Indianapolis' Black Expo
The Governor's Award Reception: Profiles on Two Recipients
July 14, 2015
About the event
Indiana Black Expo awarded 10 outstanding leaders at its Governor’s Award Reception July 14, hosted by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. This is the 43rd year for the ceremony, which in its time has recognized many influential local leaders in the state's history.
Cleveland Harp, a former Harlem Globetrotter, received the Achievement in Health and Physical Fitness award. Hart now works as an usher with the Indianapolis Pacers.
Gil Michel received the Achievement in Business and Entrepreneurship award. He is the CEO and President of Caleb Group, Inc., a small business in South Bend, Ind.
There were multiple winners for the award of Achievement in Civic Leadership. This award recognizes the longevity of service in the community.
The first winner in this category was Joyce Akridge for education. Akridge is a Lead Principal for Carl Wilde Indianapolis Public School 79. Her school has been rated as an “A” school for four years in a row.
Alphonso Bailey was honored in the category of religion. The former boxer is the founder and executive director of Down But Not Out, Inc. ministry. He is an ordained minister and now volunteers in different juvenile detention centers.
Obadiah Smith, Jr. won under the category of military. As a senior chaplain, Smith leads a variety of activities including Sunday morning worship services for 1,500 airmen.
Jesse Moore received an Achievement in Civic Leadership: Community Service award. Moore serves as the first and only director of Purdue’s Office of Supplier Diversity. According to Purdue’s website, the office was created to help minority- and women-owned businesses work with the university.
Frankye Calloway received an Achievement in Civic Leadership: Community Service award for her 30 years in education, especially focusing on minority students. Calloway continues to serve her community today through church events.
Al Polin was the last recipient of the Achievement in Civic Leadership: Community Service award. He was given the award to honor the many years he has dedicated to fighting crime and serving his community. Polin spent 40 years as the block captain for the Mapleton Fall Creek Neighborhood Association.
Genois Wilson Brabson received the Sam Jones Trailblazer award for her historic step in becoming the first female firefighter at the Fort Wayne, Ind. Fire Department. She joined the department in 1975, and was one of the small handful of female firefighters nationwide.
Former State Rep. Bill Crawford received the Reverend Charles Williams award. Crawford spent 40 years in the Indiana House of Representatives, making him Indiana’s longest serving African-American legislator.
In addition to the six awards, Dexter Powell, longtime tour guide at the governor’s residence, was presented with the Sagamore of the Wabash special recognition award.