The Hungry Club Forum of Savannah, Inc. (HCFS) held its 11th Annual Meeting and Community Service Appreciation Reception Luncheon, on Saturday May 6, 2017, in the Eden Room of The Temple of Glory. This activity spotlights the annual contributions, since 2006, of the HCFS’ monthly Signature Roundtable and Open Forums, and allows the organization to present the HCFS’ coveted (Booker T.) Washington Walker (Madam C. J.) Community Service Appreciation Award. According to outgoing president Bishop Willie Ferrell, the award recognizes individuals or organizations making outstanding contributions toward strengthening the partnership between Education and Economic Development.
A welcoming reception and a swearing-in ceremony for the incoming Board of Directors preceded the luncheon forum. Judge Doug Andrews, a HCFS charter member, swore in Kimberly G. Middleton, president, Bobby L. “Sarge” Adams, V. P., Julia M. Wright, Treasurer, Randolph L. Slay, Secretary, and Bishop Willie Ferrell, Willia Johnson, David F. Richards, Jr. and Gloria J. Mathis members.
The continuing theme of the 2017 series of open forums is, “On Becoming the Change that We Want to See: Launching and Assessing Initiatives Locally for Our Future Prosperity.” Davey M. James, CEO and owner of Outback Steakhouse Savannah, served as the keynote speaker. James delivered an inspirational and educational message on the challenges of building a successful business enterprise, coupled with values and moral obligations inherent in serving customers and our fellowman.
Another highlight of the annual event is the presentation of the HCFS’ Washington-Walker Community Service Appreciation Award, named for Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) and Madam C. J. Walker (1867-1919). Washington, founder of Tuskegee Institute and the National Business League, believed that African Americans would fare faster and better by focusing on education, hard work, thrift, improved deportment and industry.
Walker, became one of the first women to become a millionaire through her own efforts. At one time, she had 2,000 trained sales technicians marketing her products across the nation. Her special straightening comb and hair softeners helped to set the foundation for African American beauty culture to this day.
The 2017 Award recipient is the Honorable Floyd Adams, Jr., posthumous, for his many years of advocacy for Small and Minority Business Development. Many may know of his political history, serving on the Savannah City Council, as Mayor and on the Board of the Chatham County School Board, but few may be aware of his up front and behind the scenes efforts on behalf of Small and Minority-owned businesses. Adams followed in his father Floyd “Pressboy” Adams’ footsteps.
Floyd’s parents started The Herald of Savannah in 1945. Floyd, Jr. became a master printer and a professional photographer. In 1984, Floyd was named publisher and president of the business now known as Savannah Herald, Savannah’s Black weekly newspaper and printing company. The Herald was the primary commercial printing business for African-Americans in Savannah. Many programs, souvenir booklets, invitations, brochures and more were printed by The Herald. The Adams Photography Company provided photos for many organizations and weddings during the 70’s and 80’s. He served as its editor from January 1968 to January 1996.
Floyd married Freddie Mae Baul in 1966 and to this union a son, Kenneth, and a daughter, Khristi, were born. He married Deborah Gibbs in 1999.
Floyd saw a need for the community, motivating him to enter the political arena. In 1982 was elected as the District One Alderman of the City of Savannah. He served in that position until 1991 when he was elected Alderman-At-Large Post One. He was the first African-American elected to a city wide post in Savannah. Mr. Adams served as Mayor Pro-Tem of the City of Savannah. Mr. Adams made more history by being elected as the first African American to be elected Mayor of Savannah. He was sworn in January 2, 1996, and later re-elected to a second term. Mayor Adams and City Council initiated many programs to enhance city government and to benefit Savannah citizens during his tenure as Mayor.
Mayor Adams represented the City of Savannah and his newspaper, The Herald, as he traveled all over the United States, the Caribbean and Europe. He served as a member of the Board of Directors-at-large and President of the Georgia Municipal Association (2002-2003), and Secretary of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. He also served on the Executive Board and Advisory Board of the National League of Cities.
He was involved in a variety of Savannah area community civic and charitable organizations: The United Way, Private Industry Council, Georgia Black Elected Officials Association, National Black Council of Local Elected Officials, Savannah’s Printers Association, Savannah’s Photography Association, Savannah Branch of the NAACP (Life Member), Cloverdale Civic Improvement Association, and Prince Hall Masons.
He also served on the Board of Directors of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, Hospice Savannah, Goodwill Industries, and the Frank Callen Boys and Girls Alumni Association, serving as Membership Co-Chairperson.
For more information on the HCFS, please contact Julia Wright at 233- 0855 or Diana Harvey Johnson at 927-8425.