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Briefly in the News – July 2024

CC Partners with Foundation for Black Business Expo

CC Partners with Foundation for Black Business Expo  

Columbia College is partnering with the James & Annelle Whitt Entrepreneurial Development Foundation in a joint effort to elevate the impact of the annual Black Business Expo. The 2024 edition of the event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 7, in the New Hall Event Center at 700 Cougar Drive in Columbia. 

“Columbia College is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the James & Annelle Whitt Entrepreneurial Development Foundation to collectively take the Black Business Expo to the next level,” says Dr. Teo Cooper, Columbia College’s associate dean for Student Life, Equity and Inclusion. “This expo brings our community together and is one of the most exciting events we host on campus every year.” 

The event, now in its fifth year, provides a space for thriving Black entrepreneurs throughout Columbia and mid-Missouri to share their products and services with the community. The expo looks to build upon a record 60 vendors who showcased their offerings in 2023. 

The James & Annelle Whitt Entrepreneurial Development Foundation creates and nurtures opportunities that further economic development in support of minority- and women-owned business enterprises across the region. The foundation provides SEED grants, business training workshops, coaching and mentoring services to increase businessowners’ competitiveness and success in the marketplace.

Mayor’s Native Plant Garden Inducted into Gardens of Excellence Program 

The city of Columbia’s Office of Sustainability recently celebrated the induction of the Mayor’s Native Plant Garden at City Hall into the GrowNative! Native Gardens of Excellence program. 

Created in 2021, the Grow Native! Native Gardens of Excellence program features plantings of native plants in designed, well-maintained gardens and in other native landscape plantings in the lower Midwest. The Mayor’s Native Plant Garden is one of twenty-eight gardens across Missouri, Arkansas, and Illinois to be inducted into the Native Gardens of Excellence program. 

Lily White
Lily White

Chamber VP Graduates from Institute for Organization Management

Lily E. White, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce vice president of external affairs, has graduated from the Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Awarded to all graduates of the Institute program, the IOM Graduate Recognition signifies the individual’s completion of 96 credit hours of course instruction in non-profit management. In addition, participants can earn credit hours towards the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) or Certified Association Executive (CAE), certifications. Nearly 1,000 individuals attend the Institute annually. 

“Institute graduates are recognized across the country as leaders in their industries and organizations,” said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, the U.S. Chamber’s vice president of Institute for Organization Management. 

Christie Davis
Christie Davis

County Commission Fills Vacant Joint Communications Director Post 

The Boone County Commission announced on June 3 that Christie Davis has been appointed as director of Joint Communications (9-1-1), effective June 10. Davis comes to Boone County having served as the executive director of the Sumner County Emergency Communications Center in Sumner County, Tennessee. She earned a Bachelor of Science, Commerce, and Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alabama. She has seventeen years of experience in police, fire, and medical emergency communications, management,
and training. 

She also holds certifications from numerous national accreditation agencies focusing on emergency communications, training, public safety, and management. The Boone County Commission expressed its gratitude for Major Gary German’s services as interim director over the past year. Before he returns to his permanent position at the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, German will help ensure a smooth transition. Boone County Joint Communications )BCJC) is the 911 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and dispatch center for law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services for the citizens of Boone County. BCSC is recognized by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch as an accredited Center of Excellence (Tri-ACE) in emergency law enforcement, fire, and medical dispatch.

Columbia Water & Light Recognized as a Reliable Provider  

The Columbia Water & Light Department has earned a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe electric service. 

The RP3 designation recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria include sound business practices and a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity. City of Columbia Water & Light joins more than 250 public power utilities nationwide that hold the RP3 designation. Columbia Water & Light has received the RP3 designation for the eighth consecutive time.

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