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AABA History

In August of 2004 Rev. Louis Coleman, Ben Richmond and Wade Houston convened a meeting of African American civic leaders and business owners to discuss organizing for the 2008 PGA Ryder's Cup to be held in Louisville Kentucky. The meeting strayed into discussions regarding the lack of economic development opportunities for African Americans.

Shortly after that initial meeting Maurice Sweeney was asked to facilitate those meetings, which took place every two weeks. The meeting participation grew at a rapid rate from a dozen to more than 50. It was quickly determined that there was a great need for an organization that targeted economic development for Black-owned businesses. There was an overwhelming feeling that the past decades that saw efforts for inclusion and a level playing field in business opportunities were now benefiting other women and minorities more than those who made the original sacrifices of having their heads on the chopping block while others became the beneficiaries.

By November the group expressed the desire that the group become a organization with a name, vision, mission and officers. After much discussion Ben Richmond suggested to the group Maurice Sweeney become President and Louis Coleman and Wade Houston Co-Chairmen the Group agreed. Various names were discussed and AABA became the name and the Mission and Vision statements were also adopted. Maurice Sweeney and Louis Coleman and Wade Houston remained officers for three years.

Early successes and need for AABA was typified by with in the first year the request of many public sector entities such as the CEO's of the Metropolitan Sewer District, Louisville Water Company, Metro Housing Authorities, LG&E, Mayor Jerry Abramson and the President of Greater Louisville Inc. requesting speaking opportunities before the organization. Further request by Norton's Hospital, JCPS, and University of Louisville and the PGA of America also made similar request.

In addition, AABA became a force in the discussion of African American businesses and labor participation in projects like Clarksdale Hope VI Project, stopping Project Labor Agreement with all City of Louisville Projects such as Fourth Street, LSIORBP, ensuring African American participation in the building of the YUM Center, Norton Hospital Brownsboro Road, and the 2008 PGA Ryder's Cup and Greater Louisville Inc. and part of the founders of its Enterprise Angels.

Maurice Sweeney served as President until 2008, Glenda Berry until 2010 Miguel Hampton was elected in 2011.