CCMERA Announces Distinguished Honorees for 2024 Business & Leadership Awards Gala

Port Hueneme, CA – January 3, 2024: Central Coast Minority Resource Affiliates (CCMERA) is thrilled to unveil the exceptional individuals and organizations being honored at the upcoming 2024 Business & Leadership Awards Gala on Saturday, February 3rd, 2024. Held at the beautiful Adagio Belle Gardens Banquet Hall at the Hilton Garden Inn, Oxnard, this year’s Gala, themed “The Influence of Small Business: Community, Culture, Economy, Wealth,” promises an evening of inspiration and recognition for diverse leaders who have shaped the Central Coast.

“CCMERA’s Awards Gala is a celebration of remarkable achievement and dedication,” said Gilbert McAllister, Media Relations Specialist at CCMERA. “We are proud to shine a spotlight on these exemplary leaders who exhibit excellence in commerce and community service, demonstrating the vital role diverse voices play in our region’s success.”

This year’s esteemed honorees represent a tapestry of excellence, each making significant contributions in their respective fields:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Don (posthumously) and LaRita Montgomery, for their lifelong commitment to business, community service, and civic duties through organizations like Edison, BAPAC, and the Evangelistic Missionary Baptist Church.
  • Vanguard Mega Entrepreneur Award: Travis Mack, founder of Saalex Corporation and Valeo Networks, is recognized for his entrepreneurial brilliance, transformative leadership, and dedication to community impact.
  • Transformative Action Catalyst Award: California State University Channel Islands led by Richard Yao, Ph.D., honored for their visionary initiatives and inclusive partnerships that empower marginalized voices and build a more equitable community.
  • Legacy Corporate Icon Award: Ella Williams, CEO of Aegir Systems, a pioneering leader who inspires generations of women and government contractors through her vision and tenacity.
  • Echo Boomer Entrepreneur Award: Jonathan Davis, founder of J. Davis Construction Management and The Collab District, showcasing outstanding achievement in his field by a young entrepreneur under forty.
  • CEO’s Choice Award: Kelcey Newman, founder of Attain and Mess O’Greens, recognized for his exceptional commitment to community and economic growth, coupled with creative brilliance.
  • Flourishing Finances Award: Guy Walker, founder of Wealth Management Strategies, Inc., for his expertise in navigating the complex financial landscape for his clients while actively giving back to the community.
  • Community Wellbeing Champion Award: Dr. Suzanne Fussell, founder of Dr. Suzanne Fussell Family Practice and Healthwise Home Care Solutions, Inc., who exemplifies dedication to improving community health and well-being alongside significant business acumen.

Join CCMERA on February 3rd as we celebrate these outstanding individuals and organizations. Tickets are available now at Come together with us to recognize excellence, ignite inspiration, and build a stronger future for the Central Coast.


CCMERA is a small business advocacy organization dedicated to empowering under-represented communities on the Central Coast of California. Through business development, educational programs, and advocacy initiatives, CCMERA equips individuals with the tools and resources needed to achieve economic success and contribute to a thriving community.

For more information:

Visit the CCMERA website at or contact

For partnerships contact Byron K. Ward at or 805-824-0664.

We look forward to seeing you at the Gala!