The Eighth Annual Global 7 Awards Gala

By: Heidi PP. iF Magazine

On Thursday, October 14, we gathered at the elegant Ballroom at Bayou Place for the prestigious Eighth Annual Global 7 Awards Gala. Each year the Houston International Trade Development Council honors seven global influencers and gives seven scholarships to International business students. 

The Official Mistress of Ceremonies for the event this year was the beautiful Mrs. Laura M. Salinas-Pruneda, President of Pruneda Interests, a Premier Home Builder, servicing Houston and surrounding Areas. Ms. Sheila Coleman sang the National Anthem.

Val Thompson, President of HITDC, and Maliha Mian, Vice President, welcomed all the guests and introduced the members of the HITDC board:

Heidi Powell-Prera, Latin American International Initiative Chair; Angelique Bartholomew, African-American International Initiative Chair; and Danny Nguyen, World Trade Division Chair spoke to the crowd and described what they do emphasizing plans for HITDC in 2022. 

There was a very special guest present, Cynthia Lynn Blandford, Honorary Consul General of Liberia from Atlanta, Georgia. She flew in from Atlanta to host a delegation from Africa.   

Special Thanks went to the planning committee for the prestigious event: Maliha Mian, Judge Bill Littlejohn, Denise Adjei, Carmen Espada, Sonia Guimbellot, Warren Winston, Zaki Mirza, Nargis Ahmed, Ilsa Garcia, Roger Boissy, Posso Ganame, Lorenza Butler, Kenny Efunpo, and Heidi Powell-Prera. A very warm thanks was given to Bennie Hunter  for her work on the gorgeous decorations.

Entertainment was provided by Las America Ballet Folklorico performed by the talented students of Talento Bilingue and Herman Lee on the Piano.

The Sponsors this year were International Focus Magazine,  HEB, Craig Howard of the Ballroom at Bayou Place, River Oaks Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, Teals Prairie & Co., Craig Amos Design, and Mian and Associates Law Firm, PLLC. Thank you Afro Vibes Kevin Li Photography, and Global Vision Media for capturing the evening.

The 2021 Global 7 Honorees were: 

Brandi Harleaux ~ “International Rising Star”

Ingrid M. Robinson ~ “Outstanding Advocate”

Haddis Tewwolde ~ “Outstanding Immigrant”

Cristal Montañez Baylor ~ “Outstanding Humanitarian”

C.C. Lee ~ “Excellence in International Business Service” 

Pete Garcia ~ “Outstanding Nonprofit”

Maryanne Maldonado ~ “Global Impact”

“International Rising Star” ~ Brandi Harleaux is the Chief Executive Officer and second-generation owner of South Post Oak Recycling Center (SPORC), a metal recycling facility based out of Houston, Texas that has been serving global customers and vendors for over 27 years. As CEO, her priorities are setting the vision, leading scalable growth through her team, identifying strategic diversification opportunities for the company while overseeing a customer-centric service model, and establishing the impact of SPORC. Brandi leads a team focused on servicing customers by offering a container and pick-up service for profitable scrap metal that is no longer usable although it has value and can divert materials from landfills in an environmentally responsible way.

“Outstanding Advocate” ~ Ingrid M. Robinson is the President of the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council (HMSDC), a business development organization designed to actively involve its members, both minority business enterprises and major corporations in efforts to increase and expand business opportunities and business growth for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) while driving excellence in supplier diversity and supplier development.  Currently, HMSDC’s membership comprises more than 150 major corporations and more than 680 minority businesses.  HMSDC MBEs have a total economic impact of $23.2 billion dollars on the economy with over $16.8 billion dollars in annual revenue that results in the creation and/or preservation of more than 82,000 jobs.

“Outstanding Immigrant” ~ Haddis Tewwolde, P.E. was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia of Eritrean parents. Growing up, he lived in several, primarily African, countries. This has instilled good adaptability skills and a strong belief in Pan Africanism. He  is the founder and serves as the President at All-Terra Engineering, Inc. (All Terra). Established in 2006, All-Terra is a privately owned “C” corporation in the State of Texas with two office locations in Houston. All-Terra is a full-service geotechnical engineering and construction materials testing firm specializing in geotechnical investigations, field investigations, laboratory and field testing of construction materials, engineering analysis, providing design and construction recommendations. All-Terra has extensive experience in private and municipal projects. 

“Outstanding Humanitarian” ~ Cristal Montañéz Baylor, a global citizen, humanitarian, human freedom activist, and former Miss Venezuela with years of experience in citizen diplomacy and international relations.

Cristal led initiatives to enable and empower communities to be independent by facilitating equitable access to opportunities. Her work supported a diverse portfolio of the Foundation’s programs and projects as she led economic development, education and emergency relief initiatives that empowered thousands of people and had a positive impact on vulnerable communities.

“Excellence in International Business Service” ~ C. C. Lee, a world-renowned Architect who has managed a successful architectural practice since 1983. C. C. Lee is a Feng Shui Master who has been teaching interactive workshops at Rice University since 1999 as well as many other universities around the world. He has been teaching a Feng Shui course at Glasscock school of continuing studies since 1999. His teaching incorporates Chinese traditional philosophy, architectural planning and modern living space requirements, using the Green-Tea Approach to achieve a holistic balanced living environment.

“Outstanding Non-profit” ~ Pete Garcia, the Executive Director of the  US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce connecting people and businesses wishing to take advantage of the US’s largest trading partner. Trade with Mexico includes Major industries in Energy, Health, Education, Transportation and Logistics, Manufacturing, Tourism and Financial resources. Pete Garcia is a professional speaker and international business consultant with a focus on the business of the PEOPLE of the world. Working for both the employees and customer understanding, Pete helps optimize its PEOPLE by strategizing training and communication efforts for all to be treated with dignity and respect with a better understanding of each other. Happy employees make happy customers who in return come back and share with their friends and families.

“Global Impact” ~ Maryanne Maldonado, an experienced Corporate Board Member and Executive Coach, currently serving as Chief Executive Officer of the World Affairs Council of Greater Houston with a demonstrated record of success in executive management to senior management, international business, private and not for profit organizations, technology, and energy technology. She is skilled in Management and executive business mentoring and coaching, turnaround and growth strategies, technology commercialization, business development, International Trade, International relations and executive management. Ms. Maldonado is an experienced board director, advisor, and seed investor for private companies and non profit national boards. Furthermore she is an exceptional business growth and development professional with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in Business Administration and Management from LeTourneau University.

Everyone present enjoyed the program and the food provided by Craig Howard of the Ballroom. It was wonderful to see everyone inspired and talking about future projects. 

We look forward to the 9th Global 7 Awards Gala in 2022. Join HITDC today!

Peace through Prosperity! Houstontrade.org

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