Hawthorne’s ‘Game Plan’: Work Together

May 16, 2012

George Hawthorne, executive director of the Gulf Coast African American Chamber of Commerce, said Tuesday that his organization would not be releasing what he had referred to as a “game plan.”

“Any moves we make now would further divide this community,” Hawthorne said.

For months, Pensacola City Councilman John Jerralds has spearheaded an effort to organize another minority chamber, contending that the existing GCAACC is a non-functioning body. Hawthorne maintained that his organization was viable, and in April said its board would be going on a retreat in order to regroup.

Although Hawthorne’s board never went on that retreat, the GCAACC head said last week that the group had “dialouged” and would be making an announcement this week in regards to its future direction.

“We’re not going to release the plan,” Hawthonre said last night, explaining that his group now prefers to work with Jerralds. “We’re going to try to work out something with them.”

Councilman Jerralds has another meeting scheduled for Thursday at Pensacola City Hall to further discuss the direction of the alternative chamber. Hawthorne said the GCAACC would most likely bring up the possibility of working together during that meeting.

“We’ll have it together by Thursday,” Hawthorne said. “We want to work together, we want to bring this community together.”

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  • citizen May 18, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I guess his resignation answers my questions. It’s funny when certain questions are asked, these things start happening. Thanks George.

  • joe May 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    It’s all going to be good now since Mr. H because beginning tonight the former GCAACC is going to work with the new group.

    The new group will need to know whether past bills have been paid,(alleged by a member that there were outstanding bills) proper tax filings, etc. to maintain the tax exempt status in order to maintain as a going concern or do they have to start over withthe application process to receive irs determination letter?

    I appreciate when Mr. H points out then straightens out ignorance.

  • citizen May 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Just a hint, but 2011 was only just last year

  • citizen May 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    George, where was that 10k spent? What was done with it to help the Black Business Owners? Did you submit any forms for expenditures or do we just take your word?

  • George Hawthorne May 17, 2012 at 7:30 am


    The posts made here clearly show the ignorance people have of the facts.

    1. I have NEVER made a dime from the GCAACC, in fact, I have voluteered thousands of hours of my time and thousands of MY dollars to the GCAACC.

    2. I was the architect of the GCAACC’s strategic partnership with the Greater Pensacola Chamber and we work closely with the Pensacola Chamber.

    3. The GCAACC has not taken ANY money from the City or County since fiscal year 2011 and then it was only $10,000.

  • joe May 16, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    After all of Mr. Hawthorne’s assurances (to Rick O) that the great plan is forthcoming he backtracks to this huge extent. Notwithstanding helpme’s comment that Jerralds is divisive, Jerralds must have a pretty big stick or he has some say about the next pot of taxpayer money Mr. H is after.

    A moment of silence for the demise of the GCAACC….

    Ok, 2 seconds, that is long enough.

    It is past time for the Black chamber to work with the White chamber and help ALL qualified small businesses.

    Does Hawthorne’s imminent exit (which is what’s necessary to bring it together) mean that other leaders such as Hicks, May, Albritton, Gant and others are ready to step in and work together with, dare I say it, white chamber members, and get away from the divisiveness and entitlement mentality.

  • Teresa May 16, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Dale..I you took the words right out of my mouth!

  • citizen May 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Does Hawthorne get a salary out of money collected and/or given to him by the city to “make” this organization run? I’ve followed the stories on him for a couple of years now and I’ve yet to see anyone show up with him to support his cause whatever that may be. He always has a plan that’s going to be announced at a later date that never gets here. He is slap full of hot air, but it does make for some comical reading. It takes all kinds to make the world go around. I think I’m going to start a “it’s nice to be fat” club and I will have a plan to announce next year, but if you will fund me now I can get to work. Get a life and go to work somewhere so you’re not always standing there with your greedy hand out.

  • Helpmehere May 16, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Jerralds is probably the most divisive person in this community. Once you get past all of the showboating and grandstanding it will become painfully clear that his effort is nothing more than a vendetta against Hawthorne. RIP GCAACOC.

  • Dale Parker May 16, 2012 at 8:39 am

    What was left out of the story, we want to work together as long as I can keep my nose in the trough.

    I am sorry, but I just do not trust Hawthorne.