The GLOBAL 7 9th Annual Awards Gala

Held at the Ballroom at Bayou Place

On October 26 this year, Houston International Trade Development Council (HITDC) presented their 9th annual awards gala at the Ballroom at Bayou Place to a crowd of distinguished guests. The mood was set by the playing of traditional African drums by Baba Ifalade and Oba Gaidi as guests browsed the auction of beautiful African art from the HITDC collection and pieces from Global Vision Contemporary Fine Art Artists- Olga Porter, and La Donna Foto.  

A warm welcome to all was given by Val Thompson, President HITDC. He recognized important guests such as the Hon. Jaime Sosa, Consul General of Panama to Houston; T.H. Ana Paula do Nascimento, Consul General Republic of Angola; and the Honorary Consul General for the Republic of Liberia in Atlanta, Cynthia Blandford. A passionate rendition of the National Anthem was sung by Rickey Davis, the Sinatra Tribute Artist, who also entertained the guests and got everyone dancing after the awards were presented. 

Angelique Bartholomew, HITDC Chair African American International Initiative and Heidi Powell, HITDC Chair Latin American International Initiative delivered remarks thanking those who worked to make the event a success. Angelique and Heidi thanked Val Thompson and HITDC for the opportunity to lead a trade mission to Panama that they hosted with the City of Houston’s Vice Mayor Martha Castex Tatum in August 2022 and announced upcoming missions to Africa and Central America. Warren Winston, Chairman, Board of Advisors for HITDC, joined in to co-host and help present the awards to our 2022 Honorees. 

Prior to announcing the honorees for 2022, the Corazones Alegres Ballet Folklórico performed typical dances of Mexico. If you have not seen this troupe perform you have missed a powerfully crafted performance filled with passion and History, a wonderful tribute to Hispanic Heritage Month sponsored by NHPO’s Isla Garcia.  

Honorees for HITDC Global 7 Awards in 2022:

Mikel Collins, Rising Star. Mr. Collins is the President of Houston Informer, a 501c3 non profit organization.

Leondria Thompson, Outstanding Advocate. Mrs. Thompson has had a 50 year career that has extended into International development. She has dedicated the past 17 years to acquiring and distributing valuable tools of business to underserved communities. She has led more than 40 trade missions. She is the leader who has been responsible for developing the Tri County Regional Black Chamber of Commerce.

Donnell Cooper, Outstanding Community Leader. He devotes his time and resources to the Southwestern United States giving social skill speaking lectures and classes on etiquette to help youth develop better social and business skills.

Robin Boykin, Excellence in International Business. Mrs. Boykin is the owner of UENDURE Tea Company. She sells premium organic teas that promote better health.

T. H. Dr. Ana Paula do Nascimento, Outstanding Diplomat. Consul General of the Republic of Angola Houston.

Posso Ganame, Outstanding Non-Profit. Mr. Posso Ganame is the Co-Founder and President of the Texas-Africa Chamber of Commerce.

Walter Ulrich, Global Impact. Mr. Ulrich is President and CEO of Medical Bridges, a life changing and life saving nonprofit.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congressman Al Green presented congressional proclamations to all the honorees and to the entire team of the Houston International Trade Development Council. 

Val Thompson gave closing remarks and thanked all those who made the event possible. A delicious dinner was enjoyed by all. A special thank you to all our guests and our sponsors – Craig and Stephanie Howard at the Ballroom at Bayou Place, H.E.B, NHPO, Blanford/Thompson Consulting, Intuitive Global Consulting, Global Vision, and Blitzd, HITDC is looking forward to their 10th Awards Gala in 2023. Contact us today to join HITDC, become a sponsor, or a volunteer, and join us in supporting leaders in International Business. 

By Heidi PP – Editor in Chief, iF Magazine

Latin Chair – HITDC

Founder Global Vision

Photography by Kevin Li’s Photobooth  

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