We are part of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, (NBCC). Founded in 1993, headquarters in Washington DC, since 1994, with 200+ chapters across 40 states and 50 nations. NBCC network reaches 2.6 million Black owned business, in the United States, and account for $138 billion in revenue.
We are a 501(c)(3) and will be a 501(c)(6)
The Black Community Development and Chamber of Commerce of Arkansas, will be a principal advocate and the preeminent leader in fostering economic success for African American and Black –owned businesses and the African American and Black business community in the State of Arkansas.
Our vision is to serve as the leading advocate in the State of Arkansas for Black and African American owned companies in Business Development, Wealth Creation and Economic Empowerment.
We believe in team unity and progression. We pursue opportunities both internal and external to our organization to partner, support, and leverage the knowledge, skills, abilities, and talents for the enduring benefit of our members and our organization. We each share in the responsibility, risk, and reward of moving our organization forward.
We are driven by creativity and welcome input on new technology, out-of-the box tools, techniques, methods, programs, systems and processes. Implementation of new technology will be in-sync with the capabilities of our members.
Honesty, Respect and Trust shall be the standard of our operation. We will always speak the truth, and be courteous and respectful to all members, clients, vendors, business partner, employees, and volunteers and interested parties.
Maintaining a level of qualify, services, materials, programs, and products and accept suggestions that would enable and exceed any pre-existing level of qualify.
Continuous learning , development and the complete sharing of this information for the benefit of all parties. Combining education with people skills, innate abilities and natural wisdom is the optimum path to support all we support and partner with.
Our goals is to economically empower and sustain African American and Black communities through entrepreneurship and established access to capitalization, and thru capitalization created generational wealth, and increase African American and Black business and home ownership. We achieve this by providing access to valuable resources, education, funding, discounts, and partnership that will establish and grow Black and African American business, and employment.
Where the Passion Begins
OUR BCDCCA BOARD MEMBERS
Dedication. Expertise. Passion.
Black Community Development and Chamber of Commerce of Arkansas
is proud to have some of the industry’s best. The experience, capability and passion of our Board of Directors is the foundation for our success in serving our community.
Mr. Wardell Henley
BCDCCA Founder, Chairman, President and CEO Graduated from Langston University, Langston Oklahoma, graduate. Attended one year at the University of Arkansas law School, Fayetteville Arkansas. Over, 35 years Information Security Consultant. Founder of Northside Town Branch Group, Community Action group, Fort Smith Arkansas.
Mr. Earl Sheppard
BCDCCA Board member, Executive Vice President Born raised and educated in Fort Smith, married for 49 years, Former boys and girls club coach and a previously Restaurant Owner.
Mr. Andre Good BCDCCA Board member Fort Smith Arkansas City Director Ward 2, Federal Express Operations manager, Fort Smith Arkansas, University of Arkansas Fayetteville Arkansas graduate
Attorney, Dequeshia Prude-Wheeler
BCDCCA Board member
The owner and founder of Prude Legacy Law Group, PLLC. Based in Northwest Arkansas. Dequeshia was born and raised in Blytheville, AR. After earning a philosophy degree in 2013 at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Dequeshia graduated from the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville in 2017. As a student attorney during a bankruptcy clinic, she helped an indigent, disabled client discharge a considerable student loan debt.
After law school, Dequeshia worked in ethics and compliance at Walmart, at a local law firm, and then served as in-house counsel at Mercy Hospital in Northwest Arkansas. She opened her solo law firm in July 2020, focusing on bankruptcy, business law, estate planning and probate, and criminal record sealing. Currently, Dequeshia is a member of the Benton County Bar Association, represents the Arkansas Bar Association on the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission and serves in various capacities in her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc.
Attorney Jacob McElroy BCDCCA Board member An experienced attorney at Mitchell Williams law firm in Rogers Arkansas. Jacob’s practice focuses on the representation of businesses, insurance carriers and their insureds in various lawsuits and proceedings including medical malpractice, nursing home liability, premises liability and administrative proceedings.
Jacob grew up in Little Rock, AR and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. After several years working in juvenile justice in Pine Buff, AR and Atlanta, GA, Jacob returned to Arkansas and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law.
