Minority Business Enterprise of the Year Award

May 9, 2009 - Baltimore, MD

Karen Barbour, President of The Barbour Group, LLC Receives “Minority Business Enterprise of the Year Award”

Karen Barbour, president and founder of the Barbour Group, LLC, was honored as a minority business enterprise hero at the Maryland Washington Minority Contractors’ Association, Inc. (MWMCA) Annual Spring Inclusion Breakfast on May 8. The MWMCA recognizes individuals and companies that have demonstrated leadership and commitment to diversity inclusion and continually strive for excellence as ambassadors of minority business enterprise.

The Barbour Group is an independent insurance agency focusing on construction bonding, and Ms. Barbour formed the company to offer small business, women, and minority firms more success in capturing the bonding they need to survive and grow in the marketplace. Ms. Barbour accepted the “Minority Business Enterprise of the Year Award” for her courageous efforts in breaking through the monopoly formerly enjoyed by corporate sureties and for helping to enact a law that opened up surety bonding in the state of Maryland to set the stage for minority and small businesses to build capacity.

Ms. Barbour is well‐known for her ability to achieve success in providing surety bonds for the construction industry in more than 30 states and four countries. Charles Eaton, Director‐Corporate Diversity at Hensel Phelps Construction Co. said “Karen is the hardest working broker in the bond business.”

The MWMCA recognized Ms. Barbour, along with five other individuals and companies, for inspiring everyone to strive for excellence. These top regional awards for minority enterprise were presented to:

  • Most Inclusive Leader of the Year for Minority Business Enterprise,” Congressman Elijah E. Cummings , Maryland’s 7th District
  • Best Inclusive Government Leader of the Year for Minority Business Enterprise, Katie Knowlin, Assistant Director & Manager, Division of Business Empowerment , Montgomery County Department of Economic Development
  • Best Supportive Journalism for Minority Business Enterprise, Baltimore Business Journal, John Dinkel, Publisher
  • Most Supportive Government Agency for Minority Business Enterprise, Maryland Department of Transportation, John D. Porcari, Secretary of Transportation
  • Prime Contractor of the Year, Turner Construction Company, Karen A. Sweeney, Head of Diversity

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