By Samaria Bailey, Tribune Correspondent

The Philadelphia Tribune hosted its “Philadelphia’s Most Influential African-Americans” reception and awards ceremony Thursday evening at The Pennsylvania Convention Center, honoring more than 150 men and women who’ve excelled in public service, education, business, religion, healthcare, law and other industries.

“This event has become something I’m proud of,” said Philadelphia Tribune President and CEO Robert W. Bogle. “[But] while we celebrate … the question is how do we take this leadership pool and move our city forward? What is influence if we don’t use it to take the economic development of Philadelphia to the next level?”

Bogle declared with the significant buying power of the African-American community, individuals should be more discerning about the businesses they support.

“We need to stop supporting people who don’t support us,” he said. “You’re going to be Black a long time, forever. Go and do something with it.”

The awardees were recognized in different categories, including “10 People Under 40 to Watch”; “Movers and Shakers”; “Most Influential” and “Leaders.”

Tariq Mangum, 29, President of the of the Mangum Foundation was one of the “10 People Under 40 to Watch” awardees. A survivor of a car accident that left him a quadriplegic, Mangum advocates for people with disabilities, mental health issues, soldiers, the less fortunate, youth and families in need.

“It feels good to be recognized for my community services that I do because most people don’t come to North Philadelphia to help our community,” he said. “The accomplishments I am most proud of are my youth athletic program — AC Fairhill Soccer Academy; and the Young Intellect mentoring program.”

City Council President Darrell Clarke, listed among the “Most Influential,” said he is most proud of the work he has done to help the city’s underserved populations.

“I come down here to do work,” he said. “We just passed a $4, $5, $600 million program that mandates 45 percent minorities get that [contractor] work and 35 percent of professional services. We recently passed legislation where we will have a $100 million housing program… to help people maintain their homes and stay in their communities. I feel good about the work I do.”

Sara Lomax-Reese, president and CEO of WURD Radio, LLC, was also one of the “Most Influential” awardees.

“I’m very honored,” she said. “I really appreciate the work The Tribune does every year to acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments that African-Americans make to the city. It’s empowering.”

Lomax-Reese added that she was most proud of still being able to do the work she enjoys.

“Just persevering, just staying in the game, just staying focused, and doing the best I can to serve our people,” she said.