Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Don H. Barden, First African American to Wholly Own a National Casino Company, to Keynote AACC Gala

With $372 million in revenues, his Barden Companies is one of the nation's
largest African-American businesses

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The African-American Chamber of
Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware (AACC) today announced that
Don H. Barden, the owner of Fitzgerald Casino Hotels in Las Vegas, Mississippi
and Colorado, will be the keynote speaker at the African-American Chamber of
Commerce's 2006 Annual Gala, Saturday, March 4, 2006, at the Wyndham Franklin
Plaza, here.
In acquiring Fitzgerald's in December 2001, Barden became the first
African American to wholly own a national casino company.  He previously
opened, in 1996, The Majestic Star Riverboat Casino in Gary, Indiana, with 932
slot machines and 50 table games.  In so doing, Mr. Barden became the only
African American in the United States to own a casino.
Recognized as one of the top black entrepreneurs in the country, Barden
has guided Barden Companies, Inc., where he serves as chairman and CEO, to
$372 million in annual revenues, making the company one of the largest African
American-owned businesses in the country.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Mr. Barden's business career spans a 30-year
period, during which he founded a successful real estate development company,
owned and operated a cable television system in Michigan, and owned and
operated five radio stations in Illinois.  He is also active in the global
business arena, having established Barden International, Inc., in Namibia,
Africa, in February 1996.  The company, which is engaged in the automotive
processing and distribution business, constitutes one of the largest private
investments in southern Africa.
"Given the gaming industry's imminent arrival in the Greater Philadelphia
area, we're especially pleased to have Don Barden as our keynote speaker,"
said AACC Executive Director John Childress. "His extensive experience in the
gaming industry and his ability to speak about that industry from an ownership
perspective and from an African-American perspective make his appearance here
especially timely.  Without question Mr. Barden represents the very highest
level of entrepreneurial success in the national African-American community.
There is a great deal that he should be able to share with all of us on March
In addition to Mr. Barden's keynote remarks, the African-American Chamber
of Commerce will also present its annual business excellence awards during the
Gala Program.  They will include:

- Lifetime Achievement Award - Charles Bowser, Esq.
- Community Service - African-American Freedom and Reconstruction League
- Procurement - ACE Insurance
- Excellence in Media - Athena D. Merritt, Philadelphia Business Journal
- Construction - W & W Contractors
- Legacy - James Brown, Alpha Office Supplies

Additional awards in the categories of corporate procurement and youth
entrepreneurship will be announced prior to the date of the Gala.
Serving as mistress of ceremonies for the Gala will be Tamala Edwards,
news anchor, WPVI TV, the ABC TV affiliate, here.

Founded as the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Philadelphia in
1994, the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and
Delaware is the leading private sector advocate for black-owned businesses and
African-American economic development in the tri-state area.  Headquartered at
1735 Market Street in Center City Philadelphia, the Chamber represents the
interests of such businesses in both public and private sector forums.  The
organization also offers management and technical assistance programs to
improve the effectiveness of black-owned businesses in the region.  According
to the Census Bureau, there are 16,010 African American-owned businesses in
southeast Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and northern Delaware.

Source: http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/01-30-2006/0004270548&EDATE=

SOURCE African-American Chamber of Commerce

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