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Dr. Rita Ali headlines BBA Celebrating Achievement Gala August 12, 2017

Dr. Rita Ali will be the featured speaker at the Black Business Alliance ‘Celebrating Achievement’ Gala August 12, 2017 at the Life Together Center in Peoria.

“This is our 20th anniversary and we have a lot to celebrate”, said Denise Moore, who co-founded the Black Business Alliance (BBA) in Bloomington in 1997. “This is a time for reflection and planning for the future.”

The Celebrating Achievement Gala will begin at 6pm at the Life Together Center, 3625 North Sheridan Road in Peoria. The event is sponsored by the BBA Peoria Chapter, WPNV 106.3FM and the Minority Business Development Center.

“I’m proud of all the things we’ve accomplished over the past twenty years”, says Moore. “Offices in both Bloomington and Peoria, two radio stations (WXRJ in Bloomington and WPNV in Peoria), more than 100 members, monthly workshops on business topics, and of course the Minority Business Development Center (MBDC) incubator. In addition, preparing our youth to address 21st century business needs remain a top priority for the BBA. Our community requires a holistic approach to addressing economic development that leads to business and job growth”.

The MBDC incubator recently opened at 2139 SW Adams and boasts of affordable office space and business resource assistance. “The MBDC is an example of what we can do, if we set our minds to it. It’s right here on the southside, for us to use and grow as a community.”

Moore says Dr. Rita Ali’s keynote address will be timely and relevant. “Dr. Ali has a lot to share with us. This will be her first extended comments since the election. Her campaign for council was epic and we learned a lot about our potential to expand our political influence in the city.”

Ali lost the Fifth District City Council race to Dennis Cyr by just one vote. Moore, who was one vote shy of getting 1,000 votes in her re-election bid, says she and Ali share the same vision. “We see opportunities for our community to prosper through strategic planning, political activism, and economic development.”

In addition to recognizing local Minority business owners and advocates, invitations have gone out to all founding members, who will be honored during the event. Also, being recognized are State Farm Insurance, Country Financial and Heartland Community College for their long-term support of the Black Business Alliance.

Dr. Rita Ali is the Vice President of Diversity, International & Adult Education at Illinois Central College. Music for the event will be provided by Dexter O’Neal with additional sounds of WPNV 106.3 FM. Doors open at 6 pm. Dinner and program will begin at 7:15 pm.

Tickets for the Celebrating Achievement Gala are $65 ($75 after 7/21/17) and can be picked up at the BBA office located at 2139 SW Adams. Or, you may call 966-3989, extension 4 or go to for on-line purchases.