Most of you know that I am in Atlanta for the Black Enterprise Entrepreneur’s Conference. For the past few months, I have been tweeting about the event and encouraging everyone that I know to come and join me. Today is the first day and we have only had one event, The Opening Reception. For everyone that was skeptical about paying the fee to attend, the reception definitely set the tone for what I expect is to come.
Not only did I have a chance to meet with some amazing professionals, there was a great live band, wine, beer and liquor bar as well as appetizers. Butch Graves, CEO of Black Enterprises, made the opening remarks and welcomed us to the conference followed by the CEO of a Exxon Mobile, a title sponsor of the conference.
I was a bit dismayed talking to one conference attendee who mentioned that he had some reservations about attending the conference for the first time. ” Why?”, I asked. He reminded me that for some years, networking conferences had become opportunities for men and women to flirt and hook up. Ouch! I remembered this being put out a few years ago but leading up to this conference, I was so excited about meeting professionals that I had met online, I had not even considered the negatives of coming to Atlanta. Guess what? I am still not going to focus on that. I only plan to meet and interact with other professionals who are in Atlanta and about their business. Is that you? Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that we can hook up before Wednesday.
So… who did I meet today?
- Sirena Moore: CEO of Elohim Cleaning Contractors, Inc. At 28 years old, she is a sought after high energy speaker and has achieved more than many entrepreneurs twice her age. In less than five years, Ms. Moore has taken a small construction cleaning firm that she started with her father and brother and turned it into a million dollar business that continues to grow.
- Joey Womack: yes, Joey is my cousin and we connected on Twitter. He is working on a great project to connect the past and future generations of Florida A&M University alumni as well as being on the Steering Committee for the conference
- Luke Riggins: this young man is about his business which is providing cash flow to up and coming entrepreneurs. I was impressed with Luke’s passion for helping entrepreneurs to not only get assistance with developing successful businesses but also with giving them what they need most – access to capital
- Steven Pargett: I love to see young men out networking and not trying to collect phone numbers but making business contacts. You can tell a lot about a man based on the people he hangs around and Steven is connecting himself with ALL of the right people look for future posts about him and his business partners. In the mean time, check out his blog – http://www.thinkperiod.blogspot.com/
- Tom Jones: One of the Black Enterprise’s Wealth for Life Principles is “guaranteeing my wealth is passed on to future generations through proper insurance and estate planning”. Tom is doing double duty on this principle. He is part of a family business that provides insurance services in South Carolina. Listening to him speak about lessons that he is passing on to his younger brother and lessons learned from his father, let’s me know these gentlemen are building a business on a solid foundation
- Last but soooo not least is the incredible Cameka Smith, not only is she the Founder of The BOSS Network but she is also one of the sweetest and most supportive women in my life. Join the movement, we are about our #BOSSbusiness