Father’s Day Tributes
Dr. G. K. Butterfield Sr.
I always admired how even-tempered my father was. He was always polite to everyone he met. My father was a strong man who was involved in my life on a daily basis. I looked at him as my role model and I attribute much of my success to his influence. From an early age, my father taught me the importance of community involvement and showing respect to others, even when they are unpleasant.
One memory in particular that I have of my father is him taking me to the 1963 March on Washington. It was at the March that I was exposed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders in the civil rights movement. From my relationship with my father, I learned to treat each of my three daughters as individuals. Each daughter has her own personality and I try to adjust my approach with each one based on her personality.
G.K. Butterfield – U.S. Congressman (D-NC)
I remember my father, Ben Ali, telling me about his vision for Ben’s Chili Bowl. In order to ensure shared ownership of the family business, he gave my two brothers and myself all the same middle name: Ben. Today, we all work together to continue the great legacy of our family enterprise, which my parents founded in 1958. We called my dad “Big Ben”, and I am constantly amazed by his wonderful foresight and vision. He and my mom gave so much to our family and to the larger community, and his life continues to inspire us all today!
Sage Ben Ali – Co-Owner, Ben’s Chili Bowl
Unconditional love, anticipatory guidance, and active support are the concepts that come to mind when I think of my father. They are also the character traits that describe a good coach, and in one way or another, my father has embodied this role throughout the course of my life. From teaching me the ways of “the beautiful game” to indoctrinating the concept of “Do it now or write it down,” my father has played the role of soccer coach and continues to be a life coach as I get older. Given the unfortunate reality this type of relationship isn’t guaranteed for everyone in society, which makes it all the more special to me.
Dr. G. Malik Burnett, MD – Former DC Policy Manager, Office of National Affairs
Lee Ingram, Jr.
What a man what a mighty good man! My dad is 89 years old and has the strongest constitution of anyone I know. He was an awesome provider, protector and a praying man. As a young girl I remember my mom driving us to The National Institute of Health to pick up my dad from work. We would run to greet him after his 12 hour shifts. He retired after 35 years as a public servant. Not only did he work as a public servant, he owned a taxi and a catering service. Truly the heart of a servant. A father of 5, and a man on the ministerial staff at his church, he would drag us to senior homes while he would pray and grocery shop for members at the Eastern Star Home and those homebound. He’d cook meals for senior citizens and teach bible study up until he was 80 and he served as minister of the “Prime Timers”. That’s my dad Lee Ingram, Jr.
Le’Angela Ingram – Principal, ICG International
Rev. William Clark
My Father, the late Reverend William Clark, instilled in me that fatherhood is one of the greatest blessings bestowed upon a man. He taught me that it is a responsibility which should be embraced and fulfilled to the best of my ability. It is with that thought, that I cherish the opportunity and blessing, given to me by God, to be the father of an amazing daughter. The gift of fatherhood has consistently provided me with an abundance of joy, more humility, and an everlasting smile. Not only have I been blessed to be the father of my biological child, throughout my educational career, I have been blessed to be a surrogate father to thousands of children. As a leader and a father, I’ve learned that great leaders, as well as great fathers, must be willing to sacrifice, serve and nurture their own children and family before he can lead or guide anyone.
Dr. Marco Clark, PhD – Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Richard Wright Public Charter School
William R. Bailey
Happy Fathers Day to the late William R. “Bill” Bailey (Nashville, TN). Your legacy lives on, and your lasting memories will forever be cherished!
Michelle M. Bailey – Senior Vice-President Audience Analytics, BET
Irwin M. Wilson
My dad is a quiet and humble leader. Our relationship is built on laughter and love. He’s simply amazing.
April Richardson Esq. – Financial Crimes Attorney, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
My favorite memory; him telling me to remove my plate of food off of the armrest because it would fall off and me saying it won’t. Then it actually did fall. Lesson learned. Dad’s always right.
Jo Namayanja – Project Manager, AARP