Written by | Ray Cornelius 

It was all about women’s empowerment during BMW of North America’s recent “Women Who PayIt4Ward” Honors brunch. The inaugural awards ceremony, presented by the luxury car brand and MADE magazine, recognized four Atlanta-based professionals for their personal achievements as well as their philanthropic efforts throughout the city.

This years honorees included Sojourner Marable Grimmett, Simone Harrison, Sonya Halpern and my personal friend,  Lalohni “L.A.” Campbell. The invitation only event was held at the very stylish and sexy STK Atlanta Midtown and was attended by a number of who’s who in business, politics, media and the arts including Women on the Move‘s Kim McNair; James Brown‘s daughter, Dr. Yamma Brown; former “Atlanta Exes” star Monyetta Shaw; “Social Butterfly” Kimberly Byer-Clark and Georgia Power executive and arts supporter Charmaine Ward.

The BMW of North America’s “Women Who PayIt4ward” Honors brunch series was launched in Chicago in 2015 to reach a professional, diverse audience in impactful and meaningful ways. The brunch event has helped BMW educate current and potential customers on its offerings, as well as its social change work and goals. Last year, through this experience BMW donated over $10,000 to charities serving women.

That philanthropic arm of the series continued in Atlanta, as guests were able to “Drive for a Cause.” For every person that test drove a BMW 2, 3, 4, or 5 series, the company made a donation to a local women-focused program. This year’s recipient for the Atlanta engagement was the Enchanted Closet, a non-profit organization who helps to outfit disadvantaged girls for their prom.

“The best feedback I’ve received about the ‘PayIt4Ward’ series is that it promotes community,” said Kevin Williams, Head of Multicultural Marketing at BMW Group. “These women want to know about their peers impacting the local community and lend their help. BMW is honored to be able to continue aiding in that networking process this year.”

The brunch was also emceed by Deanna Hamilton, founder and CEO of Circle One Inc, a consumer product marketing and multi-format printing company. Assisting her in presenting the awards was Kris Williams of MADE Magazine.

Check out more photos below:

Kim McNair, Dr. Yamma Brown and honoree Sonya Halpern

Monyetta Shaw with Deanna Hamilton

MADE Magazine’s Kris Williams 

Honoree Simone Harris 

Honorees Lalohni “L.A.” Campbell and Sojourner Marable Grimmett

Honoree Sonya Halpern 

Deanna Hamilton with BMW’s Kevin Williams,

honoree Lalohni Campbell and Charmaine Ward

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com