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  • Writer's pictureC. Aigner Ellis

Palms Springs' Black Chamber Honors Local Luminaries

Updated: Jan 13

Honorees include Mayor Garner, Tracie Radford, and more.

The Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce's Palm Springs chapter has announced the honorees for their annual prayer bunch celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year's event will honor numerous religious, civic, and business leaders from across Riverside county.

SCBCC Palm Springs board member and travel/real estate expert Terri Cooks will serve as master of ceremonies. Additional remarks will be made by Billy Harris Jr. and SCBCC president Rich Wallace.

This year's MLK brunch will take place at Miracle Springs Resort and Spa in Desert Hot Springs. The admission fee is Cost for prayer breakfast is $35 for non members and $25 member and includes a full breakfast buffet and helps to support the chamber's efforts to highlight black-owned businesses in the Coachella Valley. RSVP below and check out the honorees after the jump.

MLK Jr. Spirit Award - Grace Garner

Mayor Grace Elena Garner is a second-generation Palm Springs resident

and is currently serving her second term representing District 1 on the

City Council.

During her tenure on the City Council Garner has championed increasing

affordable housing; improving community facilities; creating more youth

focused programming; and addressing neighborhood needs. Garner

manages a paid internship program to provide local college-aged youth

an opportunity to work in city government. Women of Influence Entrepreneur Award - Jeanetta Edwards (Member)

Jeannetta G. Edwards is a native of Kansas City, Kansas. Her educational background

includes graduation from the Cinderella School of Professional Modeling and Finishing and

being certified by the Kansas State Board of Education as a professional modeling

instructor, a Bachelor of Science degree (Sociology) from the University of Missouri at

Kansas City, Bachelor of Arts degree (Broadcast Journalism) from Mississippi University for

Women and a Master's degree (Biblical Studies) from Andersonville Seminary. As a writer,

she has two published books of poetry and her work –poetry and nonfiction = has been

featured in Essence and Sisters magazines. She retired as a managing editor of a daily

newspaper in 2012 and is currently the founder and co-publisher of the Coachella Valley

Christian Call newspaper. Additionally, she has written and produced several religious plays.

In 2020, Jeannetta became a certified genealogist (accredited by the American Society of

Genealogists). She is a Past Matron, the Order of the Eastern Star (Prince Hall Rite of Adoption) and a life member of the NAACP. She has served on national organization boards, including the National Girl Scouts of America, as well as serving as president of local civic and charitable clubs. Jeannetta believes one is obligated to be involved in the community in

which you live and do all you can to make it a good place. A widow, she is the mother of

three children, grandmother of 10, and great-grandmother of two. An ordained Baptist

minister, her calling is to work with young women whose lives have been distorted by

various destructive influences. Jeannetta established Gazelle Enterprises in 2014, where she

sets up non-profit organizations, and writes business and project plans. She is a successful grant writer with an 87% funding rate. Exemplary Business Award - Tracie Radford (Member)

Tracie has been in the beauty industry for over 30 years. She received her training in Cosmetology from Riverside Community College. She graduated from Riverside Community College with an Associate of Science degree in Cosmetology. After being licensed as a

cosmetologist in 1993, Tracie opened Make It Happen Private Salon where she has had the pleasure of servicing thousands of satisfied clients. Trailblazer Small Business Award - Flavius Garmacea

Flavius Garmacea is a highly educated and experienced professional in the

travel industry. He received his Bachelors in Organizational Leadership and

Development from Fort Hays University and has put his education to use in

his role as franchise owner of Expedia Cruises in Palm Desert.

Distinguished Service Award - Bridgette Picou

Bridgette Picou is an LVN, ACPLN specializing in HIV/AIDS Nursing. She lives and works in the Palm Springs area in different roles, all geared toward raising awareness of HIV and

HIV prevention. Bridgette focuses on two populations-women and girls living with and vulnerable to HIV and those aging with the virus. Bridgette does this through both employment and volunteer efforts. She is on a few different advisory boards including the Board of Directors for HARP-PS (Healthy Aging Research Project-Palm Springs) and as President of the local chapter of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC). This year, the local ANAC chapter won Chapter of the year at the National Conference and

Bridgette won Certified HIV Nurse of the year at that same conference. She works per diem for the newest clinical research office in Palm Springs. Bridgette writes a column in Positively

Aware magazine as well. Overall, awareness and helping people navigate the life process of thriving with HIV is what matters most to her.

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