A tasteful mix of entertainers, influencers and media joined ESSENCE and AT&T for a pre-Grammy luncheon celebrating the accomplishments of two Black women executives who have made an immeasurable impact on the music industry.
Among the honorees for the intimate event, which was held at NYC’s upscale La Sirena restaurant, were iconic celebrity stylist and entrepreneur June Ambrose and Combs Enterprises President Dia Simms. Industry veteran Andre Harrell was also honored for his tireless work benefitting Black women in the music industry.
Prior to the official start of the program, guests enjoyed cocktails and mingled to the tune of DJ sounds provide by Hip Hop icon and businesswoman, MC Lyte.
Taking to the podium to accept the AT&T Humanity of Connection Creative Icon Award, June reflected on her personal relationship with AT&T executive and activist Tonya Lombard.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Tonya last year and I have to tell you, it wasn’t about business,” June said. “It was about a sisterhood and a friendship that I needed.”
The fashion guru, who is credited with bridging the gap between high fashion and Hip Hop with her lengthy list of clientele that includes everyone from Jay Z, to Missy Elliott to Will Smith, went on to speak on the importance of being a positive role model for young Black girls.
“I’m excited to be alive right now,” she continued. “It’s such polarizing political time but, it’s a great time to be Black.”
She closed out her heartfelt speech by sharing that “being a mom” is her favorite job of all, before finally dedicating her award to her mother.
“I want to really dedicate this award to my mother because I am my mother’s child and I wish she was here today,” she said. “But, she’s not. But she’s here in spirit.”
As Dia stepped up to receive the AT&T Business Icon Award, she reminded the crowd of the very significant impact made when companies put women in positions of power.
“The results show that when you went from zero representation of females in leadership to just 30, you saw 15 percent increased levels of revenue,” she said. “So it’s not a nice ‘to do’ to have women CEOs, [we’re] good for business.”