African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin
Press Release

The African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin Announces $50,000 Donation and New Grand Opening Date

The Legacy Co-Working & Innovation Space receives major contribution from the Johnson Controls Foundation to continue completion of workspace for Chamber members and entrepreneurs.

MILWAUKEE (October 22, 2020) – As business owners continue to navigate these unprecedented times, the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (AACCW) continues to champion African American-owned businesses’ growth and sustainability by providing access to capital, education, and advocacy. Today, AACCW announced the Johnson Controls Foundation major gift of $50,000 to support the completion of The Legacy Co-Working and Innovation Space, 1920 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, scheduled to open in January 2021.
“Johnson Controls is deeply supportive of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin’s mission to foster growth in the African American business community, and we know that business growth and jobs creation play a significant part in changing the trajectory of lives for many Black families in our city,” said Grady Crosby, Johnson Controls vice president of Public Affairs, chief diversity officer and president of the Johnson Controls Foundation. “Johnson Controls is pleased to partner with the Chamber to provide a space to work for those who have a vision to be entrepreneurs. We can’t wait to see the innovation that comes out of this project. The whole city benefits when entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged.”
“We are proud of the partnership with Johnson Controls, which resulted in the gift of our Johnson Controls Technology Conference Room within the Legacy Co-Working and Innovation Space. The opportunity for entrepreneurs to leverage access to business technology helps to eliminate the barriers to business growth now and into the future,” says Deborah Allen, DNA Network and Chamber Board Chair. “This space and our community business partners help to spur economic vibrance in the heart of Milwaukee.”
The Legacy Co-Working and Innovation Space will provide workspace and programmatic resources for Chamber members and entrepreneurs that also include co-working space, private offices for entrepreneurs available for lease, and a shared commercial kitchen. Future development will also feature a coffee shop and retail space.
The African American Chamber of Commerce (AACCW) supports and champions entrepreneurs’ increased need for an inspiring environment to safely incubate, receive business development support, and establish networks to unlock their potential. After facing a five-month delay due to COVID-19, development resumed in September, and the Grand Opening is tentatively scheduled for January 2021.
“Public and tangible commitments from partners like the Johnson Controls Foundation to the Legacy Campaign demonstrate in word and action their commitment to addressing the inequality in entrepreneurship,” says Ossie Kendrix, President & CEO, AACCW. “Thank you to every donor, investor, and community volunteer that continue to support AACCW’s efforts with the Legacy Campaign. We still have work to do, but with critical business partnerships and contributions, we will improve Milwaukee now and for many years to come.”
The Legacy Campaign is chaired by Deborah Allen, DNA Network and Chamber Board Chair, Susan Lloyd, Lloyd Consulting and Greg Wesley, Medical College of Wisconsin, with significant support from Cecelia Gore, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Brewers Community Foundation and the Chamber’s immediate Past Chair, Wanda Montgomery. For more information and to make a contribution to the Legacy campaign, visit the Chamber website at
About: the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin champions the growth and sustainability of African American owned businesses by providing access to capital, education and advocacy through capacity building and strategic partnerships.

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