Excellence was the buzz word as the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) launched its new building last week to coincide with its fifth national convention.
Speakers from Canada and the United States used the word frequently to recognize brilliance and motivate young people to aspire to be the best they can be.
“When you look at our history and what we have come through, the way we handled things and the manner in which we have constantly bounced back, I would say the level of brilliance we have achieved in every facet of life validates that excellence is who we are,” said Toronto Argonauts vice-chair and motivational speaker, Michael “Pinball” Clemons. “Every now and then, we need to remind ourselves that we are excellent.”
International leadership and change management expert, Dr. Isaac Newton, said excellence evokes personal commitment.
“No enormous goal will be achieved, there will be no expansion of horizon and no renewal of spirit will be attained until there is a personal commitment to excellence and legacy creation,” said the Ivy Leaguer, who is one of the principals at New York-based Paramount Communications that provides high quality strategic and tailored public relations plans for corporations, political organizations and educational institutions.
“For me, excellence is not just about meeting superlative standards. It’s about becoming all that you can possibly be and more importantly creating ecology of nurturance and incubation and moving from good to great. It’s within us. While circumstances and situations may suppress it, they can also evoke it.”
A doctoral candidate at Argosy University, Oswald Thomas said excellence begins as a state of mind with the power of positive thinking.
“It’s about the individual and how they choose to think,” said the Antiguan-born political consultant and coach, who is also a Paramount Communications principal.
Thomas said excellence should always be acknowledged and celebrated.
“Too often, we highlight the things that are wrong and don’t deserve to be celebrated,” he said. “We need to celebrate our young people who are doing exceedingly well and those Black businesses that have been sweating and toiling for years. It’s time to bring them out of the darkness into the light and celebrate their excellence.”
Located at 180 Elm St., the two-storey building, previously occupied by the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, was converted into office space, conference rooms and a Centre of Excellence.
The BBPA, which administers the Harry Jerome Awards and a national scholarship program, is partnering with Xerox and BAYST Business Systems & Advance 2000, to develop and provide a state-of-the-art business technology solution, BBPA Terminal Cloud.
“This solution allows us to set the pace as it relates to its capacity to operate in a competitive technological world,” said BBPA president, Pauline Christian. “I am elated that our new Centre of Excellence was able to afford the Black community an operational environment that would attract young minds and allow their intellect and impact to be shaped and developed using next generation technology.”
Speakers included master life coach, Barbara Wainwright and designer, Sheila Newton-Moses.