Congratulations to our Founder and CEO, Ralph Weaver!

EWC was the proud Official Event Gold Sponsor on September 23, 2023, when the NAACP of Hunterdon County honored Ralph with the Trailblazer Award at their Inaugural Freedom Fund Gala. The Trailblazer Award honors a well-accomplished pioneer who has demonstrated a history of leveraging their professional status to advance people of color. Ralph was honored at the Gala for his exceptional leadership in business as well as all the great philanthropic work he has done (and continues to do) in Hunterdon County and beyond.

The Hunterdon County NAACP Gala funded efforts to improve racial equity in the county and provide scholarships for college-bound students of color in Hunterdon County. Also, the Gala featured an exquisite fine arts auction of African American art, art from the African diaspora, and more.

Among the guests were a few of our EWC team members, who had a wonderful time celebrating Ralph and this accomplishment at the event.

Here is a snippet of Ralph’s speech:

“As an entrepreneur, I have spent most of my life focused on what’s next, aligning goals with little reflection on personal accomplishments. That’s why when Khadija Niang (Branch Secretary and Freedom Fund Chairwoman) and Monique Spicer contacted me about the trailblazer honor, I was shocked and hesitant and I asked why would the NAACP want to honor me. I initially declined.

A few days later, I woke up at 2:00 AM in a reflective mode humming the verse to a gospel song “When I Look Back Over My Life and I think things over I can truly say that I’ve been blessed, I’ve got a testimony.” I thought about growing up in Baltimore, going away to college, following my dreams, and moving to New York, the ups and downs of building East West Connection over the past 33 years into a multi-million dollar corporation, creating opportunities for 75 employees, organizing meetings for Fortune 500 corporations, traveling the world for business, giving back to non-profit organizations, as well as the hardships of personal losses and dealing with health challenges…

Having that moment of reflection inspired me to think about how my journey could inspire someone else who is at a crossroads in life and ready to give up. When Khadijah approached me again about the trailblazer honor, I was proud to say yes…I don’t know what the next chapter of my life holds, but this evening will always be a special moment in my life…

I accept this honor in memory of my late sister Deborah Weaver Scott and my beloved mother the late Viola Lee Weaver. I hope that I have made and continue to make all of you proud.”

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Jennifer Holt