The Alonzo Herndon Award is named in honor of an extraordinary businessman, who more than 100 years ago, founded what would become the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, one of the United States’ largest and most successful black-owned businesses.

Mr. Herndon was born into slavery in 1858 and worked as a laborer from a young age. With almost no schooling and no money, his perseverance and entrepreneurial spirit drove him to great success, opening service businesses in Atlanta that were joined to form a landmark company. Today, the Alonzo Herndon Foundation honors his legacy and supports programs and policies in keeping with his vision. 

In honor of Juneteenth, Business Insurance has launched the inaugural award nominations, which recognizes an individual who exemplifies Mr. Herndon’s courage, leadership and extraordinary good will toward others, bolstering their progress and success.

Nominations are now open through July 30, 2021. The Business Insurance D&I Institute will announce the inaugural Alonzo Herndon Award winner at our annual D&I Conference on October 28, 2021.


  • An individual who has made a significant, industry-wide impact on furthering DEI efforts.
  • An individual who has consistent commitment to promoting DEI through raising awareness, implementing programs and mentoring others.
  • An individual who sets an example as a person of integrity, vision and dedication.
  • An individual who has acted as an advocate and participant in industry events that promote DEI.

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