Mr. Frederick H. Freeman
BCDCCA Board Member
Was born to the parents of Charley and Bessie Freeman and raised in Forrest City AR. He graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with a degree in Business Management. He was a member of the college football team and played quarterback. He served in various management positions for 12 years with Arkansas Power and Light now Entergy Arkansas before returning to Forrest City in
He is the CEO of FHF Enterprises, LLC, where the company services are focus on advocacy, government affairs and community economic development.
Some of his latest community services and leadership activities are:
Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation – Community Economic Development Services Arkansas Disability Rights – Advocating for the Rights of the Disability Community Arkansas Black Mayors Association – Organizational Technical Assistance Arkansas Department of Health – COVID education, outreach and vaccination East Arkansas Enterprises Community, Inc.- Business and Community Development Governmental and Legislative Affairs Services – Advocating for designated clients County Election Commissioner – Governance of election activities in St. Francis County
Frederick is a member of Beth Salem MB Church. Besides traveling, he enjoys spending quality time with his immediate and extended family members.
Attorney Brian G. Smith
BCDCCA Board Member
Senior partner with the law firm of Nwokorie & Smith. Brian G. Smith of El Dorado Arkansas earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and a Juris Doctor degree from Southern University Law Center in 1994. Brian G. Smith is a member of First Baptist Church where he serves as Chairman of the Deacon Board, Sunday School Superintendent, and a member of the Trustee Board. Mr. Smith holds the position of Chair of the Board of the Nile & Smith Museum of African American History located in El Dorado, Arkansas.
Mr. Smith is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., while serving as a keeper of Finance. Brian G. Smith and his wife, Vada Smith, have three children, namely Tantarras, Drew, and Brian Jr.
Mr. Morece Ford
is the Founder/CEO of Prepmor Insurance Group, an independent insurance agency in Springdale, AR. He has dedicated almost two decades in the insurance industry, gaining experience in the property, casualty, life, and health space. Born and raised in Jacksonville, AR, he attended the University of Arkansas where he studied Industrial Engineering. He currently resides in Springdale with his beautiful wife and two kids.
Mr. Johnny Riley Jr.
(www.JohnnyRileyJr.com ) a native of Louisiana. He is the chief executive officer of the J Riley Consulting Group LLC (www.jrcg.us ), based in Texas with locations in Arkansas, Louisiana, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya and several other African Countries.
He is President and CEO of Bridging the GAPS of the United States of America (www.btgofusa.com) an international non-profit group focused on leadership development and marketplace ministry. He is the chairman of the board of Bridging the Gaps of Arkansas (https://btgarkansas.org/ ), a non-profit focused on community development at every level
Archbishop Riley is the Senior Pastor of Mt. Orange Baptist Church located in Texarkana, Texas. He received the Presidential Lifetime achievement award from President Barack Obama.
He is a graduated of Grambling State University and The Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta Georgia.
Johnny Riley has served as Director of the Office of Workforce Development, Deputy Director - Emerging Workforce of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, an appointee of the State of Louisiana current Governor Bobby Jindal. He managed an annual budget of $150 million dollars.
He was employed with State Farm Insurance for 14 years. While working at State Farm Insurance Companies he held the following positions: Assistant Manager of the Education and Development Department, Manager of State Farm International Services Car Finance Program Coordinator, Co-Chairperson of the Mid-South Diversity Council, and an Accounting Supervisor
He is the former Director of Community Affairs for the City of Monroe. As the Director of Community Affairs, he oversaw the operations of the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo, three municipal Golf Courses, seven Recreational Centers, seventeen community parks, The Masur Museum of Art and the Monroe Civic Center Complex. He managed an annual budget of $10 million dollars.
He served on several State of Louisiana boards: Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board, Louisiana Council on the Provision of Governmental Services to Latin Americans, and The Inmate & Workforce Advisory Council. He is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated Eta Delta Lambda Chapter in Monroe, Louisiana.
In the past he has served on several committees such as Northeast Louisiana Children’s Coalition, Boy Scouts of America Louisiana Purchase Council - Vice President, and President of Monroe Homeownership Board of Directors. Grambling State National Alumni Association- former president, Novice House – Advisory board, United Way of Northeast Louisiana – Board of Directors, State Farm Activities Association – Board of Directors, Sickle Cell Anemia Board of Directors – Advisory member, and Toastmaster International – Past President, Board of Directors of Domestic Violence Prevention of Texarkana – Treasurer.
