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AIDS United announces endowment fund; Suzanne Shank named CEO of Siebert; Atlanta hosts Shea Butter convention

9/19/2013, midnight
African American news headlines for the week of Sept. 17, 2013.
Suzanne Shank

Missouri

Three African Americans will be among the nine women honored by the YWCA Metro St. Louis as Leaders of Distinction at the annual Leader Lunch in December. The award is to honor local women who adhere to the YWCA mission to empower women and eliminate racism. Sharon Davis, Gwendolyn Packnett and Gail Taylor will be among the women added to the YWCA Academy of Leaders. Davis is the first vice president and chief diversity officer for Ameren. Packnett is the assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; and Taylor is the shopper marketing manager for Energizer Holdings Inc. The YWCA Leader Lunch will be held Dec. 5 at the Millennium Hotel in downtown St. Louis. For more information about Leader Lunch, go to www.ywcastlouis.org.

New York

Siebert Financial Corporation recently appointed Suzanne Shank as acting CEO of the company and its wholly owned subsidiary, the discount broker/dealer and institutional investment bank, Muriel Siebert & Co. Inc., effective immediately. The company was founded by Muriel F. “Mickie” Siebert, who died on Aug. 24. A 25-year veteran of the industry, Shank will also continue in her role as president and CEO of the municipal finance firm Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., L.L.C., which she co-founded with Muriel F. Siebert and Napoleon Brandford in 1996. The firm is the top-ranked minority- and women-owned municipal bond underwriting firm in the country and is the only minority and women-owned firm ever nationally ranked in the top 10 among all such firms in the country.

A public-school powerhouse in junior high chess competitions has won more than 30 national championships, the most of any school in the country. Its 85-member squad boasts so many strong players that the late Albert Einstein, a dedicated chess maven, would rank fourth if he were on the team. I.S. 318 is a Brooklyn school that serves mostly minority students from families living below the poverty line. “Brooklyn Castle”—which has its national broadcast premiere on Monday, Oct. 7 at 10 p.m. (check local listings) on the PBS documentary series POV (Point of View)—is the story of five of the school’s aspiring young players and how chess became the school’s unlikely inspiration for academic success. The film will stream on POV’s website, www.pbs.org/brooklyncastle, from Oct. 8- Nov. 6. The film is part of the new PBS Indies Showcase, a four-week series of independent documentaries airing on Monday nights from Sept. 30-Oct. 21.

Texas

Talented MBA candidates from more than 30 of the nation’s leading business schools competed for $50,000 in scholarships at the 2013 National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Case Competition, sponsored by Chrysler Group LLC. The annual event is designed to give high-powered student teams an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and problem-solving skills in a formal competition. Teams are given a hypothetical business case for which they develop business solutions. This year, the students from Clark Atlanta University took home the first place trophy as national champions and $25,000 in scholarships. The winning team members were Shermika Dunnerm, Amber Dyess and Keith Edmonds, all current MBA students.