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Hampton, Herring selected for Del. Business Hall of Fame

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Logan Herring, left, and Vandell Hampton Jr. have been selected for the 2021 class of the Delaware Business Hall of Fame. | DBT FILE PHOTO/PHOTO COURTESY OF TRUE ACCESS CAPITAL

WILMINGTON Vandell Hampton Jr., president and CEO of True Access Capital, and Logan Herring, CEO of the WRK Group, have been named the 2021 inductees to the Delaware Business Leaders Hall of Fame, Junior Achievement of Delaware announced this week.

The honor will be bestowed upon two of Wilmington’s leading Black business leaders at an Oct. 27 ceremony, marking a return to an in-person event after last year’s ceremony was conducted virtually.

The Delaware Business Leaders Hall of Fame, which was originally established in 1990 through a partnership between Hagley Museum & Library and Junior Achievement, honors outstanding business leaders whose work has positively impacted economic and workforce development in the region through invention/innovation, strategic management and/or entrepreneurship.

Today, local leaders are nominated and vetted by an independent selection committee and approved by the Junior Achievement of Delaware Leadership Council. In recent years, in addition to leaders of private enterprises, the selection criteria have been applied to leaders of public/private partnerships, community-based organizations and academia.

Hampton has led True Access, and its predecessor First State Community Loan Fund, since 2004, overseeing the nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) that utilizes both U.S. Department of Treasury funds and private sector donations to reach distressed communities at favorable terms. Under his leadership, the nonprofit has provided over $20 million in financing to small businesses and community organizations throughout Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania, and undergone the comprehensive rebranding campaign to True Access.

“I’ve been doing this work for a long time and there’s not a whole lot of accolades in the work, so to get an award like this was surprising but it made me feel really good that the work is being recognized,” Hampton told Delaware Business Times.

Herring founded a nonprofit dedicated to mentoring at-risk young men in Wilmington, and slowly grew to take on bigger roles, including executive director of the Kingswood Community Center in the city’s Riverside neighborhood in 2016. Two years later, he was tapped to lead the ambitious REACH Riverside initiative, which uses the national Purpose Built Communities model to revitalize housing, education and community services in the neighborhood. With the addition of The Warehouse, a teen-designed, co-working and service delivery space focused on serving the city’s teen population, the WRK Group was created.

“I’m very honored, humbled and appreciative of the recognition of the work that my team has been able to do over the past few years,” Herring told DBT of the award.

Hampton and Herring are close colleagues after spending months in the Building High Impact Nonprofits of Color leadership development program by Prosperity Now a few years ago.

“I’m a fan [of Logan]. He’s doing really good work in the northeast city and it’s an honor to be getting this recognition with him as well,” Hampton said.

Herring echoed his friend, saying that it was an honor to be inducted alongside Hampton as well.

“He’s doing great work in the community, and I look forward to collaborating and partnering with him on a deeper level as we move forward,” Herring said.

The induction of Hampton and Herring builds upon last year’s class of three Black leaders as well, when business executive William “Bill” Allen Jr., chef Dana Herbert and corporate consultant and Delaware State University board chair Devona E.G. Williams were honored in a virtual ceremony. Herring lauded Junior Achievement’s commitment to adding minority honorees to the Hall of Fame’s ranks.

“That doesn’t miss me, and I really appreciate the fact that, with [President Rob Eppes’] leadership, the committee has been intentional in making sure that they review diverse candidates,” he said.

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