2006 TORCH AWARDS HONOREES
The Honorable Yvonne B. Burke was re-elected unopposed to her third four-year term as Los Angeles County Supervisor for the Second District. She brings to the Board of Supervisors more than 30 years of experience in a distinguished public service career at the national and state as well as local government levels. As a member of the Board of Supervisors, she has focused on the needs and education of children, especially those who must be cared for in the County’s foster child programs. She is 1st Vice President of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), and will be incoming President of SCAG in June, 2006. In the course of her long public service career, Supervisor Burke has amassed numerous “firsts” and innumerable awards and honors. She became the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress from California in 1972, and the first to serve as Chair of the L.A. County Board of
Supervisors in 1993. She served as Vice Chair of the 1972 Democratic National Convention. She is also a past Chair of the L.A. Federal Reserve Bank, was Vice Chairman of the 1984 U.S. Olympics Organizing Committee, and has set on boards of numerous prestigious organizations and corporations, including Nestle. Time Magazine named her one of “America’s 200 Future Leaders”, and she was selected as “Woman of the Year” by the Los Angeles Times and Alumni of the Year by UCLA in 1996. Having run for office unopposed in 2000, Supervisor Burke has used campaign funds to establish the Second District Education and Policy Foundation, which has already provided $180,000 in scholarships to students in the Second District.
two Black owned companies in broadcasting history. In 1999, she made history again by becoming the first African American woman with a company on the stock exchange. In 2000, Cathy and Radio One purchased KBBT “The Beat” in Los Angeles for $430 million. Her stations now reach over 18 million Black listeners daily. As a result of her intense community involvement, entrepreneurial spirit, and mentoring of women, has earned her numerous accolades, including but not limited to: “100 Who Have Changed the World” from Essence Magazine, “100 Most Powerful and Influential Persons” by both Regardies and Washingtonia, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington Area Broadcasters Association, and the Seventh Congressional District Humanitarian Award.
Cathy Hughes’ story is one of rags to riches. In the world of radio and business, she has built an empire and attained status of true heroic proportions. She was a college drop-out who became pregnant at 16. However, her son, Alfred, became her inspiration and her motivation. In 1973 she entered radio as a general sales manager at WHUR, Howard University Radio, increasing station revenue from $250,000 to $3 million in her first year. Today, Cathy and her son, Alfred Liggins, the president and CEO, work side by side running Radio One, Inc., the largest African American owned and operated broadcast-company in the nation. It is the first African American company in the history of radio to dominate several major markets simultaneously. Cathy is also the first woman-owned radio station to rank #1 in any major market. In 1995, Radio One purchased WKYS in Washington, D.C. for $40 million – the largest transaction between
Dr. La-Doris McClaney characterizes herself simply as a Child of God. Her philanthropic, and humanitarian good works were embodied in her at an early age by her mother, Eula McClaney, who was a visionary that set the stage for future success. Prior to graduating with a Doctoral degree from Bethune Cookman College, her late mother and sister had amassed a great financial success in real estate in Southern California and six additional states. Guided by the belief that to whom much is given, much is required, Dr. McClaney has set out to open doors for the young and old to prosper in mind, body spirit, and opportunity. In her 40 years as a real estate entrepreneur, her unmatched generosity is exhibited by her willingness to provided financial support to many organizations. She has given over 10% of her gross income, which accounts for millions of dollars to the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart association,
American Lung Association, Bethune Cookman College, the Christian Broadcasting Network, City of Hope, King Drew School of Medicine, Save Africa’s Children, and the United Negro College fund to name a few. She is committed to providing financial resources toward education, research, and awareness to find a cure for all respiratory diseases. Her philanthropic prowess has extended further in paying the tuition of five African American college students and upon their graduation, continues to sponsor five additional students. Because of her dedication and vision, she has been named Woman of the Year by the Los Angeles, Inner City Mass Choir, received the Rosa Parks Award by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Lifetime Achievement Award by The Honorable Mark Egerman, Mayor of Beverly Hills, and has been granted over 500 commendations, resolutions and honors.
Edwin Moses is a true legend. Edwin is one one of the most respected and recognized athletes of our time. He is a diplomat, sports administrator and businessman He is a world class Olympic champion. Secondly, he is an accomplished engineer and businessman, holding degrees in both engineering and business after receiving an academic scholarship to Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. Thirdly, he is a devoted community servant. As an athlete, he has demonstrated unparalleled sportsmanship with two Olympic gold medals and one bronze medal. Edwin, a physicist, is known for utilizing the applied sciences to perfect the technical aspects of his athletic performances in his event, the 400-meter hurdles. During the seventies and eighties, he dominated the hurdles and captured 122 consecutive victories. The most remarkable string of victories ever won by an individual athlete. In 1994, he received the highest honor
bestowed by his sport when he was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame. As a sports administrator, Edwin is best known for his skillful and courageous directives in the development of policies against the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Edwin successfully guided the new testing program through its infancy, and the program continues to operate successfully. As a result of his dedication of strict drug control, he was nominated to serve as a member of the prestigious International Olympic Committee Medical Commission. Presently, Edwin is working as a financial consultant for a division of the New York-based investment bank Salomon Smith Barney. He is also a registered securities agent, a licensed private airplane pilot, and a scuba diver. As a community servant, Edwin is known for the unselfish giving of his time and energy to many non-profits and charitable organizations.
Theodore’s Snyder’s life is symbolic of what a community servant really means. Throughout his life he has carried the service torch by taking on the role of a community activist and leader for the under-served populations and powerless communities of South Central Los Angeles with deep humility and profound humbleness He has dedicated generous amounts of his time with mentoring and counseling at risk youth. His mission is very simple but often overlooked: improving the quality of life for the citizens of South Central Los Angeles! His primary goal is stopping the violence!! He is the founder of a non-profit agency called “For These Kids Only.” Through this agency, Mr. Snyder has dedicated generous amounts of his time with mentoring and counseling at risk kids in order to eliminate the violence and gang activity prevalent in South Central Los Angeles.
Nancy Wilson is a true “song stylist.” An Emmy and Grammy award winner. At the age of 15 she won a talent show and the prize was her own twice-a-week television show, Skyline Melodies. In the 1960’s, her single “Guess Who I Saw Today,” became a staple on jazz radio and in black juke box locations throughout urban America. Two albums which made Nancy Wilson a household name were “Broadway My Way” and “Hollywood-My Way.” She attributes the rise of her jazz profile to Cannonball Adderley who provided her with a second juke box hit, an edited version of Buddy John’s “Save Your Love For Me.” She has also paid tribute to her idol, Little Jimmy Scott, with a version of “When Did You Leave Heaven.” Nancy’s highest charting Capitol singles, the Grammy winning “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am,” which was #11 on the Pop charts, and “You’re As Right As Rain,” #10 on the R&B charts in 1974, are the highlights in the
total of 20 Pop and/or R&B – charting singles for Capitol. She performed on numerous television shows and won an Emmy award for, The Nancy Wilson Show, on NBC for the 1967-68 season. Her two collaborations with Ramsey Lewis, “Meant to Be” and “Simple Pleasures,” have been both smash hits and critical successes and her live performances are nothing short of legendary entertainment.