Millennial Awards celebrates a generation’s growth in New Orleans, Spears says
In celebrating how a young generation influences the city, The Spears Group and Greater New Orleans, Inc. presented the 5th annual Millennial Awards.
The awards ceremony was held at the Civic Theatre on Saturday, July 15. WWL-TV Anchor Thanh Truoung and Urban League of Louisiana President & CEO Erika McConduit hosted the awards ceremony, and DJ Soul Sister concluded the night with a live set.
Cleveland Spears, III, Founder and CEO of The Spears Group, shared some background on the awards ceremony.
Notable award recipients include Ethan Ashley, Orleans Parish School Board member, who won in the Changemaker category. Ashley recently formed a new “Legacy Scholarship,” with the New Orleans Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. for public school students who have attended a New Orleans public school throughout high school and who live in District 2.
He gave an emotional response in receiving the award, reeling from the statistic Nola.com shared on 37 juveniles being shot in the last six months in New Orleans.
“I’ll tell you as someone who sits on the school board, who toils with changing the lives of our young people, it ate me up inside that that is where we’re at in terms of the plight of our young people,” Ashley said. “I’m being very serious to say, my fellow millennials, if you haven’t done this can you please do this with me?”
Ashley asked millennials in the audience to take time to love our youth more. He said often times, we ask people to laugh out loud.
“I just need you guys to LOL with me and not laugh out loud, but I need you guys to love out loud a little bit more,” Ashley said. “Is that OK?”
Gentilly Terrace resident Ashley Shabankareh, director of programs at the Preservation Hall Foundation, won in the Music category. She said her and her husband are loving the Gentilly area and that she would be interested in partnering with NORDC at their new site at 5420 Franklin Avenue.
Miles Tully, Jr., who won in the Culinary Arts category, said that even though he thinks millennials receive many negative stereotypes, they are hardworking. Tully is co-owner Melt, a gourmet grilled cheese shop in Mid-City, which was also nominated at Best Millennial Restaurant.
Below is the full list of Millennial Award recipients:
- Digital Media – Kenny Nguyen
- Business – Brandon Rapp
- Culinary Arts – Miles Tully Jr.
- Health Care – April
- Economy Development – Alejandro Guzman
- Journalism – Anne Cutler
- Financial Services – Blair DuQuesnay
- Film – Edward Buckles
- Fashion – Brik Allen
- Hospitality and Tourism – Erin Gremillion
- Innovation – Blake Butterworth
- Social Entrepreneur – Liana Elliot
- Changemaker – Ethan Ahsley
- Best Millennial Restaurant – Poke Loa
- Education – Paris Woods
- Music – Ashley Shabankareh
- Law – Kevin P. Conway
- Real Estate – Johnie Katz
- State Farm”Here to Help” – Jeff Supak