Working for the BE 100s

This is our nod to the people who make the presidents and CEOs of the BE 100s Companies look good.

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The B.E. Industrial/Service 100 employs more than 60,000 people. Meet eight of their best and brightest. For years the editors of this magazine have written about the CEOs and executives of black-owned companies. But for our 30th anniversary of the B.E. 100s, we introduce you to the workers-the rank and file-who are truly responsible for the success of these BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 companies. On the following pages, meet the people who demonstrate the intellect, ingenuity, and vitality that can be found in black business. These are the employees of the B.E. 100s.

Lennox B. Williams has been working for A.L. Eastmond & Sons Inc. in the Bronx, New York, for 22 years. He started out as a welder and eventually rose through the ranks to become shop foreman supervising welders and hiring new employees. Seen here, Williams is overseeing the assembly of parts for an industrial boiler the company is making for the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. It will take him and his team eight to nine days to complete the preparation process, and he enjoys every minute of it.

“There’s an advantage for me working for a BE 100s company because most of the employees are Hispanic and black, so I have good communications with them,” he says. “There is a lot of camaraderie between us, which makes the job easier for me.”

Cami Payne is a senior food technologist who works in the research and development division at Baldwin Richardson Foods, a manufacturer of condiments, syrups, dessert toppings, and ice cream. If you’re wondering why a particular product tastes fabulous, it’s because it’s her job to make it fabulous. Stationed in the company’s New York laboratories, Payne uses a variety of sources, everything from a company database to out-of-print cookbooks, to create new products and prototypes. She might even use your grandmother’s secret recipe. It’s her job to see those prototypes developed into products that the company will sell to your local grocery store.

It’s pretty noisy were she works. A crew is on the assembly line packaging products in one area. A crew of support staff is at another area helping with ingredients. Anywhere from 50 or so people are handling products at various stages of development. Payne thrives in this environment and enjoys the challenges it brings.

But it’s not all hard work and challenges. The treat is that Payne, a self-described diligent and extremely creative individual, gets to eat her creations.

Blackjack anyone? On any given night, you might find Talenceia Davis operating any number of casino tables: Roulette, Craps, and, of course, Blackjack. And she makes the transition effortlessly and without hesitation. For four years, she’s worked at the Barden Co.’s Majestic Star Casino, located in Gary, Indiana, as a table games dealer, and it’s a job she enjoys very much. She’s an extremely upbeat person, always social, always cheerful, always in a good mood. Considering that she provides a service, she says it’s her people skills that help make the Majestic

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