen Pridgen along with the MANY business gifts he brings to the GGBCC! Prior to officially becoming the GGBCC Chaplain, he was ALWAYS eager to start our IMPACTFUL gatherings with prayer. He is also supportive of local businesses and keeps you in his prayers.


The best way to describe the ministry of Joseph Pridgen is energetic! In every arena, he brings a spiritual energy and excitement that can be both seen and felt!

Joseph Benjamin-Owen Pridgen was born on July 2, 1979 in Wilmington, N.C. to Rev. Dr. Conrad and Helen Pridgen. He received his high school diploma in June of 1997 from South Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, N. C. He then matriculated at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. and there received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Religion and Philosophy in May of 2004. Joseph then traveled to Wilberforce, Ohio and for the next three years attended Payne Theological Seminary where he received numerous awards and was elected Student Government Association President. After three long years of rigorous academic preparation, Joseph received his Master’s of Divinity Degree on May 18, 2007.


Joseph was called to preach on February 4, 2001 and preached his initial sermon on March 25, 2001. He was ordained an Itinerant Deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2004 and was ordained an Itinerant Elder in 2007. Shortly after receiving the ordination of Elder, Joseph was assigned to the glorious task of pastoring the anointed and God-fearing members of Union Hill A.M.E. Church. 


During his 7 year tenure, the attendance and membership increased, and there were over 200 conversions.


In February of 2014 The Lord released Joseph to start the POWER Church and to create Power Coaching 101.


He is married to the lovely and anointed Kenya J. Pridgen and together they have one son, Christopher Alexander Pridgen.

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OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

On behalf of our membership, Board of Directors, and staff, it is with great pleasure that I thank you for your interest in membership with the Greater Greensboro Black Chamber of Commerce .