This year’s conference will include the following panels:

“The Life Cycle of a Career”

This panel is a talk with “C-suite” black executives. The first portion of the panel discussion will focus on the importance of active career management versus a work hard wait and see approach. The panelists will draw on their own experience navigating through large firms and will leave us with a framework that can be applied to any professional career. The second part of the panel is intended to give students the opportunity to hear and learn from individuals who have had successful careers away from finance, sports or music. All of the panelists have significant experience as executives at multi-billion dollar firms and also have been on the Boards of Directors of a variety of different public companies across industries.

  • Doug Holloway – President of Multi Channel Distribution, Ion Networks
  • Jessica Isaacs – Head of Small and Medium Size Enterprises, Marsh & McLennan
  • Shelley Stewart, Jr. – Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence and Chief Procurement Officer

” Impact Investing & Corporate Social Responsibility

Can African Americans look at corporate social responsibility and impact investing as a way to give back to their communities in a sustainable manner? An overview on both areas and how the black community can aim to solve social or environmental challenges while generating a financial profit.

  • Angela Butler – Director and Chief Policy Officer, National Development Council
  • Kesha Cash – Founder, Jalia Ventures
  • Preston Pinkett – CEO, City National Bank
  • Bruce Schlein – Director of Corporate Sustainability, Citi

“Black Spending”

The panel will discuss the interrelationship between financial literacy and consumer spending within the black community. Although strides have been made over the past thirty years, minorities continue to struggle with effectively managing increases in wealth. This is increasingly important as demographic shifts mean minority consumers are growing in spending power and marketers and manufacturers must reach these consumers as a business imperative.

  • Andre Branch – Vice President, North America Marketing – Global Payment Options, American Express
  • Ivan Thorton – Founder and President, Fiduciary Management Group
  • Barry Wade – Vice President and Group Account Director, GlobalHue
  • Rodney Williams – Senior Vice President of  Marketing – Hennessey, LVMH 

“The Tech Sector & Entrepreneurship”

A discussion on the representation of African-Americans in the technology entrepreneurship space. A closer look into how geography (the presence of African Americans in Silicon Valley), education (blacks pursuing science, technology, and engineering), mentorship (black role models in entrepreneurship), and funding for start-ups play a role in motivating blacks to join the online entrepreneurship movement.

  • Chuck Baker – Founder, Fileblaze, Inc.
  • Sheldon Gilbert – Founder and CEO, Proclivity Systems
  • Duane McKnight – Senior Partner, Syncom Venture Partners

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