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Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Announces 2019 Honorees

Friday, October 11, 2019

Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Announces 2019 Honorees 

Awards Recognize Business Leaders and Companies for “Above and Beyond” Achievements

NEW YORK – October 11, 2019 – The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, a powerful community of business leaders and entrepreneurs, announced the companies and entrepreneurs that will be honored at its annual “Best in the Business Awards” gala on Monday, November 4, 2019 at Cipriani 25 Broadway. These coveted awards highlight the “above and beyond” achievements of businesses with a significant presence in New York City – the Business Capital of the World – underscoring their dominant position in today’s marketplace. 

The Business of the Year Award will be presented to Hudson Yards – a neighborhood-defining transformative real estate development led by Related Companies that will be an economic driver in New York City for years to come – for its tremendous success and outstanding contributions to New York City.

Zolaa wedding planning and registry platform led by Chairman Kevin Ryan and two dynamic founders, Shan Lyn Ma and Nobu Nakaguchi, will receive the Most Innovative Award for developing a unique and disruptive portfolio of products, sparking a competitive response in the marketplace, and exceeding market expectations.

The Company to Watch Award will be presented to b michael AMERICA Global for its rapid growth and evolution within the New York City market, and its potential to make amazing strides in the near future. This year, b michael AMERICA Global became the first African-American luxury fashion brand to dress an Oscar Award recipient, Ms. Cicely Tyson, who will also present the co-founders, designer B Michael and Mark-Anthony Edwards, Chairman and CEO, with the award.

The Small Business, Large Impact Award will be presented to Melba’s Restaurant, a staple in Harlem that provided free meals to federal workers who were furloughed during the budget shutdown and which serves as a “community square” to host forums between elected officials and community residents and business owners. This year, founder Melba Wilson became the first female Board President of the NYC Hospitality Alliance and is an active voice for bars, restaurants and hotels in the policy arena.

“This year our Chamber honors four incredible recipients that have epitomized entrepreneurial innovation and whose successes are inextricably linked to New York City’s overall success,” said Jessica Walker, President and CEO of the Manhattan Chamber. “Each honoree had an enviable and illustrious 2019, and they truly represent the best of the best in New York.”

About the Honorees

Hudson Yardsdeveloped by Related Companies in partnership with Oxford Properties Group is New York’s newest neighborhood and home to more than 100 diverse shops and culinary experiences, offices for leaders in industry, significant public art and dynamic cultural institutions including The Shed, modern residences, affordable housing, 14 acres of public plazas, gardens and groves and the world’s first Equinox Hotel®.

Zola is the wedding company that will do anything for love. They're reinventing the wedding planning and registry experience to make the happiest moment in couples' lives even happier. From engagement to wedding and decorating your first home, Zola is there, combining compassionate customer service with modern tools and technology. All in the service of love.

b michael AMERICA Global is a luxury fashion brand that believes in the power of business ownership and racial equity to liberate people. b michael AMERICA Global can proudly claim to have competed, toe-to-toe, with any luxury fashion business. Their commitment to doing good business has enabled them to compete in the international arena and reach the highest echelons of the global luxury fashion world. b michael AMERICA Global empowers, uplifts and inspires not only black fashion designers, but all aspiring fashion designers. To its founders, b michael AMERICA Global represents collective growth; the ripple and multiplying effect that comes with working together for success by combining the diverse abilities of all people to achieve a bigger goal.

Melba Wilson was “born, bred and buttered in Harlem.” Today she proudly represents her New York neighborhood as one of the most successful African American women in the restaurant and catering business. Melba’s Restaurant has won rave reviews from New York Magazine, Time Out, The New Yorker, The Daily News, Zagat and Interview Magazine. The restaurant was also named Best Brunch for Kids by Time Out New York, Best Soul Food by Zagat and New and has featured recipes in the “Go Green East Harlem” Cookbook as well as the “Bobby Flay’s Throwdown” cookbook. Melba’s Catering has an extensive list of clientele including Target, Nike, American Express, Pfizer, Time Warner, Bank of America, The NFL, NBA, Transport Workers Union, Universal Records, The Archdiocese of New York and several recording artists including DJ Khaled, Jay-Z, the Zac Brown Band and Katy Perry. In 2019 Melba’s celebrates 15 years in business, and has served over 2.5 million guests. 


About the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce

The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce is a powerful community of businesses -- including startups, long-time neighborhood stores, and established companies -- that help one another succeed. We do this through:

  • Business development. We foster game-changing connections for our members and provide opportunities to meet future clients and customers, showcase and test products, elevate brands and enhance visibility.
  • Advocacy, access and influence. We have relationships with elected officials and professionals at the highest levels -- and we offer platforms for our members to engage with them.
  • Strategic guidance. We offer valuable intel, expert advice, training, mentorship and other resources to help members make strategic business decisions and advance their careers. 


For additional information on the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce visit


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