Birmingham, Ala. (WIAT) — Business and city leaders joined Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin in a conference celebrating and encouraging Black-owned businesses Tuesday.

The A.G. Gaston conference is named for the eponymous late businessman who amassed an empire worth over $40 million.

Bob Dickerson of the Birmingham Business Resource Center founded the conference in honor of him.

“I had an opportunity of working with him at one of the stops during my banking career,” Dickerson said. “By honoring him, we also use him as an example of what business owners can do or what business ownership could for communities.”

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed and several local organizations were present for the conference.