He currently services on the
Board of Directors of Genesis PrimeCare Incorporation
President and CEO of Bridging the GAPS of Arkansas
Dr. Mary A. Cooley-Liddell is a retired educator from the Little Rock School District. She studied Early Childhood Education at Springfield Technical Community College, Springfield, Massachusetts. She moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas and continued her studies at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Agriculture; a Master of Science degree as a Reading Specialist from the University of New Haven, Connecticut; an Education Specialist (EDS) Degree in Leadership Administration (Doctorate Program) from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She received her Doctor of Religious Counseling Degree at the Gospel Ministry Outreach Theological Institute, Houston, Texas (G.M.O.R Spiritual Revelations).
Dr. Liddell presently serves on the Go Forward Pine Bluff Education Alliance Board. She is the president of the Cosmopolitan Choir of Pine Bluff; President of the Jefferson County Teacher Retirement Association (JCTRA); serve on the fundraising committee for the UAPB National Alumni Center; Life Member and Vice President of the PBJC UAPB/AM&N Alumni Chapter. 2nd Vice president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc, member of the West Rotary and Optimist Club of Pine Bluff; President Emeritus of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – Pine Bluff Branch and Life Member. She presently serves as the 1st Vice President of the Pine Bluff Branch of the NAACP; she is also the local and state NAACP Membership and Convention Chair.
She has received a number of awards including the citizen of the year; NAACP member of the year under two presidents; Chairman’s Circle of Excellence award; Proclamation from the County for her service to education and the community of Pine Bluff; woman of the year; teacher of the year and service awards from Governor Mike Beebe, Governor Mike Huckabee, House of Representative, Senate, and Jefferson County/UAPB Alumni Association Spirit Award
Dr. Liddell is a native of Springfield, MA and has a member of Bethany Chapel Missionary Baptist Church for over 40 years. She has served as Church Clerk, Superintendent of Sunday school and sings in the choir. She is the mother of three children-Gregory (Emily) Cooley -Denver, Co, Tadzia (Lee) Parks-Little Rock, AR and one deceased son Jimmy Liddell Jr., she has an extended family of children Giona Logan, Rev. Stephan Liddell, Darryl Liddell (GA), Eric Liddell and Jerron Liddell. She is the grandmother of 18 and great grandmother of 6.
Senior Advisors Board
Ms. Lottie Holt Shackelford, has made history throughout her impressive 40 plus years in local, state and national politics. In 1987, she became the first woman elected Mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas. Six years later, President Bill Clinton appointed her and the U. S. Senate confirmed her to the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), making her the first African American woman to serve on that Board. She also has the distinction of having the longest tenure as a Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), having served for 20 years and is currently Vice Chair Emeritus and Chair of the DNC Women’s Caucus.
Ms. Shackelford's political career began in 1978 when she was appointed to the Board of Directors for the city of Little Rock, Arkansas. She was elected and re-elected city wide three times before being elected the City’s first woman Mayor. During her tenure in local government, Ms. Shackelford directed liaison activities for minority businesses and held leadership positions in the National League of Cities. Additionally, she presented papers and conducted lecture tours on local government, economic development and electoral politics nationally and in European and African countries, as well as, leading economic trade missions to Asian countries.
For the past several decades, Ms. Shackelford has worked tirelessly with the Democratic Party and has been a delegate to every Democratic National Convention since 1980. Her national political experience includes senior positions on presidential campaigns, working on a White House transition team, Co-Chair of the 1988 DNC Convention in Atlanta and
a DNC officer for 20 years.
With wide-ranging institutional knowledge and political experience, Ms. Shackelford remains an invaluable asset to the Democratic Party. During her tenure as DNC Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation, Ms. Shackelford traveled across the country and around the world, sharing the Democratic Party’s message and engaging voters in the political process. She regularly participated in political forums in other countries, including Azerbaijan, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, and observed elections and the electoral process in Romania, the Baltics, West Germany and Taiwan.
