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Office of Communications
1601 S. Martin Luther King Blvd.
200 Lee Hall
Tallahassee, Florida 32307

October 2010Vol. 1 No. 3

FAMU announces honorees for the 'Young Alumni Awards'
Florida A&M University will honor 40 alumni at its inaugural Young Alumni Awards: A 40/40 Celebration, Friday, October 29, in the Alfred L. Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium.

The celebration is part of this year’s Homecoming events.

During the celebration, FAMU President James H. Ammons will recognize 40 outstanding alumni and offer a special tribute to the late Deitra Michelle Benton (posthumously), founder/owner of Mitra Enterprises, Inc.

She was the president and partner of PJJD Enterprises, Inc. and a member of the National Advisory Board for Cinnabon, Inc.  She passed away this past June.

 “This celebration is an opportunity to recognize a diverse group of young alumni,” said President Ammons.  “This is an effort to pay tribute to their professional achievements as well as civic, cultural and charitable involvement and accomplishments.”

The criteria for being selected were that each eligible candidate had a record of significant career achievements.

The nominee must have attended any campus of FAMU at the undergraduate or graduate level for at least one semester and either graduated or left in good standing.

“Our young alumni are making significant achievements in their respective fields,” said Sharon Saunders, the chair of the Young Alumni Awards Planning Committee and executive assistant to the president. “We want to bring those impressive individuals back to our campus during Homecoming and honor them for their respective success, dedication and hard work.”

Tickets for the event are $125 per person and $1,500 per table. 

The tickets can be purchased online or at the Office of Alumni Affairs and the Office of Communications (by check only).      

The 40/40 nominees are as follows:
  • Akinlabi Afolayan, executive director, Hope Float Initiative;
  • Corey Alston, vice chair & chairman-Elect. FAMU Foundation;
  • Torey Alston, chief of staff, Broward County Commissioner;
  • Aaron P. Arnold, CEO, Music is My Business;
  • E. Belicia Ayers, Esq., appellate panelist (Judge), South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce;
  • Michael Bundy, residency student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center, graduated first in his class at Harvard University, School of Dental Medicine;
  • Joe Briggs, Esq., attorney, NFL Players Association;
  • Leontyne Brown, managing partner, Salt 513 Advertising;
  • Dwight Bullard, State representative, Florida House of Representatives (District 118);
  • Staci R. Collins Jackson, CEO, The Collins Jackson Agency;
  • Richard Dent, senior vice president, chief operating officer and co-leader of Victoria’s Secret PINK;
  • Dr. Makeba S. Earst, Dentist, All About Smiles Center;
  • Allesa Jackson English, assistant professor, University of Tennessee Health Science Center;
  • Andrew D. Gillum, city commissioner, City of Tallahassee;
  • Amber D. Hall, Florida Region Sales Operations HR manager, Frito Lay;
  • Rob Hardy, director, Rainforest Films, Inc.;
  • Earl Holmes, Inside linebacker coach, FAMU, former line backer, professional football;
  • Taydra Mithell Jackson, chief marketing consultant, Taydra Mitchell Jackson, Inc.;
  • Cornelia Sha-Ron James, attorney, assistant division director, Department of Financial Services, Division of Rehabilitation and Liquidation;
  • Oscar Joyner, president and COO, Reach Media Inc.;
  • Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. – “Common,” American rapper and actor
  • Clarence Nesbitt, sports marketing counsel, Nike;
  • Will Packer, producer, Rainforest Production;
  • Karen Shields Phillips, director of Surgical Services & Sterile Processing, Emory Healthcare at Emory University Hospital Midtown;
  • Wesley S. Pur-year, vice president, head of North American Listed Preferred Stock, JP Morgan;
  • Jonathan Quar-les, director of Government and Corporate Affairs, W Industries;
  • William H. Robinson, associate professor of Electrical Engineering,  Vanderbilt University
  • Anika Noni RoseaActress;
  • T.J. Rose, vice president, Audax Group;
  • Melanie Rou-ssell, press secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan
  • Keisha L. Senter, director, Clinton Global Initiative/William Jefferson Clinton Foundation;
  • Daniel Sunjata, actor;
  • Shundrawn A. Thomas, president, Northern Trust Securities, Inc.
  • Keshia Walker, president, Insights Marketing;
  • Alan Williams, state representative, Florida House of Representatives  (District 8);
  • Amir Windom, executive, Atlantic Records;
  • Joe Womack, founder and author, Digital Guestlist;
  • Roy Wood, Jr., comedian;
  • Crystal Wor-them, Lincoln communications manager, Ford Motor Company
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