Surrounded by a community “block” party which literally blocked drive-thru traffic; a funeral directly across from the main entrance door; contending with the Houston Chapter of the National Black MBAs hosting their annual event — the same day and time and with an entrepreneurial twist, the ITB Black Business Empowerment Summit still pulled off a well attended, professorially executed event to approximately 125 of the expected 200 business owners and entrepreneurs in attendance on Saturday, August 22, 2009.
Organizers of the event designed and distributed a special edition of the Black Wall Street Journal to serve as its itinerary and speaker bio program booklet along with other unique touches to create the actual Wall Street ambiance. Street signs bearing the likeness of the famous Wall Street in New York City decorated the walls. This second event saw an increase of vendors from its first in February from 14 to 22 in August. Everyone in attendance is guaranteed to receive a complementary listing in the 2010 Houston Black Book African American Business Directory due out in Spring 2010.
Crystal Washington, CEO, Black-Market Exchange, “Power Networking — Talk Your Way Into Opportunities”
photo by Grady Carter
Crystal Washington, CEO, Black-Market Exchange, kicked things off with an inspiring topic called “Power Networking — Talk Your Way Into Opportunities”. She was followed by Delilah Alexander, CEO, Image Essentials, LLC, speaking on verbal and non-verbal communications. The event featured a unique twist by introducing Talk Show Maven Raven Blair Davis to moderate two round table discussions that didn’t occur at the first summit. The first guests to sit “in the round” were two Christian authors, Pernell Hill, Entrepreneurial Theology, and Rev. Lekesha R. Barnett, The Intensified Life, who delivered a spirited discussion on God as an entrepreneur and more. The second roundtable discussion was centered around building an economic and political powerbase and featured two of Houston’s well known businessmen, Jeffrey L. Boney, CEO and Founder, Texas Business Alliance and Anthony Colbert, Jr., Spectrum Financial Group.
Linda Kinion of Kinion Insurance told us,
“I really enjoyed this event! Every speaker on the agenda really provided useful information for not only us as “business owners” but for us as “people.”
We (she and her husband) came in not really knowing anyone as we have just started to network, but left having made several new friends/acquaintances and even enjoyed the talent & entertainment that was provided. So it was “work” and “pleasure” all rolled up into one and professionally done so as not to waste people’s time.” The next summit will feature Dr. Elon Bomani — who in the two weeks prior to the summit got invited to be a guest on the nationally televised BET network — along with fellow Houstonian and renown author and top motivational speaker, Arthur L. Andrews and many others.
Building an Economic & Political Powerbase Roundtable: (l to r): Anthony Colbert, Jr., Spectrum Financial Group; Radio Talk Show Maven Raven Blair Davis; Jeffrey L. Boney, CEO, Texas Business Alliance. photo by Grady Carter
“It is our mission to help empower our community through economic empowerment, political empowerment and knowledge. We provide resources for local Blacks to seek and discover other Black-owned businesses across the city by publishing the only city-wide business directory featuring only Black-owned businesses, the Houston Black Book, and the summits are part of taking that vision a step further. The Houston Black Book wasn’t created to be just another directory, the directory was created to be an experience”, offered Craig L. Amos, publisher.
To see more pictures from the summit, read more comments from those in attendance and/or to be informed about other “IN THE BLACK” Black Business Empowerment Summits and Houston Black Book African American Business Directory, visit www.HoustonBlackBook.com.