12 Outstanding Individuals Honored For Their Work In The Community

Baltimore Times Holds Positive People Awards

Monique Smith-Person has a real-life story that reads like a movie script. She was stolen as a child. But Smith-Person is using her own personal story to help others through advocacy. The self-published author is determined to be a voice for missing children who cannot speak for themselves.

Smith-Person was among those honored at The Positive People Awards. Presented by Times Community Services, Inc. the event was held at Horseshoe Casino on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

“The event was exceptional, not only for me, but for my guests,” said Smith-Person. “It was a wonderful experience. I was honored to be among such a wide array of outstanding individuals. The Positive People Awards was a great display of how Baltimore should be viewed. Unfortunately, we are not viewed as people who love our city. However, this event epitomized that there are people who love this city and their communities.”


LaTara Harris, AT&T Regional Director, External Affairs, Mistress of Ceremony

LaTara Harris, AT&T Regional Director, External Affairs, emceed the event and presented the awards. The event included dinner and music. Proceeds benefitted Times Community Services. Approximately160 people attended the event including Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young.


Joy Bramble, publisher of The Baltimore Times received a Mayoral Salute from Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young for 33 years of publishing “Positive Stories about Positive People at the awards ceremony on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

The Baltimore Times and The Annapolis Times, along with Times Community Services, Inc. - the publication’s non-profit foundation, work to uplift and celebrate the human spirit and the power within all people to improve their quality of life and that of their community. Since 1992, the paper has been giving Positive People Awards to men and women who have exemplify those ideals.


(First row, center): Honoree Vaile Leonard, Founder/CEO of Light of Truth Center is surrounded by supporters.

“The Positive People Awards was a great success,” said Baltimore Times Publisher Joy Bramble. “We honored a diverse group of people that included business, political, and community leaders. This event pays homage to those who are doing wonderful things to help other people. They are helping to change the narrative of our city.”

Jason Bass was among the honorees. Bass overcame environmental challenges, to serve as the former CEO and co-founder of Treason Toting Company. Bass is the CEO of “The Night Brunch,” a popular pop-up dining experience. In addition to his “Positive People Award”, Bass was surprised with an award named in honor of the late Ackneil M. Muldrow, II.

Muldrow was a longtime businessman who advocated for uplifting and empowering African Americans. Muldrow’s career included serving as the president and chief executive officer of the Development Credit Fund, Inc. The Fund was a $7.5 million loan pool formulated to provide low cost financial assistance to minority-owned businesses operating in the state of Maryland.


(L-r): Denise Scott, (Ackneil’s daughter); Jason Bass, awardee also received the Ackneil Muldrow, II award; Ruth Muldrow (Ackneil’s widow); Charles “Chazz” Scott, (Ackneil’s grandson)

“Ackneil Muldrow was a person who loved to help people,” said Bramble. “He also loved entrepreneurship. He was always happy to share information and promote people. He had that fantastic rolodex.”

She added, “We felt Jason Bass was the ideal person to receive this award. He epitomizes what Mr. Muldrow was all about. Like Mr. Muldrow, Jason Bass understands the importance of helping others and creating legacy wealth to pass along to future generations.”

Dr. Elaine Simon was also honored. Dr. Simon is the organizing founder of BACO (Baltimore Association of Caribbean Organizations) and president and event planner for the Caribbean American Carnival Association of Baltimore.

“I was a part of Joy Bramble’s initiative years ago when she started the newspaper,” recalled Dr. Simon. “I went to her house on Madison Avenue where she worked on the dining room table putting together the infamous Baltimore Times and Annapolis Times. To be honored by Joy and her team is an honor. It’s like a mother giving birth. I was there when she birthed the paper and watched it grow. I feel very connected to the paper because of that.”

She added, “I really like the way The Baltimore Times honors a cross-section of individuals who continuously give to our communities. Many have been in the shadows. Events like this honor those who have been in the shadows, and that’s awesome.”

James Hamlin, owner and operator of The Avenue Bakery was also among the honorees.


Robert J. Rucks on keyboards and David Smith, saxophonist

“The event was first class,” said Hamlin. “Those of us who were recognized don’t do it for the recognition. We do it because we want to make a difference. We all want to make Baltimore a better place.”

Bronwyn Mayden is the Assistant Dean and Executive Director of Promise Heights at the University of Maryland School of Social Work.

“It was a wonderful event,” said Mayden who was also honored. “I was so pleased to be included with such a stellar group of individuals. My family were all there, and were so excited to see me get the award.”

Bernette L. Jones, Senior Minister of One God One Thought Center for Better Living, is a past honoree.

“Ultimately, one of the most important and significant things we can do in the community is acknowledge people, who of their own volition, are doing uplifting work,” said Jones who attended the event. “These people are giving us a sense of direction and hope in terms of what’s possible to make sure we see a change in the direction our community is going. Congratulations to all of the honorees. I encourage them to all keep moving forward.”

The other honorees were: Pam Curtis, founder of Pushing The Vision Outreach, Inc.; Adrienne A. Jones, Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates; Vaile Leonard, Founder and CEO of The Light of Truth Center, Inc.; George Mitchell, President and CEO of Youth Educational Services; Monica Mitchell, who leads Corporate Philanthropy, and Community Development work for the Maryland and Greater DC regions and serves as chair of Wells Fargo’s “Where We Live” initiative; Charles “Chazz” Scott, Executive Director & Chief Creative Optimist of Positively Caviar, Inc (PCI); and Dr. David Watson, President of Morgan State University.