By Diane Larche’
ATLANTA, Georgia (Dec. 6) –Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc. Founder, President and CEO Xernona Clayton hosted a “Meet and Welcome To Atlanta” reception for Bahamas Consul General the Hon. Randy E. Rolle at the prestigious Commerce Club in downtown Atlanta on Monday.
Ms. Clayton was joined by Trumpet Awards Foundation board member Thomas Dortch and invited guests comprised of business executives and community leaders to greet the newly appointed Bahamas Consul General, who officially took office in July 2013. At the age of 38, he was appointed by Bahamas Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie as the second youngest Consul General to ever hold the office and represent The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
In its 21st year the Trumpet Awards Foundation’s annual Trumpet Awards, of which Ms. Clayton is Creator and Executive Producer, will be held January 23-25, 2014 at metro Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Center and is televised internationally to over 185 countries around the world. The purpose of the Awards program is to highlight African American accomplishments and contributions.
Calling The Bahamas her “adopted home,” Ms. Clayton, who in 1967 was the first Black person to have her own show in the South and who spent 30 years as an executive with Turner Broadcasting, shared that her frequent visits to The Bahamas include not only personal vacation and rest and relaxation, but she also travels there bearing gifts of clothing, computers and words of wisdom during visits with youth in shelters.
Consul General Rolle, after introducing members of his team and staff at The Bahamas Consulate Atlanta Office, including Deputy Consul General Monique Vanderpool, relayed the importance of the strong cultural and business relationship between The Bahamas and Georgia as well as the other nine states within his jurisdiction, which include Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee. He pointed out that some of the areas of interest for The Bahamas are pursuing opportunities in investment, education, trade and economy, entertainment, film and athletics, among other areas.
“The Prime Minister sends his regards and it was also noted at the time that 30 members of the urban renewal band will be visiting Atlanta when he comes in January,” said Rolle.
Ms. Clayton later announced that Prime Minister Christie, who received the first International Trumpet Award in 2003, will be one of nine Trumpet Awards International Civil Rights Walk of Fame inductees on January, 24, 2014 at Ebenezer Baptist Church, which was the church of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Consul General Rolle spoke of the longstanding and historic ties between The Bahamas and the Civil Rights community in Atlanta, noting that Dr. King wrote some of his most notable speeches, including his I Have A Dream Speech, in Bimini, a Bahamas Island about 53 miles from the U.S. and where the Consul General grew up.
Ms. Clayton noted it was one of her jobs as an assistant to Dr. King to get his airline tickets for his many trips to The Bahamas. “We are very close, just water separates us,” she said. “Dr. King said he could think better and read better when he went to The Bahamas.”
Among those in attendance at the reception were: Dr. Bill Allen, Allen Entrepreneurial Institute; Dr. Bill Pickard, Rev. Marvin Moss, Senior Pastor, Cascade United Methodist Church; Greg and Sharmeen Hawkins, SOAR Hospitality Group/Burger King Restaurant Owners; Valerie Montgomery M.D., President of Morehouse School of Medicine; Bettina Gardner, City of Atlanta’s Office of International Affairs; Leona Davenport, President, Atlanta Business League; Ronald and Wanda Thomas, R S Thomas Training Associates; Scarlet Pressley Brown, Vice President of Marketing National Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum and Sandy Moon and Les Stumpff, Focus Design Interiors, Bill Campbell, former Mayor of Atlanta; Oscar Riddle, Director of Catering, Cobb Energy Center, Brenda Cornelius, Trumpet Awards and Kathleen Bertrand, SVP Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau.