Ernesta G. Procope, chairman of New York-based insurance broker E.G. Bowman Co., has received the 2014 A.G. Gaston Lifetime Achievement Award from Black Enterprise magazine.
The award “recognizes the entrepreneurial spirit and the guiding light of an individual who has established an extended and consistently distinguished record of success,” according to Black Enterprise.
Ms. Procope founded E.G. Bowman as a storefront insurance agency in Brooklyn in 1953, and built it into the largest minority-owned brokerage in the country.
“History makers seldom have an example to follow; they make a path for others to follow them,” Black Enterprise said. Ms. “Procope blazed a new trail not only for African Americans, but for women.”
Ms. Procope has received numerous awards, including Ernst & Young's 1993 Entrepreneur of the Year, and the U.S. Small Business Administration's Small Business Person of the Year.
The A.G. Gaston award is named for Arthur George Gaston, a businessman in Birmingham, Alabama, who played a significant role in the struggle to integrate Birmingham in 1963.