The Fourth Annual Circle of Achievement Awards Gala - 2/20/14
 Truck full of 40,000 books heading to Burlington County College for children in need.

Mount Laurel, NJ – A truckload books is headed to Burlington County College (BCC) as part of a historic effort to deliver 40,000 First Books to children in need.
BCC is the first college in the nation to partner with First Book and incorporate the childhood literacy initiative into its English and service-learning curriculum.
Eligible groups serving children in need (low-income, military or disabled) will pick up books throughout the week and county, college and state officials will officially open the distribution center at 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 18 at BCC’s Briggs Road Center, room 115 at 1000 Briggs Road, Suite 120 on the Mount Laurel campus.
The effort is supported by the college, Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders as part of the county’s Workforce Development Initiative, the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education, the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey as part of its education initiative called “Making New Jersey More Competitive” and First Book, a national nonprofit social enterprise that distributes free and low-cost books to children in need.
MARCH 7, 2014

First and Foremost, God
Harry Alford and Kay DeBow, the Co-Founders of the National Black Chamber of Commerce
The NBCC Board of Directors
The AACCNJ Board of Directors
Jacqueline Baptiste, My Executive Assistant
Members/Supporters from NJ
John Nietzel, SVP, Commercial Lending, Investors Bank
Darren Dowdy – President of RAZAC
Lance Lopez – President-PBA 105
Family, Friends (Ms. Foster/Stephanie Jones/Adrian Hughes, GM Hyatt, Board Members/Tracey Syphax/ Rolanda Brewer)
Today has finally arrived!   With all humility, I accept this opportunity to serve as Chairman of NBCC! As I revisited this day in my mind, I paused to reflect upon our collective journey through the lens of our respective ancestry……because within everyone, there is a story, a point of origin…and if you will allow me, I would like to begin my story with a few Black Heroes; individuals that defied the odds in pursue of a better life for their people.
The first, Fredrick ( Bailey )Douglas, a man who refused to be recognized as a slave, learned to read and write became an author, used his writing to purchase his freedom. Later travelled to Europe, where many people encouraged him to stay, however, he returned because he did not want to abandon his people.
Booker T. Washington, born into slavery, his education financed by a white man, founded the Negro Business League in 1900, which consisted of 40 chapters between Maryland and Texas.
Served as an Adviser to President Taft, who established the US Chamber of Commerce, in 1912. BTW encouraged Blacks to remain in the south and participate in the new economy post slavery due to a number of opportunities resulting from the massive migration of blacks to the north.
Mary McCloud Bethune, a woman with a vision to educate her people, started a school with 5 girls and her son, using coal for chalk, milk crates for desk….sold bake goods and lemonade to support her efforts….later met the founders of Proctor & Gamble and sold them on her vision of creating a school….this strategic partnership led to the formation of Bethune Cookman College…..
Harriet Tubman, recognized for leading a number of slaves to the freedom, a feat that never would have been accomplished with the cooperation and collaboration of White Americans….This is why I often say, Black History is American History……Harriet Tubman carried two pistols, for those who were double mined……She often said, she could have save more, if they did realize, they were slave……
Why these particular  stories today?.....because, they serve as a constant reminder of where I come from, and provide a perspective of what’s required to truly be a successful leader in the Black Chamber of Commerce business today.
-Vision -Awareness -Relevance -Value Proposition
These are the guiding principles that I live by every day as I seek to navigate the vast challenges facing the 66,000 black businesses and the 1.2 million residents in New Jersey who are entitled to their equitable share of the states’ prosperity…..No this is not about charity, however, it’s all about speaking with a unified voice, beating back false perceptions and positioning our constituencies as an integral component of New Jersey’s success!
In other words, by truly leveraging the state’s diversity, we elevate New Jersey’s competitive advantage over other states within the region. This same strategy can be applied nationally by engaging every chapter within our Federation….Throughout our history in the United States, we have a countless number of black heroes who exemplified greatness once the playing field was leveled……..Jackie Robinson in MLB, Reginald Lewis on Wall Street, Benjamin Banneker in Washington DC, Madame CJ Walker, the first female millionaire.
There is no question, that Black people add value to the equation, however, for too long many of us, throw, our hands in, once the cards, are dealt……We have come too far to be mediocre or irrelevant…..our forefathers have left a legacy of excellence, notwithstanding the odds!
Harry and Kay founded the NBCC on those same principles….
Therefore, as the New Chairman of the NBCC, I plan to pursue a very simple agenda in partnership with Harry, Kay and our Board of Directors:
-Aggressive Advocacy for full compliance of HUD Section 3 throughout our federation; by doing so effectively, we can leverage federal dollars to educate, train, employ and grow businesses, within their communities
-Champion education; by working closely with our partners to provide books, technology and focusing on STEM we can elevate the competitiveness of tomorrow’s children while positioning them for growth and opportunity
-Engage the Corporate and Financial sectors in a strategic partnership to derive mutual value. Starting with an honest conversation about their minority spend and capital access for Black Businesses and communities.
Specifically, what are they spending with black business, and how can we work with them to improve participation levels of black businesses ………..through a targeted strategy, we will present our best and brightest to vie for opportunities with an understanding, they too must commit to hiring 2nd and 3rd tier black firms……   
We will prioritize those corporations we select by using our consumer spend data… that we grossly over spend on a per capita bases; cable television, smart phones, personal products, etc. to name a few, will be the first group that we plan to engage in an effort to strengthen the 1.9 million black businesses across America.
This is critically important, given that Black Consumer spending is approximately $1 trillion dollars annually and Black Business Annual revenues are approximately $150 billion….thus producing an $850 billion deficit in the black community. We must do a better job at holding ourselves more accountable.
Let me close with this, I am from a small city in New Jersey called Trenton; the state capital; county seat; the First Nation’s Capital, a former industrial giant at the turn of the century…..Many people from across the United States and around the world have come to know my city for its slogan “Trenton Makes The World Takes”……..
So I stand before you today, the youngest of 7 children, raised by two loving parents, who never completed high school…..I realized early on, that it’s not where you start but where you finish……
I went on to obtained two degrees, worked on Wall Street, owned a transportation company for 16 years, which transported commodities across the United States and Canada, ……and as a member of the NBCC, served as President of The Metro Trenton Chamber of Commerce for 10 years, Founded the New Jersey and New York State Black Chambers and as a result of working throughout my tenure with a spirit of excellence and an uncompromising love for my people, have received numerous awards and recognition for work, that I have a genuine passion………Is proud to accept the honor as the Next Chamber of the National Black Chamber!   Trenton is still Making What the World Is Taking!
God Bless You and I am Looking Forward to serving as your next Chairman!
John E.  Harmon, Sr.


