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Chamber’s Minority Business Alliances seeks nominations for Vanguard Award

Minority alliance seeks Bell award nominations

The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Minority Business Alliance is seeking nominations for its 2022 John F. Bell Sr. Vanguard Award.

The award recognizes a minority business or individual who promotes diversity, equity and inclusion in the local business community, according to a news release.

Bell, the award’s namesake, opened the J.F. Bell Funeral Home in 1917. The funeral home is still operating and is area’s oldest existing business owned by people of color, according to the company.

The chamber’s Minority Business Alliance established the award in Bell’s honor in 2015. Previous recipients include the Community Investment Collaborative, Eugene and Lorraine Williams, and William Jones III. Nominations will be accepted until Aug. 5.

The winner will be announced Sept. 9 at the alliance’s 10th anniversary gala. Tickets for the event can be purchased at

The group is looking to recognize someone who displays high business and personal integrity and has made significant contributions in the area of business diversity, according to the award’s webpage. Additional criteria include understanding the importance of community service and mentoring minority entrepreneurs in order to develop future business leaders.

To nominate an individual or business, go to

– From staff reports


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