Client Spotlight: Henry Bell
As a repeat client who has selected us to service an upcoming historical event, July’s client spotlight is highlighting Henry Bell of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. Mr. Bell is a Tampa Native and a USF Bull, who has been a Kappa, or “Nupe” since 1983. His title, Director of First Impressions, is inspired by our team member Barbara but is most befitting for his line of work. For the 86th Grand Chapter Meeting, he is in charge of meeting and greeting the visitors of this region, sharing the history and foundation of the Tampa Alumni Chapter, and expressing the goals of the fraternity, both locally and nationally.
Mr. Bell met the owners of Livy O’s at a tasting event roughly 6 years ago. After finding that the food left him in “good spirits”, he vowed that if and whenever he had the opportunity to host a catered event, Livy O’s would always be his first choice. In fact, he always does his best to get any black-owned organization a seat at the table when it comes to decision-making with partnered events. He works closely with Saleema, our Director of Sales when booking events. “Saleema has been a beacon of who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish and is an amazing and outstanding spokesperson. She also puts up with me so that’s always a plus”.
Mr. Bell has also left the readers of this article with some friendly advice. “Assuming most of the clientele and/or listeners are African American or from the African diaspora, let me say this unapologetically: Whenever possible, spend black. I say that without reservation. Because we all must eat. And if we all must eat for a job well done, give everyone the opportunity to eat. It is sad that when we have the opportunity to be at the table and have the positions of authority to make decisions and recommendations, that we don’t first and foremost look at our own kinfolk and “skinfolk” as potential vendors. And unfortunately, when those moments arise when you don’t get the level of service you wanted to get, don’t use that as an opportunity to go elsewhere. I ask people all the time, ‘when you go to Mcdonalds, Burger King, Red Lobster, or Chik-Fil-A and they get your order wrong, do you stop going to that establishment?’ When they answer, ‘of course not’, I ask ‘well why do you stop partnering with an African American organization when your needs weren’t being met during that particular situation or scenario?”
One of his most famous quotes, or “Bell-isms”, is “Are you mad that I said it, or are you mad that it is true?” Mr. Bell explains, “When people try to play games and try to pretend that I don’t see them and what they’re doing, and when I point it out and they get offended, I say ‘are you mad that I said it, or are you mad that its true?’ Because if you’re mad that I said it, you’re just mad that I pointed out your wrong or improper behavior. We all have the propensity to do something unethical or improper, but don’t get angry when someone points it out.”
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.’s fundamental purpose is “Achievement in every field of human endeavor”. The Tampa Alumni Chapter was founded in 1928 and is celebrating its 95th year in existence and service. In Hillsborough County, there are more buildings, libraries, and educational structures named after Kappa members than any other organization.
The 86th Grand Chapter Meeting, also known as Konclave 2023, will be hosted in Downtown Tampa from July 18th – 23rd. Kappas from all over the world will be congregating in the Tampa Bay Area for the first time since the early 1980s. There will also be a few events that will be open to the public, so be sure to check out the official Konclave 2023 website for tickets and more information.
From Best of the Best to Small Business of the Year
After Winning Business of the Year in 2018 and Official Caterer of the 2021 Super Bowl, we are due for another highlight! Send us some love by letting Tampa Bay Times know that we are the People’s Choice for Best Catering. You can vote up to once per day until Wednesday, June 21st at 11:59 pm .
Glam and Gather
We want to shout out “My Shade and Texture” for allowing us to sponsor your event! Pamela Thompson, the owner of this local beauty supply store and hair salon, hosted “Glam and Gather” on June 21. CEOs Latoya Stirrup of “Kazmaleje” and Kim Roxie of “Lamik”, as well as Content Creator Marisa Kearney of “Retail While Black” were guest speakers and provided demos of their products. Check out the recap on My Shade and Texture’s Instagram page, and follow them to stay updated on their next event!
Livy O’s Superhero Spotlight: Sandie Thompson
For July’s edition, we want to congratulate Sandie Thompson for being selected as our Livy O’s Superhero! Although only being here for 9 months, Sandie has shown us exemplary dedication and a great work ethic. During her interview she advised, “In a midst of not knowing what to do, never break down, stay strong, and always ask questions!”