Aaron Lands Sweet Deal

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“Hammerin'” Hank Aaron (above) recently added to his restaurant holdings with the opening of a new Krispy Kreme in Atlanta. The doughnut franchise is operated under Aaron’s 755 Doughnut Corp. named for his all-time home run record. Krispy Kreme franchises carry a hefty $2 million price tag. Through his primary company, 755 Restaurant Corp., Aaron also owns 13 Church’s Chicken franchises, and three Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits franchises.

The Maryland Museum of African American History and Culture, scheduled to open in Baltimore in 2004, will receive a $5 million endowment, the largest ever received by a museum of its kind. The gift, which is being given in five $1 million portions, is from the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation. In recognition of the gift, Lewis’ name will be incorporated into the museum’s name. Lewis, who passed away in 1993, was a Baltimore native and the former CEO of TLC Beatrice International Holdings, a billion-dollar enterprise that ranked No. 1 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list from 1988 to 1989.

In an effort to create best-in-class diversity programs, Microsoft unveiled a plan at the 2002 Black Enterprise/Microsoft Entrepreneurs Conference to launch an investment pool for minority vendors. G. Winston Smith, the former supplier diversity director for the AT&T Corp., will head this new undertaking. Microsoft is optimistic that this new program will help them diversify their procurement organization and make minority businesses both more effective and efficient.

To settle a lawsuit filed against them by 139 black employees, the Sara Lee Corp. agreed to pay out $3.5 million. The employees claimed they were the targets of racial slurs, forced to undergo unfair drug testing, and denied earned promotions. Each employee will receive approximately $25,000 before lawyers’ fees.