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Earvin "Magic" Johnson to Receive SCMBDC's 2008 Leadership Award.

Johnson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Magic Johnson Enterprises, to Be Honored for His Leadership and Dedication Serving Ethnically Diverse, Urban Communities

LOS ANGELES -- Successful businessman and NBA legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson will receive Southern California Minority Business Development Council's 2008 Leadership Award at its 24th Annual Leadership Award dinner on Friday, October 17.

The event will be held at The Beverly Hills Hotel, located at 9641 Sunset Blvd. The reception begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m.

The council's Leadership Award is given to an individual and/or corporation whose achievements and leadership in the business community have resulted in positive results for small and minority-owned businesses.

"I was often asked when we were going to present our Leadership Award to a minority entrepreneur instead of the chairman or CEO of a major corporation," according to John W. Murray, Jr. council president. "My response has always been that there are many outstanding minority entrepreneurs but it will need to be someone who is not only a smart, successful business person who has created and operates a very successful enterprise, but also someone who creates jobs and opportunities for minorities and is a leader, civically and philanthropically."

"Magic Johnson has set the standard for that successful businessman, who does well and does good," he adds. "We are so honored and pleased to present our Leadership Award to Mr. Magic Johnson, the very first minority entrepreneur in the history of this council."

"I am proud to be a leader in the communities we serve and I am honored to be recognized by Southern California Minority Business Development Council," said Johnson. "Being able to employ over 30,000 minorities through my businesses in those communities is a tremendous feeling and a great accomplishment."

Earvin Johnson, Jr. is chairman and chief executive officer of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE) which was formed in 1987. Through strategic investments, partnerships and endorsements, the company provides products and services that focus on ethnically diverse urban communities.

MJE is comprised of a portfolio of companies that include Urban Coffee Opportunities (making MJE the only joint venture partner of Starbucks), Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund, which is the country's largest private real estate fund focused on the revitalization of underserved communities, over 30 Burger King restaurants, a dozen 24 Hour Fitness Magic Sport centers, a T.G.I. Fridays restaurant, and a long-standing partnership with AMC Magic Johnson Theatres.

MJE is also involved in several initiatives including SodexoMagic LLC, which provides food and facilities management services as well as signature dining facilities, and an alliance with Aetna, which helps diverse communities make informed choices about healthcare options. MJE also has a relationship with retail giant Best Buy to enhance urban retail growth strategies and implement diversity outreach with multicultural consumers. Johnson recently launched his newest venture MAGIC Workforce Solutions (MWS). Through a strategic alliance with Adecco, MWS will provide "best in class" staffing services and connect employers of today with the workforce of tomorrow.

Johnson was voted number one at representing the urban community (February 2008 Yankelovich/Magic Johnson Brand Study). He was also voted the number one rated athlete for corporate endorsements (TSE Sports & Entertainment Survey, April 2007) and one of the most highly rated celebrities able to influence consumer purchasing power (rated 6 out of 350 according to the 2006 Davie Brown Index).

As chairman and founder of the Magic Johnson Foundation, Inc., he is dedicated to developing programs and supporting services that address the educational, health and social needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities. Founded in 1991, the Magic Johnson Foundation (MJF) has become one of the most recognizable charitable organizations around the world.

Johnson is universally known for his 13-year career in the NBA. His honors include: five national championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, 3 MVP awards, 12 NBA All-Star games, a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain and induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He is also vice president and part owner of the Los Angeles Lakers.

For information and sponsorship opportunities regarding the Leadership Award dinner, contact Shawn Smith at (213) 689-6940, or

Southern California Minority Business Development Council serves more than 1,100 minority business enterprises and 200 corporate members throughout 13 counties. Founded in 1975 and based in Los Angeles, it is one of 39 regional councils in the National Minority Supplier Development Council. For information about SCMBDC, visit or call (213) 689-6960.
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Publication:Business Wire
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Date:Oct 2, 2008
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