SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Board of the California Black Chamber of Commerce (CBCC) has taken legal action to protect and sustain the organization’s future after the untimely death of Aubry Stone, who ran the Chamber for the past 25 years (California Black Chamber of Commerce, et al. v. Delores Thompson, et al. Sacramento Superior Court Case No. 34-2019-80003117).
The 10-member CBCC Board of Directors is responsible for governing and overseeing the operating activities of the organization, as well as, ensuring compliance with California Attorney General and Internal Revenue Service non-profit laws. Under the leadership of CBCC Board Chair Timothy Alan Simon, the Board of Directors is working diligently to strengthen the CBCC’s operating infrastructure and carry out the Chamber's mission.
Succession is never easy, but the CBCC Board took action on April 8, 2019, to fulfill Mr. Stone’s written request for CBCC succession by electing Edwin A. Lombard III as its Interim President/CEO. Mr. Lombard is the legal Interim President & CEO of the CBCC and the sole individual authorized to act in this capacity on the CBCC’s behalf. Together, President Lombard and the CBCC Board of Directors are developing the Chamber’s sustainability plan and its operating strategy that will protect the CBCC’s future and strengthen its impact for African American businesses statewide.
Unfortunately, according to the complaint, a small group, led by the CBCC former Treasurer and current CBCC employee, Delores Thompson, has illegally attempted to appoint themselves as CBCC Board Executives and are operating as a pretender board. This pretender board is fraudulently representing Jay King, a DJ on KDEE FM 97.5, as the President/CEO of the CA Black Chamber. This pretender board is unauthorized, illegal, shifts its membership at Ms. Thompson’s discretion, and is operating without proper oversight or governance.
After many failed attempts to reach resolution with Ms. Thompson and her coconspirators, the duly elected Board has taken legal action to protect the assets, operating history, and membership of the CA Black Chamber of Commerce and its affiliate, the California Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation (CBCF). All parties acting in concert with Ms. Thompson are included in this legal action and have been served.
The Board of Directors is seeking the cease and desist of all activities, injunctive relief, a full accounting of Chamber funds, the surrender of all CBCC and CBCF records, and other legal remedies to protect the Chamber and its future. To ensure that no additional CBCC funds are diverted or misused, all Chamber events not authorized by the true board of directors will be canceled until further notice, including the Annual Ron Brown Summit, which has been scheduled by Ms. Thompson for August 15-17 in Sacramento.
CBCC sponsors, vendors, and members are advised to take great caution before engaging in or supporting CBCC activities that have not been approved or sanctioned by the CBCC Board of Directors. The CBCC Board has not authorized the expenditure of funds or approved any contracts in connection with Thompson’s scheduled August 2019 Ron Brown Summit or any future events.
The CBCC Board remains hopeful that there will be a prompt legal resolution so that the CA Black Chamber of Commerce and its Foundation can continue its work to support and advocate for African American businesses across California.