Next Live Broadcasts:
April 7, 2014  5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - 
"The Empowerment Hour"
 Hosted By John E. Harmon, Sr.  
Johnnie Banks of the Nitsew Group
Phillip Daniels - FedCap

Upcoming Events

Links of Interest

April 15, 2014
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Gloucester County College
1400 Tanyard Rd.  - Sewell, NJ 08080
Continuing Education Building Room 801
Luncheon Speaker:
 John E. Harmon, Sr.

President & CEO
The African American Chamber of Commerce of NJ
Chairman, National Black Chamber of Commerce
TOPIC:“Building Strategic Alliances to Positively Impact New Jersey’s Economy"

The State of Black NJ Conference - March 28, 2014
The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, Inc., (AACCNJ) is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activities within the State of New Jersey and via interaction with the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (NBCC).
The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey has been incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code and provides advocacy and support for businesses throughout the State of New Jersey.


* Partnerships to increase contracting with women
    and minority owned businesses
*  Promotes a pro-business agenda
*  HUD Section
*  Title VI
*  Public Policy through Education Reform and Job Creation

Small Business

Click here to download the Hope VI Press Conference Video.
Training/Development Program
* Host Educational Forum and Networking events to connect
opportunities, and resources.
Promotes members through spotlights features in chamber marketing  materials and website.
Capacity building strategies.
Advocates membership access to public, private sectors, and community  opportunities.


* Supply Chain Diversity
*Corporate Advertising
*Marketing Penetration Strategies
*Promotional Opportunities
*Human Resource Recruitment Services
*Youth Mentorship and Entrepreneur Programs
 *Training and Job Readiness Programs
 *Assist in Developing and Implementing Public Policy  Strategies.

The AACCNJ Partners With
Add Us In - NJ

The AACCNJ is a member of The Add Us In - NJ/NY Consortium
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