Ms. Shackelford has also been an active member, locally and nationally, of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and has received numerous honors and awards with some of the most coveted being a recipient of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Trailblazer Award in 1980 the Mary Church Terrell Award in 1998 at National Convention, The Delta Legacy Award: Women Making a Difference at the 42nd National Convention.
In 1984, she was named one of Esquire Magazines 40 most influential African Americans, inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1993, Founding member of Arkansas Women’s foundation in 1998, Woman of Distinction 2003, NFBPA awardee in 2007, Jimmie Lou Fisher-Lottie Shackelford Dinner, 2014 to honor women who have worked tirelessly on behalf of key issues that affect women in Arkansas, Greek Legend Honoree in 2015 and a 2016 inductee into the Arkansas Women Hall of Fame.
Ms. Shackelford received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas and was a Senior Fellow at the Arkansas Institute of Politics and a 1983 Fellow of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
She has an extensive record of having served on numerous boards and commissions such as the Board of Directors of Philander Smith College, Little Rock, AR, Southern Regional Council, Atlanta, GA, National Conference on Christians and Jews (now Just Communities) and Little Rock Airport Commission. Ms. Shackelford is also a member of many civic and social organizations including the Urban League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The Links, Inc. and The Southern Youth Leadership Development Institute.
A native of Little Rock, Arkansas and a member of the First Baptist Church of Little Rock, Ms. Shackelford is a proud mother of three adult children, a son and two daughters, and a devoted grandmother of six. She is a mentor to dozens of young women and men interested in politics and continues to open doors for future generations who want to serve the public.
Dr. Hazell Reed, former dean of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) School of Agriculture, Home Economics and Technology (currently the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences), from 1985 to 1989. Dr. Reed was appointed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Equity Commission.
Dr. Reed also held the following positions; UAPB’s vice chancellor for international affairs from 1989 to 1992, Vice Chancellor for research and economic development, and Vice Chancellor for graduate education and research for North Carolina Central University. Dean for the School of Graduate Studies and Research, and Senior Administrator for research and federal relations and for Delaware State University and Extension horticulture specialist for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
Joyce Raynor has a career history that exemplifies community advocacy and minority economic development and has earned her special recognitions. Ms. Raynor co-founded the Women’s Council on African American Affairs, Inc., a non-profit organization in 1999 named. After a series of tragedies to her family, she established the Center for Healing Hearts and Spirits and became its Executive Director in January 2002. The Center provides services to victims and survivors of violent crimes and chronic illness. She is also owner of Raynor Consulting, Inc. Ms. Raynor is a Business Consultant with more than 30 years of experience. She is a business planner, a grant writer and assists individuals in securing 501(c) (3) designations. She has secured more than five million dollars in grant funding for numerous organizations.
Ms. Raynor often touts how grateful she is to God for allowing her to share her mission – the Center for Healing Hearts and Spirits, and her passion – working with disadvantaged businesses simultaneously. She finds her work both rewarding to her personally and professionally. She loves her work and reminds her clients and supporters that it is “a good tired” at the end of each day. Each year the Center provides mentoring to at least 10 youths and young adults through leadership scholarships and summer job internships.
Ms. Raynor spent 15 years with the LR Regional Chamber of Commerce as their business director and consultant. Her name appears throughout the community and in 1993 she was profiled in the Arkansas Democrat's Thursday Neighbors column.
Her current and past community involvement is noted on such rosters as Leadership Arkansas, St. Vincent Women’s Advisory Board, UAMS Advisory Board, AR Minority Advisory Council, American Diabetes Association, Midtown Health Alliance, AR Professional Fundraisers, Family Services Agency Board, Coalition for Tobacco Free Arkansas, 34th St. Baptist Church Empowerment Ministry President, Little Rock Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission, Central AR Community Aids Partnership Board, Leadership Greater Little Rock Alumni, Chairman of City of LR Incubator Program, Leadership Roundtable, City Beautiful Commission, National Association of Women Business Owners, Pankey New Life Center Board, Project Blueprint, OURTOWN alumni, Future Little Rock Education Task Force, Chairman of the Velvatex College of Beauty Culture Board, and 2002 National Summit on Race honor.
