On Wednesday, September 20, the African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, and DE (AACC) hosted its 30th Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony at Lincoln Financial Field. At the event, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) and President and CEO Gregory Deavens were honored with the Corporate Advocate of the Year Award for their commitment to building a healthier and more empowered community.
Kourtney Cruz, senior vice president of Government Markets at Independence, accepted the award on behalf of the company and Deavens. Independence has implemented several programs to help increase business equity in Greater Philadelphia. In 2022, Independence’s Diverse Supplier Program spent $280 million with diverse suppliers, up 32 percent from 2021. Since 2018, Independence has spent nearly $1 billion with businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, people of color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The Diverse Supplier Program also provides mentorship and networking. Independence also supports the Enterprise Center’s Innovate Capital Growth Fund, a Small Business Investment Company fund that focuses on opening doors for minority-and women-owned businesses.
The AACC serves as an advocate for the African-American community to increase economic opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs. The organization’s Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony honors business leaders throughout the region that represent and support African American businesses through economic empowerment and advocacy.
Other honorees at the event were:
- Vanguard Award: Pennsylvania Senator Vincent Hughes
- Nonprofit of the Year: African American Museum of Philadelphia
- Small Business of the Year: SUPRA-EMSCO
- Entrepreneur of the Year: Felicia Williams of Hitouch Enterprises
- Chairman’s Award: Donna Allie of Team Clean Inc.