For Immediate Release
May 01, 2017
Contact Information

Jessica Garrett Modkins
Hip Rock Star Advertising


(Black PR Wire) MIAMI, FL – "Let's start off with a quiz. Finish this statement - Black don't _______." to which a resounding “CRACK!” was heard in the audience followed by chuckles. You see, Cheryl Grace Pearson-McNeil asked this question knowing the answer and more importantly knowing her audience. On April 26, 2017, Grace Pearson-McNeil delivered the keynote address for the Inaugural Black Owned Media Alliance (BOMA) Awards to a room full of media industry executives or as she referred to her audience, moguls. As the Senior Vice President of Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement for Nielsen, Grace Pearson-McNeil studies and reports the data that measures what consumers buy, what consumers watch and what consumers listen to. Her "Welcome to Black Culture 101" speech stirred-up powerful emotions amongst the crowd with facts such as "73% of Whites and 67% of Hispanics say that Blacks are heavy influencers of pop culture.”

These statistics drove home the very premise as to why BOMA was established and the necessity for an annual celebration to honor those in the media industry who are “getting it right” according to Dexter Bridgeman, President of BOMA. "I would like to thank our sponsors, honorees, nominees, and attendees for supporting our inaugural BOMA Awards. We thank you for standing with us and we look forward to continuing our efforts in chronicling the lives of the Black community."

The luncheon started with a reception where attendees were able to let their hair down and mingle with counterparts in a first-of-its-kind awards banquet. Notable attendees were Aventura Mayor Enid Weisman, Miami Gardens Councilman David Williams, Jr., Miami-Dade School Board member Dr. Dorothy Bendross – Mindingall, Miami-Dade School Board member Dr. Steve Gallon, and former Florida State Senator Dwight Bullard.

The event was supported by The Knight Foundation, Wow Factor Marketing, Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Jordan, Florida Power & Light, and Jackson Health Systems. The Inaugural 2017 BOMA Award Honorees & Winners are as follows:

BOMA CHAMPION OF THE YEAR AWARD - Andrew Goldberg Vice President of Marketing, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County

BOMA CHAMPION OF THE YEAR AWARD - Ed O’Dell Corporate Director of Communications and Partnerships, Jackson Health Systems


BOMA ICON OF THE YEAR AWARD - Jerry Rushin Retired Vice President, Cox Media Group

BOMA LEGEND OF THE YEAR AWARD - The Reeves Family Owner & Publisher, The Miami Times

BOMA VANGUARD OF THE YEAR AWARD - The Henry Family Founder & Publisher, The Westside Gazette

BOMA VISIONARY OF THE YEAR AWARD - Bishop Victor T. Curry President/General Manager, Gospel AM1490 WMBM New Birth Broadcasting


BOMA Marketing Firm of the Year Award - Hip Rock Star Advertising Marketing Communications

BOMA PR Firm of the Year Award - Sonshine Communications

BOMA Advertising Agency of the Year Award - WOW Factor USA

BOMA Black Advertising Agency of the Year Award - Armstrong Creative Consulting, Inc.

BOMA Best Communicator of the Year TV Award - Guylene Berry

BOMA Best Communicator of the Year Radio Award - Bishop Victor T. Curry

BOMA Best Communicator of the Year Radio Independent Award - Marlon Hill

BOMA Best Communicator of the Year Print Award - Carolyn Guniss

BOMA Best Communicator of the Year Digital Award - Lesesne Media Group

BOMA Photo/Video Journalist of the Year Award - Gregory Reed

BOMA Event Photo Journalist of the Year Award - Tamar “Teekay” McLean

BOMA Rising Star Award - Shawn Tyrell (In the Black)

BOMA AD Campaign of the Year Award - Rise Up Liberty City…Honoring Our Past – Building Our Future, Jambalaya Media Group

BOMA AD Campaign of the Year Award - Creative - One United Bank, Circle of One Marketing

BOMA AD Campaign of the Year Award – Overall Body of Work - FPL


BOMA Distinguished Industry Leader Award - Cheryl Grace (neé Pearson-McNeil), Senior Vice President, Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement, Nielsen

BOMA Awards Chairwoman, Debra Toomer, looks forward to continuing to celebrate industry professionals. "The 2017 Inaugural BOMA Awards was a historic and epic experience! We are forever grateful to Cheryl Grace (neé Pearson-McNeil) for her empowering message and thank our sponsors and supporters! We have big things in the works to continue the discussion and to education on the power with the Black consumer.”

Grace Pearson-McNeil went on to say, "We have the intention and the power as influencers to drive change where it strikes fear in this system - the revenue stream. We watch 40% more television than any other group of people. 95% of us tune into a radio station at least once a week. We make more trips to the grocery store than any other consumer segment -- We spend 1.3 trillion dollars every single year. That's what Australia spends." Grace Pearson-McNeil added that "although the buying power of Blacks speak volumes and worthy of pursuit, brands still don't allocate funds proportionately."

BOMA stands on this premise and has honedin on this disparity as it vows to continue to provide platforms for continuing education on Black consumer behavior.  BOMA will continue the discussion at the 2nd Annual Symposium on September 14, 2017 at the Adrienne Arsht Center.

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