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Barden to Keynote AACC Gala

31 January 2006

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania – (PRESS RELEASE) -- The African-American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware (AACC) today announced that Don H. Barden, the owner of Fitzgerald Casino Hotels in Las Vegas, Mississippi and Colorado, will be the keynote speaker at the African-American Chamber of Commerce's 2006 Annual Gala, Saturday, March 4, 2006, at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza, here.

In acquiring Fitzgerald's in December 2001, Barden became the first African American to wholly own a national casino company. He previously opened, in 1996, The Majestic Star Riverboat Casino in Gary, Indiana, with 932 slot machines and 50 table games. In so doing, Mr. Barden became the only African American in the United States to own a casino.

Recognized as one of the top black entrepreneurs in the country, Barden has guided Barden Companies, Inc., where he serves as chairman and CEO, to $372 million in annual revenues, making the company one of the largest African American-owned businesses in the country.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Mr. Barden's business career spans a 30-year period, during which he founded a successful real estate development company, owned and operated a cable television system in Michigan, and owned and operated five radio stations in Illinois. He is also active in the global business arena, having established Barden International, Inc., in Namibia, Africa, in February 1996. The company, which is engaged in the automotive processing and distribution business, constitutes one of the largest private investments in southern Africa.

"Given the gaming industry's imminent arrival in the Greater Philadelphia area, we're especially pleased to have Don Barden as our keynote speaker," said AACC Executive Director John Childress. "His extensive experience in the gaming industry and his ability to speak about that industry from an ownership perspective and from an African-American perspective make his appearance here especially timely. Without question Mr. Barden represents the very highest level of entrepreneurial success in the national African-American community. There is a great deal that he should be able to share with all of us on March 4th."

In addition to Mr. Barden's keynote remarks, the African-American Chamber of Commerce will also present its annual business excellence awards during the Gala Program. They will include:

- Lifetime Achievement Award - Charles Bowser, Esq.

- Community Service - African-American Freedom and Reconstruction League

- Procurement - ACE Insurance

- Excellence in Media - Athena D. Merritt, Philadelphia Business Journal

- Construction - W & W Contractors

- Legacy - James Brown, Alpha Office Supplies

Additional awards in the categories of corporate procurement and youth entrepreneurship will be announced prior to the date of the Gala.

Serving as mistress of ceremonies for the Gala will be Tamala Edwards, news anchor, WPVI TV, the ABC TV affiliate, here.

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