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Columbia MBDA Center to Honor Three for Minority Business Advocacy

Columbia, SC — The MBDA Business Center – Columbia, SC is pleased to announce that it will honor three standouts within the minority business community at the 2017 Advocacy Awards Luncheon. The presentation will take place at 12:00 pm on Friday, March 10, 2017, in the Richland Room at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Being honored are Sophia Vickers, Delores DaCosta and The Lynn Family.

Sophia Vickers, a native of Sumter, has been a strong proponent of minority businesses for nearly 30 years. Her advocacy was demonstrated through her dedication to the financial literacy of minority business owners. Vickers has assisted hundreds of businesses with the establishment of their financial systems and effective bookkeeping. Training sessions oftentimes took place after hours when the business owners’ work day was over.

Vickers was a dedicated employee of DESA, Inc. for more than 30 years. The company’s corporate board room is being named the Sophia Vickers Executive Board Room in acknowledgment of her loyalty. She is receiving an Advocacy Award.

Delores DaCosta is a native of Awendaw. She has been an ardent proponent of small businesses for more than 20 years. She began her life of public service as a law enforcement officer with Charleston City Police Department. She was later appointed a Charleston County magistrate by the late Governor Carroll Campbell. DaCosta has served as Chief of Staff to former Congressman Henry Brown, Jr., as well as Regional Director for U.S. Senator Tim Scott. Recently, she traveled to New York with Senator Tim Scott to participate in a business roundtable with Vice President Mike Pence and seven minority investment business owners to discuss the expansion of economic opportunities in minority communities. Now retired from public service, DaCosta is the owner of OMS Consulting, LLC. She is receiving an Advocacy Award.

The Lynn Family is being presented the Legacy Award. The family’s journey with entrepreneurship in late 1950 when Clarence and Salama Lynn, former Lee County sharecroppers, opened a small general store in Hartsville. Lynn Grocery met the community’s needs by offering the basic, day-to-day goods that families needed, oftentimes on credit. After Clarence and Salama passed away, daughter, Vashti, carried on the business until 1986.

Son, Lawton Lynn, continued the farmer-turned-storekeeper family tradition when he opened Lynn’s Meat & Produce Procession Company in Darlington. Lawton was well-known for butchering, curing and processing fresh meats. In addition, he offered garden-fresh vegetables and prepared foods from the store’s kitchen.

Dr. Louis Lynn, the third generation, took his love of horticulture in a different direction when he opened ENVIRO AgScience, a landscaping company that focused on installing, landscaping and maintaining the grounds of upscale residential and multifamily housing communities. It later grew to include large commercial and municipal contracts. Today, ENVIRO has evolved into a successful construction, landscaping and design firm, with nearly 70 percent of its revenue deriving from construction.

When Dr. Krystal Conner and Adrienne Lynn Sienkowski, Louis’ daughters established ENVIRO Enterprises LLC, the fourth generation of Lynn family business owners was initiated.

Camille Shaw, director of the MBDA Business Center – Columbia, SC says, “Minority business owners need advocates like Ms. DaCosta and Mrs. Vickers to help them navigate the many challenges they face. And success stories like the Lynn family provide positive proof that success is possible in spite of those challenges. It will be my pleasure recognizing these deserving recipients.”

The 2017 Advocacy Awards ceremony is the midday component of SB Connect Economic Outlook Summit, a one-day business development meeting that puts small, women and minority-owned businesses face-to-face with buyers from federal, state and local government agencies. For more information, visit SBConnect-SC.com.  For more information about the MBDA Business Center – Columbia, please visit columbiambdacenter.com.

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