- DaimlerChrysler Financial Services and NNPA Foundation Award Recognizes Black Newspapers for Entrepreneurial Accomplishments
- $10,000 Grand Prize Presented at NNPA Foundation “Newsmaker of the Year” Banquet in Washington, D.C.
- Automaker Increases its Financial Commitment to the Award with Establishment of “Honorable Mention” Category
Two member publications of the Black Press of America were named winners of the prestigious 2006 DaimlerChrysler Financial Services/NNPA Foundation Entrepreneurial Award. The winners, Virginia-based Richmond Free Press and North Carolina-based The County News were announced during the National Newspaper Publishers Foundation’s annual Newsmaker Awards Banquet, held Thursday, March 16, 2006 at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The grand prize winner was the Richmond Free Press, which positioned itself as a leader in the general community with its “Love Lights” campaign. Honorable mention winner, The County News, forged an innovative partnership with the local school system and the medical community in Statesville, N.C. by creating a special publication to educate the Black community on vital health issues.
“These two publications have demonstrated that innovative thinking combined with a tireless entrepreneurial spirit can drive both economic growth for the Black Press and advancement for community-at-large,” said Janet Marzett, Vice President – Human Resources and Administrative Services for DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas.
This is the second year for this unique award, which celebrates the business acumen of the Black Press, as opposed to its editorial achievements. DaimlerChrysler Financial Services increased its pledge to $35,000 this year with the establishment of an “honorable mention” category that carries a $2,500 cash award.
The “Love Lights” campaign, conceived and launched in December 2004, kept Richmond’s city skyline aglow by encouraging downtown businesses to keep their holiday lights burning through Valentine’s Day.
“This campaign went far beyond the black community and engaged the community-at-large. The campaign won over the city’s major corporations, promoted cooperation between the city and its suburban neighbors, enhanced city pride and encouraged increased tourism and safety,” said Vincent Barnes, Executive Director -- Rebirth of Englewood Community Development Corporation. “It was a campaign that has proven quite effective at generating revenue for the Free Press all year ‘round.”
As grand-prize winner, Richmond Free Press publisher Raymond H. Boone received a $10,000 cash award, as well as travel and accommodations to Black Press Week in Washington, D.C. and the use of a DaimlerChrysler-brand vehicle for one week. In addition, the publisher was presented with an originally-designed sculpture, commissioned by DaimlerChrysler Financial Services especially for the Entrepreneurial Award competition. The sculpture was created by Washington, D.C. artist Cheryl Foster, artist-in-residence at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Mason McCullough, Publisher of The County News, received a $2,500 cash prize and a plaque, as well as travel and accommodations to Black Press Week in Washington, D.C.
“The County News won major points for effectively disseminating information which promotes the well-being of the community and even saves lives,” said Matthew Scott, Personal Finance Editor for Black Enterprise Magazine. “Collaborating with the school system and having students take the publication home to parents was an excellent strategy.”
The panel of judges for the 2006 DaimlerChrysler Financial Services/NNPA Foundation Entrepreneurial Award included: Matthew Scott, Personal Finance Editor, Black Enterprise Magazine; Vincent Barnes, Executive Director, Rebirth of Englewood Community Development Corporation; William Reed, editor, Black Press International; Stephan Koller, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Relations, DaimlerChrysler Financial Services and Stacie Smith, News Center Manager, DaimlerChrysler Corporation.
About DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas LLC
DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas LLC provides brand-specific financing for automotive dealers’ inventories and their retail consumers, and conducts business as Chrysler Financial and Mercedes-Benz Financial. As DaimlerChrysler Truck Financial, it also finances commercial vehicles for affiliate products such as Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star. The company serves as the headquarters for operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America and Puerto Rico, and has over 5,800 employees who manage a portfolio of more than $95 million with nearly five million contracts. DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas LLC is a member of the DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Group, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, which operates in 39 countries with an employee base exceeding 11,000 and a global portfolio of $139 billion. DaimlerChrysler Financial Services is one of the leading financial services organizations worldwide.