2002 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Horhn

Senate Resolution 71

(As Adopted by Senate)


     WHEREAS, Don H. Barden is owner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Barden Companies, Inc., the Majestic Star Casino, Waycor Development Company and Barden International, Inc., in Namibia, Africa.  Mr. Barden most recently acquired Fitzgeralds Casino Hotel with properties in Las Vegas, Mississippi and Colorado.  These companies operate in the real estate development, automotive sales, service and manufacturing and casino industries.  Mr. Barden's corporate headquarters is located in downtown Detroit, Michigan; and

     WHEREAS, Barden, who became the first African-American person to wholly-own a national casino company with the acquisition, uses an easygoing style to describe some of his plans for his downtown Las Vegas property, which will become the national headquarters for his company; and

     WHEREAS, born in Detroit, Michigan, Mr. Barden is the ninth of 13 siblings.  He was educated in the public school system in Inkster, Michigan, and attended Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio.  Mr. Barden is married to Bella Marshall Barden and resides in Detroit, Michigan; and

     WHEREAS, with a business career that spans over 30 years, he has guided the Barden Companies and its affiliates from revenues of $600,000.00 to over $326 Million for the year 2001, making it one of the largest African-American-owned businesses in the country; and

     WHEREAS, in Lorain, Ohio, Mr. Barden works with a number of community organizations:  the Lorain County Community Action Agency, Federation of Human Resources, Junior Achievement, Fraternal Order of Police, NAACP and the Lorain Chamber of Commerce.  He also organized a voter registration drive for minorities in Lorain County; and

     WHEREAS, also active in efforts to revitalize Detroit, Mr. Barden took the lead in 1991 and 1992 by organizing a series of Regional Economic Peace Summits designed to address problems of crime, image and economic development.  The summits drew widespread support throughout the metropolitan region.  Over 200 area leaders participated in these sessions, including chief judges, county executives, mayors, city council members, prosecutors, police officials, sheriffs, corrections personnel and local business executives; and

     WHEREAS, in December 2001, Mr. Barden purchased three Fitzgeralds casinos located in Tunica, Mississippi; Black Hawk, Colorado; and downtown Las Vegas, Nevada.  With four casinos, Mr. Barden is the country's first African-American to wholly-own a national casino company; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Barden maintains a strong commitment to the Detroit community and is active with a variety of civic and business groups including Detroit Renaissance, Inc., Booker T. Washington Business Association, Greater Detroit Regional Chamber, Henry Ford Health Systems and the University of Michigan Business School Visiting Committee Member; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Barden is strongly committed to quality education and his efforts in this have been recognized.  He received the United Negro College Fund's "1991 Education Image Award" and Honorary Doctorate degrees from Lewis College of Business and Marygrove College; and

     WHEREAS, on July 10, 1997, Mr. Barden was selected and received the Fannie Lou Hamer "Keep The Spirit Moving" Award, as a result of his unique commitment not only to Detroit, but to the nation, and even internationally in Southwest Africa; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Barden will be honored at ceremonies on April 18, 2002, at Fitzgeralds Tunica which has 1,152 employees, a 507-room hotel, three restaurants, 1,400 slot machines, 33 table games and an events center; and

     WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize the remarkable and inspirational achievements of this businessman whose dedication to community service is a matter of record:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend and congratulate Don Barden, the first African-American person to wholly-own a national casino company, for his most recent casino acquisition and welcome him to Mississippi, extending to him the best wishes of the Mississippi Legislature on his future business and civic endeavors.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be presented to Mr. Barden at ceremonies honoring him on April 18, 2002, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.