Her Special Honors include:
2023 AMDPA Community Service Award, 2017 History Award, 2012 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award, 2011 Attorney General’s Victim Advocacy Award; 2010 MBDA Regional Director’s Award; 2009 Hope Award; 2008 KARK / St. Vincent Community Service Award; 2008 Martin Luther King Jr. ”Salute to Greatness” Community Service Award; 2007 Senator Irma Hunter Brown Leadership Awards; 2007 Woman in Mirror Award; 2006 Leadership Arkansas Inaugural Class; 2005 Power Play Leader Nominee Award; 2004 MBDA – US Department of Commerce Regional Director’s Award; 2004 Honorary Attorney General’s Recognition; 2003 ARMSDC Special Impact Award; 2003 Appomattox Club Citizen of the Year; 1994 MED (Minority Enterprise Development) Week Advocacy Winner; 1995 Arkansas Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year.
Dr. Cedric L. Stone, is the Divisional Chairperson for the Division of Business Administration, and Assistant Professor with Philander Smith College. Responsible for developing the first graduate program in Philanders 145-year school ‘s history. A strategic planner and resulted oriented with a strong diverse background in business and education. Over twenty years as a corporate leader delivering year over year growth. Highly regarded as an effective and efficient leader, and consummate team player. An extensive background in process, program, project management, and customer service in various sectors. Responsible for developing a STEM charter school from ideation to conceptualization for at-risk students. He has developed a passion for excelling in all his undertakings along his journey.
Cedric Stone was born in the low-income community of the west end in Cincinnati, Ohio. As a product of the Laurel Homes community, Stone has excelled in his academic endeavors; he has received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Marketing from The Ohio State University, a Master of Business Administration, Management from Miami University, a Doctor of Education, Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and most recently achieved a Doctor of Management, Project Management from Colorado Technical University. He holds a six-sigma Green Belt for process improvement. Stone has been inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society as well as the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
In addition to his educational accomplishments, Stone has achieved an international educational experience from The Peoples Republic of China. In conjunction with his academic and professional success, Stone also has success as a business entrepreneur. His diverse background has yielded strong abilities to solve problems at an accelerated pace delivering effective solutions. Cedric Stone recently served on the Board of Directors for The 21st Century Harvest Foundation.
Mr. Gregory Modica, is the owner of Government Supply Services (GSS), an online facilities vendor of office, technology, and industrial supplies. GSS is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), a Small Business Administration (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone), and a member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council.
Modica, the son of a WWII veteran and the youngest of eleven 10 boys 1 girl, is a graduate of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Arkansas program, the International Economic Development Council’s Basic Economic Developers course, and the Arkansas Small Business Administration’s inaugural class of its Emerging Leaders course. He currently serves on the Executive and Advisory Board of the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, the Executive Board of FORGE in Huntsville Arkansas a Certified Development Financial Institution, and served two terms on the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Advisory Council. Modica holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Grambling State University where he was also a Military Science Honor Graduate, and a B.S. in Aviation Science (magna cum laude) from Utah Valley University, Modica is U.S. Army lieutenant and licensed private pilot. His motto is “Just do your best and in that you will find honor.” He gives back in the true meaning of GSS (GOD, SERVICE, and SELF).
Mr. LYNN L. HOUSTON, Owner Independent Fee Appraiser, LLC ABOUT. Lynn Houston is a well-known, reputable, licensed Independent Fee Appraiser (IFA) based out of Forrest City, Arkansas. He also is well-known for his outreach community service activities while working for USDA-Rural Development in coverage areas including Lee, Phillips, Monroe, Crittenden, St. Francis, Woodruff, Lonoke & Cross Counties, parts of Pulaski and White Counties.
The community service activities consisted in part with assisting cites and small rural towns in obtaining loans and grants for community development. (Such as Community Centers, Police and Fire Department Equipment, Water & Sewer System Development, etc.)
Lynn enjoyed his earlier career working for the USDA Rural Development, starting as an Assistant County Supervisor, advancing numerous times, and retiring as Area Director. He quickly transitioned to his passion of becoming an IFA, sole proprietor, one person business operation. Lynn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Economics, Minor in Mathematics along with numerous other certifications and seminar/webinar attendance in his field